Manea Pit (3)
Arrival time: 13.00
Weather: Clearing after heavy rain during the morning.
Breeze freshened once rain had stopped. Bright afternoon.
Swim: Main lake. First bay on SW bank.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 16 hook on 5lb fluorocarbon link. Insert waggler.
Fish: A few roach.
My neighbour’s father was house-sitting while they were away and I had suggested a day’s fishing. We originally planned to go to Stamford but a morning of heavy rain, and an uncertain outlook, modified our plans. Instead we went to Manea Pit, which is much closer. In the event, after a little more rain the afternoon brightened with a freshening breeze and it was quite pleasant.
I previously fished the pit in March 2010 and the lake was reasonably clear of weed. Today, however, the weed growth was prolific, not helped by the climatic conditions this year. We spoke to a chap who was picking up litter (why oh why don’t anglers take their littler home) and he said they had been removing weed but its progress had basically outpaced them.
We started on the west bank where there is a channel between reed beds. In fact the whole lake is a crossed by raised beds, almost as if the original workings took the form of a succession of channels. It’s an old pit, not one of these upstart commercials. After a short period it became clear that the limited depth and bottom weed didn’t promise much. We hadn’t had a touch. On the suggestion of the litter chap we moved to the main lake and settled in a spot where there were two adjacent pitches (see photo). I baited a spot next to some lilies about 20 feet out using sweetcorn. Mick, my companion, started on luncheon meat.
At first I thought it was going to be a no-bite day but after about half an hour I missed my first bite. After a couple of more misses I finally connected with a nice-conditioned roach of about 4 oz. Mick, meanwhile, was getting nowhere. And this set the pattern. I managed three more roach, all smaller than the first, while Mick didn’t get a bite. At my suggestion he moved next to me to see if that helped, but it didn’t.
As the afternoon ended the breeze dropped and conditions became perfect. Unfortunately the fish didn’t respond in a similar manner. We packed up at 19.30 somewhat bemused at the lack of surface activity given the very enticing end to the day. We obviously don’t know how to fish the place.
There were a few ‘carpers’ bivvied around the lake and apparently one had taken a 35lb fish in the early hours. The carp here are, however, not like the suicidal creatures that one finds in a commercial lake. One gets the feeling that you would need to work hard to get one. Another chap apparently took three tench between arriving at 17.00 and leaving just before us. He obviously knew what to do and where to fish. I may give it another go but I don’t think Mick will be returning.