freeline-27 - Page 150



The Best of Rockford
The next season, 2010, I decided to
use boilies so I could fish the deeper
water marks and avoid some of those
bream, as I was catching up to ten a
night. I new the bream didn’t get in
the shallower water marks and weedy
spots as much, but there were always
going to be the bigger fish and the
chances of a multiple capture from
the deeper water. Concentrating my
efforts in and around the bays and
using between 8 and 10kg of Nash
boilies each session soon got the carp
interested. Peg 20 was a great swim,
which sat right on the entrance of the
Big Bay. The swim worked best with a
big SW wind and squally misty fine
rain as I soon found. I used snowmen
for hookbaits and 7kg of Nash boilies,
which were a mixture of two sizes
and flavours to give me a bit of an
edge. When the right conditions
came, a few carp showed, which was
shortly followed by four runs in a
morning. A brace of upper twenties
came first at 28lbs and Four Scales at
27lbs 9oz, but before I lost one to a
hook pull I was well chuffed to land a
specimen carp/crucian. What a fish,
with almost all the characteristics of a
crucian, and it weighed 6lbs 14oz.
Round in the Little Bay, the carp are
not so keen to visit. I found a few
feeding very close in, but my luck was
about to change for the worse. Fishing close in against dense weed with
4oz leads and helicopter rigs was not
the best idea, although I generally got
away with it. Five carp hooked and
five lost told me it was time for a
change. On one occasion I hooked a
really heavy fish, which took me into
a nearby weedbed then popped up to
the surface on its side to show me
how big it was, and then rolled over
and the hook pulled. My mate Welsh
John turned up minutes later and said
that I was asleep and he saw carp
bubbling away over my spots just feet
off the bank. Before I knew it the season came to an end and five carp
losses was not my idea of a good finish. Still, the close season was time to
think about a fresh start and hopefully
landing a few more.
2010 I planned to fish Rockford as
much as possible, and being selfemployed gave me the advantage to
do just enough work to get by and
spend more time fishing. Rockford is
not the easiest water, so I planned to
fish during the week, which would
Peg 22 The left hand rod was flying by the time I hit it – 30lb 8oz.
150 FREE LINE
give me a great chance of a few carp.
The draw came up and a few new
faces to add to the pressure. I was so
keen but was pulled out of the hat
right at the end. I was quite happy to
go home and wait, knowing I had the
whole year ahead to fish when the
lake was quieter. I started off on the
Ivy Bank and had a nice common of
26lbs on the 25mm boilies. It had cost
me two hundred quid up till now for
the boilies, and although the Patshull
Park was a great choice for the commons, it was just not happening
enough for the time and money I was
putting in.
Just down the bank I saw Rockford
Pete and his son, Si. Now from what I
saw they knew exactly what the
score was and bagged a whole season’s worth in one session. I walked
over and started chatting to Pete. He
was so helpful, and from what I could
see he caught his carp very close in
with the simplest approach. Pictures
of Pete’s Rockford captures showed
he indeed caught nearly all the big
carp in the lake. I was well impressed
that a man in his 80s was fishing
overnight on the bank – a true angler.
I got to know Si when I photographed

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