FL11 All pages - Page 207

In Search of Monster Carp
(Left) 28lb-odd.
(Right) 44lb 4oz, Congo – Franz
mind, it’s got to be the ultimate tool. I
mean, I know that running leads can
be good, and a lot of people catch on
running leads, and I know some people like bottom baits, and some people like pop-ups. I personally like popups; I like the presentation it gives
even if it’s on sand, because if you’re
only using a short hair when the fish
c o m e s i n , h e d o e s n ’t k n o w i t ’s
popped up. He’s looking down on it,
and as far as he’s concerned it’s on
the bottom. Most of the time there’s a
bit of muck on the bottom too, so you
know, it probably just looks like a bottom bait anyway.
But I am sure that all these rigs will
catch fish, whether or not they’re sliding. There are loads of things that
they bring out, and some of the rigs
on Savay look like they’re a joke; they
look like a load of scaffolding hanging
on the end of the line. To be fair, I have
played with rigs; I played with the
Withy Pool rig quite a lot, and I had a
good season on that rig. I think I
caught about 30-odd fish, which is a
fair season for me. I started fishing it
the following year, and caught a few
fish on it. Then suddenly you don’t
catch, so you revert right back to
what you’re used to using in the first
place. I always do that with rigs; it
doesn’t matter what I use, but as soon
as I’m not catching, I go back to the
familiar. I think it’s only natural that
you revert back to what you’ve been
most successful on, and I’ve been
most successful on a fixed lead and a
12in link. Other than that, that’s about
it as far as I’m concerned with rigs.
I’ve watched all the Korda videos,
and seen fish picking them up and
shaking their heads, slinging them off
and all that lark, but at the end of the
day, the fixed lead has got to give
more chance of a fish. If a fish does
pick it up and throw it away, it probably does that half the time anyway.
With regard to the lead giving the
carp leverage to get the hook out, you
could argue that it’s only going to
give leverage to push it in, because
that’s what it’s there for originally – I
think that a 2lb lead on the end has
got to be a lot better.
Going back to the canals I fished in
Belgium; there was a young fella who
was fishing there who was about 15
years of age, and he was one of the
best fisherman I have ever come
across. I couldn’t believe the things
this kid told me, and what he used to
do. He used to get on his bike and
drive up and down the canals all day
until he found the fish, which is fair
enough. On a bike it’s great because
you can stop where you like, do what
you like, and we all know you’ve got
to find them before you can catch
them, right? He used to talk to all the
old pole fishermen, and then when he
got to where they were fishing, he
used to fish his lines right along the
wall of the canal on his own margin.
He had a lead that weighed about
4oz, and if you imagine a barrel lead,
his line, instead of going through one
end of the barrel and out the other,
went through the barrel and out the
middle of the barrel. Then the pop-up
that he was using popped up the
hook and at most half an inch of line
above it. When the fish picked it up,
most of the time he probably picked
the lead up with the bait.
This kid never used to get in the
bivvy of a night; he used to sit and
watch. He had an isotope on the top
of his rod, and he used to sit and
watch the isotope. In the morning, he
wound in, and found that he already
had a fish on. He thought well, they
are just not bolting off; they’re just sitting there. Even when they’d hooked
themselves, they were still sitting
there. This setup worked ever so well
for him, and when I was chatting
away with him, I was taking a lot of it
in. I was listening to what he was saying, and I was thinking it made a lot of
sense. He said to me one day, “I’ll
bring you some of my pictures of the
fish I’ve caught,” and I just couldn’t
believe what I was looking at; it was
unbelievable. A lot of the guys who


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