FL09June - Page 174



In Search of Monster Carp
Fergie 21lb 2oz, Road Lake.
called Split Pec, a nice fully scaled
low-20, and it put up a good account
for itself, and I was more than happy
with that. I was still a bit gutted about
the one I lost, but as I said, you can’t
win them all. I wasn’t on a roll as
such, but my confidence was starting
to breathe a little bit. I’d stopped
mucking about with the rigs, and
with the hooklink material; I’d just
gone back to standard helicopter rigs,
but tying the lead on with 2 or 3lb line
so if it got weeded, or as soon as the
fish picked it up, the lead just discharged itself. Then I was due to do a
bit with you Rob, for the mag, and I
can remember getting down here, I
think it was on a Thursday. I knew
Kodak was already up here, in a swim
called The Reeds, and when I got up
here, Nigel was up here, and Tel was
up here too. I thought, oh god, what a
time to do an interview; you’ve got all
these people around you who have
been there and done it, so my nerves
were a bit jangly.
I remember pulling into the car
park, and Tel was in a swim called
No.2. Being Tel, he was looking about,
and I said hello to him, then I walked
round, said hello to Nigel, and was sitting there with Kodak having a cup of
tea. It was absolutely hammering
down, and as we were sitting there, I
saw a fish show in Chestnuts, roughly
where I had been catching them.
Mark asked where I was going to go,
174 FREE LINE
but I didn’t tell him I had seen that
one – I sort of clocked it, but kept it to
myself. I said, “I’m not too sure, I’ll just
sit here have a cup of tea and see
what happens.” Then with that, I saw
another one, and that was it, I was off.
I said, “I’ve got to go and get my
gear.” He was looking at me, and he
said, “What have you seen?” I said,
“I’m just going to Chestnuts.” I came
hurtling round past Tel at about
100mph, and he looked up and said,
“Where are you heading, John?” I
said, “I’m just going to have a go in
Chestnuts.” It was absolutely teeming
down, so I got my bivvy set up, went
back, and got all my rods. I’d just got
two rods bang on where I’d been getting the bites from, and it stopped
raining. I was absolutely drenched; I
w a s s i t t i n g t h e r e, t h e r a i n h a d
stopped, and the sun came out. This
was September time, it was quite a
nice mild day, and as I said, Rob was
due to come up and I do my first interview for Big Carp.
Sitting there, I had another one
noter, an absolute howler. I was playing it; it weeded me up again, and
Kodak and Tel came round. With that,
Rob walked through the trees, and
now I’d got Rob standing there with
me too. I was thinking this is great;
I’ve got Rob Maylin, Terry Hearn and
Nigel Sharp sitting on the same pond,
and I’ve got a fish weeded up. I was
panicking, and it was a to-and-fro
thing, and it kept weeding me up.
Mark being Mark stripped off, went in
up to his knees, and was peeling the
weed off. Tel was helping, everyone
was helping, and I was thinking I’m
going to lose this, and this is not a
good time to be losing fish.
I didn’t know Rob that well to chat
to, but he was standing behind, looking, and I remember Mark actually
had hold of the fish at one point. It’s
still fresh in my mind to this day, the
way he looked back at me and he
said, “Are you alright?” As soon as he
said that I knew it was a good one,
and he said, “Just don’t panic.” It was
the look he gave me, and I thought
that’s one of the better ones. After a
good 15-20 minutes I managed to get
it into the net, and I was totally blown
away. It was a fish called Missing
Starburst, and apparently it doesn’t
come out an awful lot. So now I’d got
Rob there with me, Tel, Nigel – everyone was there. You couldn’t have
written it any better really, to do your
first interview, and you’ve got a
36lb’er there in your arms – it was a
top buzz. I couldn’t have asked for it
to go any better than it did that day.
I’m hoping Rob’s going to bring me
some luck today too, but the way it is
at the moment, it’s not looking too
clever. But as I said, it was a fish
called the Missing Starburst, which at
36lb is, I think, still to this day the
biggest weight it has gone, and I was
well over the moon with it. So that
was that session done and dusted; I
did the interview with Rob about Sutton, which was enjoyable. It was hard
because it was the first one I had ever
done, but I think it turned out alright.
I remember after that, I pulled off on
the Saturday morning, and I thought
I’d pop into Sutton for a couple of
hours and have a little dabble. I set up
in a swim called the Beach, and I had
seen a lot of bubbling there. There’s a
fella called Phil Selby who fishes on
there, and in my eyes he’s a good
angler; he doesn’t miss a trick, and
he’s very observant. He said he’d
seen a bit of fizzing out towards the
Beach area, and as I went round I sat
there for an hour, and had a fag. There
was quite a bit of fizzing up going on
in there, so I thought oh well, this will
do. I know a couple of spots out there,
so I flicked two rods out.
I think it was about 7 or 8pm, and I
was sitting there with a good friend of
mine, Steve Wade, when it pinged off.
After a good scrap, because they do
have a scrap in Sutton, I had a 30lb
common. I thought that’s not too bad;

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