FREE LINE 03 - Page 111



In Search of Monster Carp
32lb – Birch
but I think even he will agree there
was nothing of that magnitude in
there. I went on to catch a couple of
other fish that day too, so that was
one hell of a session. It was my first
ever time seriously fishing the Warwick.
I went back the following week,
and I wondered if I could do any better. I knew they had transferred a few
fish from the Lockwood, one being
the fish that I am just going to mention to you. I fished up the opposite
end this time, and the wind was a
southerly, smacking right up to the
top of the slope. To be totally honest
with you, I couldn’t be bothered to
walk down the other end. I think I had
just got over a cold or something, and
I didn’t feel that well. After 2½ miles
of walking with your gear, it’s not the
easiest thing, and I knew I had to get
back the following night. I didn’t feel
that great, but I was still on a buzz
from the week before when I’d caught
the other fish. I went into the first
swim when I came up the slope; I cast
out, the day went on, but I didn’t have
anything, and I didn’t actually see any
fish. I think at the time the gates
closed around the eight o’clock mark,
or it might have been nine o’clock,
I’m not too sure. Anyway, I had a take
about an hour before I was going to
pack up. Again, it was a bloody steam
train and honestly, as long as I have
been fishing, and I’ve caught a lot of
fish from these reservoirs now since
then, I have never hooked anything
like these two fish, Fungus the named
fish, and then this other thing. Now
I’d heard rumours of a leather, and at
the time you had only two or three big
leathers in the country – obviously
I had caught a
fish of a lifetime,
and still to this
day, 15-17 years
later, I have never
caught a bigger
leather
the famous leather from the Car Park,
and then you’ve got the Frogmore
leather that had done 40lb, but leather
carp are more rare even than common
carp. Now I explained earlier on that
you don’t catch many commons, and
I had caught my first 30lb’er the previous season, but now I thought, hang
on a minute, I think there’s a chance
of catching a leather in here, so let’s
give it a go. So I slipped the net under
the fish, it had a pale back, and I had
never seen a leather carp before.
When you see the photos, honestly, it
is an unbelievable fish, there is nothing like it; you can see the ribs down
the side, and it was like a massive
bream. That fish weighed 35lb 4oz,
and unless I ever get a chance to fish
somewhere like the Car Park in later
years, I am never going to catch a bigger leather. It’s a proper English fish,
and some serious, serious anglers
have caught that in the Lockwood. I
know there was a bit of controversy
about it in the first days, because people were saying, well hang on a
minute, it was in the Lockwood, and it
has been transferred over. I don’t
know why it was transferred over, but
there were a lot of fish transferred
over to the West Warwick at that time
for one reason or another. They may
have drained it, I don’t know, but as
far as I was concerned, I had caught a
fish of a lifetime, and still to this day,
15-17 years later, I have never caught
a bigger leather. What a memorable
catch; I will never forget it – it was
fantastic.
To be honest with you, once I had
caught that, I didn’t go back to the
FREE LINE 111

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