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In Search of Monster Carp
Higher Maynard 31lb.
they would have seen these fish. Now
believe it or not, this swim does control quite a bit of water, and with a
lake this size, to have a bit of water in
front of you is a bonus. A lot of the
swims are margins only, as I have
explained before, but I did have a bit
of a scope. I was the middle of one
bank, the shortest bank, but it did look
right up the centre of the lake. The
lake was a triangular shape, and you
were looking right down from that
swim, and you could see everything.
These fish were 25yds or so in front of
me, I was on the spot, and these fish
were feeding. Now I did notice there
was a massive hatch of flies that
morning, and the majority of the roach
and flies were in front of me, not far off
where I was fishing. I do feel still to
this day that they were definitely
what the carp were feeding on; they
weren’t just showing like they do on
all lakes, they were confined in one
area, and I reckon two thirds, if not
the majority of the fish in that lake
were in front of me. Bearing in mind it
was two acres, they’re not that far
away from you at the best of times.
We l l b e f o r e I k n e w i t , I h a d a
screaming take on my left hand rod.
On two acres of water, if you get a
take, everyone knows about it. I was
playing this fish, and it went on and
on and on, a dogged, slow fight, just
keeping deep and I knew it was a big
fish. I was a happy bugger; I just
couldn’t believe it – I’d hooked one of
the big ones from Tolpits! By that
time I think I had two or three fellow
carp anglers standing behind me,
keeping their distance, knowing that I
didn’t want to be interfered with, but
I am one of these people who thinks
that if you’re there, and you know
how to use a landing net, then bloody
pick it up. I can’t believe these people
who say, “No, I don’t want you to land
it.” Now you know and I know, if your
main interest is in playing that fish,
the last thing you want to know or
worry about is whether you’re going
to be able to net it or not. We’ve all got
something in common, and on a
water like that there should be someone capable of landing the fish. I
know there are anglers out there who
don’t count their fish unless they land
it themselves, believe it or not, but
that’s not me; if anyone is ever fishing
next to me and I get a fish, then grab
the landing net – I haven’t got a prob-
lem at all. So I was playing this fish,
and it went in the net after the normal
six or seven minutes. Time disappears
when you’re playing fish, and you
could exaggerate and say you have
been playing it for an hour and no one
would disbelieve you, because time
just disappears. But I had one of the
big ones; she went straight in the net,
and I couldn’t believe it. Now this
was a nice fish; I don’t know which
one it was at the time, because apart
from seeing photos, I had never seen
the known fish on the bank. I lifted it
out of the water, and it was the Italian, a fantastic fish, with a very dark
b a c k , a l i g h t b o d y, a n d a s h o r t ,
stumpy, massive great tail. The scales
went round to 38lb, and I do believe it
was one of the highest weights for
that fish. I don’t know whether she is
still alive, but it was a very memorable
capture, and one I will never forget.
Now the day went on, I had baited
the swim again, and I was over the
moon. I went up and got fish and
chips, sat down, and a couple of lads
came round and had a chat with me,
as I had caught one of the known fish.
A few of them on the lake knew who
I was, not that that really mattered. I
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