FL09June - Page 84



In Search of Monster Carp
My Cassien mirror of 61lb 8oz from 1987. It was just massive. “A hippo without legs,” was how Pete Jones described it.
the spawning bay. He’d been down
there for the day, and for some reason,
although we didn’t know about it,
that year they had opened up the
spawning bay. Normally you couldn’t
fish in there, but this year it was open
for some reason, and he came back
and said, “Oh I’ve had two 20lb commons down there today.” I thought
Christ; he’s caught fish. So the first
thing we did after he’d gone was to
get in the boat, rowed down to the
spawning bay for a look, and sure
enough, there was a place we could
fish from. So we thought right, if nothing happens tonight, tomorrow morning that’s where we are going. Needless to say, nothing happened, so we
went down to the spawning bay. We
had loads of bait left; we had the
Richworths and we had the peanuts.
We w e r e w e l l l o a d e d u p w i t h
peanuts, because we knew they were
going to work, but we’d also made up
our own hookbaits. I’d told Pete about
all the problems we had with the
crayfish, so we decided to make up
these big rock hard hookbaits, which
was from only a basic 50:50 mix. I
remember I used Rod Hutchinson’s
84 FREE LINE
cream flavour, but I can’t remember
what Pete used; it might have been
maple cream, the new flavour on the
scene then. So, we made up these
hookbaits that were about probably
30-35mm diameter, great big things.
The way of making hard hookbaits to
us was just to boil them for a lot
longer. So, we were well equipped
bait-wise, and we just needed to get
on the fish.
So we got into the spawning bay,
set up there, and the first night I
remember we were fishing across to
these reeds right in the edge. It was
only about 3ft deep, so I didn’t think
we were going to get big fish there,
but I thought well, we’re going to
catch something here, expecting
small commons or whatever. But that
first night I caught a mirror of about
28lb. I couldn’t find my scales, so we
put it in the sack, and I thought well,
I’ll find them in the morning and
weigh it. We woke up in the morning
(nothing else happened that first
night), and I looked out and there
were two guys fishing from a pedalo
across the other side of the bay. We
looked through the binoculars, and
thought it was a bit strange, but then
I realised that I recognised one of
them. I had met Pete Jones from
Brighton on the Tip Lake; we weren’t
great friends then, but we had met
each other, and I looked across and I
thought that looks like him sitting in
the pedalo across the other side of the
bay. I didn’t know he was going to be
there or anything like that, so I rowed
out, and sure enough it was Pete
Jones with this bloke Travolta, who
we had never met before. I asked him
what he’d had and he said, “Well
we’ve had a few fish the last few
days, a few small commons and that,”
and I said, “I’ve had a mirror about
28lb,” which was the biggest fish that
we’d heard about in those few days.
So they came over for a look, and the
fish had got out of the sack! I pulled
up this empty sack, and you know, I
was sick. It was my first fish of the
trip after four or five nights, and it had
gone. Pete Noonan said, “Unlucky
mate,” and Travolta just thought we
were winding him up, so you know, it
was quite funny. Anyway, it was good
to see Pete Jones; he was alright, a
good old boy.

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