FL11 All pages - Page 90



In Search of Monster Carp
(Above) The Secret swim.
(Below right) View from the Secret
swim with all its weed.
waiting for that one fish, and going
through all those blanks was worth it
to get Clover.
I came down the following week
and the old enthusiasm was fired up,
but it was starting to get a bit chillier
then. I know I said I wouldn’t go on
about it, but with the Parkinson’s, the
cold affects me badly, and I was really
shaking. Even Nigel said, “Your shaking’s really bad.” We just didn’t know;
we were laughing about it to a certain
extent, but I was wrapped up to the
nines, and sometimes I couldn’t even
move about properly. That night I was
in the Reed swim, and there’s a bar
out there, and I had a take. With the
choddies, if you’re going to drop one,
you pick it up, and within the first few
seconds, bang, felt it, and it was off.
So I was a bit disappointed, but I
thought well, that’s alright, the bait’s
working. I had changed onto a winter
bait by then. I thought that spot was
cool, so the following week I came
back down again, went in the same
area, and it was much like today
really; it was quite a warm day. Then
the sun started going down, and it
cooled off, and there was a lot of
movement, fortunately between me
and John Elmer and Dan, one of the
bailiffs. It was about 2am, and they
were crashing like mad, really going
for it. I was tired but I got myself up,
made a cup of tea, and loaded it up
with sugar to give me something to
keep me awake. I was just sitting
there, and I was actually starting to
enjoy it; I hadn’t enjoyed myself so
90 FREE LINE
much for a while. We all want the
take, but when you’re seeing the
activity, sometimes that’s just as good
as a take. You’re sitting there, waiting
in anticipation for it all, and thank
God it did; it ripped off and that was a
fish of 33lb 8oz.
After that I did a few more trips,
and obviously had a few more blanks,
but I stopped coming up in the winter
then because it’s not a very good winter lake. It’s very patchy, and it’s normally a one-area lake, which I’m not
going to tell you about because
you’ve got to join, and you’ve got to
do your homework, or it’s not fair to
the others. But I pulled off there, and
I’m fortunate enough to live five min-
utes away from Sutton, and I started
going down there because I hadn’t
seen some of the boys for ages. Before
the real cold snap came in; we had a
real bad winter last year, I was fortunate enough to have a 27lb common
in the week. I went back two days
later and I had another one, a 29lb
mirror, which I was over the moon
with. Basically I did the odd night, but
I was struggling, my head was all over
the place, and the cold was really
affecting me, so my season tailed off
really and I didn’t do a lot.
I started fishing again around the
back end of February, doing the odd
trip, and then, bless her, Jane said,
“Go for four nights.” I went on the
Road Lake, and did one, but it looked
diabolical, and it was cold, so I
thought, well, instead of wasting my
48 hours here, I’d go to Fox Pool. I had
a ticket; I’ve had one for two years,
and I hadn’t fished it, so I went over
there. I did one night, and I had a liner
and that was it, so that was an £800
liner! I packed up in the morning
because the weather had turned
round, and I came back on the Road
Lake.
I set up in the Dog Leg where I am
today, and Nick Helleur and I were sitting in here having a cup of tea, and
one just stuck its head out. It’s at this
time of the year, if you’re looking at
that water long enough, you’ll see a
sign. I always think at that time of the
year, the back end, you’ve always got
a chance of casting at them, because

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