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garysj01
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I have recently been inspired by a post by HNV, about the important of carp Literature. So i thought i would ask the the members to share a tale or two. I believe every one has a story to tell, and it would be nice to read any tales that aren't tackle or bait company driven. What do you think guys and girls, fancy having a go?

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The Military Mirror

 

I had been working for a little local engineering firm in Folkestone for a couple of years, the job was mainly a workshop based job but it did include a lot of site work as well. I had done a lot of projects for Pfizers, The Channel Tunnel, Heathrow, Local Council, that kind of thing. Not anything massive, in fact we were the ones who would do the little jobs the bigger firms didn’t want. We regularly visited various site around the Shepway area and Kent was now becoming a familiar place for me. I had been a member of Mid Kent Fisheries for about a year, fishing Chilham once a month for about four days at a time, and I was doing ok, regular fish and I really enjoyed being on the banks of Chilham, it was just one of those waters that clicked and got under my skin. I had a couple of friends scattered around locally who fished for carp, one was a regular on Chilham, a couple were fishing the Gravel Pit in Hythe and one was doing his rounds on the local canal, called the Royal Military Canal. Now I new the Royal Military Canal because I had been fishing a little stretch of the canal called bombers hole in Giggers Green for Pike. I had spent the previous winter chasing a twenty which never came along but I had, had a few decent Pike out of there. I had heard rumours of two carp the went over the thirty pound mark, but were often seen and fished for not far from the town centre of Hythe. You know what its like with rumours, you just take it all with a pinch of salt until you get reliable word. I had always vowed for some time to try and find out about these fish but never got round to it, as I was really happy fishing Chilham. Later on that year I received a phone call off a friend who had witnessed a, for what he called it, massive fish swim right past his rods. Bigger than anything he had seen in the canal before, but knowing him at the time it was probably no bigger than a low twenty. Now don’t get me wrong a low twenty is a great stonking fish for a canal, but Chilham threw these up on a regular basis, there was no way I was going to fish the canal for a low twenty when I had the chance of catching a forty out of Chilham, especially after just renewing my ticket for the place, I just wanted to concentrate all of my efforts in what I was doing for now and anything else wasn’t even a consideration for the immediate future.

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About a month later I was sent on a job to repair a weedbarge for the local council. Now the weedbarge was a boat the council used to clean up the litter and weed out of the canal. It looked a venomous thing with two foot pointed spikes at the front, ready to scoop anything up that maybe laying in or floating around. I was told to drive to Twiss Road in Hythe to the boating house to carry out a couple of repairs and then report back to the office.

Now just on the other side of the Twiss Road Bridge was this stretch of the canal.

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This is where the local council used to host a yearly event called the Venetian Fete. The banks would be lined with hundreds of people all watching these little creations drifting by.

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One year i even helped create one of these little floats, i can't remember what charity it was for, but it was a good excuse for everybody, including kids to have a bit of fun.

It was a really nice warm day if my memory serves me right, the window was down on the van and I was thinking of all things carpy and couldn’t wait to get back on the bank that was coming up in a week or so. The boating house was right on the banks of the Royal Military Canal. There were two big sheds, one housed a few lawn mowers and a few bits and pieces and the other housed the weedbarge. In front of this shed was a concrete ramp heading down into the canal and a little platform to the left, that the guys obviously used to get in and out of the weedbarge. Before I even walked into the shed I had a quick look at the canal, it seemed to widen out in front of the sheds and there were over hanging tree’s straight out in front, and to the left was the Twiss Road bridge that went over the canal, but just to the right of the bridge I noticed a water inlet pipe. I remember thinking this looks carpy, gave it a little smile and turned round and just got on with my job and did all the necessaries and got the weedbarge fully functional again. I started to pack all of the tools into the van and took another look over the water. One of the guys in the shed came out and said, “looks nice dun it” I replied “yeah very nice” “are you a fisherman then” he asked “yeah for all my sins” I replied. I had met this guy a couple of times in the workshop before for other working reasons, so we did sort of know each other. “can anyone fish here fella” I said, he replied with “no” and pointed at the big sign on the entrance gates that I had missed. “thats a shame i’d quite like to fish this spot” by this time the other guy had also came out for a chat, he was a keen fisherman as it turns out, not for carp but for the smaller silvers. “there’s a few fish in this stretch” he said “i’ve fished it quite a lot”, “seen some big fish in here too” my ears pricked up “oh yeah” I said, “yeah I was here last week and saw a really big carp swim by” “well over twenty pounds I would guess” now I was listening. “We’re allowed to fish here because we work here, but it is private property” he said. “why do you want to give it a go then” he said, “yeah i’d like to” I said, “well I suppose because we know you it wouldn’t hurt, just don’t tell anyone” he said with a crafty smile. Now I was flattered with the offer but like I said before I was concentrating all of my efforts on Chilham, but it was only fives minutes from my house and I could get down to do some regular baiting on the way to the tackle shop every Friday.

