FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 84



In Search Of Monster Carp
river bank, you’ve got the Gate on the
footpath bank, and you’ve got the
Twins on the other bank. Now if you
draw across from them, these swims
all meet in the middle, and they all
have control over the central water.
I’d gone in the Twins, and I had done
something like 45 sessions without a
take throughout the winter months –
late autumn to winter without a single take. I was addicted to Sutton, and
I just wanted to be on the banks all
the time. So I cast out as always,
doing nothing differently; the baits
were in a place where I was happy
with them. There’s not much chod
and crap on the bottom of Sutton to
be honest with you. There will be leaf
matter and sticks etc, at that time of
year, but other than that, it is fairly
clear. We are lucky enough not to
have any major weed growth of any
description on Sutton, which obviously to a lot of people is a negative
because I know a lot of you out there
like fishing in weed. Who knows, if
there was weed growth in Sutton, it
might make it a better venue in some
people’s eyes, but not in others – we
are all different. So I cast my baits out,
and I baited up at 4.30am, by the time
it took me to walk from the car park
round to the Twins, which is only 300
or 400yds.
The first thing I always do before I
do anything else is cast the rods out. I
cast them out in the moonlight, and
then I fired a few baits round them. At
the time, bait wasn’t a big thing,
although it was important to use
something that you felt confident in.
I’m a funny bugger; if I don’t like the
taste or smell of a bait, I won’t use it,
and that’s why a lot of my early days I
was using fruit baits, things that
smelt nice. I was a firm believer in
fruit baits in the winter months, and
I’m going back 15 years, with people
like Lee Jackson. We’ve had many a
conversation on that subject, and I’ll
stick my neck out and say that I was
one of the first people to use pineapple pop-ups. A lot of people may disagree with me, but you go back and
actually think when was the first time
you used the pineapple pop-up, but I
can say I was using them 15 years
ago. It’s been written about, so I
won’t bore you, but there is something in pineapple that fish are
attracted to. It’s not the colour; it’s
something in the pineapple ester. I
am a firm believer in using pineapple,
84 FREE LINE
Scenic of Sutton.
and I know the majority of people use
it in the winter months, but there’s
something in that flavour, there’s
something in the makeup that carp
like in the same way as tutti-fruttis. In
the early days we went for the Salmon
Supremes, the Go-Cat, the Honey
Yucatan and things like that made by
Richworth, but I think pineapples
took over from tutti-fruttis. If I
remember rightly, as I have done in a
lot of periods in my carp fishing, I was
using sweetcorn as a free offering.
You could go and open my van now,
and I’ve got three jumbo tins of
sweetcorn in the back; I don’t go anywhere without it, and that will continue. Record fish have been caught
on sweetcorn; it has been well documented by top anglers, and will continue to do the business. Don’t get
into the routine of using loads and
loads of boilies all the time – there are
times when they won’t pick up 18mm
or a 16mm boilies, they will only pick
up a fragment of corn or some natural
bait. So you’ve got to diversify; you’ve
got to use something different, a pellet, or whatever. I’ll go more into my
particle fishing and bits and pieces at
a later date.
So I cast out, and I spread sweetcorn everywhere; I was using a
bloody great big catapult. I left it, but
had no liners, and I think I got a couple of hours’ kip. But then I had a
screaming take, and when you get a
take on Sutton, you know all about it,
nine times out of ten. I played this
fish; I don’t know for how long. It
seemed like hours, but it was probably only about ten minutes. I landed
it, I looked down in the net, and it was
one of the big mirrors. I knew it was
either the Big Gertie or the Small Gertie, but I wasn’t sure which one. I’ve
got some cracking photos of it; it’s an
old warrior, and it has huge scars at
45 degrees right across its flanks. It’s
very pale, and in some ways you could
say it’s a French-looking fish. You look
at some of these big old warriors from
France that are very grey, the Italian
strain, with white bellies and grey
backs, and it looked very similar to
that, but what a fish. That was actually 37lbs, and at the time it was a
record for that fish, but as I say, it
went on to be 40-plus. I won’t ever
forget my days on Sutton to be honest
with you. I have moved on now, fishing other waters, but Sutton has got
so many nice fish. My only closing
thing on Sutton would be that I hope
that the night fishing doesn’t change
it, and in ten years someone else will
be talking on this mic to Rob and
telling stories about fish they have
caught. I think it‘s important that we
keep our fisheries for the future generations, as it’s not all about today – it’s
about ten and 15 years’ time.
Join Craig next month as he moves
to Walthamstow reservoirs. n

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