freeline-27 - Page 189

Made In England
Mark Odell with an unknown 42lb mirror. (Photo courtesy of Carp-Talk)
sent in a photo of a fish, which he
caught from St John’s Lake. It was
Nick Helleur, I believe, who saw the
photo and recognised the fish as one
he’d previously caught, but when he
looked closer he realised it actually
WAS the fish he’d caught because
they were his hands holding it! The
guy had taken the photo and superimposed his head onto the picture. Of
course, when it was exposed the guy
said it was all just a bit of a laugh, but
if I remember rightly he had won a
bait or tackle prize for the capture and
was once again committing fraud –
what a laugh!
Isn’t it sad that such an innocent
pastime can be lowered to these
depths? But that’s the lure of money
and fame for you. Fortunately, I catch
so little that it would become glaringly obvious if I was trying to pull the
wool, and my computer skills are such
that my Photoshopped image would
probably look like Hilda Ogden holding a carpet – yes, yes, I know; it does
anyway. Oh, ha ha ha!
Well, there’s no need for me to lie or
fabricate because I haven’t been fishing since last we spoke. But, look,
there you go, I’m bloody lying already
because I went at the weekend!
Erase that last bit. Well, there’s no
need for me to lie or fabricate because
this weekend was the first time I’ve
angled since last we spoke (that’s
better). I didn’t catch anything
though, so I suppose I might as well
not have gone but, as I keep harping
on, it’s not all about catching, is it (fortunately for me)? The weather was
forecast to be warm and with the
coming of the full moon the carp had
suddenly started to feed. The previous week, which had been witness to
a blue moon on the Friday, had seen
three of Ashmead’s Most Wanted on
the bank. Stuey’s capture of the stunning common, JC, at 37lb 12oz was
followed by Dave Preston’s capture of
Moonscale at 44lb and finally Martin
Head topped the lot when he caught
Single Scale at 55lb 8oz. The fish were
down in weight, which showed how
well they’d spawned and also showed
that they probably needed to get their
heads down as well, so I was mildly
That was unfounded, of course, but
over the course of the weekend I
bathed in the sun and birdsong, saw a
couple of buzzards wheeling low over
the lake and sat there on Saturday
afternoon, reading a book, whilst five
dragonflies alighted on me and rested
for half an hour. I was like the Dr.
Doolittle of the insect world and
daren’t even turn a page at first, but
when I did they just took to the wing
before settling down again; three on
my knee, one on my shoulder and one
actually on the open book. A dozen
hours later, in the dead of night and
beneath a star-studded sky, I was taking a photo of young Alexei Bygrave
with JC, this time at 38lb. Strange
how they do that, isn’t it? Not been
caught for 18 months, then twice in
week. I spoke to Mark about it and we
wondered if it was that time of year
when something dropped out of the
food chain and there was sufficient
mineral or vitamin content in our
baits to overcome fear and act as a
replacement. I remember Paul Forward saying to me that the best time
to catch Two Tone was right after it
had been caught for the first time that
year, and sure enough it happened
enough times to prove him correct.
The same was true with the Black
Mirror, another fish that would avoid
capture for many months, then make


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