FREE LINE 03 - Page 165

In Search of Monster Carp
catching a few fish, and such is the
life of the green-eyed monsters, but
we continued fishing it as much as
we could. It was quite difficult to get
to that lake, because it was the opposite side of London to where we all
lived, and a number of times I found
myself lost in the middle of London
somewhere. I would try a different
route every time I went, but it always
used to end in tears. I continued fishing as much as I could, and kept the
same bait going in. Bear in mind that
at that time it didn’t take an awful lot
of baiting to establish a bait. I was
really quite successful by that lake’s
standard, and I think by the September I had managed to land seven fish.
The problem with those days was
that there was no such thing as 15lb
line, so you were using 7lb Silcast
with a leader as well because of the
severity of the bars, and you very
often used to get cut off on the bite.
We d i d n ’t r e a l l y k n o w a n y w a y
around it.
As I said, the bait was working, and
I finished off that season with about
seven or eight fish. I say that season,
but I stopped fishing it in September,
because you weren’t allowed to night
fish. So, when only fishing after work
for an afternoon, sometimes you only
had three hours’ fishing by the time
you got there, and then you had to
drive all the way home again. Other
than the 40lb’er, which turned out to
be the biggest fish in the lake at the
time, the next biggest we caught
between us were two 29lb’ers, and
Peter Ridley caught both of them.
There is actually a swim on the lake
now called Twenty-Nine, which
stems back to Pete’s two captures.
From there, I had a couple of trips to
Savay, getting my first taste of it. I
fished it by day, on a day ticket, sleep-
ing in the motor at night. At the time,
it was probably one of the most
famous syndicates in the world, and it
made a real change to be fishing with
those lads; there were no secrets, and
that really did make a change. If
someone wanted to make some bait,
everyone would sit round in each
other’s swims and roll it all up. There
was no secrets about the spots they
were fishing, well there might have
been, but it wasn’t apparent that
there were any secrets, and they just
struck me as a real good bunch of
blokes. Going back to the first Colne
Valley water I had been fishing, the
lake contained loads of bars, and I
used to cast around until I found
really smooth spots in the gullies. My
reasoning was that all the bait that
you fired out would end up in the
gully anyway, so consequently that
was where the fish would do their
feeding. The spots I used to fish
almost felt like the lead had fallen off
where you pulled it along the bottom;
there was just no resistance whatsoever.
The following year, I spent the winter on the East Kent lake as well after
(Top) Savay Italian (1983).
(Left) Burnsy.


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