freeline-23 - Page 194

The Traveller
water coming in from the sides as I
was rowing head-on into these strong
winds. To this day I don’t know how I
made it, but I did. I got back to the
bank absolutely shattered as you can
imagine. All I can say is be very careful and be prepared for anything at
anytime on these big waters; you just
never know what’s around the corner.
Another target of mine was to
catch a 30lb river carp. Being local to
the Trent in Newark, Nottingham, I
Google Earthed a spot; a bit of backwater on a long curve across a large
field that wasn’t being used for anything, yet had a gate. I cut the gate
chain off and put my own padlock
and chain on so my truck was safe
parked by the side of a hedgerow and
nobody could see. I’d also joined a
lake in St Ives called Scout Lake
where I know Ian Warner had a 41lb
mirror and Dave Lane had a stunning
38lb scaly called Buttercup that I’d
seen in the mags, so I was back and
forth from St Ives to the river. It took
me hours of walking across the field
to bait up the spot on the river for
three years until I caught a 34lb dark
golden common that had probably
never been caught. This fish nearly
broke me mentally and physically, but
I stuck at it and I got the result I
wanted – another job done.
Scout Lake is a 40-acre pit, 30ft
deep with a few bays and a large cut
through from one end to the other. It
was very quiet and only three other
anglers joined that year. I thought,
great, just me against the fish and no
one else to interfere with what I was
trying to achieve. Kev, an old guy that
had been around the circuit waters
many years knew the score on there,
but we left each other to get on with
it. There was a kind of respect for
each other, leaving certain areas of
the lake alone if I knew he was doing
time there. I’d never seen anything
like the activity of carp on there, and
even trying to get them feeding on
maggots proved difficult. I watched
carp move over baited spots time and
time again, not interested at all in
what I was giving them, whether it
was 10mm baits or tigers and hemp,
which had me thinking.
One sunny day I drifted into a large
bay to see 12 fish just under the surface, very calm and moving around
very slowly. I had a few mixers with
me so I catapulted five mixers over
them, but they were not interested.
They looked like they could spend
their whole lives in this one bay alone.
So I boated up to a large set of lily
pads where I’d seen the odd fish, and
there were the same 12 fish I’d just
been watching! Wow! Did they follow
me or what? Very strange, but it just
showed me they can move around
this lake a lot quicker than me. I chose
two areas of the lake and baited heavily, and I mean 50-80kg. I wanted to
spook them into feeding. I had nothing but bream but did get a PB of 18lb,
which I was happy with, but still no
It took several months on Scout
Lake until I walked round on my second lap of the day one weekend and
saw a large common and a small mirror cruise along the margin in a foot of
water. They were extremely big fish
and so close in. Again I knew my tactics, and just used a small 12mm popup on its own, hoping a single would
work, and yes, the morning after I
placed my hookbait in close I was
rewarded with a 36lb 2oz long com-
Sandhurst, Cemex complex, 34lb 4oz with two 20s. I fished 10m tutti fruttis in silt at 30 yards, six hours after locating them


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