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The Gnarly Pit
n the close season one year I
was on one of my walks
around a lake I was going to
fish at the start of the season
during one of those really hot
April days. I was chomping at
the bit for the summer to arrive. I only
had one ticket, but that lake just
didn’t float my boat to be honest,
even though I was catching most
trips. My good friend Wayne was with
me as we ventured past the lake we
were at to another lake in the valley
called the Gnarly Pit, just for a look.
The only word I can use to describe
this pit is, WOW! It is a tangled mess
of islands, back bays, finger bays,
points, spits, snags, pads and weed.
You name it; it has it. It is a total
opposite to lake next door. The
proverbial chalk and cheese!
As you approach the Gnarly Pit
from the south end along the canal
side, it is a long, High Bank that gives
a great view across the entire main
body of water. On first reaching the
pit on a hot and sunny spring day, I
was confronted with a site that still
lives with me to this day. The wind
was blowing into a shallow end
where two islands come close to the
bank. The ends of these islands are
short bars that run into the bank. I
was watching a few small carp swimming around, and whilst I stayed up
on the High Bank , Wayne ventured
down onto a sedge-covered spit to
get a closer look.
It took me a second glance before I
saw it for what it was, as I had
assumed it was a log or some such
piece of debris laying on the bottom.
That is until I clocked it was moving!
As it swam along the bottom, against
the ripple, it got to the bar and came
into the shallow water to swim over
it. I haven’t seen many carp in the
water that I could say was for certain
that big. A huge, sandy, leathery looking fish (myths – aren’t they all?) that
I guessed must weigh around 47lbs or
so. I stood behind this tiny hawthorn
bush soaking up the sight before my
eyes. It looked huge! Once I managed
to get Wayne’s attention and he got to
me the fish had drifted out of sight. To
this day I have never seen that fish
again... but others have!
Fast-forward a few years and a very
good friend of mine, Dickie, had man-
aged to obtain a ticket for the place.
Since I was last there in the spring
three years before, I’d not forgotten
about the big mirror, but I thought
tickets were almost impossible to get
hold of. But apparently there were
other ways... After a phone call from
Dickie while I was at work and hearing all about the lake again, I wanted
a piece of the action. I was telling him
where I’d seen that big, sandy looking
mirror years before. So far he’d only
seen small commons and was yet to
get a bite, but was only on his first day
trip. That’s the main thing with the
Gnarly Pit; it has a lot more small
commons than anything else. Over
the seasons we saw a few better fish
and the odd mirror, but they were
really outnumbered by those double
figure and low-twenty pound commons.
I really wanted a go myself, but I
didn’t ham it up though, as I knew
Dickie was keen and I’m not one to go
stepping on toes, especially those of
my mates. But he was really cool and
almost right away texted me the
number to phone to get a ticket. He
said no one was fishing it, and he’d
Mint – first thirty pound common.

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