FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 76



The Town Stretch
had a take from under the willow, and
after a very nervy fight where the carp
took me very close to some sunken
branches I managed to land my first
20lb canal common carp. I was totally
made up, and as I snuggled back
down in my sleeping bag the heavens
opened and the rain fell. Boy, did it
fall. I pulled the sleeping bag up over
my head, but the rain just continued,
and soon I was soaking and feeling
rather cold. I wondered why I was still
there suffering when the same rod
cast back to the same place pulled
round, and the alarm let out its high
pitched squeal. Soaking and cold I
lifted the rod and struck into the fish.
The carp kept to the bottom, and my
blue-coloured hands felt quite numb,
as the rod was wrenched to the left
and the right.
Eventually I decided that enough
was enough, and I just held the rod up
high and leaned back, making sure
that I didn’t slide on the sea of mud
that had appeared. I took my other
landing net and threw it in the water
as I pulled the carp up. The fish went
into the submerged net first time, and
I bit the line and chucked the cold,
wet carbon stick up the bank.
I then secured the landing net complete with carp to the bank with a
brolly peg. After unhooking the carp
in the net, I jumped backed into the
now saturated sleeping bag due to it
being left open whilst I played and
landed the fish. As I pulled the cover
over me I wondered if I was actually
wetter than the two carp that were
now retained awaiting the arrival of
Ian to take the pictures. I lay there
soaked and cold and wondered why I
had brought a couple of brolly pegs
but left the bloody brolly at home.
Bang on time Ian arrived fully
suited, as he works in the City. As he
changed his shiny shoes for his
muddy wellies I got the camera ready
and lifted the first carp into the cradle.
Ian took the pictures and said what a
great result catching a twenty-pound
canal common was for such a horrible
night, especially as it was February.
As if I needed reminding as I knelt
there freezing, soaking, and as I
moved, squelching.
I returned the common to its
watery home and started to lift the
second net out of the water. Ian sad,
“You never told me you had caught
another!” “Oh, I’m sorry… I must
have forgotten in all that freezing
rain… please forgive me,” I replied, as
I started to lift the net. Ian started to
gasp and point as the fish came up
through the depths. I looked down
and actually saw the fish for the first
time, as I’d landed it in the dark
because my head torch was covered
in mud.
The carp was a proper big’un and a
common at that. Ian suggested that
this could be the thirty, the only 30lb
common in the seven-mile stretch. All
of a sudden I could understand why
he had that job in the City after all. As
I placed the common into the cradle I
felt myself laughing. I don’t know if
this was because I had not even
realised what I had caught in the
early hours on a cold, wet, dark morning in February or because I had
caught, as Ian said, the only 30lb common in the canal.
Suddenly I wasn’t feeling cold or
even wet! Oh how things change! n
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To celebrate the 250th issue of Big Carp, Rob Maylin has put up a fantastic
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Chance
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