FL11 All pages - Page 163



In Search of Monster Carp
W
e join Steve
this month
as he joins
Harefield. I
remember at
t h a t t i m e, I
had split up with Mandy, and that
was when I met Joan, because Joan
was manager of the bar and restaurant at Farlows. We got on quite well;
we always used to have a good chat,
so I started seeing Joan, and started
staying up there longer and longer I
suppose, but I was enjoying the fishing. Anyway, I actually came up to try
and fish Harefield, but for some reason John Stent wouldn’t let me have a
ticket for Harefield. He had the hump
with me about seeing Joan, I think,
and he wouldn’t let me have a ticket,
which I was gutted about because
everyone was on there. But the thing
was, everyone who fished Harefield
was allowed to take one guest on per
season or something, and as everyone
was already on there, there were no
other guests to take on there other
than me, so everyone took me as a
guest for one weekend. I just ended
up fishing it, and it got to the stage
where I was on there every weekend,
and no one said anything.
It was another big gravel pit, and to
me that meant fishmeal. I had seen
them work at Darenth; I had caught
loads of fish at Sutton on them, and I
figured that Harefield was made for
the fishmeals, now I know you went
in with the pop-up approach, launching it out to the fish, and you were
catching really well too, but I was
convinced in my own mind that fishmeals were the way to go at Harefield. I know the first time I fished
Harefield I fished up the Causeway
and I lost one, just fishing out over the
bars, at the range I could bait up. It
was easy to fish long-range because
you were always seeing fish jump at
long range, but I wanted to fish where
I could bait up, and I lost one the first
weekend, so it gave me the confidence to go on with that.
The second weekend I was on
there, I started off on the Causeway. I
walked all the way around the lake
and every swim was taken. It was so
busy, as Harefield had become such a
mega water in the early 90’s. John
Stent had some funny ideas, but he
also had a lot of vision, and he was a
good guy. He had a lot of ideas about
what he wanted to do, and one of
them was to create a water that could
compete with Savay. Savay was far
and away the biggest and best water
in the Colne Valley, and John Stent
wanted to create something that
could compete with that. How he did
that was to drain Rodney Meadow,
take all the fish out of there, and put
them into Harefield. The Willow Pool
was the other water he took fish from,
which caused a lot of controversy at
the time, because there were a lot of
people fishing Rodney and Willow
Pool. They were their local waters,
and all of a sudden they were being
(Top) With a little help from my
friends I finally made it to Harefield.
(Left) First Harefield carp – Small Pecs
at 34lb 8oz.
FREE LINE 163

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