FL12Sept - Page 113



North Carping
N
ow here’s a little
local water to get
the old brain
going… I’ve been
fishing this lovely
little water on and
off for years now; I suppose I have
always had a soft spot for it. It’s not
an easy water by any stretch of the
imagination, and if you allow it to get
to you I’m sure you would be taking
up golf of something else rather
quickly. You see some waters demand
a lot of patience. Don’t get me wrong,
I’ve caught some quality carp out of
this water but they are always well
deserved – the Paddock gives you
nothing for being slack.
I suppose sometimes it would be
like sitting on Yateley North Lake
waiting for a bite. I’ve never fished
Yateley but I do know what it is like
sitting on the rods for very long periods of time without so much as a
bleep. I’m saying Yateley North Lake
because it sprung to mind first,
although there are many other waters
that are really tough nuts to crack.
Some anglers may disagree with me,
but I’ve seen a few join the Paddock –
you know the type – ‘I’m going to do
this and that,’ only to go back through
the gate very frustrated, and I swore
some of them had a tear in their eye
on doing so.
The fish in the Paddock are not
massive by today’s standards but
what they don’t do in weight they
certainly make up for in their beauty.
The commons are like woodcarvings;
absolutely stunning in their appearance, like bars of gold, the ghosts of
the Paddock I call them. The mirrors
are very dark in colour with that
estate look to them, old looking but
they have aged very well.
The Paddock goes way back in history, and many carp anglers have
come and gone, taking with them
plenty of experience that I bet has
stood them in good stead for their
future fishing. Not so long ago I was
fishing on there and got talking to a
bloke who used to fish the Paddock in
the 70’s and early 80’s. He knew what
he was on about, talking about paste
baits and the like before the hair rig
came out.
(Above) Rods at the ready.
(Bottom left) Gold bar 18lb-plus
common, Corner Pads, peg one.
When the hair rig did surface, he
said he started using black-eyed peas
as his main source of bait. He regularly baited up certain spots of the
lake getting the carp to feed on the
peas. He said he used to put about
three or four peas on the hair and fish
it over them, catching good numbers
of fish. At the time then, a fish called
Spot was the baby to catch, Spot
being a common of around 16lb-17lb.
Back then this fish must have given
them a great sense of joy when catching it, probably more of an achievement than say catching a 20lb’er
today.
I was fascinated by his knowledge
of times gone by, even back then the
fishing was on a high level, all anglers
being very keen and very passionate
about the fish that they were pursuing. They put in many hours of hard
fishing, wanting to achieve one target
– mastering the Paddock, and knowing it like the back of their hands.
Anyway, a good friend of mine,
Dave, and I first joined the Paddock in
1993 – wow where does time go? We
joined it more out of curiosity than
anything else, just to find out what
the lake held. Certain anglers said we
were wasting our time; they said
there was only a very small stock of
carp in the water, but to me they were
missing the point. It was the challenge that was first on the list and
FREE LINE 111

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