Youngster Bags a Big 'Un - Taylor Ferris

“I recently got my nine-year-old son Taylor a ticket to fish the Lee Valley Lake I joined last year. It’s full of crays and this puts many anglers off, so getting a ticket wasn’t a problem. Taylor’s been fishing since he was three and had caught many carp up to 18lb before his first session on the lake. We arrived at the lake at 4 o’clock on the Friday and had a look round finding few anglers and plenty of swims free. We settled for a swim called The Point on the far side of the lake, which I’d had success in the previous weekend. Taylor chose to fish on the edge of a weedbed at 60 yards range, using a chod rig set up with a 2oz lead, No-Trace Bead and Barrel Bead, ensuring carp safety.

He fished his second rod at the same distance, three rod lengths off the first rod with a muzza rig, that he’d tied himself after watching Tom Dove use it on Thinking Tackle. He kept the swim fed with Cell boilies during the session with the throwing stick. Throughout the weekend I had three fish to 24lb and he had a 6lb tench but the crays were a real problem, so he used chods on both rods and tied on 18mm cork balls soaked in Cell liquid. At midday on the Sunday he received a slow take on his left-hand rod and hit into what was clearly a good fish. It kited right, heading toward some marginal snags but after some sidestrain it swam straight to us and plodded around slowly before I slid the net under the fish. We were speechless when she weighed in at 38lb exactly. This fish is known as the Brown One and a great start on his first session.

We went two weeks later and we arrived at the lake on Friday after Taylor finished school and chose to fish a tight swim at the south end of the lake, where we had seen fish showing a couple of days before. We try to walk round the lake a couple of times in the week leading up to a session to see if we can see any fish, so we have somewhere to start if we don’t see any when we arrive. We dropped to one rod each, as space was limited. Taylor fished the same chod system as before and fed the swim with Cell boilies once again. Early on Sunday morning he recast his rod to 50 yards range into light weed to his left and put 20 Cell baits in the area. As we were nearing the end of the trip Taylor’s rod arched left before his Baitrunner kicked in and he was away. After 10 minutes and some heart-stopping moments he dragged the fish into the net. It weighed 32lb 4oz and was Taylor’s second UK thirty from a tough lake. Many thanks for the tactics, tips and advice!”