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In Search of Monster Carp
Higher Maynard.
think Ashley Bradbury was there; I
know Ash from a couple of waters,
and fished a couple of waters with
him since. It was nice to have him
there; it’s always nice, as I said earlier
on, to enjoy a capture with someone
else, or at least talk about it or reminisce. I think being by yourself on a
lake in the middle of nowhere has its
advantages, but it’s no good talking
to yourself. After all we’re all fishing,
so we might as well just enjoy ourselves to be honest. The day continued, and Saturday passed, and I think
if I remember rightly I did have a
small common that afternoon. They
had a few of fish in there that had
escaped from the lake next door in
the flooding, and they nicknamed
them the Renegades and. There were
a number of these fish in the lake,
which I think have grown to quite a
size now, but I think this common
was a fat little 13lb’er, an immaculate
little fish, and I was glad of the capture – two carp in a weekend session
from a hard circuit water; you can’t
argue with that at all. I baited up that
evening, and left the baits out there. It
was one of those typical early summer days; blue skies one minute, and
cloud the next. There was a little bit of
rain, and air temperature was
medium; I think it was fairly low pressure, although it was bright – ideal
conditions for the time of year.
Well Sunday morning came around,
and I was awoken by a one-toner. I
couldn’t believe it; everyone was
98 FREE LINE
looking at me, I’d only been on the
lake four or five times, and before I
knew it, I’d had three takes in one
weekend. Sometimes it’s just down to
being in the right place at right time –
angling skill had nothing to do with it,
but I did see that hatch of flies out
there, and they were congregated in
front of me for some reason. Now this
fight was worse than the last one; I
just could not keep it under control. It
went left, it went right, it was trying
to steam off round the lake, and when
I thought I was going to get it in the
net, it decided to go off again. Well
this was, without exaggeration, a
good 15-minute battle. You can count
the big fish that are in there on one
hand amongst the 20’s and doubles,
so hang on a minute, I thought, I’ve
got another one here. Well, I got it in
the net, and I couldn’t believe it; I’d
got another 40! It was Lesters, and at
the time my third British 40. It was
just being in the right place at the
right time, as I said earlier, and if anyone else had been in that swim, considering what was going on in front of
it, they probably would have caught
too. She went 41lb-plus – a fantastic
fish. I’ll never forget that weekend,
and it’s made me think that whenever
I go to any other venue, and I’m faced
with the last swim on the lake, it’s
always worth having a go. Don’t turn
round and go home, don’t give up,
because you never know where you
might end up – you could have the
best session of your life. I know pres-
sure dictates a lot of things these
days, the amount of anglers that fish
some of these waters we fish, but
those fish could be in front of the
swim that you get, and you could
have a good chance of catching them.
I went back to Tolpits one or two
times after that, and I did catch Plodder’s Mate, I think it was called, or
Baby Plodder, at low-30. I had a couple of low 20’s too, one being a nice
mirror. I never caught Plodder, and I
never caught the Big Common either.
Unfortunately, I think the Big Common has now passed away, but Plodder and Lesters have both gone over
47lb now. I am not too sure what the
situation is on the lake now, but I
dropped my membership a couple of
years ago. I wouldn’t say I’ve been
there and done that, but I have
caught a couple of fish. What with the
angler pressure, and the lack of area
you had to fish, everyone knew too
much about what you were doing,
and you couldn’t keep yourself to
yourself, so that was enough of Tolpits
for me, and I moved on. I decided that
I had had enough there, but I had got
the season off to a good start with a
40 and a decent 30. It’s not a numbers
game; it’s catching fish, but obviously
you do collate the figures as you go
along. Anyway, I’d caught a few fish,
so I thought I would go up to
Walthamstow for a couple of weeks,
do the odd day here and there. I had
had a few blank sessions, and you’ve
got to have plenty of blank sessions in
amongst the good ones, but there is
one session that springs to mind.
I decided to fish the Higher Maynard, a big expanse of water with a lot
of fish in there. To be honest with you
I did know at the time that there was
a 40lb common in there but it didn’t
get caught a great deal, and I never
got a chance to catch that individual
common, although there are other
40lb commons in other waters on the
venue that I have been lucky to catch,
and which I will talk about at a later
date. The Higher Maynard is a big
expanse of water; it’s probably one of
the most open reservoirs there, at
about 38 acres, and very windswept.
It’s higher up than the others as well,
so when there’s a gale blowing, you
know all about it. It’s quite an enjoyable place to fish, quite daunting, and
quite a few named anglers have
fished it over the years. There are
some very nice fish in there; it’s done

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