FL13 - Page 175



In Search Of Monster Carp
The CAA. I was regional organiser for
the Beds, Herts, Bucks and Oxford
region for about six years.
couple of carp in there that went over
30lbs, but other than that, there was
Heather the Leather at 30lb down in
the Car Park Lake and another one up
in the north, on a water I remember
Tim Paisley used to fish. Of course
that fish died; I can’t remember the
name of it now, but there were two
30’s in there, and quite a head of
20lbers.
D Lake was joined to E Lake by a
small channel of water, although I
think the fish were usually resident in
D. The Leather and Big Scale had
been caught out of E Lake, but rarely
compared to the number of times
they were caught out of D, which was
the lake they liked to be in for obvious
reasons, as it was bigger. The fish
over there were highly pressured for
the time, and took shelter under the
undercut banks on the far side during
the daytime. It was virtually impossible to get a bite unless you were actually clipping the hawthorns and
brambles with your lead over to what
172 FREE LINE
they called ‘The Back’.
The swims were numbered, with
number 1 being right on the gap, on
the channel between D and E. The
angler in Swim 1 would fish up the
spur of land, which divided the two
lakes. In Swim 2, he had a bit more
choice; he could actually fish right up
into the top corner where the spur of
land joined The Back with his right
hand rod, and actually put his left
hand rod on the bramble bushes and
hawthorns to the left of that corner.
Swim 3 was pole position really I
think, and the swim that I was able to
fish the following year and catch the
Leather from funnily enough, but we
will get to that. Swim 3 offered you a
nice choice of features on the far margin. I think there were only about five
or six swims on D Lake and less on E
Lake – they were quite small lakes.
But the thing was, you could only
really fish one bank. On most lakes
you could fish on all four banks, but
on this lake you only had the one
bank, and you fished as far away from
you as you possibly could.
I think we’d read about it in the
Angling Times; I think they were
advertising the fishing in there, but for
whatever reason we made our minds
up to go. Me and two guys that I
worked with at Vauxhall who worked
down in the prototype modelling section, Simon Day and his apprentice
(who we only ever referred to as
‘Prentice’). He lost the A off the front,
and was never actually called by his
real name. He was the dogsbody I
suppose; he would carry the gear,
make the tea, do the washing up, tidy
the swims, just for the pleasure of
being in Simon’s company, and being
his apprentice at Vauxhall. Simon was
a very skilled worker, and Prentice
was learning his trade from Simon
and sort of followed him around like a
little lap dog. The three of us decided
to go up to Waveney; we couldn’t get
on D Lake, but E Lake was empty, and
the three of us virtually filled it. I think
there were four swims actually, but
we took the first swims past the
entrance into D Lake.
We tossed a coin, and I won the
toss and took the left hand side of the
swim, with Simon next to me and
Prentice to his right. We fished there
that first weekend, and it was quite
eventful. There were loads of things
going on in carp fishing at this time,
bait-wise, the first commercial boilies
were available. We were making our
own boilies by this time but the first
commercial ones had actually hit the
market. I don’t know whether anyone
reading this will remember them, but
they were actually in a bubble pack
on a strip, and you would tear off how
many boilies you wanted at the shop
and buy them. It sounds unbelievable
I know but they were packaged on a
long strip and bubble-wrapped individually so you would go in a say,
“Can I buy six boilies?” and they
would tear six off the end of this roll. I
can’t remember the name of them,
but they may have been by Gerry
Savage, I’m not sure.
Gerry Savage was a well-known
angler of the day; in fact he’d probably been around for ten years before
this and brought out his own high
nutritional value base mix, which
was, I believe, only Phillips yeast mix.
Hitchin & District were the controlling club for Arlesey in the early eighties.

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