FREE LINE 03 - Page 148



In Search of Monster Carp
quite easily spook them and that
would be it, so I walked round
another time, and the third time back
round I decided that now I could fish
it, as there were half a dozen there.
So I set up in the swim, which
doesn’t exist any more. It was on the
Church Bank side, the last swim
along, and you could flick right up to
the corner to a little bit of gravel. So I
got in there, flicked one up there, and
they were into it big time. One of the
old members came down, Curly Bob,
and he said he was going go in there
the mouth of the bay swim. I said I
didn’t mind, and suddenly I heard the
alarm, so we ran down and I hit it. It
was the Son of Shoulders at 32lb 10oz,
which hadn’t been out for four years,
so that was lovely. That was in Big
Carp mag, and a little while after that
I had the Thorpe Park Common as
well. That was another day… I was a
couple of swims back in the Sick; the
wind was belting down to the RIP
corner, and the undertow was unbelievable. The fish were still lumping
out in front of me, but a lot of people
had moved down the other end
because of the wind. The undertow
was coming back up, and the fish
148 FREE LINE
were just staying out in front of me.
Jim Shelley was next door to me, the
fish were just popping up, and my
mate came round and he said, “Are
you coming for a pub lunch and a
beer?” I don’t drink anyway, so I said
I would stay put, what with all the fish
out there.
All of a sudden this great big
golden thing came straight out of the
water, so I quickly reeled in and
changed the bait. We were using
16mm boilies, cutting them in half,
putting one half on, and the other half
we were microwaving, so if one came
off, you always had the microwaved
one on. We were using quite long
hook links, about 18ins, and just 1.5 oz
running leads. The boys came back
from the pub, and my mouth was
watering when they told me what
they had eaten. My mate said, “I’m
going to go back round my swim,”
and he must have just walked out of
my swim and gone no more than 20
steps out of the swim when I shouted,
“Steve, I’m into one!” Someone told
me that the Thorpe Park common
fights high in the water, and it was
lucky it did, because when I marked
that swim up after I left, it was 14ft of
solid Canadian. It just came straight
up to the surface, and was kiting right
to go round to Church Bay, so I
jumped down into the margin with
my arm was sticking right out to try
to keep it clear, and I thought oh no,
please don’t. I was lucky though; I got
it back, so that was that, and it
weighed 35lb 10oz, the biggest common in there at that time, but now it’s
like Tetley’s. The Thorpe Park has
done 40lbs now though, and it’s a
stunning, stunning carp.
So that was it for me really, but I did
lose another three fish after that in
different areas of the lake. I finished
that season and went back to Sutton.
The year after that, the fish started
dying, so I stayed at Sutton. I couldn’t
get away from Sutton; it just grabs
hold of you like certain places do, like
when you were on the Car Park after
Heather. I was talking to some of the
boys who had been on there for years;
you want to get off there, but I just
couldn’t do it. I mean I haven’t got my
ticket now, but I still want to go back,
as there are four of them I still need.
So I was back down at Sutton, plugging away, but it wasn’t happening
for me with those big mirrors, so I

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