FREE LINE 03 - Page 196



In Search of Monster Carp
waded out to bait up the spots were
getting firmer and firmer, so it was a
really good sign that the fish were
well on the bait. I think it was around
mid-May to the end of May, I actually
witnessed the Royal with its tail out
of the water over the spot, and I
thought, “Oh, god, how I wish I had a
rod now,” but obviously it’s the closed
season, and you want to wait and
catch it properly.
May passed; the fish were well on
the bait, and everything was good.
Around that time I had a chat with
Barney and Mike, and I decided that I
was actually going to give my gold
card back. Some people said I was
mad for doing it, but if you want to
concentrate on a big fish like that
you’ve can’t have other lakes in your
head; you need tunnel vision. So I
decided to give it back, but thanks a
lot to both of them for sorting me out,
I really appreciate it.
Come the night before the start of
the season we all decided we were
going to go down and have a few
beers and a bit of a social. As we were
sat round in the Sanctuary, just chilling out and talking about all things
carpy as you do, my mate Luke and I
had to drive our cars out of the park,
obviously because we were going to
do the night. As we were walking up
the hill I heard a big ‘doosh’. I looked
out and there was a massive ripple
coming off the spot. So I ran back to
where I was fishing, and it was in
front of the swim, so I lined it up with
a treeline marker in the far bank, and I
thought yeah, that’ll do nice. It wasn’t
any of the spots I’d been baiting, but I
must admit but the fish were obviously there. Luke and I quickly parked
them up outside, and walked back in.
A few of my mates had a bit of a
social that night, and it all went pukka
really; we were just chilling. Then I
think it was about 1 or 2am we said
we’d all put the rods out to greet the
new season in. I got the rods ready,
rigs tied, and everything was pukka,
looking prime. A big southwesterly
was blowing down the causeway, and
it was just carpy as hell basically. I put
the rod out using a bait boat I admit,
but you can’t win them all. The bait
was a little 12mm HBS Stench boilie
with a little bit of plastic corn, the
micro stuff, tipping it, along with a
couple of handfuls of the old hemp
and tigers, and a couple of handfuls of
boilies. I put it out exactly where I
196 FREE LINE
Me with the Royal at 46lb 5oz.
saw the fish show, lined it up with the
far treeline marker, because obviously
it was pitch black when I put the rod
out. I dropped it pukka, got the boat
back in, and put my other rod on
where I had been baiting all closed
season, expecting a take at any time.
It wasn’t until first light that I actually woke up and saw a couple of fish
show, but it was down to my left that
I saw the fish showing, and I was
thinking I’d messed up. But luckily
enough at 5.30 or 6am my left hand
rod on the spot that I’d bait boated
out one-noted off. It was really fighting, kiting, coming in to my left, and I
knew I was going to have to get out
there. I stripped off to my boxers,
waded straight out, and it was kiting
round to my left, close to some little
posts in the margin. So I literally kept
throwing the net in front of me every
few paces, and I was proper crapping
it basically, as takes on Richmond are
very few and far between.
Anyway, I saw what I knew was
the Richmond Park fish just come out
in front of me, and my legs went to
jelly knowing that I had my target fish
of 45lb-plus in front of me. I praying
that nothing would happen, and I
scooped it up in the net, and I
shouted, “Get in there,” and a few
obscenities across the lake to my
mate. They just couldn’t believe it;
the first day of the season, and I think
it’s the quickest ever capture, and I
was blown away – what a carp! As
you can see in the photos, the fish
is… well, it’s my favourite carp. I
know people say the Black Mirror is
the one, and obviously it is up there,
but in my eyes the Richmond fish is
pukka. I was cradling it in my arms –
god what a beast, and it was 46lb 5oz,
and just literally blew me away.
I’d just like to say a massive thank
you to Carl, Dan, Dave, Luke and Jake
who were all there and helped me out
with the photos of the Royal, and boy,
did I get some bangers back; they
were just stunning. She looked awesome in the early morning sun. So just
thanks a lot, really. I’ll pass you back
to Rob now, and I really appreciate
what he’s done for me and thanks.
Rob: No problem, Sam. In fact
thank you mate; it’s really nice to
meet up with young anglers such as
you with a story to tell. It isn’t that
easy to speak on a tape, but hopefully
today we’ve got across Sam’s passion
for the sport, and the fact that it’s the
old warriors again that are the ones
that he wants to catch. Hopefully
we’ll be meeting up with Sam again
in the future; he’s no doubt got some
more whackers coming his way, as
he’s a very enthusiastic and thinking
angler. So it’s just left for me to say
thanks again Sam, and we’ll meet up
again in the future. Cheers, mate. n

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