FL12Sept - Page 144



Made In England
Kev Hewitt just crept in to win the second ‘Spirit Level’ Award with this stunning mirror from Oxford.
times. This proved the case on Sunday morning when I was wrenched
awake at about five, only to end up
playing a lily pad after a minute or so
tussling with a carp.
The next Friday saw me at Wembley, awaiting an AC/DC onslaught
(more of that later), so I’d planned to
go to the lake on Saturday. Lee Merritt
had texted me earlier in the week to
say that he’d had Alice, again, from
the Bridge Bay. At a post-spawning
38lb, Joe was delighted, and I can see
that fish exceeding 45lb pretty soon. I
phoned Lane on Saturday morning to
find out what was happening, but his
answer filled me with little confidence. A lot of fish were still in the
Bridge Bay, looking ready to spawn
again, and with the temperatures
forecast to stay in the thirties, I really
didn’t fancy any of that. I’m not a
great one for fishing a lake if the fish
are spawning anyway, so I called my
son-in-law, Ben, to see if he fancied a
spin on the trike to visit a couple of
other lakes, one I’d known about for
years, and was ultra-secret and
impossible to get into unless you happened to be related to one of the
Queen’s corgies. The other was in the
same string of lakes, and was
rumoured to hold some lovely old
Leney-type carp. So we went for a
142 FREE LINE
stroll, maybe slightly trespassing, and
were mighty impressed. They were
remarkably quiet, bird song being the
only sound you could hear, and quite
secluded – they looked lovely. Ben
has investigated a bit, and it seems as
if tickets are indeed like gold dust, but
we’ll plug away a little.
Bizarrely, the next week I was at
Joe’s, and a guy called Steve came
along for a chat. He’d joined last year,
also lived in Crawley, and had been
pretty successful in his first season.
Anyway, we chatted about this and
that, when, all of a sudden, he mentioned that he used to be a member of
the lake I was looking at the previous
week. Long story short – lovely, quiet
lake, recently taken over. Lovely fish,
some gone walkies but still some
good’uns. Very spooky place at night.
That last didn’t surprise me. The lakes
were in a wooded valley, with tall
trees rising up on both sides, and I
could imagine it being incredibly dark
at night. Steve told me that quite a
few anglers had had ‘experiences’ of
one sort or another, and went on to
tell me of a mate of his. He’d been in
a s w i m n e a r t h e d a m w a l l , s u rrounded by tall pines, and with a
small cabin about twenty yards
behind the swim. He’d caught a
night-time carp and decided on a
couple of tripod self-takes, so set
everything up and clicked away.
When he got home he dropped the
film in for developing, and collected it
a day or so later on his way to the pub,
to show his mates. On inspection, the
first photo had a blurred figure by the
cabin behind him. The next had a
similar figure, but a few yards closer.
The next the same, but closer still.
The last photo had the figure no more
than a couple of yards behind him. He
never fished there again! Thing is,
with lakes like that, in the winter
when there’s sixteen hours of dark,
and you can hear the merest twig
crack, the old imagination is a powerful thing. Maybe, if I get a ticket, I’ll
just do the days there.
I’m sure loads of you have got a few
spooky stories, please feel free to send
them in and I’ll get someone else to
read them.
I got a few photos in from you guys
with some lovely carp. Steve Briggs
has been spending a lot of his time of
late between Rainbow Lake in France
and a lovely Colne Valley pit, but the
other day he was doing a bit of promo
stuff in Kent, spent a day fishing at
Cottington Lakes, and bagged himself
three or four lovely fish, including a
cracking thirty three pounder off the
top, his PB surface caught carp. Well

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