freeline-27 - Page 145

The Best of Rockford
y passion for
fishing started
when I was
eight years old
with a telescopic rod. My
best friend Carlo introduced me to the
world of fishing, which started on the
famous Dame Stream for brown trout.
It wasn’t long before I found what
fishing meant to me. I was going
through hard times with my parents
going their separate ways and
needed something to find a release
away from everything.
Sea fishing followed for a further
ten years through my years at school.
Apart from doing it all, the best memories were flattie bashing in Carlo’s
punt and cod fishing at Milford on
Sea. I will never forget catching a 7 lb
2oz bass from the beach and riding
with it hanging off the handlebars of
my bike to get it weighed at the fishmongers. This was the norm for my
local SFC. Because big fish were
scarce from the beach, I was soon
drawn back to fresh water.
A private estate lake known as
Newlands Manor is where my carp
(Top) Coca Cola tigers – the secret
was all in the preparation.
(Below) 46lb 10oz. Now I could concentrate all my efforts on Rockford.
fishing began. Climbing trees to find
the wild carp and fishing with sweetcorn were my favoured tactics. After
catching a few wild carp I had a real
passion for carp fishing. I then stumbled across a two-acre private lake,
stuffed with carp just 1.5 miles from
my home near Lymington. Luck had it
my mum knew the owner and I got
sole fishing rights. There were lots of
lakes I fished from there on including
Hatchet Lake and the old Walhampton Lakes. I met Jim Carpenter in the
early 90s. It was Jim who introduced
me to the Ringwood valley where I
found the Roach Pit and all its gems.
I’ve now been fishing around the
Ringwood lakes for the past 20 years
and have found it hard to fish elsewhere. All the big pits hold stunning
carp, which drew in anglers like John
Rose who traveled all the way down
from Wales to fish. I’d fished a few pits
around Ringwood, and it wasn’t long
before I had found the Roach Pit,
which is now very famous for its huge
carp. Back in 1991 when I started my
time there most the carp were around
the mid-twenty mark with a few of
the originals reaching mid-30s. Whilst
Christchurch owned the lease, I learnt
a lot from anglers like Jim Carpenter,
Bob Adams and Steve Brown who
managed to catch most the fish from
the lake.
During my time on the Roach Pit I
learnt the carp never spent too long in
one place; they all had their favourite
feeding grounds, and for me it was
the different tactics and bait which
sorted through the fish. Everything
seemed to work on there from 6mm to
25mm boilies. But when all failed
there was nothing better than the
garden worm when stalking in the
pads on the Winter Bank. Seeing the
big linear at my feet take a worm was
truly special. From the captures I’d
seen I guessed there were around 90
carp in the lake and realised before to


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