FL13 - Page 176



In Search Of Monster Carp
Yeast mix was a very, very popular
attractor at the time, but it’s something that has virtually disappeared
from carp fishing these days. I may
very well have just mentioned something that could certainly put some
more fish on the bank for people. It’s
funny how these things have a popularity lifespan, and then suddenly no
one uses them any more, but yeast
was major part of everyone’s bait at
that time; that very distinctive smell
and taste, and fish loved it. It’s virtually overlooked these days in carp
fishing baits, but at the time, Gerry
Savage had his high protein bait out
in tubs. You could buy these little tubs
with probably about a pound of base
mix in there, with an orange seal
around it. I remember seeing them
stacked up in the tackle shops of the
day; the very first commercial carp
bait that you could buy, and then
these boilies came along in the bubble strip. I’m not sure whether that
was him or not, but it may well have
been.
On site at Waveney there was a
tackle shop. I haven’t been up there
for 30 years so, and whether that’s
still there or not, I don’t know. But
there was this little shop up there, and
on the wall were pictures of guys with
big smiles on their faces with some of
the Waveney fish. There were quite a
few pictures of different people with
the Leather, and different people with
Big Scale. There was another wellknown 30 in G Lake called Gertie,
Gertie the Thirty, and there were pictures of that too. That fish, if I remember rightly, used to come out quite a
few times a year – we’re talking
maybe 15-20 times – out of G Lake.
Then there was another one, I believe,
in C Lake, which was just to the left of
D as you looked out of the shop window, and also a lake that I was going
to fish the following year.
So we bought our tickets, and we’d
got our own boilies that we had made.
In fact I’m going to tell you about
mine, because mine became a bit of a
legend. Another thing that was going
on of course with carp fishing at this
time was the explosion of rig design.
Lenny Middleton’s hair rig had been
divulged to those in the know around
about 1980, and obviously we’d got
on that as well fairly quickly, and
quite a number of people were using
it up at Waveney. When we got there
we were surprised at how many people were using it. Alan Taylor was
fishing on D Lake in Swim 3, and he
was using pop-ups with some high
density foam sponge rammed into the
butt ring to give a constant drag.
We were very clued-up anglers for
the time, but we weren’t convinced
that the old predecessor of the hair
rig, side hooking, had had its day completely. We caught so many fish side
hooking our baits – just using quite a
large hook and burying the shank
within the boilie, but leaving the
whole bend and very, very sharp point
sticking out. It was like a claw sticking out of the side of the bait, and we
fished it on a fairly short link with a
fixed lead, which accounted for hundreds of carp for me in 1980 and 1981.
We would fish one bait side hooked
and one on a hair rig. On the hair rigs
of the day, the hair could be anything
from an inch minimum to 3 or 4ins
long. It sounds extraordinary today to
think of using a hair rig that long, as
most of my hairs these days are no
more than a quarter of an inch long. I
know some people these days do use
long hairs and still catch fish, and we
used to catch fish on long hairs, don’t
get me wrong. I went through the
whole scenario of hair rig fishing
when I first heard about it, and actually used 6in long hairs of half a pound
breaking strain line tied to the bend of
the hook, and then a 2ft or 2ft 6in
hooklink. There was plenty of movement in it, because obviously if
they’re sucking the boilie in you want
the hook to follow on. They’ve got to
suck the boilie right back to the throat
teeth, and they’re virtually crapping it
out, let alone swallowing it, before the
hook is in the mouth, but it still
caught fish.
I think we were using around about
an inch for hair length. Just about
everybody either tied the hair off the
bend or off the shank in those days. It
was a year or so later that tying them
through the eye became the norm.
Everybody used to use a very fine hair
when it first came out but it didn’t
(Top) Biggin Lakes permit 1983.
(Right) A very picturesque Biggin
Lake. I only fished it a couple of times
but caught a few stunning scaly carp.
FREE LINE 173

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