FREE LINE 03 - Page 192

Essex 40s
By Richard Lofthouse
remember the first time I
walked around Lakelands; it
was May 4th 2006, and I was
absolutely buzzing. I had just
purchased the ticket a week
earlier, and was about to try
to outwit some of the lake’s old English residents. The lake held nine fish
over 30lbs at the time, three of which
were over 35lbs, and two were over
the magical 40lb mark, the biggest
being a common known as Swirly. On
that first recce around the lake, I got
to see and photograph a carp that
would become an obsession, and run
my life for the next two years, –
Swirly. I had read so much about
40lb-plus carp in various angling
books, such as In Pursuit of the
Largest, my carp angling bible, but
nothing prepared me for the size of a
Braveheart 38.4
40lb carp, or the adrenaline rush I got
after seeing such a monster common
on the bank. I could not wait to get
down and have a go for myself; I was
totally mesmerised.
I popped to the lake the week after
with a marker rod and some bait. I
liked the look of a swim known as the
Secret, which had a good amount of
weed and a snaggy island in front of
it. I found a nice hole, just 25yds out in
the middle of the weed, and decided
to put 2kg of Pukka Fish and Oily
Chicken from DT on the spot. I also
put a kilo out to the left of the island
in between two weedbeds. The weed
in the lake that first summer was in
abundance; it covered 85% of the lake
top to bottom, and because of this, I
was fishing weed rigs on all three
rods. I was using 15lb Wychwood
Maximizer line in weed green, which
is a very strong, supple and abrasion
resistant mono. I also beefed up my
end tackle with the E.S.P leadcore. I
use different lengths of leadcore to
suit the spots I’m fishing. To ensure
the lead comes off on the take, I use
the Korda lead clips, which I cut down
so the lead comes off easier if a fish
gets weeded up. I feel this is very
important, as it brings the fish to the
surface much quicker, making it possible to play the carp above the weed.
For my rigs I use 7ins of Wychwood
Deception in weed green, knotless
knotted to a size 6 Korda Wide Gape,
and I put a few blobs of putty along
the rig to keep it pinned down. Bait is
never an issue – get on the DT! The
Pukka Fish and Oily Chicken has
caught me fish everywhere I go.


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