FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 181

In Search Of Monster Carp
(Left) Brooklands 23lb’er.
(Below) Darenth Big Lake double.
catching some as well. What really
gave me the bug was when I was
fishing the bottom lake at Horton
Kirby one day, and I heard a bit of a
commotion going on up the other
lake. I went up there, saw this guy
catch a 14lb’er, and I was really
impressed with the way it fought. I
went back to my swim on the bottom
lake, and about half an hour later, he
caught another one; another 14lb’er
as it happens. I went back to my
swim after seeing that, and my float
went under, and I thought, what’s the
point, it’s another 2in roach. So after
that, I nagged my mum that I wanted
a carp rod and reel – this would have
been around about 1966-67, no sorry,
it was a little bit later than that, probably about 1969. Anyway, I nagged
my mum for a carp rod, so she got the
Bennetts of Sheffield catalogue, and I
bought this Fast Strike glass rod. In
actual fact it was a carbon copy of the
Jerry Savage rod, but it was a honey
yellow colour. I also got a Mitchell 324
reel, and off I marched down to Horton Kirby and Dartford, and I think I
fished for about a year. I cast the carp
rod out for anything that came along,
and continued to float fish with the
other rod, but that really was a mistake, because I wasn’t paying full
attention to the carp rod. I think I
hooked a couple, but in that first year
I didn’t actually manage to land any-
thing. Anyway, the following year,
which by now is 1970, I decided that I
was going to go for the carp properly,
so my Mum sent off for another rod.
This time I had the stepped-up version, which was probably about 1½lb
– 1¾lb test curve, and I was going to
have a serious go at it, but again, I
failed really. Bear in mind that our
season was probably June 16th up
until the end of the school holidays,
and then after that we would do the
things that normal boys do at that
age, and chase girls for the winter.
One day, I think it was the following
year, 1971, myself and a mate of mine,
Mark Hilbury, were up on the top lake
at Horton Kirby, fishing an area called
the Long Chuck. It was probably
about 60yds, but at the time it was a
long cast. I think the bait we were
using was KiteKat mixed with
Pomenteg and various bits and
pieces, sprinkled in to make it more
attractive – great big freelined balls of
it. I cast out to the island, which was
a long cast at the time, and I can
remember searching around the bank
looking for silver paper to make a
bobbin out of. I eventually found a bit
of silver paper, made it into a nice coil,
clipped it on my line, and pulled the
line down. At the same time my hand
kept going up, and I couldn’t quite
make out what was going on. Then I
stepped back and looked at it, and all
of a sudden the reel started turning
round, and that was it, my first ever
carp, at about 2½lb, but at the time, it
was so pleasing. Funnily enough, a little bit later in the day, Mark was fishing one of his rods on the other side of
mine, but he was sitting to my right
and chatting away. I was as pleased
as punch at catching this carp, and all
of a sudden we heard a splash, Mark’s
rod was in the lake, and we both
jumped in after it. Unfortunately it got


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