FREE LINE 03 - Page 214

In Search of Monster Carp
towards them. I thought, I’ve got to
stop this fish – whatever happens,
I’ve got to stop it, so I just laid into it
as much as I could, and everything
was creaking, and all of a sudden,
bang, it was gone. I thought the line
had parted, and my old legs were
shaking because it was a bloody great
powerful fish, but when I reeled in I
still had the hook, but it had straightened out. It was a heavy size 14 hook,
which was like a meat hook, and I
couldn’t believe it. I packed up, drove
straight back to Dave Ball’s house and
said, “Look at that!” and I was still
shaking. A couple of years later, I
don’t know why, but for some reason
I stopped fishing there. I don’t know
what happened, but I gave it a miss
after a while, and a couple of years
later, old Dave said to me, “Do you
mind if I go and fish that spot you
were fishing?” I said, “No, go down
there mate,” so he went, and I think
that’s where he caught his first
Anyway I got back onto Wraysbury,
and these Yorkshire blokes had been
catching one or two fish. They were
obviously putting on weight, so I got
back on there. It’s funny, but it’s just
the way things work out I suppose,
but I bumped into Johnny Allen, and
we spent the whole of the Saturday
walking round Wraysbury, just walk(Top) Dave Cumpstone, Richard
Skidmore and me at Wembley Carp
Society Conference May 1993.
(Below) Richard and me at Wraysbury
No.1, Sept 92.
ing and looking. We might have seen
one or two fish, but that was it. It was
the closed season, and I thought to
myself we should have seen some
fish. I came home, and I was lying in
bed, it was all going over in my mind,
and I was thinking to myself, where
didn’t we look? We looked bloody
everywhere, but then it suddenly
dawned on me that there was one
area we didn’t look; a spot they had
dug out in the south lake. For some
reason, to keep their digging rights or
whatever they call it, they have to
keep digging, and they dug out a bit
more the year before and made this
little, I don’t know what you’d call it, a
channel I suppose. They were digging
a pit further down just by the Percy
that was flooding or whatever, I can’t
remember now, but they dug a ditch
from there into Wraysbury One, and it
was flowing in. That was the only
spot we never bloody looked at, and I
thought if that water is running in, the
chances are there might be a few fish
there, so I thought I’d go there the
next day.
So the next day, I went down,
parked in Douglas Lane car park,
walked up towards it, and I nearly
stumbled over the fish. They were
tight to the bank; they couldn’t have
been any closer, right where the
water was coming in, so I just froze.
They were milling about, and when
they went out a little bit, I backed up
on myself, and went round into the
bushes watching them. I had some
floater with me, so I slung some out,
and they started taking a few bits, as
they do in the closed season. So I
thought if I could get up on this tree, I
can overlook them and get a better
view. So I got up, still throwing out
these bits of floater, and they were
sucking them in. I know there was
one common there at least, which
looked about 30lb. There were half a
dozen fish there, but one stood out
from all the rest, and I thought, bloody
hell – that is a monster! I hadn’t seen
t h i s f i s h b e f o r e, a n d t h e m o r e I
watched it, and the more I was throwing out these bits of floater cake, the
more it was taking. It was coming
closer and closer; I could see everything about it, and the one thing that
struck me was this one scale on its
flank. I thought that it had got to be
about 45lb, and I wondered where it
had been all this time – I couldn’t
believe it. I had flung in all the floater
cake I had with me and they had
taken the lot; I had nothing else to
throw out there, so anyway, I left late
afternoon. I got home, phoned Kenny


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