FL09June - Page 176



In Search of Monster Carp
two, but a lot of fish. Trying to get a
bite from there just wasn’t happening.
I think Nigel picked off another one,
and that’s when I started to think perhaps they’re cleaning themselves off
there, but actually feeding somewhere else, so I came round and I
started doing a little bit of time in the
Hump.
Nigel had found a Buddha, which
was a standing joke, but he just
couldn’t put a foot wrong with it, and
h e h a d c a u g h t a f e w, i n c l u d i n g
Orange Spot, Mickey’s Mate and the
Scattered. He was getting into my
head about this Buddha with the
magical powers, so after Orange Spot,
I managed to talk him into lending it
to me for one night. It was a mission
trying to get it off him for even one
night though. So I put the old Buddha
at the back of the bankstick, and
thought, right, this is it, this is my
turn. I’d left two rods out on a spot out
in front of the Hump where we had
seen fish all of a sudden beginning to
cruise over from Chestnuts, and there
was quite a bit of activity between
Nigel and me in the Dog and the
Hump. I thought right, this is it; I’ve
got two rods out there, and they’re
staying put. I woke up the next morning, having had nothing, so I gave him
the Buddha back in disgust. I said,
“You can have that back,” but after
that session I wound in, and I’d actually been done; the rig had all been
spun up, and it had definitely been
picked up, there’s no question about
it, so that was the standing joke with
the Buddha.
35lb 15oz Little Fully, Sutton.
176 FREE LINE
The other thing was when he’d
bring me a cup of tea of a morning. I
would be sound asleep; I never once
heard his bites, and he’d appear, and
the first thing he’d say was, “Here you
are mate, a nice cup of tea.” At first I
thought, nice one Nigel, but I woke
up, and nothing passed his lips. He’d
just walk off, and gradually drop into
the conversation, “Oh by the way, I’ve
got one in the net.” So I’d walk up and
do the photos and all that for him.
Anyway, he had a couple more 20’s
with the cup of tea joke, and I was still
sitting there thinking, I can’t believe
this. Like I said, he was picking them
off on the chods; he just had everything down to a tee.
I think it was about four days before
the end of the season; I was set up in
the Hump again, and we’d been having a good crack. I was now known as
being on suicide watch, and they
were going to take the laces out of my
trainers and all sorts, because I was
losing it by the second. I remember
one morning Nigel came down with
the old cup of tea, and I remember
thinking, no, not again. I looked at him
and said, “What you had?” He said,
“Nothing” so I thought, thank god for
that, because I can’t handle this. Anyway, he got about 2yds up the bank,
and went, “Oh I forgot to tell you, I’ve
got the Scattered in the net.” So I
went down, and we were expecting it
to be a little bit bigger, 37 or maybe
38lb, but it was actually 34lb. It had a
nylon hooklink still in its mouth, with,
I think it was a Mugger hook, so it
obviously hadn’t been feeding much,
as it couldn’t get rid of this other rig.
Another fella, Jason, came down,
went in No.5, and I think he bagged
the Dink. Although I didn’t catch, it
was enjoyable because the banter on
this lake, for a small syndicate, was
first class. You won’t fish with a better
set of lads although you’ve lost the
likes of Nigel, and another good
friend, Micky Neighbour, who actually
picked off everything that he wanted
this season so he’s done and dusted
up here. Next year is obviously going
to be a bit of change, but I’m coming
back because I’ve still got a few to
aim at. It was a very enjoyable year in
regards to who I was fishing with. I
had good company and a great laugh,
but I learned a hell of a lot at my own
expense. But I believe things happen
for a reason, and I’m glad I learnt that
way. As I said, I’m not a cocky angler,
and I get on with my own thing. Of
course you watch people that are
catching because if they’re catching
that consistently then there is something to be leant from it.
There was one instance, I’ll never
forget, going on about Pete Bond
again. It was in the height of summer
when I was properly struggling on
here, and Pete was nailing them out of
a swim called The Bar. We’d become
really good mates; I think he was
going to Scotland for a week, and he
s h o w e d m e t h e s p o t s . H e s a i d,
“You’ve got to get in here and have a
go.” But I won’t fish off the back of
someone; I either do it my way, or I
don’t do it at all. Whether that’s right
or wrong, that’s the way I fish. I
remember him phoning me up from
Scotland and asking, “Have you gone
in there?” I said, “No,” and he was
swearing at me down the phone.
Someone did go in there and have a
couple of fish, but like I said, each to
their own, but that’s not the way I
fish. So that was pretty much the end
of my 2007/08 season; I learnt a lot,
and I was even more keen to come
back for 2008/09.
Rob: Thanks very much for that
John, a fascinating insight into your
2007/08 season on a very testing
venue. These small lakes are all very
well, but you know, with 50 fish in
there you’d think things would be
easy, but they’re far from that. You’ve
mentioned some very good anglers in
that first piece of yours, and Pete
Bond, you know, has been everywhere, and done everything. It’s the

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