FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 83



In Search Of Monster Carp
Sutton early fish.
opened the season at the start of June
and they started spawning, I would
close it for a couple of weeks; you’ve
got to. In three acres of water, with
anything up to probably six 40’s in
there, 35-plus fish in there over 30lbs,
and a lot of old fish, under a lot of
pressure, just let them get on with it
and leave them alone for a bit.
Anyway, I had this fish, which was
my first 30, but since that day I’ve
gone on to catch in excess of 60
British 30lb fish from different venues.
I’m not being blasé about that; I’m
not being big headed, but I know it’s
an achievement. I just enjoy my fishing; I don’t go out to target the big
fish, I just go after carp, and obviously
whatever comes along, so I’ve been
lucky to get some bigger fish. Unless
you’re stalking carp in clear, weedy
waters or surface fishing, you cannot
pick which you fish you catch. Most
of my fishing is bottom fishing; I don’t
like surface fishing. I can’t get on with
it; I haven’t got the patience. In fact I
have never caught a carp off the sur-
face, and I’m disappointed about that,
so it’s one of the things I’ve said to
myself I might do this year. Don’t get
me wrong, I use zigs and things like
that, but not on the surface, just in the
upper layers, actually using a Chum
mixer. Fishing with a float or freelining is something I have never ever
done, so I just thought I’d get that in.
So by now I had been member for a
few years, and I’d caught two 40’s
and the Peach common at 33lb, and
quite a few of the other fish. One
other major capture on the Sutton
venue is Gertie, Small Gertie, a fantastic fish. They’re like peas in a pod, Big
Gertie and Small Gertie, and the Small
Gertie did eventually go on to be a 40.
They’re both the same strain, but I
don’t know how they got in there,
there are no other fish or strain in the
lake that looks anything like them.
Gertie died, then unfortunately the
following season Small Gertie died,
and the following season Blind Eye
died too. So the old girls have gone to
the old carp heaven, and they will be
sadly missed. I must admit, and I’m a
big enough man to say, that I was
actually there when they pulled Blind
Eye out, and I shed a tear; I’d caught
the fish twice. She floated up in the
margins, and she had been seen for a
couple of days struggling. No one
knows why, as she wasn’t spawnbound, but she just passed away, and
Pete buried her underneath the
bailiff’s hut at Sutton. It’s unfortunate,
but we must move on, as these fish do
pass away.
Small Gertie was a lovely fish, with
very few scales. It was a long leathery
fish, full of muscle, with very little gut
to it; a long lean fighting machine as
they say. I was down there the following season, and it was a cold February
or very early March day, I’m not too
sure exactly on the date. I had been
fishing a swim called the Twins,
which as many people know who fish
Sutton on a regular basis, is one of
those swims that not many fish come
out of. If you imagine this lake is triangular, and you’ve got the Trees on the
FREE LINE 83

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