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North Carping Special Sessions
(Right) The ‘Spring’ swim 1989.
(Below) Heavy scaled mirror 12lb+.
could do me a photo, and he was kind
of gobsmacked at the size of the fish,
and I said, “There’s bigger than that in
here, mate.” With that I put the fish
back with a sizeable crowd watching.
When all the fuss had calmed
down, I made the walk back down the
wall and dropped the rig back in
again with another 100 baits. Now I
knew that the bait was having them, I
was well buzzing; I could sit back and
relax and wait for the rods to go. The
next take came in the evening, again
off the margin wall rod, and this fish
turned out to be the old mirror that
weighed 17lb. Not a bad day’s fishing;
two good fish out of the park – sweet
as a nut. My brother Dave did the pictures for me, as he had just arrived as
I caught the fish. The second night
again went by with no takes. I reeled
both rods in and got them back out
over the same amount of bait, and
wondered what the day would bring.
By mid-morning the open water rod
was off, and again a crowd gathered
at the railings watching me do battle
with a carp. “He’s got it,” I could hear
someone saying as the fish rolled over
into the net, and I could see it was a
plump mirror. As it turned out, this
fish was known as the Italian, which
weighed 14lb-plus, and someone in
the crowd did the pictures for me;
they couldn’t believe that the lake
had fish in it like these, bless them.
Once again the crowd faded, and I
got on with my fishing. This was turning out to be something special; I
mean, the fish weren’t massive by any
means, but you’ve got to consider
that this was in the early 90’s, and
these fish were tricky to nail, so the
fishing was going well. The wind was
still hacking into the swim, and it
looked very carpy indeed. I was stood
by the rods just watching the water,
when I noticed the margin wall rod
tip quivering, so I crouched over the
rod, and it was slowly pulling down. I
was on it no problem, and this fish felt
so different from the others. As with
all bigger carp, they seem to fight differently. The fish slowly surged out
into open water, and I just took my
time, no need to panic, even though
another crowd was gathering. I had to
wade in a bit, as the fish had gone to
the left of the swim along the bushes,
but I just let him tire himself out, and
soon he was mine. It was the big mirror of the park – what more could I ask
for? As I put the fish on the mat there
were gasps from behind me, people
were saying things like “Look at the
size of that – it’s a dolphin!” I knew it
was over 20lb, and it actually weighed
21lb 2oz, so I was a proud angler holding him up for the camera, I can tell
you. So as the saying goes, ‘that’s a
wrap’. I had a slow pack up that day,


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