FL11 All pages - Page 199



In Search of Monster Carp
W
e join John this
month as he
discusses
another passion of his –
the Belgian
canals.
I’ve made some good friends at
Savay over the years, and one of them
is Bruce Ashby. Bruce and I got on
really well. He knew some boys out in
Belgium that had a club water, and he
asked me if I wanted to go out there
and fish it. He knew I had been fishing the canals in Holland for a season
or two, just holidays, a couple of
weeks here and there, and he thought
I might like to give Belgium a shot.
So anyway, Bruce and I went over
to Belgium for the first time, and I’ll
never forget it because we met a couple of good friends who are still
friends today. This is the early 80’s
and we were going to fish a lake
called The Flot, which was a private
club water, very small, maybe four
acres. It had a good head of fish in it,
and they weren’t that hard to catch
evidently. So anyway, we were lucky
enough to be able to fish it overnight.
Although it was a club water, the man
who owned the lake lived on a boat
on the lake, which was why it was
called The Flot; a flot being a floating
house. He was an elderly man, and he
lived there with his wife. He gave us
permission to fish it at night because
we were coming over from England,
and this was going to be a first on the
water. So we were looking forward to
going, and we made up loads of bait
because Franz, one of our Belgian
pals, told us that they didn’t really use
that much bait. So we decided that
we’d take a lot of bait and see if we
could get the fish to respond to it. We
took a hundredweight of tiger nuts
and about one-and-a-half hundredweight of boilies, which was a lot for
those days I suppose. We were only
going to fish a small water, and really
give it the business and see what we
could do.
Anyway, we landed over in Belgium, and these Dutch boys came to
see us and they said, “We don’t think
we should go to the Flot.” They were
going to take us to another water
because it hadn’t been fishing; evidently nobody had caught anything
for three weeks I think, but we said,
“No, no, we’ll give it a shot.” So we
went there anyway, and it was a
lovely little water; a strange place
really, surrounded by trees, and people’s gardens were only half a dozen
paces from the bank that you were
going to fish. You bivvied up at the
bottom of someone’s vegetable plot,
which was a bit strange, but it was a
very quiet, nice place anyway. When
we got there, a guy had just lost a fish,
which was a result, because nothing
had been out for three weeks. He was
in the process of packing up, because
the boys who had the lease on this
water decided that no one would fish
that week so Franz, Bruce and I could
have a good shot at it.
Incidentally, Bruce and I were
going to do a slide show for them
(Top) Wimbledon, 20-plus.
(Left) Wimbledon, 34lb 12oz.
FREE LINE 199

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