Simon Kenny Bags a Last-Gasp Brute...

This season I've been making the 200-mile round trip from my Norfolk home to tackle the Essex Manor. I'm going to write about a session I had recently that proves hanging on a little longer can sometimes pay off.

Most of you have probably heard of the Manor; it’s a very well-known circuit water and it has a fantastic stock of big carp. It is also very heavily pressured and sometimes getting into a swim that contains fish can almost be as tricky as catching them!
I'd been having some success in a swim known as The One, and on this particular trip I'd managed to secure the swim once again. The One is a lovely swim that covers a lot of water and has the added bonus of a bay to the right that's one of the shallowest areas of the lake. Manor is an irrigation reservoir and with depths of up to 25ft, so shallower areas are worth investigating. Most of the lake bed is covered in silkweed, so my choice of rig this season has been the naked chod, which ensures I'm always well presented and has the added bonus of providing excellent hook holds, which is a must with the, large hard-fighting carp of the Manor. I've been using the naked chod safety system, which is not only very simple to set up also the No-Trace beads make everything very fish friendly.

Bait choice was DT Baits N-Blend and Cold Water Mix, with Green Beast mixed two to one. During previous sessions I'd found the bay to be the swims most productive area, so all three rods were positioned within the bay. Three kilos of bait was spread very loosely around the area and the traps where set.

The session passed by with the occasional fish showing but no bites. I felt sure I was in the right area, the wind was trickling into my bay and
I'd kept casting down to a minimum, so I knew the best thing to do was sit tight. I would normally leave the lake around midday on the Sunday to
give myself plenty of time to make the journey home and so I didn't miss Sunday roast! On this particular session however I decided to swap the roast dinner for a tin of beans and hang it out until after dark. My hunch paid off because just before dark the left-hand rod, which was the rod cast furthest into the bay was away and after a heavy battle I netted the awesome Cluster. On the scales she went 39lb 14oz and I got some excellent shots to capture the moment. It just goes to show there's a fine line between catching and blanking and a little extra effort can make all the difference.