FREE LINE 03 - Page 211

North Carping
phere. This was the lake that we
found out about the hair-rig, readymade boilies (Richworth’s), Kryston
Multi-Strand and so on. After using
paste baits, meat, dog food, cat food
etc, and all other manner of baits for
many seasons, these new methods
and baits that had finally filtered their
way through to the park really took
our fishing to a whole new level that
none of us had ever anticipated.
These were the days when everything was serious and secret. If you
had an edge, then nobody was to find
out about it, no matter what. I used to
laugh to myself about all the fuss and
little rumours that used to go around,
like, such-and-such an angler is having them on this flavour, or someone
else is catching them over a bed of
hemp. Also catches were being kept
quiet, but it was these sorts of goingson that kept you on your toes.
I can remember being at home
unable to switch off my brain about
the lake; it had me by the throat. I
could just not stop thinking and talking about the place. I wanted to know
everything, who was catching, when,
where, what time, from which swim –
talk about obsession or what, but
that’s what carp fishing is all about at
times, if you’re not careful it can really
take over your life, such is the pull of
this great hobby. I got to know Dave,
a great friend of mine, through fishing.
He knew his stuff alright; I thought I
was keen until I met him. We used to
do some long sessions together on
the park, and he taught me a lot about
carp – when to move, bait, patience,
stealth, and loads of watercraft, for
which I will always be grateful. This
sort of experience stays with you for
life, but you have to put a lot of hard
work in for it; it’s something that you
cannot buy off the shelf.
You know when you have mastered
the lake your quarry live in; you get to
know its face in every changing season, and confidence is just sky high –
you’re like a piece of glass, no one can
scratch you, predicting catches and
so on. At times, our confidence got to
such a point that we’d be sitting there
fishing, making names up for the runs
(Above) Still using the old monkey
climbers – 2007
(Left) Shropshire 21lb common – 2007
such as, midnight screamer, dawn’s
delight, afternoon howlers, all good
fun, which is what it’s all about. Also
we used to be into those quiet
moments, when you would be sat
there at night taking all the atmosphere in, when all of a sudden, everything would just fall silent, almost
deafening, but lasting no more than a
few seconds. We used to swear that
those moments used to produce fish,
in fact we caught a few fish at these
times. I wonder if anyone out there
has experienced this for themselves.
Anyway, enough of the romantic
stuff; I was well happy with what I’d
caught and learnt at the park, but I
wanted to spread my wings a bit by
now, and there were other waters to
be mastered locally. Once such water
was Leg O’Mutton Dam, a small and
very tricky lake, much harder fishing
that I had experienced before, but I
fished it with the same principles that
I’d learnt, and it didn’t take too long to
work the place out. Most of my
angling was done on the famous Pig
Bank, a great night area with quite
deep margins. The fish would make


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