FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 191

In Search Of Monster Carp
day, and the fish were spawning, so I
thought I’d pack up and go to Sutton
or something like that. I thought I’d
have a little look at the other club
water down the road, so I went over
there and there was my old mate
Jerry Savage fishing with corn, and I
think he caught four. I was watching
where Jerry’s lines were going, fishing
down into the corner of the lake, and
then I looked opposite and there was
a bar running along, and I could see
the fish running along this bar, swimming into the corner where Jerry was
fishing, so I thought I would go round
and fish opposite him. So I went
round and fished opposite him, fired
in some peanuts, and it was just nonstop action – in a five-hour session I
had 17 fish! Obviously what was happening was the fish were running
along the bar, whereas before they
were swimming down to where Jerry
had his baits, but I was stopping
them. To be honest with you Jerry
was pulling his hair out, coming
round asking if I wanted a cup of tea,
asking to see what bait I was using,
etc, but peanuts were such a phenomenal bait.
Anyway I continued to fish those
club waters for quite a few years, but
the obsession was with catching She,
but I couldn’t. About the same sort of
time, I met up with one of my best
mates, a guy by the name of Paul Forward. I was fishing on the Point Swim
one day, and this bouncy northerner
came into my swim. I mean obviously
down here you speak to various people, but I don’t know, there was something about Paul when I first spoke to
him; he was a different breed. This
bloke really knew what he was talking about, and we proceeded to have
a little chat. He’s a real likeable bloke,
Paul, but the main thing that
impressed me was that he obviously
had a phenomenal angling ability, so
from then on we started fishing
together, and have done ever since.
Prior to that, one very big bit I have
missed out, was in 1982/83. By that
time I had been fishing on Darenth
and met up with some blokes; Jimmy
Burns, Kevin Ellis and Peter Ridley,
and I fished around a little bit in Essex
with them. I had fished a lake over in
Essex called Kennington’s, and I think
there is a fish in your book, Tiger Bay,
with a guy called Phil Harper holding
it. I think there was only one big fish
in there to be honest with you; I had
seen it a number of times, and I actually hooked it on one occasion on a
lump of breadflake. I thought I’d
really would like to land that fish, so I
made it my goal to go all-out for
catching it the following season. At
that time, it was really hard to walk
away from lakes where you were
used to catching a few fish, maybe a
few fish a session, to one where you
don’t get any bites, when all your
mates are catching 20’s and the odd
30 while you’re just fishing for one
carp. But then there was a really big
bombshell, as the club controlling the
fishing on the lake suddenly lost control of it, and no one was able to fish
there. I must admit I was absolutely
devastated; I just didn’t know what I
was going to do the following season,
as I so much wanted to catch that one
Action on Walthamstow’s Lockwood Reservoir.
Anyway I was fishing up on South
Weald, and I met up with a guy called
Alan Partridge, again a really nice
fella, and a real character. Alan was a
builder, and I think I was doing some
crazy paving, so Alan volunteered to
come round and help me with it, to do
the pointing and what-have-you.
Whilst we were chatting, he told me
about a lake he had joined in the
Colne Valley that he had fished a couple of times with a guy who used to
run SBS Baits, Martin Covell. He went
on to tell me that they had caught a
couple of 20lb’ers, and then during
the last week of the season, he had a
walk round there in his dinner hour,
and he saw a guy with a 37lb common in a sack. Of course that spurred
a little bit of interest, and he said that
Jimmy Burns and all the others had
joined. It really was a mystery, and I
didn’t have any idea what this lake
contained, but I thought I’d join it as
well, so I rang up the club secretary
and gave him the usual bullshit about
how I was a bream angler. The first
thing he asked me was why I wanted
to fish over here when I lived where I
did, and I said, “Well to be honest with
you… (another white lie; I mean I was
a dustman in Southwark) …I work
over that way so I can nip in a do a bit
of fishing after work.” “Ok,” he said,
“Send me your £8 and you’re in.” It
was £8 plus a £2 joining fee.
The exciting thing about it was
that we knew this lake possibly contained some big carp from what Alan
had said, but we didn’t exactly know
what. Then June 15th came round,
and we drove over there. You weren’t
allowed to night fish, and I hadn’t
seen the lake before; I didn’t have a
clue what it looked like. This was
before the M25 or anything like that,
so the journey involved driving
through the centre of London, and it
was an absolute nightmare just getting there. Eventually I found it, drove
into the car park, and it was sort of
like Vietnam, with massive great leafy
plants, and it had a really distinct
smell to it, a smell I can’t describe, but
it was the most beautiful place I had
ever seen – it was mind-blowing.
We leave Lee this month as he first
sets eyes on the Herts Club Water.
Join us next month as he begins a
decade of fishing on this notoriously
difficult venue, catching some phenomenal carp along the way. n


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