FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 76

In Search Of Monster Carp
ton is going nights it will be detrimental to the majority of the stock.
I continued the following year at
Sutton after I lost it at the net, and I
kept my membership right up to the
present day. I fished the following
year too, and I’ll never forget, I was in
the car park and Kodak, and Mark
Dean, who a lot of you will know, was
there. We turned up at 4am, put all our
tickets in a bag, and then someone
would pull the first one out. You’d
have a maximum of ten anglers turn
up at the lake, and at 4am, trust me, all
you want to do is get the rods out and
go back to sleep, especially if you’ve
done the previous night. I know I’m
going off on a tangent slightly, but
you think about this, if you want to do
a week at Sutton, you’ve got to get up
at 3am, that’s if you live locally, travel
down to the lake, set up at 4am when
you’re allowed on the lake, then pack
up at 10.30pm, drive all the way
home, sort out your stuff for the morning; your bait, your sandwiches etc,
then get up again at 3am and drive
down to the lake. Now you imagine
doing that for four or five days on the
trot – trust me, there are not many
people who can do it. I don’t know
any other water that it affects you in
that way. I was actually ill in those
early days; I spent most weekends on
that venue, and I had to be back at
work at 7am on a Monday morning.
Now if you do that week in, week out,
Blindeye 43lb 8oz..
the law of averages tells you that
you’re going to be ill, and I wasn’t
very well at the end of that. I actually
had glandular fever; I put it down to
the fact that I had no energy left, and
I think it was through fishing Sutton –
it really took it out of me.
So, we had this draw, as I said, at
Sutton car park and Mark Dean, I
think, wanted to go in the Trees. I
must admit at the time, it was my
favourite swim, and I came out first.
I’m quite a lucky bugger in these
draws at Sutton; I don’t know if there
is something about that place, but I
will stick my neck out and say that
eight out of ten times I was coming
out first, and trust me there is no way
of jinxing that; it just happened. It
became a bit of an in-joke at the time
in the early days with John Carver,
Steve Edwards, Steve the Long Man,
Keith Sullivan, and various people.
Anyway, before they pulled out the
second one I was in the Trees already.
I got my gear, I ran round there, and
Mark actually came out second and
went on the Point. Well at that time, I
must admit I was getting more of a
feeling for slack lines, getting a bit
more finesse in my approach. Just like
I am today, I was very basic in my
approach, although these days I’ve
gone on to use tubing, which is purely
to protect the fish’s scales. Obviously
once the fish is hooked, the line rubs
up its side when it surges off, and if
you’ve got tubing on your line, it will
protect the gill plates, the scales etc. I
don’t believe in braid, and as far as I
am concerned it should be banned
from mainline fishing. I know a lot of
you out there use it, but I’ve got my
own views, and it’s cheese wire. If
that braid gets caught round the gill
plate or caught round a scale, it’s
gone, and you can’t replace these
things – once you scar the fish, it’s
there for life. So I use a typical lead
bead, swivel, nylon hooklink, and I
found B175’s now. I use B175’s in size
10, 8 and 6 for ninety percent of my
fishing, unless I’m fishing a snag
where I need something a little bit
stronger that won’t open up, and I can
give a bit of welly against. I just think
they’re probably one of the best hooks
ever introduced to fishing. I have
been carp fishing now for t25-plus
years, and I would say that for 15
years of it, up to the present days, I
have used B175’s. I buy them from a
fly magazine, 25 hooks for £3.50 in a
little bag, and they send them through
the post. I change my hooks as often
as I change my knots and change my
bait. If I am fishing gravel, I cast out,
and I leave it there. I might fish for a
day on Sutton and not recast, but the
next time I cast out, I’ll tie a new rig,
with a new hook. You’ve got to take
into account that even silt can blunt a
hook. I know a lot of people don’t
realise this, but that hook can lie in
the silt for a matter of four or five
hours, and with the acids and everything in that silt, it can blunt it, and
guaranteed, when you bring that hook
in, it’s not as sharp. Sutton is a gravel
pit, so there are bars and god knows
what in there, and you’ve only got to
nick one of the bars and the hook
point’s gone. It’s important, and I feel
hooks and baits are probably the two
most important things amongst your
terminal tackle. So, B175’s, brilliant
hooks – don’t dismiss them; they’re
cheap, but they do work, and to be
honest with you I think they’re the
bee’s knees.
At the time I was using fairly light
rods, as I was trying to add a little bit
of finesse, and I actually got hold of 1
1/4lb barbel rods, a pair of them. At
the time I wasn’t barbel fishing, but I
think I got them cheap, and I used
these down at Sutton, in fact this was
the first time I had ever taken them to
the venue. Now I think about it, a 1
1/4lb rod hasn’t got a lot of backbone,


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