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In Search of Monster Carp
us, blaring their sirens, and we were
told to get out of the car, and put our
hands on the bonnet. We were trying
to explain to this blooming policeman
that we were trying to find Redmire,
but I didn’t know the actual farm
name at the time; I didn’t think to
write it down. I just thought that
everyone knew about Redmire; it’s a
historic place with loads of carp in
there, and it made history, but obviously not – these people thought we
were bonkers. They actually thought
we were smuggling livestock,
because these farmers in the vicinity
had reported to the police that this
Land Rover with a 6x4 trailer had
driven in and out of two or three farms
within the vicinity, and obviously they
was still about. So anyway, we did
explain in the end that we were trying
to get to Bernithan Court, because
one police officer rang the station,
and one person in there was a carp
angler, who knew exactly what we
were talking about. In the end we
actually got a police escort down to
Bernithan Court! We parked up the
vehicle, we wondered if we should go
down the lake or not, as there was no
one there. It was a couple of hours
until dawn, so we decided not to. We
had a kip in the motor for a couple of
hours, well, I tell a lie, we sat there
with our eyes shut, but we weren’t
When it got light, we walked down
across the field and onto the dam
wall. Well, history was made there,
and I shall never forget that journey,
walking across that field down to the
dam; I’ve seen it so many times on
the television, and I’ve read about it in
so many books. A lot of people would
just think we’re mad, but there is just
something about carp fishing and
carp fishing history; it just clicks, and
gives you that tingle that a lot of people get through other enjoyments, but
it’s what makes a carp angler, and
only a carp angler would understand
what I am on about. We spent the
whole morning walking round, reminiscing over swims and things we
had read in books and on the TV in
Passion for Angling. We had a draw,
and I actually came out last. Just
when it really mattered, when I
wanted to go in the Willows, I came
out last so Mick went in there. Micky
Scott went in the In Willows and I
went in the Stumps. We decided that
we would not set up directly opposite
each other. I have talked about Sutton
being three acres, and Tolpits being
two acres, but Redmire is even
smaller, probably about 1¾ acres.
There is a lot of silt up one end, and a
lot of weed growth – obvious areas to
fish. When we got there it was gin
clear; you could see everything, and
so the fish could as well. This is a history lake, and it has seen it all – Jack
Hilton, and every single angler of note
at that time has fished there.
So, I went in the Stumps as I said,
and it took ages for me to set up. I
would put a rod rest in, then sit down,
gawking at the lake, then put a bivvy
peg in, and stop and look and wonder
at where I was – it took the whole
I’d caught a
mirror from
Redmire; I could
not believe it!
afternoon to set everything up. I just
couldn’t believe I was there. We
decided that we wouldn’t fish that
first evening, as hard as it was to
resist. Instead we went round to the
corner of the dam, and cooked some
food. The agreement was that we
were going to have some food, chill
out, and we would cast out first thing
in the morning. Well that wasn’t going
to happen… Straight after we had
had our tea, everyone went back to
their swims and cast out. We had a
fantastic time, and the atmosphere is
incredible. I have never known a
place to be so pitch black once the
sun disappeared. I am not joking; you
could hold your hand in front of your
face, and you could not see a single
thing. You could only hear owls
screeching, and foxes and god knows
what else. It’s right in the middle of
nowhere, a fantastic place, and if anyone ever gets a chance to fish it, even
now, then I would recommend it very
highly. Everything that had gone
through my mind on how to fish it
sort of disappeared, and I didn’t know
what to do; I was confused. It’s not
like any lake I have ever fished before.
There was what looked like a big hole
in front of me, which I have now found
out, is one of the deepest parts in the
lake, and there was a marginal shelf. I
was more or less opposite Keffords,
and there was no one opposite me,
and no one opposite the two Micks;
they were casting across to my left.
We said that if we didn’t want to fish
during the day on our rods, we’d go
and stalk up in the shallows to my
right, which you see on the old Passion for Angling, when they climbed
up the tree and jumped out when
they hooked that carp. So we had an
agreement between the three of us,
and it worked.
Now, I’d brought 40kg of hemp with
me, and the boilies were Nutrabaits
Big Seed Mix and black pepper oil in
20mm baits. I know that sounds a bit
large, but that’s the way I went. If you
read any book on Redmire, that’s
what they have caught them on –
hemp and sweetcorn, so I just took
shit loads of hemp. Since I could see
everything in the lake, I decided to set
all my traps across on the far bank, as
no one was fishing over there, and no
one was walking over there; it was
nice and quiet. So I went round there
and put about 10kg of hemp in
straight away. Now whether that was
such a good thing, I don’t know, but
the day passed without any takes.
The following night went by too, and
no one had caught anything. The following morning, I panicked. I woke
up, and the whole lake had gone red;
it was unbelievable. Unbeknown to
me, in the night, all the carp had gone
and fed on my hemp and stirred up
the Welsh clay, which turned the
water cloudy. Once the fish started
feeding on it, it turned the whole lake
red, as it’s so small. It was red as a
beetroot, and I thought shit, something has gone wrong here. I’m not
joking; I could see down 4ft the night
before, and now I couldn’t see 2ins. So
I sat there, looked across, and the fish
were going mad on the hemp opposite me. Oh Christ, I thought, I’ve got
baits over there. Well that morning
was unbelievable; I ended up having
two takes, resulting in two commons,
both doubles, 16lb and 17lb, and I’d
caught two Redmire fish – amazing! I
think both Micks had lost a couple
too, and the previous afternoon,
Micky Scott had had a couple on top
on the old Chum Mixer. But I was sitting there, happy as a pig in shit, as I’d
caught two fish. I didn’t care; I didn’t
want to catch anything else, as I’d
caught a Redmire fish, and I got some
photos up on the dam wall.
The week went on and we didn’t
catch a great deal more. I don’t think


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