Haydan Ward, Short Session Success

Short session success


Haydn Ward reveals how to get the most from short sessions!


The idea of fishing for just over one and a half hours and trying to get a half decent net of fish may seem daunting to some anglers. But I believe that you can have just as much fun fishing for two hours as you would in a whole five hour session!


Let me explain how to do it!


Fact file


·         Angler: Haydn Ward

·         Age: 13

·         Sponsors: Damhead Lane Fishery and Eastham Angling Centre

·         Pole: Maver Madusa XM 14.5m



On many occasions anglers miss out on opportunities because they think that they do not have time to fit in a session, let me tell you… they are wrong!


A large number of times I have returned home from a long day at school and decided to make the most of the two hours of light left in the day by going fishing. I know that the most important rule to short session fishing is taking your time. I have broken items of equipment by rushing and getting in a panic! So DO NOT RUSH or you will pay the price!


My latest short session took place on Thursday the 10th May 2012. My intention was to film a new video for my youtube channel; therefore I had sorted my filming equipment out the night before, so I was all ready to go.





 My venue choice was Damhead Lane fishery, situated only 10 mins from my house.

Because of the short travelling distance this was the perfect venue! It is stocked with small stocky mirror and common carp and has a vast range of other species including carp to 18lb and ONE Golden Tench. Luckily for me my granddad lives in the same road as me so when I get off the bus I can load his car up with the gear and we are ready to go!  This is small commercial water and is perfect for pole fishing. As that was the method I planned to use I could tell that the session would go to plan!


Second rule to short sessions

Preparation is key; you want to be at the water as soon as possible so if you can pack the car the night before make sure you do because it will add at least 5mins onto your fishing time!


The bait choice


Pellets, pellets and guess what…more pellets! Small commercial venues that are stuffed with small carp are the perfect place to fish expander pellets and feed hard pellets! My chosen hook bait was 4-6mm Ringers expanders and my feed was Eastham Angling Centres own 4mm and 2mm feed pellets.


The rigs!


The rig choice was rather simple, I had a Preston Innovations no11 hollow elastic and my line was 0.12 (about 3lb) to a six inch hook length of 0.10 (2.1lb). My hook was a size 18 wide gape and the float was a light carp diamond shaped float. My reasoning behind this rig choice was as follows. The elastic was soft enough not to bump small skimmers, yet strong enough to land small carp around the 10oz mark within a small space of time. The line was balanced with the elastic and was strong enough to land any fish in the lake as long as the fish did not go for the lilies. Finally, the hook I was using was a perfect size for the pellets I was fishing and was small enough not to spook the shy biting carp!


The session


I arrived at the tranquil fishery at around 4:35pm, after unloading the car and seeing my Granddad off I had a quick chat with Stuart (The owner of the fishery) and Roger (the bailiff). We decided we could not film today because of the strong winds. Although bad news on the filming front, my excitement was still 100% and it stayed that way from the moment I arrived to the moment I left.


 I stood in the soft mud and looked out over the choppy pool. Unfortunately my favourite pegs were all either taken by other anglers or facing the cold wind, I had no option other than to take a back seat on one of the less productive pegs (peg 5). I made my way round to the very well made peg, which was covered in a layer of astro-turf. As I spent time and care setting up the angler on the peg to my left hauled out a stunning 11lb common! I knew the fish where on the feed. After pumping my pellets and soaking a small amount of feed pellets I was ready to go! The time on my phone read 5:20pm, I shipped out in the wind to 10m, this was the area I had plumed and my marker was the edge of the island. With no hesitation I cupped in two large cad pots full of 4mm pellets and some micros. This was to bring the fish into my swim. As I have found out from previous sessions, if you go straight over it you will not get a bite for 5mins or so. This gave me the chance to adjust my roller and have another chat to Stu. Again I was not rushing because if I did I knew I might damage some tackle. While I was having a chat to Stu, I asked if I could put my keep net in, just so I could show you lot the end result! He kindly let me even though it is against the rules. (Much appreciated Stu)!

       After my chat with Stuart I went back to my peg. Knowing that my feed would have settled, I put a 4mm expander on the hook and shipped out to my swim. Within seconds the float buried and a 4oz skimmer was in the net. I caught another five skimmers, the biggest about 8oz. After realising that I had got the fish going I upped the feed and fed a full pot of 4mm pellets every time I went in! This got the carp in my swim and over the next half hour I was getting small carp averaging 10oz close to every chuck! I was now fishing with a 6mm expander on the hook and as I shipped out I went through the process of feeding again. Then, with the wind blowing hard I lowered my rig down into the swim and within 30seconds I was into a better fish! I got it away from the lilies and shipped my new pole back through my hands; I could tell this was a better one because the soft no11 hollow elastic was pouring out of my pole! After a short fight I slipped my net under Damheads one and only Golden Tench!



 I was chuffed with the fish and as I lowered it into my keep net, I could see how beautiful this fish was! The time was now around 6:30pm, I was aiming to finish at seven because I had to get home so I could revise for a test I had the following day. I shipped out again and caught yet another small stocky carp; I had about four more of these along with some skimmers. The session was going well considering I was on a peg that I do not fish often. The time on my phone read 6:59, I went in one last time and as usual the float vanished and I had another carp in the net!






Overall, a good session with a decent bag of fish considering I only fished for one hour 40 minuets! It just proves that you can still enjoy a short session as long as you do not rush! My dad arrived at 7:15pm and once I had packed up I lifted the net to see what I had caught. (See picture below)     

Unfortunately this picture is not great but I had a good session.