FL13 - Page 186

In Search Of Monster Carp
we’d taken. So that was the first trip
to Waveney, and my one and only
time that I fished on E Lake. It was
back to Arlesey after that basically,
and a little bit of Stanborough, and
fishing locally.
Arlesey was a great learning curve
really; it was a very deep, very weedy
lake. A lot of the action came from
margin fishing, and it had a lot of lily
pads round the edges. The edges
were still very deep; it was almost
sheer, so you were fishing in around
10 or 12ft right in the edges, about 6
or 8ft from the bank. I would make up
a lot of small 5mm or 6mm boilies,
from the same base mix as I was making my pop-ups out of, but I would
colour them dark red with some
Robin Red and red dye so they were
very dark, and then I would fish one of
these tiny bright orange pop-ups over
the top. It was a lethal combination,
and as I say, it certainly caught a lot
more fish than anybody else was
catching over there.
There were no 30lb’ers in there
then unfortunately; I think the biggest
fish in there was about 27-28lb. Certainly the most beautiful fish in my
eyes in there was a fish called The
Sub, which was just under 28lb when
I had him. He was jet black, long and
thin – there’s a picture here – a fantastic fish. I caught him off the end of
a reed-covered peninsula that separated the main lake from a little bay. It
was on the bottom, on the same bait
again, with about 30 free offerings
around it. I was fishing opposite Dave
Thorpe actually, and I was really
catching them. I was doing evenings
after work and catching fish most
times I went down there, and I could
see it was getting to Dave. It was
winding him up a little bit and he
constantly popped round to my swim
to see what I was doing. But you
know, I’d come up with a lot of things,
and although I’m naturally not a particularly secretive angler, they were
fairly easy to keep secret.
No one could discover my method
of producing the pop-ups just by
looking at the bait. As I said, it’s
totally different to what anyone else
was using, and the critical balancing
of the bait was something I came up
with at that time as well. The philosophy behind it is that you make it so
that it only just sinks, so that when
the carp comes along and sucks it,
there’s no resistance, and it flies into
the mouth as quickly as it possibly
can, so they’ve got no chance of
ejecting it. What I used to do for my
counterbalance weight was put a little bit of 1.5mm rubber tubing on the
hooklink before tying the hook, and
then push a little bit of lead solder
wire into the tubing. It was no more
than 5mm or 10mm long, and you
could just snip away at the lead with
a little pair of snips until you got that
slow sinking effect.
When people came round as I was
casting out, they would see the plastic tubing on the line. Quite a few of
them asked me what it was, and I
would say it was a scarer. Kevin Maddocks had actually drawn a similar
thing in Carp Fever where he’d got a
bit of silicon tubing on his hooklink
with a cocktail stick pushed in it. The
theory behind it was that the fish
sucked in the bait, the hook and the
thin line, and then suddenly felt this
much thicker thing on the line, which
spooked them and made them shoot
off and push the hook into the side of
the mouth. It may well have worked,
I’ve no idea; it sounds a bit ridiculous
to me, but anyway, he’d written about
it in Carp Fever and people were quite
happy to believe that that’s what I
was doing. I never ever let on until
several years later, well, when I wrote
the first book. I decided I may as well
come clean in that and let people
know what I had been doing. I mean
p e o p l e p r o b a b l y w o u l d n ’t h a v e
bought the book if there hadn’t been
some little edges in there for people to
(Above) Setting up on D Lake, at last!
(Blow) Simon Day with a C Lake
improve their catches.
By that time I’d certainly developed
into a much more open carp angler. I
was born in the era of the secret carp
anglers, those guys that I met first at
Woburn and those BCSG guys that I
had met pike fishing up on Loch
Lomond were very secretive anglers.
They were the matt black brigade,
and everything was top secret, hush,
hush and I was sworn to secrecy.
They took me under their wing and
when they told me things and told me
that I wasn’t allowed to tell anybody
anything, so throughout the 70’s,


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