I used to go down every week after work and have a coffee with Den in the tackle shop, we had built up quite a good relationship over the years. Den couldn’t drive and had never been fishing, but he owned the tackle shop and used to run a taxi rank at night, I still chuckle to myself about that today. I had to pass the boating house every time I went to see Den so It wouldn’t take five minutes to drop in some bait every week.

I decided to trickle in a little bait every Friday night, but I would park up on the Twiss Road bridge and bait up from there. Looking over the bridge gave me a good look at this water inlet that caught my attention the first time I looked at the swim. I knew this would be a good holding point for the fish, especially in the summer. Now I had intended to maybe drop on the swim for a couple of hours on the odd Friday evening and maybe do the odd Sunday when I wasn’t at Chilham.

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I had already planned in my head where I was going to position myself in the swim, just on the right hand side of the concrete ramp was a little patch of grass, reeds about three feet tall lined the bank and I was well hidden behind a bush on my right. The cast to the water pipe would be a bit tricky but I had to fish that spot, and decided to put the left hand rod just out in front, in the middle of the canal. Bit lazy I know but fish were seen on a regular basis passing through at this point.

The baiting was an easy option, loads of hempseed to get the fish grubbing around with some chopped Activ8 boilies thrown in for good measure. I spent the next six weeks just baiting the pipe spot, and I had done a couple of Friday evening session’s with a couple of fish to low doubles, mainly from the left hand rod out in the middle of the canal. I lost a big one on the second session and it felt a decent size to, but I wasn’t taking the fishing to seriously, it was just somewhere local to go and spend a couple of hours. Chilham came round again and I was off for a four day session, and due to return Monday evening, but that week I planned to put in some bait on the Wednesday and Friday and fish it on the Sunday. Well the Wednesday came round and I was off baiting up again, round the pipe, and I couldn’t believe I was getting excited about fishing the canal. Friday came round and I had intended to bait the swim again ready for Sunday but I ended up having a massive argument with my missus at the time, which saw me storming out of the house with most of my fishing gear in tow. I had no intention of fishing that evening, but I had the gear and I needed a few hours on the bank. So I just set up in the same spot as before, got the rods out, sat back and took in the silence. Now this swim as I have said before, had reeds in front and bushes to the right of me, so I could remain out of sight. The rod to the pipe was a bit of a tricky cast, in the position I was in, but with a gentle under arm flick the rig landed spot on, first time. The left hand rod was a much easier cast, just bang out straight into the middle of the canal. I had always been a fan of using the odd shape of boilie that you sometimes get in a kilo bag, after all I was presenting chopped boilies, and this was a tactic I had readily employed on Chilham to some success. I sat back, rolled a fag and enjoyed my much needed coffee, sometimes its just nice to be on the bank, irrespective of what might come along. I new I couldn't be there any more than a couple of hours because I wasn't a member. Billy the bailiff had reminded me a few times he didn't want to catch me night fishing, not that I ever did, well.....not in plain view anyway. One hour later my right hand rod screamed off , I quickly struck into the rod, felt the fish on the end, and bump it was off. I was absolutely gutted, this was the first run I had, had off this spot and there was no way I would get another one now. Despite that I did recast to the pipe spot, I didn’t have much confidence, but I was hopeful for the left hand rod going. I waited, the evening was getting darker and I was contemplating going home and sorting things out with the missus. Another half an hour I thought and ill go. Then all of a sudden the right hand rod ripped off again, shocked as anything I nearly tripped over the rods and into the canal in all the excitement but I got to the rod in time and struck, only to be greeted with what I can only describe as a freight train on the other end. I knew it was big right from the start, I had felt this pressure before, at this very point you all know what goes through your mind. Could this be the high twenty many have talked about or could I be completely wrong. This fish battled on and on, at one point it went right under the bridge to the other side and I thought I had lost it. But hard firm pressure soon persuaded the fish to come my way. By this point the tip of my left hand rod was lowered right into the water, I didn’t want anything to spoil this fish coming in, I was standing on the ramp at the waters edge, my knee’s were trembling, my heart was pounding and my arm was killing me. Soon enough I saw this immense fish lump out straight in front of me, I had the net in position, I had all the room in the world. I just needed to calm down and take my time. Rod held high, net held low and the fish very slowly came towards me, I couldn’t quite see the fish as it was now getting dark. I could just see the outline of a big pale mirror, slowly it came until finally the fish slid over my net. Just as I netted the fish a friend had seen the commotion from the bridge and had come round for a look. “jesus Gaz what have you got there?” he said, “a nice fish” I replied. “How big” he said “im not sure I haven’t really seen it yet” I replied. With the fish in the net I set about getting everything ready for a weighing while my mate held the net in the water for me. I went over to the net and lifted, “Jesus christ its heavy” I said, I got the fish down onto the mat and into the way sling. Could this possibly be a thirty I thought, no im not that lucky. I lifted the scales, the needle went round to 30…..31….32…..and settled onto 33lb 2oz’s. “Oh my god” I said “its a thirty”. I couldn’t believe my eyes, I had, had the second biggest known fish in the Royal Military Canal.

