FL10 (All 218 pages) - Page 139



In Search of Monster Carp
A
s well as Cotton
Farm, I had a little
flirtation up at St
Ives. The first year I
fished on there I
was fishing for a
myth really on a lake called Long
Reach. A guy came in the shop and
showed me a picture of a 45lb common. This was interesting, as I’ve
never caught at 40lb-plus common.
Some mates of mine fished the lakes
years ago, Stevie Curtin and Alan Parsons, and I could remember Steve
telling me that he’d caught the 26lb’er
out of Long Reach years ago when it
was under the control of Amey Roads t o n e. A s w e l l a s c a t c h i n g t h a t
26lb’er, he said he saw an immense
fish jump out, but it was out of his
casting range. So to me it was a perfect lake; it had a little bit of mystery
to it, and it had a 45lb common in it. I
started fishing Long Reach, and to be
honest with you, it was lovely up
there. You had the place to yourself,
and there weren’t really any proper
swims to speak of, so you had to virtually make your own.
Well on the first occasion I fished it,
I actually hooked a fish in the middle
of the afternoon, but unfortunately it
went round a buoy out in the lake and
I lost it. I continued to go there for a
few weeks, but I started to have my
suspicions that perhaps the big fish
w a s n ’t i n t h e r e. I t h o u g h t t h a t
because most times I was finding
fish, but the problem was that most
times you couldn’t fish for them.
Along one bank there is a really
weedy bar that comes right to the
(Above) 22lb, St. Ives common.
(Below) St. Ives, 27lb 12oz.
surface and runs almost the entire
length of one bank. The fish were
generally the other side of that weed
and the bar, and unfortunately you’re
not allowed to use a boat on there, so
it wouldn’t have been fair to fish for
them because there’s just no way in a
million years you could land them A
couple of guys fishing there had
caught a couple of fish, and they were
the same fish they had caught the
year before, and the year before that.
I gradually started to put two and
two together and think perhaps there
wasn’t anything in there. Then out of
the blue, the guy who had shown me
the picture of the 45lb common came
into the shop and said, “I’ve got a bit
of an apology to make to you Lee – I
didn’t catch it out of Long Reach, I
caught it out of another nearby lake.”
He said he didn’t really think it would
lead me to fishing Long Reach, so it
was quite innocent really.
On the same ticket is St Ives
Lagoon, and I went over there one
afternoon and wandered all round it. I
saw three fish, including the Fat Lady,
and that appealed for a little while. I
actually did the night on there, and at
some point in the night I managed to
catch one, a 22lb common, which was
quite pleasing. I fished it three or four
nights after that, but had no more fish.
FREE LINE 139

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