Horam Manor Fishery entertains on the bread punch

May 23, 2019 at 8:32 pm

The East Sussex village of Horam proved the ideal place for a spot of R & R this week. Still suffering with a painful ankle, I booked my campervan into Horam Manor Country Park for a couple of days, seeing that a fishery is among the facilities, which include nature trails and horse riding. Only fit for sitting beside a lake for a few hours, I opted for Great Pond, close to the parking area and overlooked by The Bistro, with a selection of food and drinks available all day. What more can you ask for? Oh yeh, all this for a two rod fishing ticket of £5.

There are nine lakes and ponds to choose from, relics of medievil iron working along a stream, where the ore was exposed down the steep valley, the ore once dug out and smelted on the spot, the ponds getting the name of hammer ponds, where the rough iron was taken from the charcoal kilns and forged with hammers into ingots. Now tall pines and bluebell woods mask this once early industrial site.

Setting up along the dam, I mixed ground carp pellets with 2 mm krill pellets and liqudised bread, then added water to make up several soft balls, that I put in 4 to 5 metres out over the deeper water. Using a 7 mm bread punch pellet on a size 16 barbless, the float cruised off with the first bite and a rudd came to the net.

Several rudd followed in rapid succession, before a slower, steady submerge of the float indicated the first of many carp, that strung out the elastic, letting the fish have its head, until ready for the pole to be pulled back to the top two joints, the landing net ready and waiting.

This mirror was quickly returned, the no keepnet rule going against the grain with this ex-matchman.

Another hard fighting carp. Its a pity that the barbless hook rule seems to have been ignored here, many fish being without their top lips.

A better sized mirror carp, that fought well on the light pole tackle, 3 lb hook link, to 4 lb main line. With carp above double figures in this pond, I was taking a chance, but preferred these tactics to those of many around me fishing matching twin stepped up carp rods, when if they hooked fish of this size, skimmed them back across the surface. There was one bivvy set up on the pond, most of the more serious carp men and ladies seeking out the isolation of the lakes further down the valley.

The bread punch continued to take its toll of the residents of the pond, this common making an effort to reach the reed bed opposite, before the elastic persuaded it to do otherwise.

There were plenty of greedy little tench eager to get to the punch first, the bites and fight unmistakable.

A silver ghost carp put in an appearance.

These carp would be a match angler’s dream, free feeding with enough fight to make life interesting.

A bit of a lump. My wife (tackle carrier) asked if I get bored catching so many fish? Er, Never.

Mirrors were one to every three commons, interspersed with small tench and rudd. There are supposed to be some crucians in the water, but I never saw one, although several big perch were busy chasing small rudd in and out of the reed beds.

Look at the tail on this tench. I lost one of about a pound at the net trying to bully it in.

I had started at 1:30 pm, now it was nearing 4:30, but the fish were unrelenting, a couple more balls of feed had kept them coming, the commons mouths full of mud as they hovered up the fine particles.

I had stopped taking pics of the fish long before, but this chunky common carp and my last fish of the day, another pretty mirror warranted the effort.

I had honestly lost count of the number of the various species, as I attempted to fill in the returns form, say twenty rudd of around 4 oz, a dozen small tench to 8 oz, eight, or nine mirror carp to 12 oz and twenty five common carp to 1lb 8 oz. All in three hours. All on the bread punch.