FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 114



In Search Of Monster Carp
the year before. They were saying
they didn’t think the scales would be
big enough to weigh these fish, and
they ought to buy some more scales,
so I said to Tom, “I’ve got a set of
scales that go up to 110lbs, will be
they be big enough?” He said, “Are
they in a box?” I said, “Yeah, they’re in
a nice box. I’ve had one made for
them.” I said, “If you like I’ll leave
them in the hut.” “Alright,” he said.
Anyway about a week or so later
Kevin rang me and said, “I think we
ought to have a meeting.” I asked
why, and he said, “I think it will be a
good idea if we go in on the same
bait, seeing as we are going to be on
the same rota,” and I said, “Yeah
alright, I don’t mind.” So he came over
and we had a chat and decided on a
bait and what-have-you. Anyway,
Tom Mintram organised a work party
in the closed season, so that was
when I was going to see Redmire for
the first time. Kevin and I went with
Tom; we pulled in there, and it was
out of this world – I couldn’t believe it.
I had read and had been told it was
very small, so that didn’t surprise me,
but what did surprise me was when I
stood on there with Tom, looking over
it, and he turned round to me and
said, “There are 70 20’s in here, boy.” I
thought, how can there be 70 20’s in
this little pond? I’d be lucky if there
were ten per acre in Wraysbury.
Anyway, we started fishing it, and I
was on the third rota, which consisted of Johnny Carver, Kevin Maddocks and myself. I think there had
been a few fish out the first couple of
rotas. Kevin couldn’t get there for the
first night or whatever, so there was
just Johnny Carver and me. We met
the other rota in the café at Ross-onWye to find out what had been going
on, but I can’t remember now what
had happened. Anyway, we went into
Redmire, pulled up in the car park,
and Johnny said to me, “Right, you
can choose wherever you want,
because it’s your first time” The
clouds were getting black from the
west, and I could see he wanted to
get set up, but I wanted to have a
good look round before I set up. Anyway I had a quick look round, and I
spotted a few fish by the Oaks, by the
outfall, so I said, “I’ll get in the Oaks.”
He said, “Are you sure?” I said, “Yeah,
that’s alright,” and he said, “I’m going
to go in the Stumps”. So I set all my
gear up back at the car, and then
114 FREE LINE
crept down. It was an awkward little
spot, but I thought that would be
alright. I got my brolly up, and these
fish were still milling about at dusk, so
I flicked out a couple of baits, but they
just melted away, and I never saw
them again in that spot. I did the
night, and the next morning, Kevin
woke me up at about 4am. He had
just arrived, and I forget where he
went. I had a look round and I think I
went into the Stile Swim or whatever
they called it, but every time I went
into a spot, the fish disappeared, and
in the end I ended up going into the
Willow Pitch.
I don’t know what day it was, probably the Tuesday or the Wednesday,
and Kevin hooked one out of Greenbanks. It took him right across the
lake into this weedbed on the far
bank, and his rod was bent over double. He said to me, “What do I do,
what do I do?” I said, “Slacken off,
mate, slacken off; it can only come
out, can’t it?” So reluctantly he slackened off, and I thought to myself at
the time he probably hadn’t fished
weedy waters before. But anyway, he
slackened off, and sure enough it
came out, and in the end I netted it for
him. It was 29lbs if I remember
rightly, and it was a nice fish. We were
dead careful because we had the
team leader on our rota, and we made
sure we did everything properly. Anyway, a bit later on, a day or two later,
old Johnny Carver hooked a fish and
25lb 4oz Redmire common 1982.
landed it, and next thing I knew was
that it was going into a plastic rubble
sack to be weighed! I thought, bloody
hell – Kevin and I couldn’t believe it.
Anyway, we weighed it, and I don’t
know what it was exactly – 20-plus a
common anyway, and we took a couple of photographs.
O n t h e n e x t t r i p d o w n , Ke v i n
brought a couple of proper weigh
slings and gave Johnny Carver one of
them. I had been there right up until
the Thursday and still hadn’t had anything, and I’d moved into the Willow
Pitch because it was weedy. I fished
over a little hole in the Willow Pitch,
and I had my first fish out, a 20lb-odd
common, so I was well pleased. I was
made up after that, and I thought to
myself, if I can get one of those every
trip, I’ll do alright. I remember driving
home thinking to myself, I can’t make
out why these fish keep moving out of
a swim every time you find them;
you’d go into it and they’d just melt
away. They didn’t bolt out; they’d
melt away, and I thought they obviously knew you were in there. Anyway, I thought to myself if Johnny
Carver has fished it for a few years, I’ll
ask him, and he said, “Well, you’ve got
to get in a swim and wait for them to
come to you.” But I thought that was
a bit chancy, as you could be there all
week and not catch.
Join Pete next month for his second
trip to Redmire, as he slowly puts the
jigsaw together. n

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