FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 72

In Search Of Monster Carp
I came out very low in the draw yet
again, and I fished the Island, which is
two up from where I fished the previous start to the season, and again I
had what I thought and what was a
massive haul of fish in those times – I
had 11 20lb’ers. To put that in perspective, 11 to 15 20’s in a season on
that complex, and you were doing
well. There might have been one or
two top anglers who might have hit
20, but it was very rare, and in those
days, a 20lb carp was still a magnificent fish. It still is a magnificent fish
without a doubt, but you had the back
up doubles and a few bits and pieces.
I don’t think there were that many in
there to be honest with you, I think
there were 100, or a 150 carp in the
big lake, and probably about the same
in the small lake. But you’ve got
famous fish in the little lake; Strangeness, Charm, Bruno, and Ludicrous,
which is the only fish still alive in the
small lake of the original stock, and in
the big lake you had the Beast,
Beauty, Big Scale, and Pan, the big
leather, which again is still alive, and
as far as I am aware, the only original
big fish left in the big lake. It did hit
30lbs, but it’s gone down now to
about the 25lb-mark, but it’s an old
fish. I could name loads of fish, but
Sutton is part of history in carp fishing
without a doubt, and I think it’s best I
move on from Sutton. As Rob just
said, they were great times, and to be
honest with you, they are at the forefront of my carp fishing. If Sutton and
Kirby didn’t exist, I might have been
talking about golf or darts or snooker
now, who knows?
As I explained a little while ago, I
actually got banned for a season for
using an unhooking mat. Well I was
disgusted, and to be honest with you,
I had to go up in front of the committee of 18 blokes sitting round a room,
and me on a chair in the middle. The
chairman was sitting there, the secretary, the vice chairman and all the
committee, and it was intimidating. I
couldn’t believe it; I was crapping
myself, and that’s putting it bluntly. I
knocked on the door of the clubhouse;
I got invited in, and was asked if I
could wait downstairs while they discussed what was going on. Then I
was invited upstairs to the committee
room, which was, a lovely place, and
obviously being chairman now, I try
and keep it going for future years. But
I sat in this chair and I thought, here
Sutton DDAPS – recent capture
we go, I’m going to get chucked out
of the club or something. What they
actually did was give me a year’s ban.
I did argue, but to them I was a young
whippersnapper who couldn’t see
reason. I don’t know who would see
any reason for being banned for using
an unhooking mat though. The facts
went to the floor, and they went round
and gave all their views. I was asked
a few questions, and from what I
remember it went through so quickly
that I was asked to leave the room
and I’d get notified in writing what
the outcome would be and I said,
“Well, fair enough”.
The letter came through after a
couple of days, and I had been
banned so I thought right, what can I
do? Where I started, and where I’d
been fishing these last ten years had
been taken away from me for that
year. So I thought about Sutton at
Hone. Most of you will know the
venue; it’s a prolific carp water; it’s
part of carp fishing history, and it’s set
in the Darenth Valley right next door
to the small lake at Sutton, only split
between the river Darenth. It’s three
acres in size, the water has about 22
swims on it, and it’s part of the carp
fishing Mecca. I talk in awe of it, and
I am a little disappointed about what
has happened recently, which I will
explain about later. But Sutton is full
of big fish, and as I explained earlier
on, I do think those fish are the size
because of the amount of bait that
goes in that venue. You’re allowed on
at 4am and you’ve got to be off the
venue at 10.30. Now that’s probably
not a bad thing in many ways, as you
haven’t got the problem of turning up
in the morning and there being a
bivvy in every swim, and you don’t
know whether you can get a decent
place to fish. On three acres of water
you haven’t got a lot of room, so a lot
of the fishing is in the margins. There
are a lot of bars, silt, and bits of weed,
and there are the typical hotspots in
every swim where everyone fishes,
and which see regular amounts of
bait. You’ve had various bait crews on
there over the years, using thousands
of kilos of boilies, of different makes,
colours, and sizes, it’s ridiculous, but
they do all catch carp. The lake has
held, I would guess, at its peak 10 to
15 years ago, around 100 fish. The current day stock if you’re lucky, is about
60-65 fish.
In the early days you had one or
two decent fish, and the biggest at
the time, if I remember rightly, was
the fully scaled that Lee Jackson
caught off the point, scraping 30lbs,
which would have been the early
90’s. I apologise if I’ve got the dates
wrong there, but dates are sometimes


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