FREE-LINE 01.pdf - Page 53



A Tale of Two Records Canal Carping
ing the boat we decided to do the
build all over again but bigger, with
more beds. Cypry had to be sold. We
detailed the specification for the new
shell and had it built to sailaway stage
by Coalcraft in Rugby. When ready we
took it to Stourbridge for painting and
then delivered it to Hilperton in September 2005. The mooring was now a
full length pontoon in the main
marina basin where I was to fit her
out. This time she the name chosen
was “Cyprinus Carpio”, ultimatly to
become known as my executive
bivvy.
Working on the boat in the marina
was an attractive proposition from the
fishing point of view, because only
boat owners were allowed to fish in
there. Very few of them did, so I reasoned that it would be a bit of a holding area. Also, the full pontoon made
it much easier both for fishing from as
well as more room for working. The
format was the same as previously: I
would go down to work on the boat
every evening in the week then stay
on at weekends. By this time I had
conceded and started using readymade baits, as I was so busy. Bait was
introduced and the rods put out every
time before commencing work. The
fit-out lasted about three years in all,
and during that time I caught a lot of
carp, mostly doubles with an occasional twenty-plus. Sometimes I
would catch two or three in an
evening, but other times I could go a
couple of weeks with nothing. The
vast majority were caught in the
hours of daylight. With what I had
experienced when under the shop out
on the cut, most coming late evening
and early morning, it would appear
that they were patrolling out of the
basin at night and back in the morning. Possibly they came in to take
refuge from the ever increasing boat
traffic during the day. The bream were
a real problem, particularly at night,
half a dozen being the norm. Bigger
and harder baits helped a bit but were
not a cure.
It was in the basin while doing
some pre-delivery work on Cypry that
I was to catch the fully scaled again.
Early evening on 23rd October 2004,
my first run from the new mooring
resulted in landing her again weighing in at a creditable 25lb. Strangely
the next time we were to meet was
when Cyprinus was all but finished. I
had been getting out on the cut to try
her out and also do a bit of fishing, as
the basin had slowed down a lot. It
was 25th March 2006, I had moored
up in a stretch not often fished that I
had been fishing and baiting with
Cotswold Tock, about three miles
from the basin. A few carp had been
seen in the area over the previous
weeks. Two at 16lb and 23lb were
caught in the night, a super result by
canal standards. It was 10am, nearly
time to pack up when the alarm signalled a run. As I pulled into it I knew
it was a decent fish; the old 10ft RW
glass rod was curved into a half circle
right through to the butt as a heavy
fish rolled and lunged slowly back to
the waiting net. My first thought was
surprise to see another big fully
scaled fish from the canal. This was
followed by a bigger surprise when I
realised it was the same fish I had
caught previously. At 31lb 4oz, a new
K and A PB, she had put on over 6lb in
two years, and was more than three
(Top) A fat 28lb 4oz common,
December 2013.
(Left) A basin caught 22lb battle
scarred mirror as granddaughter Lois
looks on, April 2014.
FREE LINE 53

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