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In Search of Monster Carp
(Right) Carp Society super group on
stage at Dunstable.
(Below) King Kent, winners of the
Carp Society’s inter-regional match.
shield for about three days. Dennis
and Colin went over there, again with
milk protein baits, the casein they got
off Alan Smith, and suddenly they
were doing the complete opposite to
w h a t a l l t h e l o c a l s w e r e d o i n g.
Instead of fishing the margins, they
were fishing the middle of the lake,
and absolutely steaming in the bait.
They even went to the extent of overexaggerating how high they had their
rod rests – they used to put milk
crates at the back of the rod rests so
they could step up and reach them!
But they had a phenomenal season; I
think Colin had the old 40lb fish, the
old Yeoveney fish that Pete Springate
had. He had it twice that winter, and
between them they amassed an
incredible amount of fish. I think of all
the local guys, there was only one guy
who took a little bit of notice of what
they were doing, and that was Ritchie
McDonald. He was ever such a good
angler, but at the same time he was
taught the ropes as far as bait application goes and quality of bait by
Dennis and Colin, and he teamed up
with them.
Anyway the following year, I think
after Colin and Dennis’s success, I
was keen to have a little go on Longfield. I’ll always remember the first
time I went over there; I had the
Leisure Sport guide book in front of
me, got into the car park, and didn’t
have a clue where I was, as I had lost
all my bearings. I didn’t know where
the lake was, and I said to this fella
walking across the car park, “Do you
know where the big lake is, mate?”
He said, “Yeah, it’s over there,” and he
pointed towards a hole in the bushes.
So I walked through this hole, and
came across this horrible, pea-soupy
green lake with mounds of dirt
around it – a horrible place. I thought
if this is the big lake of Staines, they
can poke it up their arse, because it
was horrible. So I thought I’d have a
look round it anyway while I was
there, and as I was walking, I came to
a point where the path ran out and I
couldn’t get any further. So I thought
if I cut through the fence there, maybe
I’d be able to pick it up further along.
Well I cut through the fence, and all of
a sudden I was on this wonderful
looking lake, and I thought bloody
hell, this is really nice – this must be
it, this must be Longfield! Anyway, I
was walking along a bit, and I saw a
guy who I later learned was Tony Hall,
and I said to him, “Is this the big lake
of Staines, mate?” He said, “Yeah,” so
I thanked him. I was wandering
around, and there were quite a few
carp about. I mean, never had I seen
so many big carp in one lake, but I
completely lost my bearings again,
and I didn’t have a clue where the car
was. I came across this bivvy thing,
and Tony Hall was standing beside it.
I said, “Can you tell me where the car
park is,” and this head poked round
from the bivvy and said, “Do what,
mate?” He was really abrupt, and I
thought oh, he’s got the hump. It was
actually Ritchie McDonald; I hadn’t
met him before, but he seemed real
Anyway, I went round, found my
car, and got a rod. There were a few
fish in the corner so I fired a few
floaters out, and I think I caught one
within half an hour of fishing, one of
the smaller commons, which were
apparently quite difficult to catch. All
the time I was playing this fish,
Ritchie was standing there with his
hands on his hips, absolutely disgusted – this bloke has only been here
half an hour, and he’s got one already!
As it happens, he came round later on
in the evening and apologised for his
abruptness earlier on, and said he’d
just lost a fish and had the hump. He
said he was only using 6lb line, and I
said “You what? 6lb line – you’re joking!” Ritchie explained his reasons for
using 6lb line, which made a little bit


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