FREE LINE 03 - Page 105

In Search of Monster Carp
bviously spending
quite a bit of time
on Sutton takes it
out of you, and
being on that gate
at 4am does take its
toll, so, after speaking to few people I
found a complex called Walthamstow.
Well, after fishing a three-acre gravel
pit, and then driving not far off the
centre of London, around Hackney, I
found what is an oasis within a shit
hole. I don’t want to offend anyone
who lives in that area but my God,
they don’t realise what they have got.
It’s another water which has its rules,
and Walthamstow has many a reservoir on its complex; you’ve got the
Higher Maynard, the Lower Maynard,
the Lockwood, the West Warwick, Pit
Two and Three, and Pit One. Now they
are all full of carp, and the majority of
them are big carp; they’ve been there
for a lot of years. Many a top angler
can tell a story about some or all of
those reservoirs. To be honest with
you, I go back 20, 30 years, and there
were a lot of doubles and low 20’s, but
these low doubles and 20’s are now
low-30’s, upper-30’s, and in some
cases, 40’s. I think every single lake
there holds a 40, other than the One,
and that will do one eventually without a doubt.
From Hackney, you drive down in
between the reservoirs, and you come
up to Walthamstow gates on your left
hand side. You have to park on the
pavement before the entrance, and
the gates open at 7am or thereabouts.
You take your life into your own
hands sometimes, although recently
they have put speed cameras there to
slow people down, but you have
these terrorists who speed down
Blackhorse Lane at 90mph. They honestly don’t give a damn who’s in their
way, and unfortunately many people
have been killed outside those gates,
but touch wood, no anglers that I am
aware of. But unfortunately one of the
bailiffs got knocked down a couple of
years ago; he is suffering from ill
health because of the car hitting him,
and all the regulars will know who I
am on about. Although these pits
average between 25 acres and 38
acres, they are reservoirs, and they’re
windswept, as there are very few
trees, apart from a couple, about
which I will go into more detail. They
are open lunar landscapes, so that
when a wind picks up, which anywhere else would be a slight breeze,
you’d have trouble to peg a brolly in –
it’s one extreme to the other. It’s a
fantastic complex, and we’ve all
heard rumours saying that they are
going to stop the fishing, but I don’t
think they ever will. On and off I have
been fishing the venue now for 15-17
years. I don’t fish it hard at any one
time; I might do a couple of months in
the winter. Recently I have been up
there and fished in the spring, and I
always spend two or three weekends,
or if I’ve got an odd day where I don’t
fancy going to the pit I am fishing at
the time, I go to Walthamstow.
As I say, you queue up at the
entrance; Marlon is the head bailiff
now, and he comes and opens the
gate. Then the first in the queue
drives in, then the second, third,
fourth, fifth. You can buy a season
ticket for the Lower and the Higher
and the Lockwood, which this year is
a £150; you can buy a season ticket
for the Warwick, which I understand
is £150, and Two, Three and One are
day ticket only, which is £14 for three
rods. When you think about it, all
these venues, as I said earlier on,
other than Pit One, have got 40lb’ers
in there, and in some cases, 40lb commons – now there aren’t many places
that can say that. I am sure you will
agree Rob, being one of the first people to catch a brace of 40lb carp, that
it’s a special fish, whichever way you
look at it. There are very few anglers
out there who have caught a 40lb
Fungus 36lb – The Warwick


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