FL09June - Page 78

In Search of Monster Carp
if something happens they’re going to
wake me up. Well I must have dozed
off, because the next thing I knew, I
had this screaming one-toner. I never
realised how quiet it went at Cassien
– it was literally silent there at night,
and the noise coming out of this
alarm was deafening, but there was
nothing on the end. It was a take, but
I picked up the rod and struck into
nothing. Johnny Allen was fishing in
the west arm; we’re talking probably
three quarters of a mile away. I
bumped into him a couple of days
later, and he asked who had had the
run up the north arm – he had heard it
all that distance away. I was a bit
embarrassed about that; I didn’t
realise how quiet it was. But going
back to that first night, the other people who had heard the run were the
people fishing under the two umbrellas up the bank. It turned out to be
Phil Smith and Joe Taylor who were
there with one of their mates, Andy.
By then I had re-cast the rod, got back
in the bag, and heard these people
wandering down the bank. I thought
shit, here we go, because you’re not
meant to be there at night; there was
no night fishing. But it was those two
and they said, “We heard you have a
run, what happened?” I said, “Nothing”. So we had a chat, and they went
A little while later it went off again,
and this time I got it in. I remember
thinking to myself, this feels like a
good fish, a mid-30 maybe, but it was
only 22lb. The power of the fish was
unbelievable, and I had caught my
first Cassien carp on my first night! I
had gone there hoping that I would
catch a carp during the trip, and I was
going to be there for about a week
and a half or two weeks. I thought if I
can catch one in that time it would be
good, but I caught one straight away.
I had lost another one by the morning
as well, so I’d had had three bites the
first night. Phil Smith and Joe Taylor
come down and they photographed
my fish, and Phil Smith said, “Right,
this will do me, I’ll fish there.” I
thought to myself, he’s having a
laugh, but at the same time, it was a
bit of a strange feeling being on there,
knowing you weren’t meant to be
there. There was no camping allowed,
and no night fishing allowed, so in a
way, it was quite good that they came
and fished with us, because we felt
secure with a few more people
around. In reality though you weren’t,
and they were just jumping in
because they had struggled for a few
days. They were just jumping in on
the action, which you know, was the
bad side of it, but it was alright. So
they came down, but nothing happened at all while they were there,
and I think Phil Smith and Joe Taylor
actually blanked that trip.
It was the first time I had ever come
across crayfish, and they eat boilies. I
didn’t even think about it before then;
we didn’t have to worry about it, but I
was reeling in my little Richworths in
the morning, and they were gone. You
cast a rod out in the evening, and if
you didn’t have a bite in the first couple of hours, then you either had to
recast, or you just had no bait left
because the crayfish would eat them.
It was a problem reeling in because of
the snags as well. I was only casting
from the bank, and every time I reeled
in, I had to reset everything, tie new
hook lengths, put new leads on, and it
was hard work, really hard work. I do
remember Phil Smith was using these
jumbo peanuts. I did have some
peanuts with me, but he was using
My first Cassien carp caught during my first night on the lake. I had expected to have to wait longer!


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