FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 189



In Search Of Monster Carp
Triple 16, winter on Darenth Tip Lake.
this was pre-hair rig days. I used to
either catch them on floating crust or
luncheon meat. I fished it for about a
six-week period, and I think I caught
eighteen carp in total, but the funny
thing was, there was only one common – all the others were mirrors. In
latter years, in modern day Sutton if
you like, there are a lot more commons than there are mirrors. I think
that was about the same time as they
moved fish from Sutton to Yateley, fish
like Bazil. But I mean Sutton was an
incredible little water, a lot smaller
than Brooklands and places like that
where I was fishing at the time, and I
found the fishing fairly easy. Then
obviously the following year, they
closed it because there was a really
bad drought. It was that year that the
fry survived, living in the mud, and
the n the re w e re a l o t mo re fi s h
spawned, the famous Sutton fish like
Blind Eye, Heart Tail Gertie, Gertie etc.
Going back to the Darenth, moving
forward to where we were before the
Sutton bit, my main fishing partner
was Alan Smith, and we used to travel
all round the place. We used to stick
predominantly to one particular lake
and really get the bait going, but then
we used to go off and have excursions
to places like Lake Meadows, South
Weald in Essex. One place we did go
to, which unfortunately I am not
allowed to name, because the club
has got a no publicity rule, was a lake
in northeast Kent. Kevin Maddocks
was fishing on this particular lake,
and was doing really well by that
lake’s standards. By this time I was a
dustman, and to be honest with you I
took on the dustman job as a bit of an
in-between sort of thing, but I got to
like it because as soon as you had
done your day’s work you could go
home. We were going home at dinnertime every day, which was ideal if you
were a carp angler. Unfortunately it
didn’t allow you to night fish very
much because it was an early start, so
packing up and going to work in the
morning would have been too much
like hard work. Anyway, Alan and I
both had a week off, the last week of
the season in March, and initially we
were going to go up to Walthamstow,
but it turned out that the water
authority workers went on strike, so
they didn’t allow fishing. So I said, “I
know where we can go, Al. We can go
to that lake where Kevin Maddocks
has been fishing, down in East Kent.”
It was the home of a very famous carp
by the name of She. At the time, Kevin
Maddocks was using the hair rig in
that lake, KM1 carbon rods and this
that and the other, and we naturally
thought he was fishing at range. We
rang Kevin on the Sunday and said,
“Look we’re going down to the pool
tomorrow – any tips?” To be honest
with you he wasn’t any help at all; he
didn’t give us one bit of information.
Anyway, we turned up there on the
Monday morning, and fished a swim
called the Centre Swim and the Willow next door, both fishing out in the
middle of the lake because that’s
where we thought Maddocks had
probably been fishing. I saw a carp
jump about 20yds out, so I reeled one
of these long range rods in, cast it
there, and I think the first morning I
think I had three and lost one, and
Alan I think lost a couple as well. So
we went back there on the Tuesday
morning, to the same two swims, fishing the close-in spots just over the
tops of the bars, and again I had
another three fish. I think Alan had
two 20lb’ers as well – big fish for the
time. Anyway, Tuesday when I got
home, I got a phone call from Kevin,
and he’d obviously found out that
we’d caught some. That was the thing
about Kevin; he knew all these people,
and on any lake he fished, he could do
his fish location on the phone. I’m not
knocking his ability as an angler, as
he was one of the best anglers I have
ever seen, but he could do his fish
location on the phone, finding out
who had caught what, from what
swim, and everything else. He rang
me up and said, “I heard you’ve had
some,” and I said, “Yeah, I had six,”
and he said, “Where were you fishing?” I said, “Well to be honest Kevin,
I don’t really feel obliged to tell you,
because we’re going back there
tomorrow, and we like to get in the
same swims,” and with that he got
the hump a little bit. But anyway, we
turned up there on Wednesday morning, Kevin was in the swim Alan was
in, and another guy, either John Baker
FREE LINE 189

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