FREE-LINE 01.pdf - Page 150



In Search of Monster Carp
(Left) First 20! A Brooklands linear of
20lb 4oz – the best of three fish that
day.
(Below) Floater fishing with
controllers was invented down at
Brooklands and mirrors such as this
one just loved a few mixers!
Park. It wasn’t a big lake, about two or
three acres I suppose. We spent a day
there, and I caught one. It was only little, about 4-5lb, but there were carp
everywhere, and I remember thinking
to myself, this is where I should be
really at the moment. I was struggling
away on Brooklands, catching the
odd fish, but not really getting anywhere, and I thought to myself, if I’m
going to learn anything about carp
fishing, I need to be somewhere like
this where I can catch a few carp,
where they’re easier to catch, where
there’s more of them, and I suppose I
just liked the idea of getting a bit
more action as well then.
So I actually joined the lake, and
one of the great things about Bortham
Park was that it was the first water I
knew that didn’t have a closed season. I am sure they were meant to
close, but they just left it open to get a
bit more money, and all the time no
one came down and said anything –
they just did it. It was on the back of
a farm, hidden away, off the road, but
it was brilliant. One of the things I
noticed was that the years that I had
missed, even though I had only
missed out two or three, were probably the worst two or three years for
me to miss out, because there was so
much started in those two or three
years, namely the start of the hair rig.
I remember going back down on
those first trips back to Brooklands
150 FREE LINE
and seeing people using peanuts on
the hair rig. Like a lot of people, I
thought they were having a laugh;
you don’t use peanuts for catching
carp, you use special baits or luncheon meat, and as for hair rigs – it’s not
even on the hook! Then you’d begin
to realise that was the thing to be
doing, but I’d missed the start of it. I
had a lot to catch up on, that was the
thing, and Bulphan Park was the
place to do it.
What I did was to start fishing the
hair and start messing about with my
own baits. This was the first time I’d
ever made my own baits; they were
obviously pretty simple – semolina,
soya flour, a bit of gluten to hold it
together, and my main secret ingredient, Kellogg’s maple syrup. Again it
was in the supermarket; you’d go
through all the different bits and
pieces, and Kellogg’s maple syrup
smelled great, like maple, and I knew
maple was a good flavour, and it was
nice and sweet. I started making up
boilies with this stuff, and the first
time I used it I caught carp straight
away, and well, I just kept catching
them. Every time I went I caught
carp, and you know, I saw the odd
other people still come down to the
lake and they were still using luncheon meat and maybe catching one or
two, but I was catching more on the
boilies, so for me, it was a real step forward. I was making my own boilies,
but starting from scratch. I didn’t
know where to go or what to do with
them; it was just trial and error and it
worked; that was the great thing. I
remember I was catching carp every
time, and my target for that year was
to catch a hundred carp. I was only
doing probably one night a week
then, but some nights I would get one
or two, and some nights I might catch
five or six if it went well. I tried all different things; it was when the carp
bait world was exploding, all the
flavours were starting to come out on
the market.
I remember Jeff Kemp’s was one of
the main ones, and I was using a different flavour every week. Mellow
Brandy was one of them that I
remember back then, and Dairy
Cream was lovely. Turkish Delight

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