FL12Sept - Page 204



In Search Of Monster Carp
Luton & District AA permit, 1974-75 to
fish Linford Lakes.
The café sat just off the road with a
large car park behind it and then the
lake, so my father would drive his car
right to the edge of the lake and shine
his car headlights onto the surface of
the water, enabling him and his
friends to float fish even during the
middle of the night. Bearing in mind
this was late 50’s and early 60’s, at the
time it wasn’t frowned upon, but I
would like to see what people would
think of this down on the Car Park
Lake down at Yateley these days. If
you were to drive your car up to the
water’s edge and put your headlights
across the lake, I’m sure there would
be a few letters of complaints in to
Barney, but at the time it was the
done thing and my father caught
some huge tench from the lake. I
never saw him catch a carp, but I did
see carp swimming in the lake, and
even at that young age they had a
certain mystery about them.
The other venue that my father
loved for tench fishing was Woburn
Sands – two large chalk pits or clay
pits I believe, which were rented by
Vauxhall Angling Club. Both of these
lakes were again very deep with
water in excess of 20ft. The top lake,
which I believe was filled in in the late
80’s, was known as the Shovel, as the
shape of the lake resembles a spade
or shovel. The large lake held the
majority of the carp but was known to
be very difficult. I did see my father
catch some carp from the Shovel way
back in probably the late 60’s on float-
202 FREE LINE
The Linford Complex as it was in 1974.
fished bread. At the time there were a
number of BCSG members fishing
these lakes for the carp. One chap’s
name I remember was Eddy Peacock,
and he was a well-known carp angler
in the Bedford area. The other whose
surname escapes me, had the nickname of Big Frank, and it was Big
Frank who I first spoke to over at
Woburn Sands way back in the 60’s. I
remember that all his tackle was
painted matt black; the rods were
matt black, the reels, the bank sticks –
everything. He had one of the old
Send Marketing brolly camps up as
did a few of his friends who were all
freelining large lumps of paste. I was
intrigued to watch them fish, and
couldn’t quite understand what they
were doing at the time. They would
tie a large weight on the end of the
line and cast right across the lake
onto the opposite bank and then walk
round, tie on a hook and squeeze on a
large knob of cat food paste, gently
dropping it into the far margins. With
freelining tactics, obviously this left a
lot to be desired as far as indication
was concerned. They would quickly
run round and try and tighten the line
up without moving the large knob of
paste from the far margins, but if
there was any sort of surface wind at
all on the lake, this was very difficult.
The indicators as I remember were
modified Heron bite alarms with
pieces of silver paper as bobbins. I
actually watched Frank fishing that
Amphil & District permits 1973 and 1974 to fish Kempston Hardwick.

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