FREE-LINE 01.pdf - Page 161



In Search of Monster Carp
W
e join Lee as
he backtracks
to the Blue
L a k e, a n d
returns to
continue to
put the jigsaw together on the Herts
club water.
Thinking about it, it makes me
realise how the old memory is shot to
bits when it comes to carp fishing; it
makes me realise how many bits I
have actually missed out. So I am
going to backtrack a little bit to things
I think are maybe relevant. I got married in 1977 and moved to Gravesend
in Kent. There is a big old chalk pit
just down the road from where I lived
called the Blue Lake, at Northfleet. I
had fished this lake once years before,
and actually got banned. It was so
deep, and I mean really deep; it was
20ft in the margins, and used to go
down to about 35-40ft in the middle.
As a consequence, I thought the only
way you could catch carp out of it
was to catch them on the surface.
Anyway, the first time I fished it,
when I was about 15, I actually
caught an 8lb’er off the surface. I was
fishing this little swim at the bottom
of the cliffs, and I put the fish in a
laundry bag, which is what we used
to weigh them in. I took it up to the
top of the bank, weighed it, took a little photograph of it, and then this
bailiff came storming along the bank,
an old boy, and he said, “What are you
doing?” I said, “I’m just weighing my
fish.” He said, “You don’t weigh them
in plastic bags, you weigh them in
nets.” I replied, “Well, what’s rougher,
that net or this polythene bag?” He
said, “I’m reporting you to the committee,” and he did. I turned up at a
committee meeting a few weeks later,
after getting a train to Northfleet.
Now, bearing in mind I was only 15, it
came to the bailiff reports at the end,
which said that there was a Mr Jackson who been seen with a carp
wrapped in a polythene bag, inside
another polythene bag, taking it back
to his car. They said to me, “What
have you got to say about that?” I
said, “Well first of all I am only 15, so I
am not old enough to have a car,” and
I went on to explain that I was putting
it in a laundry bag to weight it. The
club secretary said that I should be
weighing carp in a net, but then fortunately one of the other members was
a carp angler, so I managed to get off.
But anyway, I got married in 1977,
and as the Blue Lake was only a short
way from where I lived, I decided to
start concentrating on stalking down
there. At the time the lake was quite
polluted, so I spoke to a couple of
police divers, and they said that all
the water below 20ft was stagnant, so
as a result the fish used to do all their
natural feeding round the edges. I
(Top) Cotton Farm before it was
backfilled and landscaped.
(Left) Stalking the Blue Lake.
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