FREE LINE 03 - Page 168

In Search of Monster Carp
Funnily enough, after that first season, I very nearly dropped my ticket
for the place, because I’d caught the
40lb’er, and the next biggest were
two 29lb’ers. I thought I don’t know if
I really want to go all through this
aggro of driving to the other side of
London all the time just for a couple of
29lb’ers and the 40lb’er that I had
already caught, so I very nearly
dropped the ticket. It was only the
fact that the subscription was £10
that I thought I might as well keep it
up, and I’m bloody glad I did. It’s one
of those lakes where the fish really do
put the weight on for the winter, and I
can’t remember how many 30’s you
caught – I think it was six or seven,
and those fish would have been 20’s
early in the year, so it was really worth
keeping the ticket. Then I think I lost
a little bit of interest in the lake,
mainly because of the obsession with
catching She, so I spent more and
more time at the east Kent water, as
much time as I could, absolutely
obsessed with catching that fish. Paul
Forward and I used to fish together
regularly on there, and by this time we
were trying various different baits,
like hemp and things like that, which
we had never really done before. Paul
was a great particle angler. I had seen
anglers previously like Dickie Cauldwell and Bill Young and their success
(Top) Sutton’s Little Fully Scaled (now
(Right) Sutton’s Heart Tail Gertie,
38lb, second capture.
with particles, but Paul was the first
angler I actually fished with who used
them to any extent with a lot of success. We used to turn up at the pool,
do a day session, fish a couple of
static spots to start with, but then
consequently end up stalking round,
baiting a few spots with hemp, and
creeping round with a float and a couple of little black beads on the hair.
As always, though I was catching
really well and managed to catch
most the fish in there, She eluded me.
As much as She eluded me, there was
one fish in there, a big common that
eluded Paul. I will always remember
the conversation we had one particular day. Paul had brought me some
fish and chips round, straight from
work. We were sitting there chatting,
and the subject of which fish we
would like to catch came up. Paul
was ranting and raving about how he
would like to catch the common, and
I said to him, “That fish doesn’t really
bother me, Paul – it’s not high on my
priority list.” With that I had a bite, and
sure enough it turned out to be the
common, a really hard fighting fish of
37lb 10oz, which was actually Kent’s
biggest common for a number of
years. Paul was a little bit gutted, but
the boot had been on the other foot a
number of times, because by that
time, I think Paul had caught She
about eleven times. So I continued to
concentrate mainly on that lake. I had
the odd trip to the Colne Valley to fish
the Hertfordshire Club water again,
and again, I was fairly successful on
there, but I just used to flit around. I
didn’t really used to concentrate on it
because of the distance from home, as
bearing in mind most of my fishing
was short sessions, to travel all that
way wasn’t really a viable proposition.
One thing I didn’t mention was that
Alan Smith and I actually had a little
bait company, which we called Ultimate Baits. Alan was supplying various people with casein, and he said to
me, “How about starting a little bait
company up? We’ll do a little base
mix and sell a few ingredients just to
pay for our own permits.” So we
started up this bait company, and it
went really well. We had one mix that
we called the Ultimate Mix that was


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