FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 75



The Town Stretch
one area that ran up to a bridge held
an abundance of natural food in the
shape of snails and very large swan
mussels. In the same swim was a
large willow tree with dropping
branches that actually entered the
water, and this area I was sure would
at times hold carp. Further up the
bank were a couple of mooring
points, which are used in the summer
months to secure the rowing boats
that are available to hire. Again an
area that would at certain times of the
year offer the carp visiting the town
stretch shelter. As far as I am aware
the length of the canal that forms the
town stretch had actually been
flooded with concrete, so the bottom
is obviously very solid, and weed
growth is very isolated, and interestingly the temperature of the water is a
couple of degrees warmer than the
rest of the canal, a point that was
going to prove to be a very knowledgeable edge in the colder months.
The clocks went back, which
meant that the canal banks would
become quieter, and public activity
would be dramatically reduced. The
first three trips passed and were
totally uneventful, and I did not even
hear or see any signs of fish. However
I did meet an angler who informed me
that no one ever fished this area of the
canal, as it never produced any carp!
This was just what I wanted to hear
after my hard work through the summer. With his departure I sat there
basically sulking and wondering how
I could have got it so wrong. But then,
and totally out of the blue, the green
LED lit up as the right hand rod pulled
round. A take! I could not believe it. I
picked the rod up and I was attached
to my first ever canal carp. The fight
was frantic, as the fish ran up and
down in front of me. Maybe I was
nervous and did not want to risk losing the carp, but the fight seemed to
go on and on. Actually it probably did
not last that long, and I pulled the
grey fish over the net cord. My first
canal carp was mine, and I quickly set
up my cradle and got my camera
ready.
Whilst I was sorting all this out a
car pulled up behind my swim. A
chap got out and said “Have you got
one?” “Yes,” I said as he made his way
down the bank. Now I noticed that he
was looking a bit wet, which struck
me as strange as it had not been raining. The guy turned out to be an
angler by the name of Ian, and he had
been fishing below a bridge further
down when a rather drunk person
walking across the bridge decided to
have a wee. How unlucky was that.
Anyway due to being pissed on Ian
decided to pack up. I got the carp out
of the net and Ian kindly took some
pictures of a very grey looking fish.
Ian left after congratulating me, and I
wiped my camera with a Dettol wipe!
Over the winter I struck to my plan
and continued to fish either dark,
early, cold and damp mornings or late,
dark, cold and damp evenings! Somehow they all seemed the same. The
winter weeks passed, and I was very
fortunate that I managed to catch a
couple of upper doubles in the shape
of a mirror and an immaculate common. I also caught a lovely nearleather of 25lbs just before the traditional Christmas lay-off as family.
The New Year arrived, and so did
the carp shows. Following the Brentwood Show I was in attendance at
The Big One. As usual I returned
home late on the Sunday night to a
sleeping family. Monday was spent
sorting my tackle box out, as it always
gets in a real mess following the
weekend rig demos. I awoke early
and I decided to brave the cold, damp,
and now wind and set off down to the
swim.
Amazingly after a couple of hours I
The 30!
FREE LINE 75

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