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In Search of Monster Carp
wasn’t a big spot then; I was think it
was the size of the top of a brolly and
surrounded by weed – yeah, a bit of
luck there more than anything. I sat
back there and waited, and two hours
later I had a funny sort of short, almost
tench-like take, where it went up and
stayed up there, and it didn’t take any
line. I hit that, and a really, really
strong battle ensued. As Rob has seen
today, a lot of this lake has horrendous
snags around the edge, and you really
do have to sacrifice some finesse and
use strong tackle. It’s a simple fact
that if you don’t play them hard and
use strong tackle, you won’t get them
out. If you let them run or you use
weaker tackle, you will lose the fish,
because when I say snags, I’m talking
about sunken cars, huge great
branches coming up off the bottom,
and big dead trees in the edge, hanging down into the water. So I was on
the strong gear; I use the Gardner size
8 Muggers and the GR60, which
never let me down, and I had a really,
really tough battle. It’s nice to get a
good fish in the daytime, and it’s
especially good on there because you
can see the dangers far more easily
than at night. Anyway, I was really
fortunate, and I got a 37lb 8oz fish I
had never seen before, absolutely
nailed on the strong tackle, and a
really good result because it was the
first one off this new spot. In all the
time I fished on this water, I had never
Late summer 30.
fished that spot before, so I was really
pleased with that; it was a good sense
of achievement, and it shows that
however you know a water, the fish
always know it better, and they know
feeding spots better than you. If you
can find these new spots, it’s a big
edge in your fishing for the rest of the
year, so that was a really great result,
and I was really pleased with that.
In the couple of weeks that followed, the water didn’t clear, and it
was getting worrying really because I
spent a few blanks over here. It was
just absolutely dead; we were in the
prime of summer, we were almost
into spawning weather, but the fish
weren’t showing at all. You couldn’t
find them; they weren’t visiting the
margins, which is, as I said before, my
strength as an angler. You couldn’t
see the polished gravel areas in the
edge – that advantage was gone. I
genuinely didn’t think the fish would
come in the edge, but at the same
time, the spots in the middle weren’t
producing at all, and the fish weren’t
showing in the middle either. In the
years gone by when the weed was so
bad, you’d be out in the boat to get
every fish out, even from 20-30yds,
but this year it was dying, and the
green algae bloom had a very big
affect on it. First the tops of the weed
started to go brown, and then the
whole lot went brown, and then all
this lot would fall onto the spots, and
it really had a very detrimental effect
on the fishing. I spent several trips
fishing the known spots that were
just as bad, covered in choddy dead
weed. I learned the hard way; I stuck
at fishing spots that had produced
before, but they just weren’t any good,
and the fish weren’t feeding in them.
I tried the chod rig and pop-ups, but
I’d bring the bait back in after a night,
and it would be black and smelling
horrible. It was just a case of really
learning the hard way, and finding
cleaner spots.
At the same time, I was baiting it; I
was putting particle out and boilies,
but I wasn’t baiting it to the extent of
years gone by where I knew the fish
were really eating it. I was just trying
to get areas clean, and that wasn’t
really working, so my next plan really
was just to fish the really clean gravel
areas. I had shied off those areas in
the last couple of years, because the
fish had actually had a battering on
them, or I felt they were just too obvious. Once I moved away from those
areas, maybe sometimes I didn’t get
as many fish, but I’d get new or different fish that didn’t tend to come out.
This year I had to go back to the main,
blatant gravel spots just because they
were clear. It was like fishing a new
lake really, being used to weed and
fishing close in, but I was now going
to fishing spots in the middle of the
lake, almost blind as it were, just hoping the fish were going to find me. I
couldn’t see them, and they very seldom showed, even the tench weren’t
I made a plan about July time to
fish one swim that has a good track
record of the better fish, as I knew
with the time I had, I couldn’t keep
baiting and fishing many different
areas. I just really went on the previous track record of a swim that I knew
the big fish came out of, and which I
knew well. I could fish it efficiently
though; I could turn up, and I was
clipped up and lined up, and I knew
the spots, so I knew that if I could
keep them going, then it would give
me a better chance really. It’s sort of
almost lazy when you talk about getting to waters, looking round and
finding the fish and fishing for them.
It was so different this year because I
couldn’t do that, because the fish just
simply weren’t showing; you couldn’t
find them. As I said before, we had a
boat, and that’s by far the best way to


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