FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 68



In Search Of Monster Carp
there, people started worrying why
they hadn’t turned up, whereas in
today’s climate, everyone is fishing so
many different waters, and I don’t
think it’s got that atmosphere and
feeling that it had in those days. Now,
Melvin and Joe Streeter, a lot of people know them, and they can sit
round of an evening and talk for hour
upon hour, joke upon joke. I remember
as a youngster, sitting on the Centre
Path at Sutton, you know, carp rods
out, the bivvy was up on a Friday
night, and to be honest with you it
was chuck it and hope in those days.
I wasn’t as experienced as I am today.
Yes you’d know there was a gravel
bar out there, but I’ll be honest with
you, I don’t even think I had a marker
rod. I can’t ever remember having a
third rod as a marker, and in some
people’s view, that was probably a
good thing. I must admit that looking
at it today, I still don’t very often use a
marker rod, because I do actually call
them carp scarers, but everyone has
got their own views on that one. But
you’d go down the Centre Path and
listen to Joe and Melvin and various
people, and we’d be sitting up until
11pm, just telling stories and jokes
etc, enjoying it, and it was part of a rit-
68 FREE LINE
ual that went on for years to come. A
few individuals who would always
turn up on that venue and just enjoy
their carp fishing, most of them, to be
honest with you, obviously unlike
myself, were married and had kids,
and they just wanted to get out and
spend time on the bank and do something they loved.
As I say the venue holds a lot of
fish, and I’ve had most of the fish that
are in that venue, but unfortunately a
lot of those early fish have now
ceased to be with us. There are a few
instances that do stick out, and as
always, it’s normally at the start of the
season – that massive great nostalgia
day where everyone turned up a couple of hours before the gates opened
to let everyone in to do the draws. I’ll
never forget, you’d go down there to
the big gates, and everyone would be
queued back to the road. The bailiff
would walk up and say, “You’re not
allowed in here until six o’clock,” but
everyone would be there at two
o’clock. You would have thought
about it two months previously;
everything would be ready, you’d
sorted your tackle bag out 20 times,
and before you know it, you’d got
more tackle than you knew what to
do with. The big problem was, and
still is on a lot of waters, was whether
there were enough swims to go
round. You knew you wanted to come
out in the first ten or 15, otherwise
you felt a bit stumped for room. I
know earlier on I said 40 or 50 people
could turn up, but that is a typical Friday night, and everyone would be in
every nook and cranny. But with Sutton, you had certain areas that were
popular at the start of the season –
the Brambles, the Pipe, in front of the
island, the Humps, the Bream Swim,
and opposite you had the Dugouts
and the Bear – typical shallow areas
in the lake, with gravel, and a little bit
of weed. So it’s the 15th June, the
sun’s up, it’s a warm day, and nine
times out of ten the fish are thinking
about having sex. I think it was a big
mistake when they started the precedent of having a closed season, ending on the 15th June. I don’t know
how that started, and how we got to
make that decision of a closed season
being held then. Looking at it realistically, most fish start spawning then,
and you know and I know, it doesn’t
matter how much work you do, or
what you chuck out there to catch
them, if they don’t want to feed and

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