freeline-28 - Page 167



Big Carp Legends - Mike Wilson
I
t was about this time that
people started talking about
particles. I’d read an article
which I thought was really
interesting. I can’t remember
the date of that but it had to
be early ‘70’s, something like that. I’d
heard a whisper about anglers using
tiny baits - ‘particles’, because word
had got out from Redmire, but it was
a new one on me. So I read all I could
and eventually started using corn.
Well! That was like a revelation, and I
started catching a lot more carp out of
Savay, but I was also catching tench
and bream. I found that once I got the
bream going, the carp would move in
anyway, and this I suppose you could
say was the beginning of the baiting
pyramid without my realising it. I
hadn’t intended to write anything;
the club rules said no publicity, so I
was never going to publish anything,
and didn’t want the members knowing because they would have moved
in on what I was doing. When almost
every fish I caught was in the low 20’s
I wanted more and more.
Now let’s go back to 1950. When I
lived in Ruislip, within 100 yards of
where John Harry currently lives, my
father had a shed at the bottom of the
garden with no windows, just side
glazing at the top. It was quite big
and it was just a mass of fish tanks
around the walls with a double row
down the centre. My father used to
keep tropical fish, but he had a few
coldwater fish as well, and he let me
have a tank. I kept a few goldfish and
had a couple of gudgeon, bitterling
a n d a l o a c h . I c a n ’t r e m e m b e r
whether we had heating down there,
but I’ve got a feeling that my dad
used to have a paraffin lamp to try
and keep the temperature right. We
might have had power but certainly
d i d n ’t h a v e w a t e r d o w n t h e r e,
because I remember carrying buckets
of water.
My task, when I was about six or
seven years old was to feed the fish,
something that I learned to do very
quickly. If I went up to the tank and
went tap, tap, tap in a certain place,
the fish would come straight up. It
was almost as if I had trained those
fish, and I fed them in the same spot.
As soon as I would go into what we
called the fish house and went to
move the glass, those fish would
come straight over. Effectively they
had been conditioned to respond to
food, and that impressed me on so
many occasions.
I also remember being taken to a
trout farm as a young lad. I couldn’t
have been very old, definitely under
ten, and can’t remember for the life of
me which one it was. They fed them
with a seed I think, but they weren’t
trout pellets as we know them today;
they were something else. They put
them out and the fish would boil on
the surface, but they’d still boil if you
waved your arms over the ponds even
though you hadn’t put any food out –
Billingsgate shot.
FREE LINE 83





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