FL09June - Page 144



In Search of Monster Carp
Horton 34lb 6oz.
can so I knew where I was putting
baits, fished there a couple of times,
and I think I had a 16lb common. Anyway, one of these blokes decided he
was going to come across and talk to
us, about two or three weeks in. We
used to go down there on the Thursday evening, and fish until Sunday,
and anyway on one of these trips he
decided to come round and talk to us.
So he came round, and we made him
a cup of tea. We were sitting there
chatting and all of a sudden I got a
take – the biggest fish that had come
out of the lake at the time, at 35lbsomething. Well, his face was a picture – he was gobsmacked. It didn’t
have a name or anything, but we nicknamed it Popeye because it had a
great big popped out eye. It turned
out since that it’s a fish called the Eye,
and it was horrendous this eye. So
this put these two blokes’ backs up.
We thought, this has potential, so
we fished there for a few weeks. They
had a friend, if I remember rightly,
who said he was an NRA bailiff at the
time. Whether he was or not, I don’t
know, but he was a pike angler, and
he made our life hell, because they
144 FREE LINE
had obviously been on to him and told
him that they didn’t want us on the
lake. So he did everything he could to
stop us, and he got annoyed because
Kenny was driving down there with a
bloody great big inflatable on top of
his Hoover van. We went round and
had a word with the ski club that was
on there, well, I think there was a skiing club. There was a sailing club, but
I think there was also a skiing club, I
can’t remember now, but we went
round and had a word, and he said we
could fish off their compound at night
if we wanted to, and they didn’t like
that either. They didn’t like the fact
that we had a key to the gate and
could come and go, whereas they had
to park about a mile up the road. I
think they got very, very uptight with
us, and this water authority bloke
threatened me. He said if I didn’t clear
off the water he’d have the police
down because we were using four
rods. Actually I wasn’t using four
rods, I was using three, because at
that time you were only supposed to
use two rods on your licence, but he
was going to have the police down.
He was going to do this; he was going
to do that, yet it was alright for him to
use three rods for pike fishing.
So Kenny and I had a chat, and we
decided we didn’t want to fish under
those conditions, because you didn’t
know what they were going to get up
to. They might do the vans or something, so we decided we would pull
off and leave it for a later date, hoping
we could get back on there later. Well
it’s funny, because I think it was the
next year I had Mary out of Wraysbury
at 45lb, and either I or someone told
Chris Ball. Anyway he phoned me up,
and said he wanted some photographs. He said, “Send me the film,”
so I did. So anyway a few days later
he phoned me up, “Peter, that film you
sent, there are two big fish on that
film – which one is Mary?” Well he
probably didn’t say Mary, because it
didn’t have a name then. So I thought
to myself, what’s he on about? Then it
suddenly dawned on me that I had
the photos of that one from Sonning
Eye on there. I said to him, “Oh, you
don’t have to worry about the other
one Chris, forget about the other one
– you don’t need to know anything
about that one, mate,” and he couldn’t
believe it. He said, “You’ve had that
photograph in that camera for nearly
a year without developing it – a monster fish like that.”
I didn’t want them to see that, as
I’m sure they’d put it in the press, and

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