FL12Sept - Page 199



In Search Of Monster Carp
good five or ten minutes as it started
making its way up to the shelf. It
upended on the maggots, so I ran
back to the rod and sat here for five
minutes without even a bleep. It was
a bit of a cat and mouse thing; you’ve
got to go and have another look, so I
crept back down there, but it wasn’t
there. Then all of a sudden it came in
again, and started coming up the
shelf, feeding.
Yet again I ran back to the rod, but
still there wasn’t even a single bleep,
and I thought, oh, I don’t believe this.
I thought, right this time, it’s do or die,
and I’m going sit here. Not in a bigheaded way, but I knew it was going
to hook itself; it was just a case of
when. So I thought, right, I’m just
going to sit here and watch you hook
yourself. I went back down to the
margin, and I saw it upend, come up
off the bottom, and then it sort of
flanked. All I heard back from my
swim was a single bleep, and I
thought it had actually spooked off
my leadcore of something. Anyway, I
saw it flank, and then it shook its head
and it just darted off out into open
water. I ran back and the bobbin was
just drilled up tight and the rod was
pulling round. I hit into this fish and
after about 10-15 minutes of a good
scrap, I put the net under one of the
Sutton stockies, so I was absolutely
buzzing. I thought great; it was a bit
of payback for the one that I’d lost,
and I phoned Nigel to come up and do
some photos. He said he could be up
within half an hour, so I just left it in
the net and with that, Tony Parker and
Barney turned up, so it was quite
handy. We got it out, weighed it at
30lb 3oz, and it turned out to be a
stockie that Nigel had on his second
season at about 24lb, so it had put on
the best part of 6-7lb in just over a
year, so they’re really piling on some
weight up here.
So that was basically it up until
Christmas. Now anyone that knows
me will agree that the older I’m getting the stupider I’m getting, because
I fished through the most severe winter this year. I’ve been up here in
snow, sleet, rain, with the lake freez-
ing up, thawing, and freezing up on
me again. I’d got to the point I think
about the middle of February, where
I’d had enough of fishing; it had really
taken its toll on me, and I just could
not take any more. If anyone had seen
me at that time they would have
thought I’d been sleeping rough for
the last two or three months; I had
bags hanging from my eyes, and I just
looked a mess. I was saying to Rob
earlier how I was never ill, but I really
had the bit between my teeth. I was
concentrating in the Hump and Number Five, normal back end of the season Dink swims. So like I said, I kept
plugging away with the maggots, but
nothing else was happening.
Then I arrived one Friday, and I
woke up on the Saturday morning, the
lake had three quarters frozen on me,
and I was questioning myself saying,
John, you’re mad. The temperature
was going to drop even lower that
night, so I ended up packing up. I’d
The Dink.
FREE LINE 197

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