FREE LINE 03 - Page 149

In Search of Monster Carp
went and did something even more
stupid; I took another great big step
and went up to the Car Park! I
thought, I’m not catching these mirrors out of here, so what chance have
I got up the Car Park? But after Bazil
died I wanted to go up there and have
a go while they were still in there, as
you never know what’s round the corner do you?
So I got my ticket, I think I got up
there round about the second week of
the season. If I remember rightly, I
had seen you up there, and you said
you had been down after the first two
days and it was empty; you said you
could have the pick of the lake. I got
down there and I fished the Snags,
next to the Bars. I felt intimidated
down there; you think of the class of
anglers down there, and I never think
of myself as high up as that. I’m just a
bloke that likes going fishing, and if I
can catch a good fish on the way,
that’s it. I just wanted to stay out of
the way and watch, see what was
going on, but as soon as I got there, I
was catching tench. I was using the
same old rig, the bottom bait rig with
the Mantis peeled back about 1.5ins
with the silicone, and the tench were
getting hooked in the side of the
mouth. So that was the first 48-hour
session down there. The next time my
mate was down there and he said
that the weather was absolutely
pukka. The pressure was plummeting
to under 1000, and it was 9pm. I
thought well this is it, I’ve got to get
going, so I got all my gear together,
put it all in the van, and I think I got
up there for about 4am. I was just
walking round and woke my mate up,
which he was well pleased about.
There’s a big head of tench in there
though, loads of them, but in another
way it’s good with the old rigs you
know; it did me a favour. One of the
anglers had just come out of the old
Dugout swim. I’d met him before, and
we were having a chat and a cup of
tea, and he said, “I’m going, you could
do worse than jump in here.“ It turns
out he’d had had a 20lb common, so I
thought well, it’s another swim fished
and learned, so I jumped in there the
first day. I was marking up, found a
couple of areas that I liked including a
little close-in gravel bit, but if you
weren’t bang on you’d end up in
stringy weed. When you ended up
bang on it you could just pull it, so I
fished that. The other one I had out a
little bit further towards the island –
there’s a tree growing off of it, and it
was just in line with that. I wasn’t
happy about that; I mean the area
was alright, but I just wasn’t happy
because of the weed and everything.
It was a fair old distance out there,
and I don’t think you could use a boat
that year. So anyway, I got in there,
got everything set up, and that first
night had tench again. As soon as I’d
had a tench I knew they’ve cleaned
me out and done my bait, so the mind
was made up then, go back to what I
know, and the next day I put 3-4kg in.
I was confident in the rig, and the
tench were getting hooked in the bottom lip, right in the centre.
That night I think England were
playing Portugal, and there weren’t
many people down the lake, just me,
Ben Hamilton and Nigel. We were
saying that something’s gonna come
out tonight, and I was thought let it
be me please, it’s the Car Park, I just
want the one, and I promise I won’t
come back again! Anyway that night
I got woke up and they were crashing
to my right, in the Dugout and down
to the End Works – I’ve never heard
anything like it in my life. I got up, trying to have a look as best as I could. I
could see the ripples coming back
and it was just too much, I couldn’t
move the baits, so I just got back into
my sleeping bag, pulled it over my


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