freeline-27 - Page 52



Made in England
Power of the Super Moon
by Keith Jenkins
T
he title isn’t mine; it’s
Trevor Johnson’s. He
had the session of a
lifetime recently and
kindly let me have the
photos, and also a
great story to go with it. I’ll get to
Trevor shortly, but in the meantime,
let’s explore the deep and murky
depths of carp angling, shall we?
It’s no secret that a big carp from
Cambridgeshire has been caught by a
famous (some would say ‘infamous’)
angler, in dubious circumstances.
Maybe ‘dubious’ is the wrong word to
use (or maybe it isn’t, I’m not sure);
maybe ‘controversial’ would be more
apt. The story goes that during the
flooding of a couple of months ago,
many of the big pits bordering the
Great Ouse became one huge lake,
and naturally the carp investigated
their new homes. As the flood waters
receded there were, equally naturally,
fish left stranded in puddles and
ditches where they could quite easily
have died. One such fish, in one such
ditch, was a very large specimen –
over 50lb in weight – but as luck
would have it the aforementioned
angler stumbled across it and ‘saved’
it. The fish was badly damaged,
apparently from an otter attack, so the
angler performed a bit of minor
surgery, then took it and put it into
the lake that he runs, which was
nearby.
A couple of days later, apparently
fully recovered from its recent travails, the fish was up to taking a
floater, and the same angler managed
to catch himself a 52lb carp. Just like
the mouse that pulled the thorn from
the lion’s paw, a fitting reward for his
efforts you would think. But maybe
it’s not that simple. The carp was a
known fish that resided not in the
angler’s private syndicate lake, but in
a nearby, equally private syndicate
lake, and many anglers on that particular lake are, understandably, pretty
pissed off that the largest carp in their
lake, which some of them had been
targeting for quite a few years, was
now gone.
Questions abound about the whole
affair. People question whether the
fish actually was caught on a floater
and not just photographed when it
was found in the ditch. Nobody can
say one way or the other about that,
so let’s assume that it was a bit hungry after all of its stresses and strains.
Look at how they beat themselves up
during spawning, and then a couple
of days later they’re starving hungry
and scoffing our bait (sometimes), so
it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that the Ditch Fish needed to build
up its strength, and the lucky angler
just happened to be in the right place
at the right time.
As for the amateur surgery; I’ve
actually seen him perform it before on
a fish in Horton, and from what I recall
the fish recovered, as did its damaged
tail, so he is more than capable with a
sewing kit. The thing that I find questionable is the introduction of the fish
into a different lake. Highly respected
anglers who fish the area have said
that flooding is common in the whole
area, and that over the years many
lakes have been ‘restocked’ by
They damage themselves enough
without our help.
(Left) Floodwaters recede, but where
are the carp?
52 FREE LINE

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