FL10 (All 218 pages) - Page 71

Made In England
Made in Thailand
And Adam Spiller shows the correct
way to use one.
Lakes in Essex.
So, before I head for the airport,
who gets the ‘Keep your Spirits Level’
award? Well, this month it’s like a
Goal of the Month competition, when
four of the best goals of the season are
all scored within a couple of weeks of
each other. The three great commons
are all superb contenders, but I have
to go with my initial pick, and that is
Simon Dale’s absolutely glorious old
mirror of 31lb, from Lancashire. ‘Fraid
I haven’t got the whole story ‘cos the
e-mail was sent to work, and I’ve only
forwarded the photo to here, but suffice to say it is a cracking carp and
well deserving of a Spirit Level. Well
done, Simon. Send me your address
and I’ll get the Spirit Level off to you,
and if you need to know how to use it,
last month’s winner, Adam Spiller, has
sent me a photo of the level working
perfectly. Cheers, Adam.
Right, I’m all packed up, I’ve got a
selection of massive hooks, and I’ve
told Vince to take his weight-lifting
belt with him for when we’re playing
the biggies, so I’m off. Next time we
speak, which for you will be a mere
nanosecond, I’ll be many thousands
of miles east of here, and much, much
So, a mere nano-second has passed
for you, but for me it’s five days later
and 5000 miles further east. And
we’re in Paradise! What a stunning
place, surrounded by sheer limestone
cliffs on three sides, this nine-acre
lake sits like a gemstone in the forest.
The accommodation is second to
none, and is testament to the amount
of time and money Stuart spent on
making this a holiday destination
beyond compare. We’d arrived at ten
in the morning and decided that, after
the 16-hour journey, we’d probably
kick back for the rest of the day and
get the rods out in the late afternoon.
Yeah, right!
As we sat on the veranda of the
restaurant, the first of many cold
beers being gulped down, fish after
fish after fish were rolling and crashing in front of us and, within minutes,
me, Vince and Ben were like three little kids, dashing down to our swims
to get the rods out, and leaving Linda
to stroll leisurely behind. Totally oblivious to Stuart’s warning of imminent
sunburn, we set about battering the
swims with dead fish and boilies,
whilst all the time, the fish just kept
rolling. Then less than an hour from
reaching the place, Vince hooked the
first fish of the holiday, and is left tattered and distraught as the hook
pulled after five minutes. A few hours
later the same disaster strikes again.
Then one stays on, a 60lb red-tailed
catfish. Sixty pounds! We’d been here
less than six hours and we’d landed a
By the end of the first day Vince
had lost four good fish, and was not
happy. I’d joined in the unhappy
camp once, but ended the day with a
30lb catfish, which we photographed
in a brace with Lin’s 45lb red tail. As
dusk turned rapidly to night, Ben had
an Arapaima on for about 20 minutes
before it, too, made good its escape.
End of day one; this place was unreal,
but we knew it was going to take
something special to land these buggers because we were now in the
realms of big game fishing. We’d all
caught fish, but had lost nearly twice
as many, and we needed to do something to rectify the problem. That
evening, over the most wonderful
Thai meal, cooked by Stuart’s very
pregnant missus, Benz, we discussed
tactics, but there were no precedents
for this. This really was a vertical
learning curve and the teacher was a
harsh mistress.
The next day saw Vince land two
more huge red tails, both in excess of
60lb, then Lin had an even bigger one
of 75lb. Truly glorious creatures that
Da Vinci would have been proud to
have sculpted. Vince and I both lost a
big fish each, mine taking 60yds of
line in a split second, and coming
adrift after I’d had it on for five minutes – not very pleasing, and a calming walk was a necessity. Then, as
evening fell, Lin hooked something
After four losses, Vince struggles
with a big red-tailed cat – there was
heavier to come!


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