FREE-LINE 01.pdf - Page 183



In Search of Monster Carp
(Le ft) I loved it here.
(Below) Traps set.
brought me instant results. I’m not
particularly rig minded, but the way I
gauge a rig is by hookholds. It’s good
when you land fish, especially from a
water like this where you’re having to
play fish quite hard, and you see the
hook hold is solid after you’ve played
them fairly firmly. If they’re nailed like
this rig was nailing them, then I had
all the confidence in the world on it,
and it’s part of my strategy every
time. I’m sat here with Rob now, looking at my rods, knowing that I’ve got
the rig on, and it’s something that I
will always use now. Even though I
have been carp fishing a long time
and I read the magazines, and I like to
think I know a fair bit about what is
going on, that day that Leon showed
me that has certainly brought a
change to my angling.
I think that shows however much
you know, and however long you
have been fishing, you can always
learn something new, and that’s a
great part of fishing really, that your
friends will share these sort of things
with you. I am sure Rob will agree
that when we started carp fishing, it
was all very secretive, and things
have certainly changed in that some
of my best friends will share things
with me that have worked for them. I
am not proud; I’ll take these things
away and use them for myself, and I
am really grateful to Leon for showing
me. I think it also shows it’s important
that whoever you are and however
good an angler you are, if you don’t
learn from other people, or you don’t
go fishing to learn, then you’re putting yourself down really, because it is
important to learn from others. I think
what makes carp fishing great is that
you’re always learning, you know. I’m
one of those who, whilst I’ve been
fishing a long time, is never afraid to
learn, and I think that’s something
everybody should take away. Also,
people who are big names in the sport
nowadays are very good in that they
do help other people. I am very grateful to Leon for that because after he
showed me that rig, the following day
I had my best fish of the year from
here. I fished off a new spot, a blatant
gravel spot in the middle of the lake,
and had a 38lb 12oz mirror, a fish I
have seen on the bank before but
have never had myself. At 6.30am I
had a screaming take, and ran out
barefoot (I’m never prepared). It was a
fantastic battle, and I saw early on
that it was a really decent fish. Whilst
I had caught quite a few of the fish
out of here, it was really great to catch
a fish that I had never had before, but
that I had seen one of the other guys
have on the bank. It was one of those
rare fish that comes out once every
two years, so a big thanks to Leon for
showing me that – I’m really, really
delighted – another highlight of the
summer.
So I stuck at it in that swim, and I
had a great trip that week; I had one
the first morning, I had that 38lb’er,
and the following day I had two
within 15 minutes. First was a real old
looking 23lb fully scaled that again is
one of the rare fish. I’d never had that
before, although I’d seen it in the
water, but I’d not seen it on the bank
before, and then I had a 29lb’er. Now
it was getting later in the year, all the
spots were starting to pay off, and I
had those three fish off three different
spots. So the hard work throughout
the summer, the blanks I’d suffered,
and sticking with the spots, it was
really starting to pay off now. I was
getting fish from different spots, and
there wasn’t a dead rod in this swim
now. I was looking at the rods, knowing that each spot was capable of producing a fish, and again, the lake was
still shut down, with very, very little
showing. The water was still this horrendous green colour, but I was back
down the following week, and the
same thing happened again! 6am
really seemed to be the bonanza time
on here, and following morning, I had
a 32lb’er, again a fish that one of the
other guys had had a few weeks
before, but I had never caught. I was
really pleased, and again it was on the
pop-up rig. I had been using Mike’s
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