FL12Sept - Page 180



In Search of Monster Carp
38lb or 39lb, something like that. I
couldn’t believe it; I put it up on the
scales and it was 40lb 6oz. I thought,
I’m the only one here, and no one’s
going to believe me. I was wondering
whom I could call, as Joan was up in
Newcastle visiting relatives, so there
was no chance getting her down. So I
phoned one of my mates at work, who
was plastering a ceiling or something.
He said, “I’m plastering a ceiling, what
do you want?” I said, “I just had the
linear and it’s over 40lb – any chance
of coming down?” He literally he just
dropped everything and came down,
and so did a couple of the other guys,
so there were about half a dozen of us
there.
So we weighed it properly, putting
it up on the tripod and it was 40lb 6oz,
my first English 40, and a lake record
as well. I was over the moon with that
fish, because everyone wants their
first 20 or their first 30 or their first 40
to be a really special one, and I don’t
think that there could have been a
better fish in the country at that time
for me to catch as my first 40. Gardner
used to run a competition, Classic
Carp of the Year; they used to have a
monthly winner and a yearly winner,
and that fish actually won it that year
because it was so beautiful, which
was just the icing on the cake really.
We’re talking about 11 years ago now,
and that fish is long gone now. Unfortunately it died about five years ago
now; they don’t last forever, but it was
a very, very special fish.
A lot of things started to happen for
me during that time really. I’d always
gone away fishing different waters,
but it started to open up and spread
out a lot more from 1998 onwards. I
suppose one of the main things that
happened this year was Fishabil and
the World Carp Cup, which I fished
with Tim Paisley. That was 2000, and
only the second World Carp Cup, so
I’m jumping a couple of years ahead,
but we ended up winning that. I have
to say I’m not a fan of carp matches or
competitions at all; I can take them or
leave them, and to be honest most of
(Top left) Lake Raduta – a new
challenge and a water that really got
me excited!
(Top right) Perfect conditions on the
wild and barren lake.
(Above) The snags were like nothing
I’d experienced before.
(Left) My first 40lb common came
during my first really good Raduta
session in May 1999.
178 FREE LINE

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