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Diary of a Carp Fisher
I also intended on using maize and
plastic corn, which is a great bait for
the carp and quite a lot of the other
species as well, and I ended up catching a couple of arapaima around
about the 200lb mark, even though I
wasn’t fishing for them. It seems to be
inevitable that you will catch them no
matter what bait you use, especially if
you use a method ball, which attracts
the small fish into the area, and then
the arapaima come in and snap at the
small fish and everything else, so your
hook ends up inside their mouths. I
had some fantastic red tail catfish too;
they really are coming on in leaps and
bounds in the lake, and it’s not going
to be long before a 100lb Amazon red
tail catfish comes out. I had several in
the 60-70lb mark, and Christ do these
things fight! They’re probably one of
my favourite fish, if not my favourite
fish in the world. They’re absolutely
beautiful; everything about them is
stunning, and they’re certainly on the
top of most people’s lists who go out
(Top) Tasha and me.
(Below left) In again, and this time a
(Below right) Success at last.
Unfortunately I didn’t catch a 100lb
carp; it really isn’t as easy as that. You
can’t pot a hole in one every time you
go and play golf and you know, the
chances of catching one of the real
big ones in there when there are so
many other carp in the lake is a bit
like finding a needle in a haystack.
However, I had some great days, and
fishing on the bottom proved to be
the way of catching the real big ones.
The method I came up with to
catch a lot of fish on even the hottest
days was actually using a float; not a
little stick float or a waggler, but a
cigar-shaped pike float basically, and
using a method similar to the bagging
waggler that match fishermen use,
which is a great way of catching carp
on hot days. They’re not on the bottom; they’re like carp anywhere, and
they’re up on the surface or in the
middle layers. I was fishing a float
about 4ft deep with a large method
ball suspended 3ft below the float,
and then a normal hooklink with
either one of Mark’s big boilies or
another bait which accounted for a lot
of fish – the CC Moore Cream Hellraiser pop-ups. I’d then just fire out
small balls of groundbait around my
float. The little ones come up and
attack the balls as soon as they hit the
surface, and the carp are not far
behind. It was possible to catch 20
carp in a day if you persevered with this method, but
fishing in the heat of the
day is really tiring, and with
the bar just down the bottom end of the lake with
lots and lots of ice-cold
Singha beer in it, it’s difficult to keep at it all day
long without a break now
and again.
I’m pleased to say that
my son Ashley took an
interest in fishing for the
first time on this trip. I used
to take him a lot when he
was a little boy, him and his
friend, Kyle. We fished quite
a f e w o f t h e Va u x h a l l
waters round Tingrith and
Woburn Sands in the Bedford area where he lived,
over to the pits at Radwell
and Sharnbrook, and on the
river, fishing for barbel and
chub, or float fishing min-
nows for perch on the river Ouse. We
had some great times when he was a
little boy, but once he got to about 12
years old he suddenly got this fascination with knocking seven bells out
of the biggest bloke he could find. His
attention changed from the quiet
sedate life of a fisherman into the
aggressive life of a kickboxer, and he
now takes part in tournaments up and
down the country, actually taking sil-


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