FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 62



In Search Of Monster Carp
Sutton DDAPS – 20’s
on Saturday and Sundays every single
week, all the way down to Longfield
station. It was a long walk, whatever
way you look at it, with all the gear on
your shoulders. I’d get down to the
station and wait for the train to pull
up, but obviously the guards van didn’t always stop exactly where you
were standing, so you had to quickly
look left and right and see where you
could get your gear on, as nine times
out of ten the carriages were full up
with people.
Having loaded the gear on, the next
stop was Farningham station, which
was obviously where a lot of famous
lakes are today – Sutton at Hone, Sutton Leisure Sport, Darenth, Horton
Kirby, etc. So I got off at the station at
Farningham, walked down the hill,
which again was about a half mile
walk with all my gear, walked along
the river Darenth, and came to the
gate. To be honest with you, I can’t
remember the first time I did it, but
the excitement that I had, and still
have, walking down there and going
down memory lane, walking up to the
gates there, and thinking that I have
fished it for so many years. Horton
Kirby, as a lot of you will know, has got
so much history; a lot of people
started fishing there. You had a lake to
the left hand side, Westminster Field,
which is half members only, but the
rest of the complex at that time was
62 FREE LINE
day fishing only, and what a place it
was! At that time if I remember
rightly, it held carp to the mid-20’s,
decent pike, tench, and roach – most
of the species that people go after. At
that time I wasn’t specifically looking
to catch carp; I was coarse fishing,
enjoying myself, getting a take, and
seeing the float go under.
Time progressed a couple of years,
up to about 1981, and I had spent all
that time down there catching most
species; bream, carp, tench, roach,
whatever came along, and I decided
that I wanted to specialise in carp
fishing. I remember the reason behind
that decision, and it’s a shame I can’t
remember the person’s name, but, I
was on the lake one morning on a Saturday or a Sunday, and this bloke had
a screaming take on the old Optonics.
You looked round and everyone was
excited, wondering what was on the
end. To be honest with you that thrill
is still there today, and it should be for
everyone, because knowing that you
may have some big fish that you have
never caught before on the end, or
whatever; it doesn’t really matter.
Anyway, he was playing this fish, and
he slipped the net under what to me
at the time was a monster, just something I had never seen before. It was a
25lb-plus mirror; I’ll never forget it as
long as I live, and I was hooked from
then on.

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