FREE LINE 03 - Page 211

In Search of Monster Carp
e join Pete
again as he
begins a new
era in his carp
f i s h i n g l i f e,
the awesome
Wraysbury, and his first sightings of
the incredible Mary…
All the time I was fishing at Redmire, I was also fishing at Wraysbury.
Funnily enough, I used to get back to
Wraysbury, and I’d look out across
Wraysbury and think, I’ll be lucky if
there is one 20 in ten acres here. At
that time these guys from Yorkshire
started coming down and fishing and
I got to know them, Richard Skidmore,
Dave Moore and John Allott. As I say,
I was flitting between Wraysbury One
and Wraysbury Two at the time; that’s
another thing, I was baiting up over at
Wraysbury Two. I came off of Wraysbury One because I’d had fish up to
about 36lb, and a guy from Furnace
Lake happened to be there when I
caught it, and he nicknamed it The
Olive because it was like olive oil, so
that’s how that fish got its name. I
thought I had had most of the fish out
of Wraysbury One, so I thought I’d go
back onto Wraysbury Two and fish for
the fish that I knew were in there,
expecting a few 30’s. Because I was
working for Hoover, I used to go down
at dinner times and bait up. I picked
an area I fancied, which was right by
this island, and which had a gravel
shelf running round with overhanging
bushes. I used to have to spod across
and get them into the gaps. I would
go down there at dinnertime with a
bucket of bait, and I would spod it
across and sit down and have my
sandwich for lunch.
After I’d done this a few times, I’d
be sitting there, and all of a sudden
the fish would start rolling because
they had got used to me going in at
that time of day. It was the year when
we had the hurricane, and right where
I was fishing there was this great big
willow that I used to use as a windbreak against the southwesterly wind
that used to channel through there,
and it would stop me getting blown
away. Anyway, the night of the hurricane, I remember I was at home, as I
didn’t get finished until late that afternoon. Normally I used to go on a
Thursday, but since I was late I
thought I’m not going to go now; I’ll
leave it until the morning. So next
morning, my dog was waking me up
25lb 12oz, Wraysbury 1985.
licking me, and I thought how the
bloody hell did she get in here? I got
up, heard about the hurricane, and
heard about all the trees blown down.
So I thought to myself I best take a
bow saw with me, so I sorted one out,
drove down to Wraysbury and went
to go across what we call the Causeway to get to where I was going to
fish, and I had to cut about half a
dozen trees out of the way. Anyway, I
got there, and this particular willow
that I normally used as a windbreak
would have come down on top of me.
It was purely because I didn’t finish
early that I didn’t go, so that was a bit
of luck.
At that time, I met these Yorkshire
guys who came down, and they
started catching a few fish at Wraysbury One, because they had heard
about the fish that I had caught, so I
thought it was probably time for me
to go back on there at the end of the
season, but in the meantime, I started
fishing the Thames. Carp fishing was
my love; it was my main thing, but I
enjoy any fishing, and any fish. I had
been on the Thames because the old
boy, Fred, when I first met him, took
m e d o w n t o Wa l t o n - o n - T h a m e s
because that’s where he used to
catch barbel, and as I said, my uncle
used to take me down to Hampton
Court. Anyway, I had heard that there
had been one or two nice carp caught
out of the Thames, so I thought I’d go
and bait up a few spots. I walked a lot
of it, and it disgusted me to be honest.
I went to a place called Hurst Park.
There used to be a racecourse there
then, but it’s now a housing estate.
Along the riverbank you’ve got the
towpath, and when I was younger I
used to go up there and catch roach.
I walked up this stretch and things
come back to you, and I thought to
myself there might be a few carp
along there, so I walked along there,
and the amount of rubbish, luncheon
meat tins, tackle I saw was absolutely
disgusting. I thought to myself, no
wonder anglers get a bad name and
councils want to ban fishing. Obviously a lot of it was left by kids, but it
doesn’t say much for fishermen in
general. I thought I’m not going to
fish along there; where it used to be
lovely, it was now like a bomb had
hit it.


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