FL10 (All 218 pages) - Page 136

In Search of Monster Carp
now, but I was always struggling with
pop-ups before. I knew I needed popups; I needed them on Fox Pool, and I
needed them on Johnson’s, but I
didn’t know how to make them.
Again, there were no pop-up mixes
out there; everyone made their own
pop-up mixes. I remember you having them at Fox Pool, and I thought
God, he’s got some good pop-ups, but
I had no idea how you used to make
them. I didn’t have a microwave, and
I couldn’t afford one, simple as that.
By the time I had paid the rent on my
house, and put bit of petrol in the car,
I couldn’t afford a microwave, so I just
had to go without, but eventually I got
myself a microwave and I made these
blue cheese pop-ups. I went down
Johnson’s with Wadey, and that first
weekend, I caught one straight away.
It was only 9lb 15oz, but it was a very
special carp for me, as I had been fishing the Railway for three years by
then, and all I had caught were the
two off the top, even though I tried
and tried to catch one off the bottom.
Bearing in mind it was getting on for
winter; the start of November, I went
down the next weekend and caught
another one! So all of a sudden I knew
what I needed to catch them, and I
had finally done it; I had finally got
there. The only problem with that
was, by then it was winter and you
know, Johnson’s was hard enough in
the summer. I had a few little dabbles
in the winter, but people normally just
pulled off.
I do remember the next time I went
back was the start of the following
season. I know I had been down to
Brighton to see Pete Jones, and he
had just made up these little pop-ups
with Martin Locke’s Esterblend 12
f l a v o u r, a n d I s m e l t t h e m a n d I
thought, God, that’s just what I need
for the Railway. I said, “Can you me
make up a little batch of pop-ups
while we’re here?” I wasn’t going to
be able to do them back home, so we
made up some there, and I took them
down to Johnson’s. On opening
week, I hooked eight, landing five and
losing three. The first three of them I
lost because I was using these star
point hooks. Before the start I said to
Pete, “Look at these hooks, they’re
nice,” and he said, “Don’t use them. I
know people who have been using
those hooks, and they reckon they’re
rubbish; they keep losing fish on
them.” Anyway, I went with them, and
I lost the first three I hooked, so I
changed over to some Drennan
O’Shaughnessy hooks, and the next
five I landed. I didn’t have of the big
ones; they were all 20’s I think, with
maybe a couple of double figure commons, but I remember the Leather got
caught that week. There was one guy
up in the corner, and it was the only
fish he caught, but he had the
Leather, which was the one I really
wanted. I never got it, but I was so
pleased to get those fish that I did
catch after struggling for so long.
To be honest, that was the end of
my fishing on Johnson’s. I should
have stayed on I suppose and tried for
the Leather, but other things were
(Top) First Farlows carp, one of four or
five that first weekend on the
(Left) A memorable common, on the
fishmeals again, and I think my first
English common over 20lb.


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