FL09June - Page 114



In Search of Monster Carp
Stockie
Can’t remember the weight!
114 FREE LINE
but it was definitely a carp. I wound it
in, rebaited it, cast out again, sat back
and watched, and almost as soon as it
had gone in, it started lifting again. I
thought right, I’m going to hit it again
the next time it lifts, and then the
other rod started lifting. That one
stopped, so I struck the other rod, and
I was in again. I think I actually struck
two or three times before I actually
connected with the fish, but to cut a
long story short, they were definitely
having it, and it was carp. Anyway I
struck one of these lifts again, and I
was in. I gave Peter a shout, and he
came down and netted the fish,
which was a mid-20. On unhooking
the fish I noticed that opposite where
my hook was, on the other side of the
mouth, it also had a very recent hook
mark. I reckon it was the first fish I’d
hooked; the same one had come back
and taken it. I think when they’re laying up a bit, they get a little bit dopey,
and then when they suddenly start to
take one or two baits, they’re easier to
catch. So, anyway, I carried on like
this for the next two days, and just
hitting these lifts, I think I caught five
fish – I didn’t have any 30lb’ers but
they were all over 20lb. During that
session I decided to shorten my hook
length, so I took it right down to 4in
from 12in, but never had a lift on the
line, not once. Whereas I was thinking
I was going to get screamers now, I
never had another take, but as soon as
I took the 4in hooklink off and put the
12in one back, I was away again. I
never could really work out the difference with the hooklinks, but you’d
think that under those circumstances
shorter hooklinks would be the thing,
but they weren’t.
Being a bailiff, you can be there all
the time, right through the closed season, and have access to boats, which
puts you a million miles ahead on lots
of things. One of the things I would
like to talk about is some of the big
fish I have seen in there. When I wrote
my book, I made it clear in the book
that I didn’t want to talk about sightings that I’d had when I’d been by
myself. I prefer to talk about sightings
where other people have been there
with me, so they could back up the
things that I’d said, otherwise they
might think I am telling fairy stories.
Sometimes you even doubt yourself
as to what you have seen, but if
you’ve got someone with you to say,
“Yeah, without a doubt, that was so

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