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My Mate took a few snaps of me and the fish and congratulated me on my luck. He didn’t see what all the fuss was about being a non angler but he was impressed such fish resided in the canal. I was so happy and to think I shouldn’t of even been there till Sunday. That night I went home and didn’t make up with the missus, I didn’t care. Nothing was going to take that big smile off my face that weekend.

The Friday after I was back in Dens on my weekly coffee trip, and had told him of my capture, he asked me if he could put the picture up on the back wall behind the counter with all of the other picture's he had accumulated over the years, and of course I obliged.

Now Billy and Den were good friends and Billy used to run the tackle shop from time to time when Den was away, so Billy had seen this photo and had noticed that the picture was taken in the darker hours of the day. He did collar me about it, on my next trip to the shop, and I did reassure him, with a smile on my face, I was actually packing up when the rod screamed off. :wink:

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"In persuit of f all" (excuse the writing, it's on my phone from the bank side.)

 

My late teens (mid 2000's) were spent fishing a mid sized 'sand' pit, searching for an illusive fish I once saw, but as far as I was aware had never been caught. The lake in question had a caravan park on site, so during the summer months received quite a hammering. I kept telling myself, that a lake with this much pressure realistically could not contain an uncaught fish, but we all like to hold onto that dream, don't we? Every lake we fish has an "uncaught monster" that "mate it must have been 60+" fish that we know isn't real, but we just don't want to dismiss.

 

Late one autumn I had been sitting down on the dam end, sharing a brew with Steve, another regular. I have always been a 'lone wolf' I enjoy fishing alone, I like doing all my own thinking, and not being restricted by another anglers laziness. But when you fish a lake regularly you get to know a few other individuals, and I befriended several like minded individuals, and we started to fish as a team, and i learnt a hell of a lot of those guys.

The dam end of the lake was featurless, I mean utterly featurless. So I sat sharing this brew with Steve discussing stupid ideas. We were stating at a huge pile of gravel, that had obviously been left over from the building of the dam, I don't know if it was the chill in the air, or the fact my veins were probably full of tea, but we both knew what we had to do.

Sure enough, out came big Bertha, and we started spodding in the gravel, no sooner had the first spod hit, and enormous pale mirror erupted out of the water next to the spod. We both stood in awe, and the 'myth' was born.

 

Over the next few months we built our own gravel patch out in the lake, and sure enough we caught from it, we caught stockies. Between us we took a lot of fish from that spot, but not one origional. We should have stopped fishing that spot a long time before we did, but the memory of that huge shouldered sand coloured fish ha a grasp on us, and we found it hard to let it go.

