FL13 - Page 141



In Search of Monster Carp
Mirror 27lb, 10oz, Road Lake.
I came back up to the Road Lake
last summer, 2009, and I remember
my first trip was in this swim funnily
enough, the Hump swim. I was still
chasing the two biggest residents in
here; I’d been lucky enough to have
caught a lot of the others, but the two
big’uns, Clover and the Dink, had
e l u d e d m e. I r e a l l y h a d t h e b i t
between my teeth this year, and
Clover was the one I really wanted.
The fish that I joined for three seasons
ago, which would have been 2006/07,
was actually Orange Spot, but I was
lucky enough to bag that pretty
quickly. I think that was my ninth or
tenth fish out of here, so I achieved
that ambition, but by then it was
really Clover and the Dink that I was
chasing.
For the first 48 hours, I think I came
out last in the draw, so I didn’t bother
coming up. I thought I’d hold back
and let everyone do what they had to
do, and then I came up for the
changeover on the second 48 hours.
Anyway I saw all the lads that I
haven’t seen for a couple of months
due to the closed season, and I think
there had been one out, a stockie, and
one lost down in the Pentagon and
the Secret. So as I said, I set up in a
swim called the Hump, one of my
favourite swims on the lake. I’ve been
138 FREE LINE
fortunate enough to have caught
quite a few fish from it, and it’s always
done me well, so I found myself setting up there.
There were some fish in there, so I
got a rig down on the spot, and the
first night passed with a few beers
with a few of the lads who were on
the changeover. I retired to bed about
11-12 o’clock and slept through.
When I got up the next morning, I
noticed that on the rod that I’d positioned up along the margin, the line
was pointing in the opposite direction
from where I put the rod. There was a
lump of weed floating on the line, and
at first I thought it was down to that,
but the more I looked at it, the more I
was convinced that I’d been done.
Sure enough, I picked the rod up and
the rig was about 30ft away from
where I’d placed it. The fish had obviously picked it up in the night, moved
into the nearest weedbed and just
shed the hook, so that wasn’t a great
start. So that was pretty much it for
the first 48 hours. As I said, the first
season I came up here I did alright. I
did a lot of time, and I learned a hell of
a lot up here due to the fact that I’d
never fished a weedy lake. The second season I ended up being top rod
on here; I think I ended up with 20
bites, so in theory the third season,
which is this season now, it should go
well. Trust me, I’m never cocksure, but
I thought I had enough in my armoury
now to do what I had to do.
Well, it punished me again; it was
like the first season all over again, and
I just could not get to grips with what
was going on. I came back up with
the same bait that I’d done really well
on during my second season, but it
just wasn’t happening. It was down to
all kinds of things; it wasn’t just one
thing. I either wasn’t getting on the
fish or I was getting on them and the
lines weren’t down. I started mucking
about with rigs again, and I thought,
I’ve done this scenario, I’m not going
through this again, I’ve caught
enough fish out of here now to know
what works. I kept coming back and
coming back, but it just wasn’t happening.
So, I think this went on for about a
month of pulling my hair out. Well, not
quite pulling it out, but just thinking
the more and more I keep at it, hopefully it will come good. I decided to do
a quick overnighter on July 12th and I
bought my son up to fish with me. I’ve
got two lucky mascots, so if Rob’s not
about, I can take my son, Ollie. I set up
in a swim called the Bars. The Hump,
like I said, is one of my favourite
swims, but I just knew deep down
that if I was chasing Clover, it wasn’t
going to come from there, although I
was confident I’d get bites from there.
I knew Clover likes the bottom end;
the Grassy, the Pentagon, and also the
Bars is one of her favourite haunts. I
thought, right, this is it, I’m going to
set my stall out for Clover; I’m just
going to keep fishing the bottom end
relentlessly until I catch her or someone else catches her, and then you’ve
got to do what you’ve got to do, and
move back up the other end of the
lake.
So I came down on July 12th and
like I said, it was just a quick overnighter, but I brought my son down
with me and it was great; he loved it.
It was the first time he’d ever seen the
Road Lake, and we set up and I found
a spot out on the bar that I was more
than happy with. I did an article on a
rig that John Claridge was going on
about. It was a rig that I’d done really
well with on Sutton, but I’d forgotten
about it. I was pretty convinced that
this could be the way to nail Clover; it
was basically a counterbalanced bottom bait with a bit of cork in it, taking
the weight out the hook.
So I set up in the Bar, found my

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