FL13 - Page 218



Day Ticket 40!
M
y first memories of carp are
when I used to
fish a little hospital lake in
Chertsey, Surrey back in my early teens. I used to
go fishing with my dad who got me
interested in fishing as soon as I was
big enough to hold a rod. My favourite
at the time were tench with those
greens and the striking red eye! This
reminds me of Ron Buss’s joke that
they have red eyes because they have
been up all night eating your bait, and
that‘s about right! They were always
welcome and a good indication that
I’ve got my setup/presentation right.
On one particular afternoon’s fishing at the lake I remember fishing
mainly with an 8ft pole or a ‘tiddler
snatcher’ as the old man used to call
it. It made easy work of hooking them
once I got the swim going and got the
fish whipped into a feeding frenzy
(does anyone remember the groundbait ‘Secret Squirrel’? It was a potent
ground bait that used to fizz up after
application – wicked pungent stuff,
and good, exciting fishing for a few
hours. Anyway I remember fishing in
the upper surface levels of the water
where I would watch them boil on the
surface when feeding little and often,
and it was turning out to be a good
session. In the early afternoon a local
guy turned up to see how Dad and I
were getting on. We were chatting
after I’d just recast the tiny float back
out to the spot after just feeding a little corn over the top. The single maggots were not getting past those tid-
(Top) A nice water shot of Nina with
Paul doing a top job with the camera.
(Below) Simple, strong, reliable.
Enough said!
dlers, and I wanted to catch the bigger, ones and all of a sudden there
was an almighty crash over the spot
and my rig and top section of the pole
were savagely snapped off! It scared
the life out of me, and to my astonishment I caught sight of a sparsely
scaled golden flank and tail of a monster fish… Dad confirmed it was a
carp!
From then on my thoughts of
catching the odd decent skimmer
bream or tench were fading. I remember a couple of guys poaching the
water (you basically had to work for
the hospital to be able to fish there)
and they caught a brace of mirrors to
about 15lb apiece from the back of the
island, and to me they were giants!
My first thought was I wouldn’t like to
catch those monsters, being content
with the odd slab going a few pounds,
or a nice tench. So that’s how my
opinion stayed for a while, happy to
target the tench, but that thought
soon changed, and the next time I
remember going out I was bugging
my dad for any info on the resident
carp. There was a lovely set of big
pads at the bottom end of the lake
where the lake shallowed right up,
and you could often see them barging
their way through the pads/stems.
This is when Dad recalled fishing for
them off the top on the float with
lumps of breadflake and off the bottom with corn, luncheon meat and
small boiled potatoes, the latter being
totally bizarre as a hookbait let alone
contemplating the size of hooks necessary! How could any self-respecting fish fall for a bait so big, paired
with a dirty great hook? Then Dad
would remind me of the huge great
gobs they have.
So that was it! I concentrated on
targeting the pads, by fishing a close
as I dared to the pads with breadflake.
I only ever connected with one carp
but it was such a thrilling buzz! It
only lasted a minute or so until the
hook pulled… Gutted! I did have a
FREE LINE 215

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