FL10 (All 218 pages) - Page 126



In Search of Monster Carp
was trying all sorts of thing to catch
one off the bottom. The thing I was
struggling with in those days was the
pop-ups, and looking back, what I
really needed to do was sort out some
decent pop-ups, which I did in the
end, but at the time I was trying all
sorts of different baits. We were trying
different pop-up mixes, and they were
rubbish to be honest. To make the old
pop-ups we used to put them in the
oven, which was all right for the shallower waters like Darenth and all that,
as they would stay up most of the
night, but in deeper water like Johnson’s, after a couple of hours they
were just sinking; they just weren’t
any good.
So I was really struggling, and my
second fish came off the top again. It
was quite a few weeks later, well into
the season, and again there was one
of these rare moments where they
were all in one corner, and they all
started having the mixers after a
thunderstorm. I remember a big thunderstorm, and then it all went dark
and flat calm, and all of a sudden the
fish were there on top, and they were
having it. I pulled out of a few, and
missed a few, but then all of a sudden
I hooked one, got it in, and it was 29lb
10oz, far and away the biggest fish I
(Above) I fished midweek nights and
would often have a couple of 20’s
before packing up for work.
(Right) One more good mirror of 28lbplus towards the end of my Sutton
stint.
Wadey came up with us, and we all
celebrated. It was a good start to the
old Johnson’s fishing; we had both
got off the mark.
It was good to see some of the old
guys down there. I remember just
when we were photographing Pete
with the Leather, Fred Wilton came
round. I had never met Fred Wilton
before, even though I had always
been around that area, growing up
with the protein baits, but he was just
a name. Anyway, he just happened to
turn up in the swim and said, “Oh
alright, you’ve got the Leather,” and it
was fish he had caught years before.
It was just quite a nice little moment,
a little moment of proper Kent fishing.
So we’d got off the mark, and I kept
trying different things every week. I
mean I was still working full time, so I
would go back every weekend and I
126 FREE LINE

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