FL11 All pages - Page 175



In Search of Monster Carp
fish that week, another 20lb’er, so we
got in amongst them. I think between
us we had six fish over that two-week
period, and we were really getting in
amongst them. We thought we were
going to catch loads because we
were seeing them all the time at that
end, but really all they were there for
was spawning. It was that that little
period of pre-spawning, you know,
and after that the fish started to drift
away a bit.
We still caught the odd few here
and there, but I do remember the
weed was really, really bad that year.
To start with, in April, May, June, it
was alright, but then all of a sudden
when the weed came up, since it was
quite a shallow lake anyway, it was
like a field out there; it was impossible
to fish. The trouble was I was only a
member of two lakes: Summerleaze,
and another Colne Valley water just
down the road, which has no publicity, so I can’t really name it, but it was
just down the road. All the others had
other lakes; they had Silvermere and a
few other waters, and they all said,
“Oh we’re going off to fish them now.”
I said, “Alright, see you later then.”
There was no sort of, “Do you want to
come with us?” They just went.
I went and fished this other Colne
Valley pit for a while, and it was
another headbanger to be honest. It
was a hard pit, but I went down there
for a week, and the first week I was on
there, I fished six days and never saw
a sign of a fish. I was casting out, and
it just seemed like I was wasting my
time. Then on the Saturday, which
was my last but one day of the session, they got a speedboat out – they
used to do speedboat racing on there.
As this speedboat reached the middle
area, further out than I could cast,
right out in the middle of the lake,
these carp would jump. Every time it
did it, out would come these carp, and
I thought Christ, that’s where they are
but wondered how I was to reach
them. The left hand bank to me was
out of bounds, but I thought I know,
I’ll just cast onto the bank. It was all
bare banks, so I could just go round,
pick up the rigs, and walk them right
along to where I had seen these fish
jump, and just throw the rigs out and
hope for the best.
The next morning, I had a 20lb 15oz
common, and I just thought, oh well,
it’s a fish. I remember one of the
bailiffs coming round, and he said to
me, “That’s the biggest common ever
caught out of here; there’s never been
a 20lb common out of here before.” He
didn’t like it at all, and they were a bit
funny, some of the guys on there.
There were some good guys and I got
to know them all in the end, but it was
their lake. Anyway, that was my first
fish out of there.
I fished a few more sessions and
nothing was really happening. It got
to about September time and I
thought, I don’t know, I’ll go back and
have a look at Summerleaze. So I went
back down there, and no one had
been there since we had pulled off. I
looked out and there was this clear
channel in the weed. There was a lot
of weed still there, but it was a slightly
deeper little channel where all the
weed had gone, and I thought, I don’t
know, that looks alright; it’s fishable.
So I put a bit of bait out, cleared some
weed in the edge, and I thought, right,
next weekend I’m fishing there.
I went back down the following
weekend, and caught about half a
dozen tench and a 21lb mirror. Again
(Top) Summerleaze Lake at
Maidenhead was a really exciting
prospect.
(Below)
After a slow start, the fish eventually
came out of hiding.
FREE LINE 175

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