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Canal Carping A Tale of Two Records
miles from where we last met.
Four years passed before she was
to grace my net again, this time, surprisingly, back in the basin. I had not
seen or heard of her being caught so
had started to think she may have
died or even been poached. By this
time I had retired and was doing a lot
more fishing out on the cut. It was a
lovely sunny 21st May 2010 afternoon, very still and warm. I had long
finished the boat and was down at
the marina giving it a polish. The rods
weren’t out as I was a bit bored with
fishing there, and anyway, I thought
most of the carp were out of the basin
doing their thing at the spawning
grounds as they always do around
this time of year.
There was a young couple sitting
along the perimeter of the basin feeding the ducks with bread. The ducks
are quite an attraction for the locals
who often bring kids down to feed
them. This also results in the carp
having a liking for floating bread. I
have had a few of them off the top,
but the ducks make it next to impossible most of the time, so I don’t often
bother. I noticed that the couple were
taking more than just a passing interest in what was taking their bread so
went for a look. Sure enough, there
were a number of carp fighting the
ducks for the bread. How was I to
resist? I went back to the boat to grab
some tackle, but the trouble was, I
had been sorting the gear that was
kept on the boat and a lot of it was at
home. I managed to cobble together
an old telescopic rod with freeline
crust but only had a smallish net.
Regardless, I crept along the pontoon
and slowly lowered the bait to what
looked a decent fish, which soon
drifted away. Due to the ducks, I
reeled in, rebaited and waited to see
another to have a go for. One of interest showed, so I dunked the crust in
preparation to cast, but the fish
drifted away.
Suddenly, there was a loud slurp,
the rod bucked in my hand, and a fish
was on. It had literally come out from
under the pontoon I was standing on
and taken the crust less than a yard
from my feet. I’d love to say it was a
dramatic fight on the old gear but it
just wallowed around a bit. The
biggest difficulty was getting it in the
net, especially as I realised it was the
big fully scaled. Somehow I managed
to get it to fold into that inadequate
net. When lifting it out, the realisation
that it was big hit me, and a bit of
panic set in, as all the gear to deal
with such a fish was at home. Fortunately, I had a small mat and a sack so
was able to get it quickly and safely
into the sack and back in the water.
As luck would have it, the chap who
was feeding the ducks was a local
carp angler. He kindly offered to pop
and get his mat, scales and camera,
which I gratefully accepted. He
returned after a few minutes with all
the necessary to weigh and photograph safely. She weighed in at 38lb
4oz, a new canal PB.lk I was elated,
and that magnificent fish was still
growing.
Over the past five years, since retiring, my fishing has intensified. I have
been doing several trips to France a
(Top) April 2014, not all the K and A
fully scaled are big – a pretty 9lb gem!
(Left) Another fully scaled at 21lb 4oz,
June 2014.
54 FREE LINE

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