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The Big Lake Darenth. November 1986

Guest keenook

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Guest keenook

Well, I had just got married, had a new house and was running my own tackle shop, everything was dandy. And from my good fishing buddy "the Nurd" I received a wedding gift of a Gold Card for Leisure Sports (now Cemex) which allowed you to fish any of their waters!


(I must first add that the "Nurd" Is to this day one of the greatest Anglers I have ever had the pleasure to meet and to fish with).


On to the Sesh!


Okay. I left home at silly AM to get a swim, only to arrive to find Bob Morris and Mickey Sly in the swims we fancied (If you don't know these guys then you should read more books). During a short chat they said they were only doing the day, so we dropped all our gear behind them and went for a walk to look for fish. None were seen so it was all down to gut feeling and we both thought the willows was the place to be.




Returning to the swim Bob and Mickey were packing up and telling us that no carp had been caught for 10 weeks.


I chose to fish the "Willows" swim and the Nurd chose the "Singles".


House up and a cast around. No time to play around as the light was fading rapidly, I found a gravel ridge at 40 yards and some nice clean areas at 60 yards. These areas were baited heavily for this era. Maybe 300 18mm baits on each spot!


The baits were our own hand rolled Premier fishmeals that were just a little special.


The tackle comprised of Daiwa Tornie Gold spools, 12.6' 2.75lb TC Bruce & Walkers and original Delkim conversions.


Rigs were bog standard Dacron rigs, Pre NoKnot times and semi-fixed leads of my own design.


Curry cooked and after a very long day, the wine with dinner took effect. So time for bed Zebedee!


As I lay in the bed, I saw my left hand rod tip knock! Then the LED on the Delkim came on, no beep but I was half out of my chariot when the Delkim screamed like a banshee! I wound down and it was fish ON!


This was from the 40 yard spot I had found. It was a nice fight in close with the B&W doing what it should and then in the net was a stunning 21+ Darenth Mirror. Was I happy!


I recast but nothing else happened over night


On to breakfast: We had sausages, bacon, eggs, mushies and beans, the works! The only little thing we had forgotten was cooking oil. So with us being highly innovative carp anglers, we had loads of fish oil with us! Have you tried this? If not, don't! Eat it raw!


Sorry, back to fishing. The next day turned into a lovely late Autumn day, not warm but the sun was out, so we took the bed chairs out of the bivvv to watch the water. A CRASH! AND AGAIN! A nice fish had shown right in front of me in the island margin at 90 yards! I was up swiftly and wound in one rod. I smelled the bait, then changed it quicker than Bob Nudd on a maggot. Whackkkkkk out she goes, and I bottled it. Six tries latter, Bang! Under a bush on the island!


The Nurd sat back and said "You have [censored]ed that then" and smiled at me! Git!


I got back in the bag on the chair and......................Beep! The line pulled out the clip and beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepppppppppppppp!!!!!!!!!!


It was a really good fight and she was in the net first go. She also went 21lbs+ but was a stunner, a heavily scaled mirror. Happy?!!


As I mentioned, no fish had been out for 10 weeks, which is a long time for a lake with so many anglers on it but come mid afternoon the Nurd has a flyer! A great fight and an old warrior of 23+ is landed. That took us to 3 x 20lb+ fish in two days.


After dark the Nurd had a full on drop back. He wound down and said "it's a tench".


I said "That’s a big Tench then, Tosser!" But it did nothing until it reached the margin, then stripped 30 yards of line, with him backwinding along the margin. He played back and in the net! The "tench" went 28.8! Enough said! That was a BIG fish back then and I still think so today.




Just for fun: A week later the driver from Richworth Baits came into my shop, and asked "Were you on Darenth"?


I said "Yes".


He said "turn your Delkims down"!



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  • 4 months later...
Guest keenook
I love the older tales that some of you have to tell! Especially with a bit of a giggle like it seems you had. Please post more!! Pictures too if you can :mrgreen:


Here you go Lewis, caught from the far island margin, within mins of casting, a Darenth Carp!


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Guest keenook
cracking read nice one
Thanks Mick, and I loved sharing an Old Skool tale with you all, I just cant wait to tell my tails from 2013 there will be many, as I'm nearly back!


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