FL10 (All 218 pages) - Page 134

In Search of Monster Carp
(Right) We had a few sessions on
Johnson’s Road Lake. Wadey was the
first to score with this nice mirror.
(Below) It wasn’t easy, but I caught
some decent commons from the Road
trips, and on my third trip, I was looking through all the pictures of what
people had caught, wondering which
ones I’d catch this time, but I went
back there and blanked. I went in the
August, and it looked lovely, as good
as ever, but I sat there for two weeks,
and never saw a fish show. I moved all
over the lake, and in the end I was
moving every day, trying to find fish,
but never did, and never caught a
carp. All I caught was bream, and I
came away from there and it was like
a real reality check; they were normal
carp after all. It wasn’t this Promised
Land where you just go and bag up
with loads of big fish; it was carp fishing the same as everywhere else. Yes,
they were naïve carp and you could
catch them, but when they weren’t
having it, you weren’t going to catch
them, and it was a long way to go for
a two-week blank, just to sit in the
But there were other things going
on at the time, and I also had my first
trip to Holland. I had met two Dutch
guys while we were down at Cassien
on my second trip; they had come up
and seen a couple of the fish we had
caught. We got chatting and they did
say that any time we wanted to come
over to Holland, they could sort us out
with something perhaps on the
canals or something like that. I had
never fished any of the canals, but
one of the things Holland was really
known for in those days was for 20lb
commons, and you know, it doesn’t
seem possible now, but in those days
we didn’t catch 20lb commons. If you
caught commons they were singles or
doubles; there just weren’t many 20lb
commons about, and quite a few people actually went to Holland to get a
20lb common. Anyway, we went over,
and I think it was in 1988. I went over
with Mandy and Mick Daly who we
had met on Darenth, and we fished on
the Twente Canal, and I remember
putting out all this maize. They said
you’ve got to bait up with maize, and
it was a bit of a slow start, which surprised me, because we could see
these fish swimming up and down,
and I thought as soon as we’d put a
bait in the water we were going to
catch them.
We literally had to cut our swims
out of the reeds, as no one had fished
anywhere along this stretch of canal
before. I thought it was going to be
easy, but for the first 12 hours, we
never had a bite, and I thought something is going on here. I thought they


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