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In Search of Monster Carp
(Above) I saved the best until last
with this 50lb 8oz mirror.
(Bottom) Set up in the famous Church
Swim at Chantecoq with Pete Jones.
and then they’d all go off again, so
after three or four nights, it was just
too much
All I did in the end was put three or
four rods out, and once they had gone
off, I’d leave them in for the night and
just be happy with those fish I’d had.
It was the easiest fishing I had ever
had in my life in terms of catching
fish, but probably the hardest fishing I
had ever had in terms of the work you
had to put in to catch those fish. But
it was good; I’d always wanted to
catch some of those fish because I
had seen the pictures of them, and
they were nice looking carp.
One thing I definitely noticed with
those carp, because they were very
naïve, was that the bigger bait you
used, the bigger fish you caught. It’s
an old wives’ tale; you know, big baits
for big fish, but I took some of these
donkey chokers of 50-60mm with me,
and they looked ridiculous they really
did. I always put one rod out with one
on, and literally every night the
biggest fish would come on one of
those big baits. I suppose the little
170 FREE LINE
fish just whooshed in and fed on
everything else and the big baits were
just left for the big fish; it’s amazing
how it works. At the time I was using
Carp Company stuff by then, the Milk
Mix and the Nut Mix, making these
great big things. I went to a show
with them just afterwards; I forget
where it was, down in Essex, or it
might have even been Woking, and I
did a little talk on Chantecoq. I said,
“I’ve brought along some of these
baits just to show you what I was
catching on – you can have a look at
them in the break.” I wish I had never
b o t h e r e d, b e c a u s e t h e y a l l j u s t
laughed at them. They had only fished
in England where 14-15mm boilies
were the norm, and an 18mm boilie
was a big’un, so they were looking at
these 50-60mm boilies and they
didn’t think I was serious; they were
all just taking the piss really. I was
wishing I had never brought them,
but they definitely did work. Every
single night the big bait did catch the
biggest fish that night, and I’m talking
about the big fish – upper-30’s to low40’s.
It was mad fishing. I have never
been back there since in all these
years, and it was 14 years ago now. I
had my fill of action from there, and it
was good, but there was no challenge.
I have always liked some sort of challenge in my carp fishing; it’s always
nice catching carp, but when they
come too easily, the novelty wears off
in no time. It was too much for me; I
didn’t want to catch that many carp. I
wanted to catch less fish that meant
more, if you know what I mean. So
yeah that was it, and I never went
back to Chantecoq after that.
I came back to England and I
started fishing a couple of the lakes
around Woking because I knew the
guys at the Carp Company, and they
said, “Why don’t you come down and
fish the lakes at Woking?” Langmans,
I think was the name, run by Ron
Buss, so I went down, and they were
lovely waters, and a good bunch of
people. Langmans was the one with

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