freeline-28 - Page 148



Big Carp Now and Then
Pete, err, maybe.” He continued, “It’s a
problem – people pile loads of it in
and it gathers in all the corners and
encourages rats and the like.” Don’t
ask me how, but after a few minutes
of me cringing on the spot, Pete
announced, “Right then, Chris... just
don’t let me catch you doing it.” And
I’m pleased to announce that he
never did catch me ‘doing it.’
When I first went to Savay with a
rod in my hand early in the 1989 season, I soon found a group of fish in the
Cottage Bay. Clearly many of them
were the recently introduced Claremont fish placed in Savay during late
1988, and they were simply suckers
for a mixer or two. Over a number of
trips I caught a few around the 10lb12lb mark, both commons and mirrors. Nobody took any notice of my
antics running around with a silly little fibreglass rod and old Mitchell reel.
However, once I’d had my fill of the
little’uns, bigger fish were firmly in
my sights.
A Savay season day ticket allowed
you to fish between the hours of 6am
64 FREE LINE
to 9pm, which was fine by me, creeping around in the warm hours of the
day. There were also restrictions on
the bank space, meaning I had from
the Cottage Bay bank round up to the
fence on Alcatraz, then back around
the North Bay and all the way down
the Canal Bank until a high fence
with a padlocked gate stopped all but
Savay syndicate members who then
could gain access to the Sluices area
at the southern tip of the lake and
then up the Colne Bank.
I soon found that the Ruislip Island,
a long finger of land that runs more or
less lengthways down the lake, came
ever closer to the Canal Bank towards
what became known as the Gate
Swim. In 1990/1 the Gate Swim was a
tiny opening in the bankside herbage,
and with the Ruislip Island cutting
close to the bank it would funnel the
fish into a smaller area in front as they
moved either down to, or up from the
end of the island opposite the Sluices
at the end of the lake.
It was from this spot that I started
to catch some of the better Savay
(Above left) The netting of Longfield –
end of an era.
(Above right) A smidgen under 20lb
from Frimley Station pits.
(Below left) Hawley Lake, first
stocked with Leney carp in 1956.
(Belor right) Last day of the 1990/1
season – mixer caught 31½lb from
Hawley Lake.
carp and ended with a 27-pounder
and another of 25lb, plus some upper
doubles. The word got around about
some of my surface success, and during the course of that summer other
anglers’ marker rods were pressed
into service as surface fishing rods.
Albert Romp banked a brace of twenties from the North Bay on some old
scruffy pop-ups he found in the bottom of his bag, and the late Keith Sellick netted a cracking thirty off the
top from the Ruislip Island.
Wraysbury No 1 beckoned again in
1990/1 though I was never to repeat
the success of a couple of years
before. Another major thing happened
i n Au g u s t 1 9 9 0 , w h i c h w a s t h e
demise of the mighty Longfield, or as





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