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Monks Magic
By Ryan Hoare
am half way through my second season on one of Cambridgeshire’s best big fish
waters – Monks Pit. On my
first trip to Monks Pit, I was
nervous going through the
gates for the first time. You get the
butterflies in your belly as you
approach somewhere completely
new in a new part of the country with
big fish and good anglers. After my
first walk around Monks Pit, my mind
was put at ease. It is quite possibly
the friendliest syndicate of its type
around. Sometimes when I arrive at
the lake, it can take an hour to get out
of the car park and another two to get
around the lake after you are done
catching up with the other members.
Having this sort of atmosphere on a
lake really puts you at ease right from
33lb mirror.
72 Big Carp
the start, and I could concentrate fully
on the fish straight away. I’ve fished
lakes in the past where it takes three
or four sessions to find your feet and
get in tune with the lake. When I first
joined the lake, I had one 50-pound
fish, Porky. A year down the line from
Porky’s passing, it now has potentially
four 50s, and I am told new and existing 40s. On my first season I was
lucky enough to catch Black Spot at
55 and six or seven of the other 40s or
named fish. On most lakes that would
be job done! Not at Monks… At the
start of my second season, I spent
spring and the start of summer fishing
a syndicate near Milton Keynes with
relatively good success catching a
few brilliant upper 30s. I intended on
moving back on to Monks mid-summer when the banks are a bit quieter.
My first session was mid July. This
year I had a plan to concentrate on an
area of the lake covered with weed
and kelp. The carp like to spend a lot
of time in the warmer months holding
up in the kelp and coming out to feed
briefly at various intervals during the
day. I wanted to try and fish one swim
and stay put in that swim every session if possible until a few of the big
ones slipped upon my baited spots.
Monks Pit is a little too busy to prebait effectively, so my plan was to use
a lot of bait every week, even when
not catching, with the following week
and the one after in mind.
My chosen swim was at the end of
the reeds, one I hadn’t fished a lot the
year before, so that made it more
attractive. My mate Dave had done a
lot of time in the peg, so after a text

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