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Sandhurst
to boot. I made a quick phone call to
Bidders, the head bailiff, who was
fishing a few swims down, and, bless
him, he came round in the early hours
to do the photos. It was not one we
recognised, and just one of many big
commons that reside in Sandhurst. I
went on to catch another two 20’s the
next morning, and packed away very
happy with the quick night’s fishing,
and thank you to my girlfriend for
arguing with me that day, as this was
the reason I decided to go that night.
We did patch it up the next day, but
unfortunately, as many of you will
know, in most cases women and carp
fishing don't go together. I was looking at moving on from Sandhurst, but
I still wanted one more fish, Scaley,
and to make things a bit harder, it was
the least regular visitor to the bank,
with no regular pattern in captures
from any area.
I left Sandhurst for a few weeks,
and was planning a trip back for four
days in the second week of April. I
arrived a day earlier than planned, as
a friend of mine had caught a few
from the Car Park swim, and was
moving out first thing Monday morning. I fished the night in the Secret
next door, with the same tactics as
the previous weeks. This proved to be
a good choice, as just after nine
o’clock my rod hand rod produced a
one-toner, and I was into a very angry
carp. After a very spirited battle, I netted another decent common. The
scales spun round to 33lb 4oz, and I
(Top) A very good marginal area.
(Right) Bait boat – not everyone’s
favourite, but an essential piece of kit
on occasions.
82 FREE LINE
was off to a good start – two 30’s on
two trips. Through the night my
friend Steve had a brace of 30’s from
the Car Park swim, and I made my
mind up this was the area to be in. I
had been introducing a bit of bait
leading up to the session, and it was
from these spots that Steve managed
the two bites. Steve was away at first
light, and I moved straight in with
three rods straight onto the spots. The
morning passed quietly, with the odd
fish showing here and there. Around
mid-afternoon, I decided to put a fair
amount of boilies on the area, as no
one had really been putting much in,
and the fish were obviously feeding
on the spots. I started with 3kg of
Club Mix in 14mm and 18mm. Two
rods were dropped straight over the
area, with a couple of balls of the
groundbait as well. Again I was using
the Up and Down mix with the
Growler bag mix with Slayer salmon
oil, and the Squid and Octopus big
shot. The rods were not out long
before I was away, and landed a
decent 24lb mirror.
The rest of the evening passed with
out a bite, but I was up first light
w a t c h i n g, w h e n I h e a r d w h a t
sounded like a decent fish, which
showed right over the spot where my
right and middle rods where placed,
and it was only minutes before my
right hand rod was away. There followed another good fight, and it felt
like another good fish. After netting it,
I realised straight away it was a fish I
had seen before on the bank at 29lb
12oz. I could tell by the patch of
scales missing on one side, from
which we named it in jest the Patch
Common. On the scales it went 30lb
4oz, and I was once again over the
moon. The rod was back to the spot,
and within only ten minutes the middle rod was away, this time with a
smaller mirror of 20lb 4oz. The afternoon passed quickly, and it became
evident the takes were coming early
evening or early morning, so I decided
to rebait around four ready for the bite
time. This time I decided to put a little
more bait out, as the fish were starting to show in numbers, and as I had
already caught a few. By seven that
evening, I had caught another four
fish up to 28lb, and the bites were
coming thick and fast. The decision to
add some more bait had paid off, as it
seemed that bit of extra attraction
was bringing them down to the bait
that much quicker. Once again, the
night time brought no action, and it
was at first light I was away on the
left rod, resulting in a nice mid-20
common, which was followed quickly
by a couple of mirrors of 18lb 6oz and
a scraper-20 of 20lb 2oz.
During the next couple of hours the
f i s h h a d s t o p p e d s h o w i n g, s o I
decided to wind the rods in and have
a walk around, looking in the edges,

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