FREE LINE 03 - Page 145

In Search of Monster Carp
ast month I got carried
away a bit with talking
about Sutton because
it’s quite dear to me,
but I did fish Horton
and that was a major
learning curve. That was probably
around about 1994 or so Rob. There
was one angler up there that I met
and we stayed really good friends; I’d
put him up there in the top three, and
that’s Frogger, a really nice bloke, and
I learned a lot off him. But that first
year, cor that was punishment – the
lake was solid with weed. All the baiting up was done in the closed season;
you used to use a little bit during the
course of your fishing, but not loads –
it’s mainly like singles. Half the time
there wasn’t any point in putting a
marker out; you were just casting out
with the bait and feeling for the drop.
If you got a drop that was good
enough, and you’d think it was going
to happen. I struggled up there, even
though I’d fished weedy lakes, I mean
the Tip was ridiculous at times, but
this was different. You were often
fishing in 18ft, and I couldn’t get my
head around it. People were saying to
me, “Don’t worry about it, that’s
where they live; they use the whole
Anyway, getting back to that season, I hadn’t had anything, and this
was August. But up at Horton in those
days, the first six weeks of the season
were the busiest, and that was the
main time when the fish would come
out, so by August time, it had quietened down. I think there were three
of us on there one night, and I had
found CP’s and Jack in the Lookout.
In the Lookout there’s a little jetty,
and just to the left of it is a very silty
area, which was gin clear and they
were there. I had never seen anything
as big as that, and as you can imagine, the old knees were going. I
stepped back, got some baits,
chopped them up, and they drifted
out. I put the baits in, they came back,
and they were feeding big time. But
then two big commons came in as
well, looked round, and then went out.
The Woodcarving was the only one
that freaked out; he came in, I had a
little peek, but he saw me, and he
bolted. I was doing the same with
Jack and CP’s, and it didn’t bother
them, but it did bother the Woodcarving, and he was gone.
By then it was lunchtime, and I
couldn’t get my gear set up, so I
thought right, I’ll do it all at the back
of the swim, and I can drag it down to
the front later. By 7pm they had gone
from the left hand side of that jetty
spot, and gone round to the right
where the reeds are, and they were
crashing through them. I thought
someone was mucking about there,
and I was ready to start shouting at
them, but it was these fish. They were
ploughing through the reeds, smashing them to pieces, and I thought
right, this is my chance. I got my
bivvy all set up, everything was in
place, and all I had to do was put the
rods out, so I put the left hand rod out
first. There’s a submerged tree under
the wall to the left, so I just flicked one
out towards that, and I thought that’s
that one done, and I put a few chops


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