FL09June - Page 200

In Search of Monster Carp
(Left) Cotton Farm.
(Middle) Cotton Farm's Yellow Belly.
(Below left) Wharf Pub.
(Below right) Pub on Cotton.
Sometimes I would go out there in
my little inflatable and put out 10kg of
hemp, get back to the bank, and the
bobbins would go mad for half an
hour, and then they would stop. I
used to mix in groats with the hemp
so I could see it using a glass bottom
bucket, but after about half and hour,
I’d go out for a look, and I’d have been
cleared out by the tench. I never
caught any – it was a really difficult
place. I am sure it was the best area of
the lake to be fishing, and eventually I
managed to catch another carp of
about 19lb, one of the old originals. I
lost one as well, but then the school
holidays came, and it was an absolute
nightmare. The kids would descend
on you mob-handed; eight or ten at a
time, with hands and eyes everywhere, and it just wasn’t safe to fish
there any more.
So I pulled off there, and about the
same time, a guy came into the shop
with his young son and he owned a
fishery up in Essex called Lakelands.
There was a little bungalow on the
lake and everything, and he gave me
permission to go up there and fish it.
He said he only wanted people he
could trust fishing it, and if there were
people fishing it, it was a little bit of
security for the site because he was a
little bit worried about the reputation
of that area of Essex. There had been
quite a few fish getting stolen, and so
he said to me, “Here’s a key to the
gate; you can go up there and fish it
any time you want.”
It’s near a place called Hatfield
Peverel in Essex, and when I drove
through the gates, I couldn’t believe
how lovely the lake was. I was writing
a diary piece at the time for Advanced
Carp Fishing, and I actually called the
lake Wonderland, because it was
absolutely wonderful. The fishing was
good as well, and again you could do
what you liked. You could use a boat,
not that you that particularly needed
one, because it was only small, but
you could use a boat. He had a little
mobile home/bungalow on there, and
you could go up there and cook your
dinner or have a bath or a shower, and


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