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In Search of Monster Carp
day. The wind was blowing up the
lake towards the road, and I just
thought Christ, I’m not going to catch
anything. The fish were showing, but
it’s so intimidating to fish a reservoir
that size when the weather conditions are like that; it’s not pleasurable.
Unless you are prepared to put your
waterproofs on and totally cover yourself up, you’re just going to get
drenched, and then you’ve got to
pack your gear away, and push it all
the way back to the car. You know
you can’t stay there for the night, so
it’s not that if it’s going to be bright
and sunny in the morning, everything
is going to dry off – it’s going to be
soaking wet and you know you’ve got
to take all your gear home. I’ve not got
a big house, so I’ve got to bring wet
gear into the house. Anyway, I stuck
to it, I sat there, and I saw these fish
showing out in open water. Keeping
in mind you can use three rods, nine
times out of ten I don’t put all my
eggs in one basket, so I chucked two
rods out to the showing fish in the
middle of the lake, and I chucked my
other rod down to the left. I hadn’t
23lb, Lower Maynard.
102 FREE LINE
thought much about the left hand rod,
to be honest with you. The fish in
open water were continuously showing, probably around the one o’clock
mark, and had been showing since I
got there. No one had moved to my
left, no one had moved to my right,
and there was no one opposite, I
thought hang on a minute, people
can’t have seen them, it was like I
was on a different lake somewhere.
So the fish were still showing, and I
had a take, a lovely 20lb common. It’s
quite normal up there to catch the
smaller commons, although a 20lb’er
is not a small common. The commons
seem to feed before the mirrors nine
times out of ten, and quite often the
anglers who fish up there had their
personal best, or their first ever common from the Walthamstow complex.
So, the left hand rod screamed off, and
I had forgotten about it; I was just sitting there listening to the radio,
watching the fish show in the middle
of the lake. I played this fish, and it
shot down the margins on what was
quite a dogged fight to be honest
with you. I got the landing net under
it, and it was a big old mirror of 34lb,
the biggest fish I have had from the
Lower Maynard to this day. The Maynards have got a lot of big fish in
them, and there are plenty of 30’s, but
you’re not going to catch 30’s every
day of the week, so it’s part of my
angling achievements to have had a
30lb fish out of all the Walthamstow
reservoirs, as hard as they are.
Right, what I am going to do is go
back in time a bit now. Talking to Rob,
so many things go through your mind,
and I’ve achieved a few things shall
we say over the years, and one of the
major things that sticks out in my
mind is that I was lucky enough to
fish Redmire. To a lot of you out there,
historians and modern day anglers
alike, Redmire means so much, and
hopefully will continue to mean so
much to so many. It’s the forefront of
carp fishing in a lot of people’s minds,
highlighted by Richard Walker’s 40lb
common. A lot of people read books
about Redmire, and you can read so
many chapters by so many people
about this fantastic lake set in Wales.
It is just unbelievable. Bob James and

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