FREE LINE 03 - Page 219

In Search of Monster Carp
then, just over 40lb, and it was the
same as them too, a really long fish. In
fact it was probably longer than
Mary’s Mate, but it was a very light
sandy coloured job, and that died. A
guy caught it off the top on bread
crust, but I can’t think of his name off
hand. Funnily enough I met him this
year at the Carp Show when he came
up and introduced himself. If it was
sunny that fish would be up on the
surface, and you could spot it a mile
off. There was another one that Keith
Roberts was after that he thought
was over Walker’s record, and it was
over Walker’s record because I saw it.
It was a big fat job, and it looked
spawny, but you used to see that regularly, and it was over 44lb at the time.
I remember one year, I spent a lot of
time walking round there in the
closed season. One day I went round,
just before the start of the season, and
I spotted about a dozen fish, all in this
bay off this island. I said to Kenny,
“We’re going to have to fish off the
island. We’ll have to get a boat and go
across there, but we’ll have to be
quiet about it.” That was because you
weren’t allowed to fish off the island.
We got down there in the early hours
of the morning, ferried our gear across
to this island, and sorted out a couple
of spots to fish. I think we only saw
one fish while we were on there. It’s
always the same when you actually
go there; they’ve gone off somewhere
else. Anyway, we were on there, and I
told Bob James that we were going to
be on the island. About two days into
the season I heard this voice, “Pete,
Pete, you over there?” and it was him,
so I went across with the little rubber
dinghy, and he jumped in. I brought
him across, and he said to me “Do you
reckon there’s a fish over here to beat
the record?” and I said, “Yeah, I
reckon so.” He said, “Do you reckon
there’s a 50 in here?” I said, “I don’t
know about that Bob, why?” He
replied, “Well Yates just had a 51lb 8oz
out of Redmire yesterday,” and I said,
“I don’t think there’s one to beat
As I say, I had that 45lb’er, and I
fished the rest of that season on there.
I think I had another one or two, but
at the back end of that season, I found
an area off this little island, a little
gravel area, right opposite the sailing
club. I thought to myself, I could cut
myself a little spot here off this little
point, so I cut this little area out. I’ll
a l w a y s r e m e m b e r, i t w a s a b o u t
November time, and I was just sitting
there one day. I had only just made
this little spot; you could walk past it
all year, and you wouldn’t even know
it was there. I’d got a couple of rods
out; I was sitting there minding my
own business, and who comes
through the bushes but Johnny Holt?
He said to me, “This is a nice little
spot,” and I said, “Yeah, I just made
this; I’ve really made it for next season for when the conditions are
right.” Anyway, we sat for hours, just
chatting away. Anyway, next season, I
can’t remember if I started off on
Wraysbury or not, but anyway, I know
it was a few weeks into the season,
and I decided the conditions were
right to fish this spot. So I got in there,
and there was quite a few people on –
Johnny Allen and Dave Cumpstone
among them, but I forget where they
were fishing now. Anyway, to cut a
long story short, I had Mary again at
47lb, and I had Mary’s Mate at 37lb I
think it was, and I couldn’t believe it.
At first I thought Mary was a different
fish, I didn’t think it was the 45lb’er, I
thought it might have been another
one for some reason in the excitement, having just woken up to a
screaming take at 5am.
I netted it and thought blimey, a
monster! I thought it was a bit early to
go round and tell them to come round,
so I had a cup of tea, and was sitting
there having a fag thinking about it
all, when the other rod went off with
the 37. So anyway I went round to
Johnny Allen and said, “Can you come
a take a couple of photos for me?” He
said, “Why, what have you had?” I
said, “Well I’ve got a 37 and 47.” I
went round to Compo and told him
too, and a couple of other people and
oh, that’s right, I told a guy called Graham, who lived at Alton and did his
own buzzers and a few rods. But anyway I told him and he phoned Ian
Walsh at RMC, who in turned phoned
the Anglers Mail, and I had them all
coming down. It was pouring with
rain, and we got these fish out on the
bank. I was a bit pissed off with
Anglers Mail, because they wanted to
push in and get the best shots, and
Graham Parsons, who was going to
take a few photos for me, couldn’t get
in a good enough spot. I only had a
couple of photos come out on my
camera, but the Anglers Mail used
about two reels of film, and they
wouldn’t let me have one of them –
why, I don’t know, and so I was
peeved off with them. I spoke to Pete
Drennan, because I had the fish on a
pair of rods that I got from Bob James
that he had had made by Drennan
with detachable butts. Funnily
enough it was the one year they
didn’t do the Drennan Cup because
he said to me, “You would have won
it.” Anyway he said, “I’ll get onto the
Anglers Mail and see if I can get a
photo,” but they wouldn’t let him
have any of the photos either. But
anyway it’s neither here or there now,
but at the time it really pissed me off.
When I got Johnny Allen and Compo
to come round they said to me, “The
amount of times we walked past and
never knew this spot was here.” Do
you know what, I never got to fish
that spot again; Johnny Allen was in
there for I don’t know how long, and if
he wasn’t there, someone else was in
there, but that’s the way it goes.
Join us next time as Pete begins his
Horton and Kingsmead campaign,
only to return later to Wraysbury for
his first English 50. n
My first Wraysbury brace.


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