FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 101



In Search Of Monster Carp
seen, and I was going down on the
Thursday night. I thought to myself,
because I was working and he was
still off work, that by the time I get
there he’d be there too. So anyway I
went down there, but there was no
Kenny. I’d told him how to get across
the railway, and where to park in this
barn, because there was room for two
motors. Anyway, it was October by
then, and of course the nights were
drawing in, and when I got there the
amount of weed that had drifted into
the spot where I wanted to fish was
unbelievable. I started dragging it out
and dragging it out, and I didn’t think
I was going to get enough out to be
able to fish it. I was thinking to myself
maybe I ought to go further down, but
I really wanted to fish that spot, so I
made the effort, and I got rid of all this
bloody weed, set my rods up, sat
back, had a smoke, and it started to
get dark.
I think it was about half past seven
and I had this beep, beep, beep, and
anyway I struck into this fish and it
went off like an express train. There
was a bed of weed the size of a football pitch drifting further out, and it
was heading towards it. I tried to turn
it and the whole rod was creaking
unde r the s tra i n; i t w a s unre a l ,
absolutely unbelievable, and he won
the day – he got to the weed and it
went solid. In the moonlight I could
see the tip; I could see I was gaining
an inch at a time, and I thought I’m
not going to slacken off. If it had gone
into a proper weedbed I would have
slackened off, but it hadn’t, so I kept
the pressure on. I kept that up for
ages, then all of a sudden something
came free, and we were off again.
Eventually I got it to the margins; I
could see it roll in the moonlight, and
I thought that is enormous! I got my
net, put that in the water, and I’d only
got a ball of weed, as the fish was further out. I thought, you prat, dropped
the net, got the weed off the net,
threw the net away, and saw that the
line was still going out. I was trying to
g e t t h e w e e d o f f t h e l i n e, b u t I
couldn’t, and it was grating through,
and I thought what the hell am I
going to do here? I was thinking that
if I lost this fish nobody was ever
going to believe me how big it was,
especially Kenny. I thought if he had
been there I wouldn’t have had this
problem. The sweat was pouring off
me; I was trying to get this weed off,
and every time I got it to the bank
there was nothing I could do. I got my
net and thought if I get it as tight to
the bank as I can and just stick the
landing net behind it, the chances are
it might just go back out and straight
into it, so I did that, and luckily
enough that’s what happened.
We got it out,
weighed it, and it
went just over
36lb 8oz on my
big Salter dial
scales
As it went into the net, I dropped
the rod, and scooped it towards me.
How I did it I don’t know, but it
worked, and I staggered up the bank
with it. I thought, this is enormous,
and all I can remember seeing on the
side were these gold scales, and they
looked like gold sovereigns to me at
the time. So I unhooked it, and got my
weigh sling, and thought I don’t think
my scales are big enough – my big
scales were at home. So anyway, I got
it up on the on the Avon scales and it
bonked down to the bottom, so I
thought the only thing I can do is sack
it up, go up to the pub, phone Kenny,
and if he’s at home he can come
down, but if not I’ll phone my dad to
go to my house to get my scales for
me. This is all going through my mind
as I walked to the Five Bells (or the Six
Bells) up the road, so I walked up
there and I was shaking. I asked for a
pint of beer, and I was trying to roll a
fag, and my old hands were shaking
like there was no tomorrow. I think I
phoned Kenny’s house first; his mum
answered, and I asked if Ken was
there, but she said he was out – I
think he was playing darts. So I said,
“Give him a message from me.” I said,
“Tell him I’ve had a 30lb carp, and I’d
like him to come and photograph it.”
So she said, “Ok then, Pete.” So I
thought right, let’s hope he gets the
message. Then I phoned my dad and
said, “Do me a favour dad, I’ve had
this great big carp, but I can’t weight
it as my scales are at home.” He lived
in Battersea, and I was living in Crystal Palace, and he said, “Alright, how
will I find you?” I said, “Well if you
bring Maureen with you, she knows
where I am because she came down
here Tuesday when we were baiting
up.”
So I went back and I was sitting
there wondering when they were
going to come. It seemed like forever,
and all the time I kept looking at the
sack with the fish in, and it kept turning over, and I was thinking I ought to
put it back, but I put a couple of banksticks to hold it, and it was alright.
Anyway, I think they turned up at
about 9pm with the scales, my mum,
my dad, and Maureen, and I said to
my dad, “We’ll have to put a bar
through and hold it,” because there
were no trees around. They had landscaped it, and taken all the big trees
down, so there was nowhere for me to
hang them up anyway. We got it out,
weighed it, and it went just over 36lb
8oz, on my big Salter dial scales. My
mum and dad had never seen a fish
like that, and then they all went. I was
looking at the sack and I thought to
myself, I wonder what time Kenny is
going to be back in the morning –
let’s hope he gets here at first light. I
only had my 45in brolly and my bedchair, so I was sitting up and it was
quite mild for the time of year. I was
sitting there, and all of a sudden, I
think it was the middle rod started
going, but this one instead of racing
off like an express train, just held
deep, very deep. I was putting as
(Below) Four Herons.
FREE LINE 101

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