FL12Sept - Page 219



In Search Of Monster Carp
that they had been fishing during the
summer and go onto Stanborough for
the winter. They had the hair rig, they
had boilies, they had wrist rockets to
fire the boilies out, and none of these
three things had ever been seen on
Stanborough before. The Colne Valley
waters that they had pulled off were
Savay, the Conservative Club and the
Fisheries; three of the most awesome
waters carp fishing history has ever
known. This was long before the syndicate on Savay; these were Ruislip
members, and I stood in amazement
watching these three guys firing out
these tiny balls and catching carp
after carp.
One of the little balls came flying
out of the catapult and landed in the
grass close to me. The guy who was
doing the fishing, his name was Jeff
Rendall, one of the top carp anglers of
the day and, well, still is to this day.
He’s a good friend of mine and I actually told him this story. Anyway, I
searched around until I found it and
sneakily stuck it in my pocket without
telling him. I watched them fishing for
a while with their boilies, which were
all being made on the bank and dried
out on a bedchair with a special cover
on it like I’d never seen before. Afterwards I went home and tried to
examine this ball to find out what on
earth it was made out of. I called a
couple of my close fishing friends,
Simon Day and Gary Bearman and we
all looked at this ball in amazement.
What it actually was, as I found out
from Jeff some years later, was liquidised squid and semolina. They
were fishing two baits that week; one
rod on liquidised squid and semolina
with a fish essence and the other one
on a high nutrient value milk protein
with an orange colour and orange
flavour. You can imagine the things
that we came up with trying to imitate these balls.
In fact around about this time I
began writing to Duncan Kay. At this
point I had caught quite a number of
20lb carp from Arlesey Lake, mostly
on sweetcorn or floating crust. Duncan Kay was the bait guru of the time,
and I asked him as a young teenager
whether he could help me out with a
few bait recipes and one or two
places that I might go to catch a 30lb
carp. Slowly the jigsaw was put
together; Duncan Kay gave me a few
tips, and he actually gave me a list of
waters which contained carp to 30lb.
I’d really like to dig these old letters
out, as I haven’t thrown them away,
and they must be within all my piles
o f j u n k s o m e w h e r e. T h e w a t e r s
included Billing Aquadrome, the River
Ouse, Arlesey Lake and his own Mid
Northants carp fishery, and at the end
of the letter he said, “When you’ve
caught all these,” because there was
only one in each lake, “Write to me
again and I’ll give you a list of some
even harder ones to catch,” which
really made me laugh at the time.
But anyway, I had Arlesey Lake, and
I had Stanborough, which contained a
lot of small single and double figure
(Top left) Boilie-caught carp.
(Above) One rod and all this to put up
with.
(Bottom) One from the ‘Out of
Bounds’.
carp and the odd 20. There was a similar lake actually up the road at Fairlands Valley in Stevenage, which in
hindsight, I don’t think I actually
fished until around about 1980 if my
memory serves me right – I’m a little
bit rusty on the exact years to be honest. Anyway, we set about formulating our own boilies, and the first ones
weren’t far away from the liquidised
squid – we actually used liquidised
sardines from a tin. Instead of using
semolina we used breakfast cereal as
a binder, and eggs, and boiled them,
but they never really went hard; they
were a bit squidgy. What with the
writing of Fred Wilton, which was
opened up to me through my involvement at that time with Len and the
various recipes from Duncan Kay, we
soon came up with our high nutritional value bait, which was not far off
the HMV baits of today, containing all
the s a me ty pe o f mi l k pro te i ns ,
casein, lactalbumin, calcium
FREE LINE 217

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