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In Search of Monster Carp
it wasn’t a big fish, but it was a Summerleaze carp, and when there were
only 17 carp in 60 acres, every one
was quite special. It was one we
didn’t know; a lovely little fully scaled
mirror; it was a beautiful fish. I
thought, this is fantastic, you know
what I mean; no one else knows I’m
here. They’ve all gone off to fish other
lakes, and I’m here on my own, and
the fish were having it. So I thought
well, fair enough, I’m not going to say
too much. I put some bait in and
came back the next weekend and
caught another one. I thought if I can
keep this going, I’m going have quite
a decent result. That was five carp by
then, all 20’s. I’d had none of the big
ones, but it was more than anyone
else had caught.
Just before I packed up that weekend, I saw a little white van come in,
and I knew whose it was. I thought,
oh shit, I’ve been sussed. I’m not
going to say who it was, but he came
round and had a right old whinge
because I hadn’t phoned him up and
told him I was down there catching
these fish. Never mind that they had
all gone off to fish their own water
and left me behind. Had a whinge
because I was down there and the
unhooking mat was still wet unfortunately. So that was the end of Summerleaze for that year. They all carried
on fishing, but I think there was only
one more fish caught that year. So
that was it for that season.
The following summer, I went back
with Pete Jones. Pete had got a ticket
by then, and we were the only two on
there. It was early in the year, with
nothing much happening, and we
saw the syndicate leader. He only
lived across the road, which was why
he was the syndicate leader I think,
because he could keep an eye on it.
He came through the gate with one of
his mates and a boat, and I though, oh
right, I didn’t know anything about
this, because they had actually
stopped us using boats on there. It
was a funny old syndicate right from
the start; everyone was at each
other’s throats. Someone had taken a
bait round the corner of an island with
a boat, so instead of just having a
word with him, saying, “Look you
can’t do that,” they banned boats. You
couldn’t take a bait out with a boat,
which was daft on a 60-acre lake, full
of weed. There were rules where you
didn’t need rules – it was a 20-man
syndicate, and we all knew each
other.
But then we saw them turning up
with this boat and thought, oh right.
So we went round to see them and
said, “Alright, how are you doing?” He
went white because he didn’t think
anyone was on there, and we said,
“What are you doing?” It didn’t
bother us too much, but he said, “Well
look, keep it to yourselves, but I’ve
been round to the boat club.” There
was a boat club who had control of
the lake, and he said, “I’ve had a word
with the main man in there about
fishing off one of the islands down the
other end,” which obviously gave
access to a lot of the areas that we
couldn’t normally fish. He said, “As
(Top) First Summerleaze carp on the
Carp Company fishmeals at close
range.
(Left) Colin ‘Gaylord’ Nash moved in
next to me and caught the
Summerleaze 40.
176 FREE LINE

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