FREE LINE 03 - Page 212

In Search of Monster Carp
(Above) 32lb, Wraysbury 1985.
(Below) 36lb, Wraysbury No.1.
But anyway, I picked three spots,
and decided to bait them up; two of
them were against an island. The first
time I went down I fished this spot,
just above Hampton Court. There
were a load of boats moored up in this
island, and I fished it a couple of
times. I don’t know whether I had
anything then, but anyway, I was fishing there and a boat came up, a rowing boat, which had a little outboard
on the back. A couple of guys moored
up and starting fishing right over
where I had been baiting up, so I
shouted out to these two Herberts,
“Oi, I’m fishing over there!” So they
came across, and one of them turned
out to be a bloke that I knew from
years before, who had got a bit of a
name for himself for moving fish, and
I thought to myself I don’t want to be
anything to do with you, you know
what I mean… I went to one of my
other spots, because I just didn’t want
to know them. I was casting across,
and I think I had a fish; the weights
really don’t mean a lot nowadays, but
it was about 14lb or something like
that. I know it wasn’t a monster but it
was a fish, and it pleased me; it was
my first Thames carp. But the problem was that when it got dark, you
had all these rowers coming up the
river, six abreast, so I decided to make
these backleads up that held my lead
down so I could still fish across. That
worked okay, but I couldn’t believe
those rowers; they were up and down
all the time. I was supposed to be fishing it with a mate of mine, and we’d
go down there baiting in the evening.
Sometimes he would come with me,
sometimes he wouldn’t, but when I
actually went fishing he was never
anywhere to be seen. I’d gone down
there one particular evening with
him; it was a Sunday evening, and I
had this little rubber dinghy. I was
going across there, baiting up with a
bucket of maize, spreading it all over
this island in amongst the bushes. I
could hear music coming, and when I
looked upriver there was this disco
boat coming down towards me, and I
thought, shit! I knew what was going
to happen, so I grabbed a branch of a
tree and just held on. I was going up
and down, and I could hear all this
music, and people drinking and
laughing, but obviously they couldn’t
see me. Anyway it went past, and all I
could hear was my mate saying, “Pete,
Pete, are you alright?” But once I
started catching a few fish, he started
I had a few fish over 20lb, and he
had a 20lb’er as well. There were all
different types of fish, as if someone
had dumped in a load of odd fish;
there were all different strains and
what-have-you, but it was interesting, and I liked it. Funnily enough old
Dave Ball came down to see me
because I told him where I was fishing, and he sat with me one evening.
Just after he left, I had a take, and I tell
you what, it was a bloody big fish
because it started taking me right up
river. Because my mate, another Dave,
and I had a boat on the river, and we’d
been up and down there echo sounding, I knew that off the end of this
island were two popular trees that
had gone in. They were still lying on
the bottom, and this fish was heading


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