FL10 (All 218 pages) - Page 196



In Search of Monster Carp
had a couple, even though I was
pinned down using the new fluorocarbon mainline from Gardner called
Mirage in 16lb. It's my number one
choice for most of my fishing needs.
Also leadcore is banned on this
venue, which is just as well because
I've gone off leadcore as a leader, and
gone onto fluorocarbon leaders in 18
and 20lb, which I find works well. I
caught another three carp during my
24 hours, the biggest being a lovely
24lb carp, which was, very scaly. I
continued to fish the lake a couple
more times whilst waiting and getting prepared for the 1st June, which
is when Horton reopens.
Before I knew it, it was the 24th
May, and the draw for swims and BBQ
at Horton for the 2008/09 seasons was
held. It was a good day, apart from me
coming last out of the hat. The sun
was shining all day; I could see that
the carp were very active, and it was
also nice to meet up with some old
friends. I was asked if I would mind
walking the new members around
Horton, and talk to them about the
swims etc.
And so a week later, with my car
full of gear, I was driving into the Horton complex just hoping I would get a
swim, being last out of the hat. The
thing is, quite a few of the members
didn’t turn up to fish the first week, so
that gave me a better choice, and in
the end I picked one of the Pallet
swims. I did 24 hours in that swim,
and then decided to pack up and go
and see a friend called Warwick, who
lives on the river Thames in a boat
with his girlfriend and their staffie
dog called Tribal, who is beautiful. We
spent most of the day catching up
and making plans to do a bit of fishing
on the river, and with some dates
arranged, I headed home.
I didn't spend as much time on
Horton last season as previous years,
which was for a few reasons that I'm
not going into that now. It didn’t
seem to have the sparkle that it had
previous years, and it somewhat lost
its appeal. I had two fish from the
Slope swim in Dog Bay – the Thorpe
Park Leney at 27lb-plus, and Reggie
the common. I also had a nice mirror
of 26lb from the Plateau swim. I can
remember Del saying while I was setting up in the Plateau, “Are you going
to break the curse?” I said, “What do
you mean?” He said, “There hasn't
been a fish out from this end of the
196 FREE LINE
lake for the last month.” By ‘this end of
the lake’ he means four main swims –
Scooter, Spindly Tree, One Up and The
Plateau, but I did end up with that
mirror of 26lb.
The summer came and went, and it
was the start of autumn. I was keen to
have another go on the mighty
Thames with my mate Warwick, who
does fishing charters on there called
‘Fling Your Hook’. It's such a buzz
fishing for all types of fish – there's
excellent predator fishing, barbel fishing, and of course carp fishing. His
portfolio is pretty good too, and the
customers are happy.
Warwick had been baiting a few
places for most of the season, and on
occasions, usually a Friday after work,
I would drive to his boat to do the
weekend, which was such a buzz.
Having fished the Thames in the past,
I know it can be very hit and miss, but
if you find them, they’re usually not
that hard to catch. Baiting up little an
often is where my friend's got it
sussed; he wakes up scratching his
arse, and throws 20 baits and some
particle over the side - job done! But
fair play two him; he does a lot of
time, and he's had some proper nice
fish, and I don't just mean carp. So
when I do a session with him I try to
utilise my time the best I can. Catching bream is not that much fun, but
that next take could be a carp.
I did a couple of session with him,
and enjoyed every minute, but had no
carp. I can remember him ringing me
at work, saying he'd just caught a big,
plated, 30lb-plus mirror. “Cor, well
done,” I'd reply, thinking I must have
another go soon. Unfortunately, I was
busy with other things, and it was a
really cold winter; most of the lakes
froze, but the Thames didn’t.
One freezing weekend in February
we organised a trip, and we caught
two carp; one each. Mine was on the
Saturday morning, and weighed 26lb,
but Warwick's fish was a bit special –
a 34lb common, and what a beast. I
was just glad to have seen it. “Well
done, son.” He said he was using the
Kingsbury rig – the Mugger hooks
tied on to 25lb Sink Skin. He cracks
me up, and I went home feeling like I
had just won a grand.
Before I knew it, it was the start of
March ’09, and time for a last crack at
Horton Church Lake. Spring was well
and truly here, and bright sunshine
and warm winds meant the carp were
on the move and looking for food. On
the first session, I finished work and
got to the lake about 5.30, and by this
time a lot of swims were taken. My
good friend Jossy was in the Ski
Slope, but there was no one in the
Sick or Entrance swims, so I decided
to have a go in the Entrance, and
hoped that no one would go in the
Sick swim. I told Jossy to stick the
kettle on, as I'd be back with my gear
soon, and on my return there was a
nice hot cuppa waiting for me –
cheers, bruv.
It was a lovely evening; the sun
was shining right into the bay, and I
26lb common from the Thames.

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