freeline-22 - Page 224



The Traveller
Longreach St Ives – 33lb 8oz.
want to catch bigger and more –
that’s what carp fishing does to you.
So this was when I set myself another
target, and that was a 30lb carp. At
this time in my angling career I’d
moved on so much in the way of
watercraft, knowledge, rigs, bait and
end tackle etc. I really worked hard at
finding features on the lakebed and
how to locate the naturals, knowing
this was crucial if I was to catch my
first 30lb carp.
The harder I worked at it the better
my results with multiple catches on
We s t L a k e i n N o t t i n g h a m a n d
Cromwell in Newark where several
20s during a 48-hour session built up
my confidence in the accuracy of my
casting and getting bait out at range
through spodding or a throwing stick.
I was landing these carp even if it
meant jumping in the lake and getting wet; I didn’t want to lose the
prize I’d worked so hard for. I got to
watch carp feed close in on many
occasions, which also gave me the
heads up on how to set my hook point
deep into the carp’s bottom lip, the
strongest part of the carp’s mouth, on
every take.
The safety aspect of my carp fish-
224 FREE LINE
ing was important to me too. I’m sure
like all carp anglers we’d hate to see a
carp trailing a lead or getting tethered
up due to bad angling and lack of
commonsense. There’s no way this
should happen if we all fish correctly
and we have all the technical parts of
end tackle to enable this.
Linear Fisheries in Oxford was
where I caught my first 30lb carp.
This was a two-and-half hour road
trip on a Friday night after work, and
sometimes the traffic was so slow I
wouldn’t get there till after dark.
Loading my barrow in the busy car
park and heading off around St Johns
for an empty swim proved tough. My
third session on St Johns was a 48hour session with big, strong southwesterly winds, low pressure, rain and
clouds – perfect big fish conditions in
June. I was using Mainline Activ-8 as
my chosen bait.
I chose to fish on the wind, which
was the Road Bank, and I was casting
at showing fish. I’d located them, so
now it was down to presenting a bait
to catch them, but first I got around
2kg of boilies out by throwing stick. I
dipped my single bottom bait in Marmite, something that I knew would
work due to the ingredients on the
tub. This proved deadly, and I caught
two mid-20s and my PB and first 30lb
carp – a stunning 33lb 2oz common.
The guys in the next swim came
and helped me with my capture and
the fish was back in the water within
ten minutes. The rig I used then, and
still do to this day, was a simple running lead system with 2ft of leadcore,
and a 7in supple braided hooklink
using a size 10 long shank hook with
small ring as a blowback rig and a 3oz
lead. This rig and setup had up to this
date caught me many doubles and
20s at this stage in my angling career
so why change? If its not broken don’t
fix it, as the old saying goes.
From Linear where I caught my
first 30lb carp I had a 30 out of each of
the other four lakes and moved on to
pastures new. This was when I set
myself another target another goal
that was to catch as many 30-plus
carp from as many tricky day ticket
waters or huge low stock pits as possible. I’m currently up to 55 30-plus
UK carp from 22 different waters,
which is something that I can say is
an achievement! It’s been far from
easy with thousands of miles trav-

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