FREE LINE 03 - Page 173

In Search of Monster Carp
ever; I used to search around for the
difference between small stones and
big stones, the areas where it taps
along real clean gravel – that was
what I used to look for. Sometimes
you’d have 30 casts and wouldn’t find
a spot, so you would settle for something else, but consequently you
would normally blank. But I cast out
on this particular day, June 16th and
found this really nice spot straight
away. Throughout the day I think I
caught four fish, including Chop Dorsal. Chop Dorsal was one of the fish
that Peter Ridley had caught on our
first season on there in 1983 at 29lb,
but now it was 46lb 8oz, an absolutely
stonking great carp. Unfortunately
James had blanked on the right hand
side of the swim, the best side. I
always used to rib him; I used to say,
“Imagine what would have happened
if I’d have fished on the right, James!”
He’s a good angler really; he was just
unlucky on that occasion. So that was
it really, first day of the season was
out the way, and it had been a really
successful one at that. Obviously I
was dead keen to get back up there,
and I managed a morning before work
the following week. Believe me, it’s
South Weald linear.
hard work getting up at 2am, and
driving 75 miles for three or four
hours’ fishing, but at the time it
seemed worth it, and the following
week, I went over there and I managed to catch a 27lb’er.
One thing I forgot to mention was
during the season prior to this. As I
said, it’s really important to be fishing
on the right spot. Sometimes you can
find a spot on a marker rod using
braid, but you can’t feel the same spot
on your proper fishing rod using
mono. One particular afternoon, I was
fishing a swim by the name of Daltons, and I found a nice spot at about
90yds, and another one at about
70yds with the marker rod, lined it up
with features on the far tree line, and
reeled in. I went up to the café and
came back, cast the first rod out, but I
couldn’t for the life of me find the
spot. I had a cast round with the other
rod, but still couldn’t find the spot, so
I picked up the marker rod with the
braid on, cast it out there, and found
both spots straight away. I thought, I
don’t know, I wonder about fishing
with this stuff too… So what I actually did was I bit off all my end tackle
on my main rod, and then, like tying a
leader with all my end tackle, I cut off
the marker float, and tied it to the
braid rod. I cast it out there, found the
spot straight away, and I thought,
blimey, this is so good this braid. So
when I got home the next day, I
decided I would change both rods
over to braid. I couldn’t wait – all I
could think of were these two spots,
and I just couldn’t wait to get back
down there. Anyway, by this time I
normally used to fish every Sunday
night; I would go fishing down East
Kent or whatever, but it was Sunday
afternoon, and I thought, I’ve just got
to go to the Colne Valley. My ex-missus looked at me as if I was mad; I
was going to drive 75 miles for an
evening’s fishing, but I just had to go
there. I drove all the way up there, and
there was a little bit of traffic on the
way, so it was a bit of aggro getting
there. I drove into the car park about
an hour before dark, loaded the barrow up, and knew exactly where I
was going to go, so hopefully no one
would be in the swim.
Anyway, I pushed the barrow all
the way down into Daltons, and luckily enough, no one was fishing it. A
guy by the name of Bob Copeland
was in the swim before the Gravely,
and it literally took two casts to find
the spots, whereas normally it would
take a number of casts, if you found
them at all, but with the braid, it was
so much easier. So one went out to
the 90yd spots, the other to the 70yd
spot, and that was it; I was fishing
within ten minutes of getting there. I
fired a few free offerings out, and then
Bob came down for a cup of tea. We
were sitting there chatting, and just
into darkness, the subject of which
fish we would like to catch came up
as usual. I mean by this time I had
caught Chop Dorsal, albeit at a lower
weight of 29lb. I said to Bob, “Well, I
would really like to catch that Long
One,” and with that the 90yd rod
blitzed off. I’ll always remember it; I
picked the rod up, and even at 90yds
range, this fish was trying to pull my
arm off, so responsive was the braid,
and sure enough it was the Long One
– I think it was 46lb 4oz. I was chuffed
to pieces with that one, and then to
top it all, about an hour later the other
rod, the 70yd rod had a funny little
quivery bite. It was just bobbing
about a little bit, but I had a feeling
that a carp had picked up the bait and
was shaking its head, trying to shake


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