FL10 (All 218 pages) - Page 127

In Search of Monster Carp
had ever caught off the top. In fact it
is still the biggest fish I have ever
caught off the top; I don’t do a lot of
floater fishing these days, and you
know, I have never beaten that one,
but at that point, it was an unknown
fish. There were a few of the old regulars there; Derek and a few of the
other guys, and he came up and photographed it. He showed the pictures
to other guys who had fished there,
and they all said, “Um, I don’t know
that one.” So that was quite special,
but again it was off the top, and I was
struggling to get them off the bottom.
We started having a few little dabbles on Fox Pool, and the first time I
went up there was in September or
October. I fished in the Pier Swim, and
nothing happened. I just remember it
was quite weird, because we turned
up on the Friday evening, and there
were loads of cars in the car park, and
loads of bivvies around the lake, but
there was no one there – the place
was deserted – it was like the Mary
Celeste. We couldn’t work out what
was going on, so we set up anyway in
the Pier Swim, but I didn’t know it
was the Pier Swim at the time, but it
was empty. The thing I remember
about it was that the fish were jumping. I always expected not to see any
fish, or maybe one or two every few
weeks, but these big fish were actually quite active and showing a lot,
which was really good. I remember
setting up in the evening, listening to
them, and then it got to about
11.30pm, and I heard all this noise. It
was the Longfield Drinking Team
coming back from the pub, and I
thought, oh that’s where they’ve all
been. I remember someone, I think it
was Johnny Allen, shouting across
the lake, “There must be some serious
carp anglers on here,” because there
were two of us sitting in our bivvies
fishing, and everyone else had been
It felt a bit funny because we didn’t
know anyone there, and the second
weekend, we fished adjacent swims
on the right hand bank. There was a
guy a bit further down; I don’t know
who he was, but he was in with that
sort of crowd, and he didn’t seem to
really want to speak to us. He was in
with that lot, and we were imposing
in their little group, so he didn’t want
to know us. I remember the following
morning, waking up about 7am, look-
ing out, and a fish rolled in my swim.
I had a bag of Richworths, as I still
had a bit of confidence in them, so I
reeled in and put one on, cast to this
fish, and it just landed in the rings
nicely about 50yds out. I made a cup
of tea and went up to sit with Pete in
the next swim, and we were sitting
there having a cup of tea when that
rod just blitzed off all of a sudden, a
one-toner. It absolutely screamed off,
and literally by the time I had run
10yds back to my rods, it had gone
through about three weedbeds, and
you could see the big trail of bubbles.
It was absolutely solid, and I tried for
ages to get it out, but I just couldn’t
move it. I left it a couple of hours, but
in the end I just had to pull for a break,
as the fish was obviously gone anyway by then.
All of a sudden this bloke who
didn’t want to know us was in the
swim, and he was our best mate. He
wanted to find out what we were
using, if it was on a boilie or a tiger
nut and all that. Then a few of them
started to come round, and to be fair,
they were all really nice guys. The
twins were on there; Nigel and I can’t
remember the other guy’s name; John
Holt’s friend Ian Booker was on there;
Colin Martin – it was all that early
group, with Johnny Allen. I think it
was probably Johnny Allen who broke
the ice, because I had met him at
Cassien, and he said, “Oh yeah, I
remember you from Cassien.” Then
we all went down and celebrated
together down the pub; it was a good
little scene to be in, and I was enjoying it there. I was gutted I lost that
fish, on the second weekend on there.
(Top) Fishing Holland for the first
time on the Twente Canal.
(Right) It was quiet and unpressured
on the Twente Canal – we even had to
cut our own swims out.


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