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In Search of Monster Carp
he likes fishing in the way I do, and
whilst I don’t want to push him, it was
a great experience to take him. Anyway at 6am the following morning, I
caught a 31lb’er with him here with
me, as you will see in the article, as I
have given Rob the pictures. So we
had a joint picture of this fish, and to
catch a good 30 with him there and
for him to have a great night out and
an adventure was really one of the
highlights of my summer, and something I hope I will be able to do more
in the years to come.
Then it was August, and then we
were really into what I call big fish
months, and then into September, and
I was really on it then. September was
here and I felt they were on the bait I
had been putting out. In the time I
had spent there, I was baiting up
when I was leaving, which can be a
bit controversial. I would never do
that if I knew other anglers were coming down, because I just don’t think
that’s right, but I knew that there
were no other anglers fishing, and the
ones that were fishing were weekenders, and I was always coming in
the week and leaving in the week, so
I wasn’t putting a lot of bait in. In fact
I was talking to Mike Wilmott the
other day, and I think this is the least
bait I have ever used this year, so
whilst I don’t think it’s fair you should
do that all the time, I knew that when
I was doing it, I wasn’t messing up
other anglers, which is only right. So I
would bait up when I left rather than
a couple of days before, which I’ve
done in years gone by. I’d come down
a couple of days before, bait up and
(Top) I was on the new Gardner
hooklinks before anyone else –
awesome.
(Right) Into autumn – the lake looking
its best.
182 FREE LINE
fish on it, but this year I was putting
in bait when I left, and just hoping it
was keeping my spots clear for the
next trip really.
I had fished particles before; I’d
fished the tigers, but this year with no
weed, and how bad the colour of the
water was, I really wanted powerful,
potent baits so I was glugging my
baits up in a bait dip. I was using hard
hook baits that I knew were staying
on, with the highest level of attraction
I could use. The other edge I had was
always wrapping them in paste,
which is an old method, and something I don’t see a lot of anglers doing
now. With the clarity of the water and
how poorly it was fishing, I think it
was another edge, because it’s the
highest possible form of attraction
you could use. Sometimes I was
catching fish on the ball of paste
before it had dissolved round the
boilie, which was giving me a 2528mm size bait. This wasn’t really a
problem, because it was certainly a
good advantage this summer to give
you that much more attraction, which
you needed when the water was so
green and without the fish feeding so
hard. I certainly think that a number
of times they were picking the hook
bait up very early on because it was
so high in attraction, rather than feeding on a lot of bait first, so that was an
edge I had. Mike made me up some
really hard hookbaits, which I could
leave out for quite a long time too, and
that was quite a big part of my strategy this summer.
I talked a little bit about tackle earlier, and I am a consultant with Gardner. I have been fortunate to use a lot
of their gear before it’s come out, and
this year has seen a new range
released. I had some of their new
hook links early on, which I was lucky
enough to use. I said about strong
tackle earlier, and with the lake not so
full of weed this year I could fine
down a little bit, although I did have
to be careful of the snags in the edge.
I was still really using a 25lb hook
links, GR60, and the Muggers, which
you know are a great strong hook, and
really never let me down in here. Then
I had a good result one day because
my friend Leon Bartropp, who was
fishing one of the local waters, came
over to see me. We were talking rigs
like anglers do, and he showed me a
rig that I’ve used ever since, called the
John McAllister pop-up rig. It’s a
really well known rig, and I knew
about it, but to be honest, I had never
used it. I suppose some of it was laziness or stubbornness, and that I was
happy with my own rigs. But seeing it
demonstrated by Leon, rather than in
a magazine, tied up in front of me
with a bait on, I could see how and
why it worked so well. So I was
straight onto that really, and that

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