FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 102



In Search Of Monster Carp
much pressure on it as I could to try
and get it up off the bottom, and at
first I thought I was snagged up, but it
wasn’t, and all of a sudden it came up
and then plopped down.
Eventually I got it to the surface,
and I could see in the moonlight that
it was really big. I got the net, and this
time it went straight in, no problem. I
went gone to lift the net, and I
thought god, this is bigger than the
last one! I thought, no it can’t be, and
I lifted it onto the bank and looked,
and I thought this is bigger than the
last one! I still had my scales so I got
the scales out, but I just couldn’t hold
them steady; it kept hovering around
that 40lb mark, but it just wouldn’t
hold still enough. I thought, well, I’ll
sack it and wait for Kenny in the
morning. I never slept; I was awake all
night, keeping an eye on them, and
then at 8am my other rod went. I
struck that and didn’t feel anything; it
was like one of those bites that I mentioned earlier where we were getting
these takes and not feeling a thing. So
anyway, I wasn’t really bothered, just
surprised that I’d had three takes in
an evening. About 9am old Kenny
comes waltzing along, “How big was
it then?” I said, “Which one are you
talking about? I’ve got two Ken, one is
36lb 8oz, but that’s the smallest, I
don’t know how big the other one is,
it kept hovering around that 40lb
mark – we’ll have to weigh it up in a
minute.” So I relayed the story to him,
and eventually we decided to get that
one out first. We weighed it up, and it
went between 38lb and 39lb, so I
called it 38lb 8oz. So then we took the
photos and all that, and slipped them
back, hoping to fish there for another
few years. I said to him about all these
fish I had seen, and we carried on
fishing there right up until Christmas,
and never had another bite.
It was then that we heard they
were going to drain it and put the
motorway through. I thought, they’re
not going to drain this lake; it’s too
big! So I went to the council and got
all the plans and what-have-you, and
it only looked like they were going to
touch the bottom end, the road end,
and leave the rest, because that was
where they showed the motorway
going through, so we thought that
would be alright. Then that closed
season they installed a couple of
pumps and started pumping, but it
never made any difference, so they
102 FREE LINE
The famous brace from above.
installed more pumps and eventually
they started draining it down. Anyway, I was working one day, we had
been over there looking, and we could
see it was going down. I got a phone
call from Kenny around dinner time,
and he said, “You ain’t going to
believe this, but they’ve got the two
fish you caught out of there, the first
two fish they had were your two.
They are now sitting outside the
Percy in a tank on a lorry.” I said, “I’m
on my way,” and I got down to the
Percy – the Perseverance Pub. They
were in there having their lunch, and
I climbed up on the back of this lorry,
opened the tank up, had a look in, and
sure enough it was the same two fish.
I thought what a coincidence that
was, and so I went in there, and the
bailiff at the time was a Peter Bryant.
I went up to him, and I said to him,
“What you going to do with these
fish, then?” He said, “They’re going
into Longfield.” I said “Don’t put them
into Longfield for Christ’s sake, put
them into Wraysbury!” “Oh no,” he
said, “We own Longfield, so that’s the
water they’re going into.” That was
their excuse – apparently they owned
Longfield, but they didn’t own Wraysbury. I pleaded with them to put them
into Wraysbury, but they wouldn’t.
Anyway, I went with him, and, well,
to be honest with you, if you had seen
the way they weighed these fish…
They put them up on match scales, in
metal match baskets to weigh them,
and I was disgusted with them. But
anyway, they went into Longfield, and
a couple of days later I saw them; the
36 was in distress and swimming
around on the surface. In fact I tried
taking a couple of photographs of it
swimming, and I thought that fish
isn’t going to live; I was gutted,

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