FL11 All pages - Page 201



In Search of Monster Carp
The following night, we put in half
the tiger nuts, and we never had
enough bait. Franz was putting in
bait like it was going out of fashion;
he nicked nearly all the bait we had,
and he did quite well too. It’s funny
because midweek we went to this
place where they had a room for us to
do a slide show and a talk. A lot of the
Belgians speak English very well, just
like the Dutch. We did the slide show,
and they were very nice people. Then
this great big guy came up to me
afterwards, because he knew that we
had done well at the lake. Every day
we’d have two or three people come
down to see how we were doing;
they’d sit watching us, and they’d
bring a crate of beer and a cake that
their old woman had made, or chicken
dinner; the lot – it was unbelievable.
Anyway, this great big guy, and I
mean a great big guy, came waltzing
over to me. He had a big handlebar
moustache; he must have been about
35, and evidently he was fireman. He
had a map with him, and he opened it
up at the lake, and he said, “This is my
lake.” I said, “Yeah?” and he said
“Yeah.” Then he asked, “Where are the
fish?” He was serious too. I’ve got to
say, this was quite a few years ago; I
mean there are some very good Belgian anglers out there – I got to know
a lot of the guys, and I’ve done a lot of
fishing in Belgium. We never went
back to the Flot, but we did a lot of
fishing on the Kempisch Canal and
the Congo Canal. We were going to
fish the Albert Canal, but we didn’t
get round to it. It seems that might
have been a mistake, but it’s very,
very hard fishing on those canals.
I think altogether we did about ten
years on there. When I say ten years,
we were probably going over there
three times a year, spending two
weeks on most visits. Sometimes
we’d be over there four times a year,
so we did a lot of fishing on the Kempisch. At the time we were fishing
there, the record was caught between
locks 7 and 8, and was 70lb-odd. Now
there are some very, very big fish in
there, but a lot of the boys that fished
the Kempisch Canal used to keep
themselves to themselves. They
didn’t want to see anybody; it didn’t
matter if they were English or who
they were, and they had very funny
views about the swims being theirs.
They’d be baiting them, and they
thought that swim was theirs, and
you couldn’t fish it, so we left them
alone pretty much on 7 and 8.
We did quite a lot of fishing on
locks 9 and 10, and as I say, we put a
few seasons in there, and eventually
we started to get it together. We
caught loads of 30lb fish there; mostly
commons. The biggest fish I had off
there was a 48lb 12oz mirror. It wasn’t
very wide where we were fishing; a
bit wider than the Grand Union Canal,
but not massive. You had big boats
using it, and they are big boats over in
Belgium and Holland; they’re like
ships going down there. The canal is
dug so it’s got sides that slope off
gradually, like the shoulders of the
canal, and then a deep centre channel. When the boats are in the deep
centre channel, all the fish have got to
get out of the way; they’ve got to get
round the sides of the boats, so there
is no way you can fish across because
every two minutes you’d be pulling
your rods in and recasting. So we
used to fish on our own bank, right up
48lb 8oz Kempisch Canal.
Savay, 35lb.
FREE LINE 201

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