FREE LINE 03 - Page 116

In Search of Monster Carp
me a good tussle, but in the end I
slipped the net under it. Well, I was
gobsmacked; I fell back on the boards
– it was another big common of 31lb.
At that stage I didn’t know what size
it was, but it was a perfect fish, and I
got some lovely photos of it. It was a
totally different proportion, more
gutty, with a big back on it. It had a
perfect mouth, and all the fish in there
have got a black line to their mouths
where they have been feeding on the
silt. Obviously being a mere there is
no gravel or anything like that, so
their mouths are fairly soft as well. I
did find that something like a B175,
being a fine hook, did hold better, as
opposed to some of the big things
that people use today, which would
have been a detriment to your fishing
in a place like that. You had to be a bit
more springy, use a light line, and use
more forgiving rods, because if you
bully these fish too much, I think you
would lose them. So what can I say –
it was another 30lb common, I
remember I had had a few fish in
between, at other waters, which were
around the 30lb mark, but this was
my second 30lb common, and as I
have explained before, they were few
and far between. They are still rare
today, and they still will be in ten
years’ time. There will be a few more
about, and publicity lets more people
know about the captures of them, but
a lot of the time it is the same fish
coming out on a regular basis rather
than loads of different fish. A prime
example is Dartford, down the lane,
where there is a fish called the Big
Common. Everyone thinks there are
hundreds of big commons in there,
but there aren’t; it’s just a bit of a baiteating fish that likes being caught,
and it’s the same fishing coming out,
but who knows? Unless you drain
these lakes you’ll never know the
facts, and that’s part of the fiction, or
the facts should I say, of these lakes.
It’s the mystery that keeps you going;
you don’t know the facts of what is in
there, so it keeps light at the end of
the tunnel.
So, back to reality, and obviously
that week came to a close. From what
I remember of that week, we went on
to catch another couple of 30’s and a
lot of backup fish in between. It was a
very enjoyable week, and there
wasn’t anywhere like it at that that
time that de-stressed me in such a
way. I’d come home and feel as if I’d
had three weeks abroad, in the middle
of nowhere. There’s a little shop a
couple of miles walk up the road, but
other than that you didn’t see anyone.
Tim may come down, or John, or one
of the locals from the Mangrove just
to make sure we were ok, but seeing
as we had been on there for so many
years, he knew he could trust us, and
that we would look after the place
and treat it as our own. Well that session ended, and I had to go back
home, but while I was fishing up at
Birch, I had to think about where I
was going to fish when I came back.
Obviously I had Sutton Leisure Sport,
but I didn’t want to spend so much
time on there after this season. Doing
the week on Birch, I realised that
doing the whole season on Sutton
could really do my health some damage, as it just drains you.
Join us next time as Craig applies
for a Tolpits ticket.
Birch 20 plus.


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