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Lee Merritt visits Honeypot Lakes in EssexGeneral, News, Features

Posted On: 10 April 2013


Lee Merritt visits Honeypot Lakes in Essex


It was mid-morning on Monday the 18thof March and I was on the phone to Atomic’s Lee Merritt, he had wangled a couple of days off work and wanted to get the rods out, problem was though he wasn’t sure where he wanted to go, all he knew was that wherever he ended up he wanted to catch them on Zigs… after a quick ask around Honeypot Lakes near Stock in Essex were suggested, apparently there was a great stock of fish in there and most importantly for Lee they loved a Zig.

We didn’t take much convincing, a quick call to the owner Jim and we were both booked in for the following morning for a quick day trip.

The 5 O’clock alarm was soon sounding and excitedly I chucked my clothes on, mumbled my goodbyes to the misses and the dogs and was soon flying down the country lanes on my way to Honeypot.

As I rounded the final corner Lee’s van was already waiting for the gate to open and seconds later the bailiff was pulling up and letting us in.

The car park is only a hundred yards or so from the Lake so we were met with a lovely view of the 4 acre venue. After we had all said our hello’s Lee and I got our gear together and wandered down to the lake. With only 5 of us on we all had plenty of room and spread out round the lake with Lee and I plotting up on the end of a gentle breeze looking up the lake.

I left my barrow behind Lee’s swim and wandered around with the camera as he went about getting all 3 rods rigged up and in the pond. We had it on good authority that they loved a black and yellow Zig in mid water, so Lee put out two Zigs, one about 4 feet off the deck and the other about 6 feet off the bottom, baits were the brilliant little Enterprise Zig baits.

Whilst we had been chatting we had noticed several signs of movement just below the surface and even seen one mid double mirror have a go at tail walking, so spirits were very high, they were in the area!

Lee’s 3rdrod was on the Atomic Mag Aligner rig and went out into open water amongst where the fish had shown.

(We did a video on the Mag Aligner just visit our Channel on YouTube to see it.)

It didn’t take long for our initial excitement to turn to moodiness as we realised we were going to need to work a lot harder than we had first expected to get our cold water bite. As we were sitting there putting the world to rights and discussing some new Atomic products my right hand rod signalled a stuttery take on the Zig positioned high in the water. I had thought it rude not to put my own zigs out in the swim next door. A spirited battle ensued and Lee was soon sticking the net under a chunky 16/17lb Common, apparently pretty typical of the lake, can’t argue with that, as there are loads of 20’s and even some 30’s in there!

The fish had clearly moved and were now out in front of me at about 50yards range, so I put them both to the same depth and put them slightly further out where we thought the fish were holding.

With the rods back on the rests I wandered back to Lee to continue our chat. Although the shows had stopped and things were getting colder Lee was not happy just sitting there hoping for something to happen, every 20 minutes or so he would jump up and skip the rods in, recast the zigs and re load the maggot bag, adjusting depths and colours in search of that elusive bite, if he wasn’t recasting he was watching the water intently.

It was during one of these recasts that lightning struck twice as my alarm signalled another take from the swim next door, Lee and I shot over and as I lifted into it the rod took on a lovely curve, the Bombz Away clip had shed the lead on the take making the fight on the long link far easier, again Lee did the honours with the net and we were soon unhooking an upper double Honeypot Lakes Common.


Unhooked and returned safely we went back to Lee’s swim to do some more photography and filming before we lost the light and headed home. As we finished the last clip Lee again skipped the lead in and put it back out in a slightly different area, this time though the outcome was slightly different, literally as he went to put it on the rest he mumbled ooo under his breath, something I immediately picked up on, “Was that a take I enquired?’ he didn’t need to answer, the sweeping of the rod up over his shoulder and a healthy cure on his 2.5lb Free Spirit was all I needed to see. After several hours with only a few bleeps from the buzzers a quick recast had resulted in a take before the lead had even touched bottom, going to show that staying active and working at your angling can often be the difference between a bite and a blank.

As a pristine Honeypot Mirror rolled over the chord I could see the relief in Lee’s face, we had asked a lot expecting him to catch for the cameras on a bitterly cold day on a water he had never visited, but with a bit of perseverance he came good and the smile said it all as he hoisted up the pretty double figure Mirror.

On a tough day we were very happy with our results and plans were already being made to get back down there!

Honeypot Lakes

Honeypot Lakes are situated just outside Stock in Essex. There are two Lakes onsite a Specimen lake and the Day Ticket Lake, we fished the Specimen Lake.

The Day TicketLake is full with carp between 5-20lb as well as Tench and Bream, if you want a serious bend in your rod this is for you!

The specimen lake is by appointment only. It is 4 acres in size with a max of 10 swims, carp ranging between 15-34lb with a great head of twenties, also a good head of catfish to and over 40lb.

For further details visit call 07970156412