Christmas stocking
Angler's Mail|January 14, 2020
The future of fishery management is a bright one, these BTEC Fish Husbandry students keen to help stock an Essex lake with carp over the Christmas holiday, including this 21 lb mirror.
MY BTEC Fish Husbandry students from Gable Hall School, in Essex, were given a fantastic opportunity over the Christmas holidays. We jumped at the chance when we were asked if we would like to participate in the stocking of several specimen carp into an Essex day ticket fishery.

On a wet and blustery day, the students donned their chestwaders and, under my supervision and that of Level 1 coach Lloyd Letkey, they enjoyed every second of the experience. Each carp was weighed and photographed, so that their progress can be monitored in the future. The chunky mirror carp were then carried to the lake in large flotation slings, before being released into their new homes. It was great to see the students enjoying this experience. They are doing the BTEC course in the hope of obtaining employment in the industry when they leave school, so this is another string to their bows. We will be undertaking a great deal of fishery maintenance in the coming months, which will be challenging if the weather gets colder.

I dare say that if they come through the winter with the same level of determination and resolve as they have now, they will be fine assets to any fishery when they leave school.

Joy for Joel

I was pleasantly surprised that bookings for coaching sessions were still coming in over Christmas. My choice of venue for one session was a nobrainer, Rochford Reservoir, a 3.5-acre park lake in the middle of Rochford town centre, Essex, as it always fishes well in winter, if you’re on the right spots.

You’ve always got a chance of catching some lovely, scaly mirror carp, long, dark commons and some specimen golden orfe.

My task was to help ten-year-old Joel Preston-Butler catch his first carp. He had been given a fishing session with a coach as a present, and he was absolutely brimming with enthusiasm when he arrived with his family. It was only a one-hour stint, so the pressure was firmly on my shoulders to get a result.

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