I had to rethink my strategy. I was at this point 100% sure this uncaught carp existed. I spent hours walking round watching people, thinking how everyone fishes exactly the same, and if this fish had evaded capture, then I had to do something totally different. Most fish seemed to come from large patches of boilie, fished over the top with stringers and a bright pop up hook bait, it just seemed to be the common trend.

 

With this in mind my next session I employed a new tactic, to try and counter this, I purchased a bag of 22mm bright yellow scopex shelf life boilies and started to experiment with what I called 'decoy stringers.' I would set up a stringer as normal, but the furthest bait from the hook, I used this obnoxious 22mm bait, and fished a single bait on the hook. The plan was to make my hookbait blend into these usually free baits, and use the yellow bait as a decoy hook bait. This rig later developed to consist of up to 4 baits on the hair to emulate a stringer, and boy did it work.

 

The first weekend I used this tactic, I took two originals, one a beaten up 19lb mirror, and the other a very angry 27lb common, that as far as we knew, hadn't been out for 3 years.

A year and a half passed, and still no sign of this sandy mirror, untill early one summer morning, Steve finally hooked it, losing it at the net.it was a crushing blow for him, and me. No matter how much you want to catch a fish, its never nice to see a friend lose it. If one positive came from this, was that we knew for sure that this fish existed.

Six months on and I was soon going to have to move away, knowing I would never get to fish the pit again. My final session came round, and although I fished long into dark before packing up, I blanked. I knew I would never ever catch this fish.

The next day went for a stroll around, I stopped to have a chat with a guy in the carpark swim. Now, as its name suggests, this swim was very accessible, and had an island right it front if it, we used to joke that it was a propper 'nods' swim choice. The guy fishing the swim was on holiday. He told me no less than 10 times that he normally fished at Linear, and that he had century rods, before telling me he had caught in the night. "Yeah I dun a 30" he said, I sort if shrugged it off, asking if he was sure, and after going alround the houses telling me all the people he has fished with at St Johns he told me, "yeah, just over 31lb, a sandy coloured fish, but I forgot my camera"

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I have some tales to tell and quite enjoy writing so I think I will post some up here.

 

The first is only a short anecdote really but a humorous one and one that I still get "ribbed" about to this day...

 

At the time I was fishing a small, silty estate type lake of some two acres in size that was surrounded by trees. A lovely carp lake with, although not monsters, some gorgeous ancient fish in it.

Anyway, late spring one year I was fishing two rods on boilies when the sun came out and the temperature started to climb. After a while I thought I could just make out some dark shapes in the upper layers close to an island margin - they looked big! Although I wasn't really geared up for floater fishing I had some mixers in the bottom of my bait bag. so I started to drift a few biscuits out towards the waiting fish. They showed no interest whatsoever. Now, this water was known to be tricky to tempt fish from the surface but not impossible as I'd had a few the previous year so I was not that surprised to see my mixers floating unmolested amongst these fish.

This went on for about an hour until I thought "this is no good, I need to get more bait to them in a tight group" hoping that the competition would encourage more fish to feed. I came up with the brainwave of making up some little bundles of mixers in a mesh PVA bag. They were heavy enough to just about reach where the fish were. The first one I fired out landed about 3 yards from the main group, broke up and the baits were ignored again - not a even a swirl. Hmm, "in for a penny in for a pound..." and I fired out another. This time it fell short and landed right on top of one of the bigger specimens. "that's torn it" I instantly thought and awaiting the explosion of spooked carp. Nothing, no explosion.

To my utter amazement the flank of the carp seemed to open up and engulf the PVA bag before it melted. "That's odd" I thought, as I watched this fish on the top with a now melted bag of mixers spreading along it's dorsal area. What on earth was that all about? The carp acted like a Transformer toy and built itself around the bait... Eh?

I needed a closer look at this bizarre biological puzzle so reeled in and took a walk around to get a better view. Several swims down the bank and I was now much closer to this strange group of fish. I climbed a few feet up a small tree to help to improve the view further and then I noticed a large black shape not far from the margin under the tree...

 

Tadpoles... Ruddy tadpoles! I had spent the best part of the morning chasing clumps of toad tadpoles around the lake! The clumps were so tight and uniform (perhaps they were being "shoaled-up" by perch) that from a distance they looked just like large carp basking just under the surface. At least that explained the odd way in which the "carp" had opened up and engulfed the bait bags. Transformer carp indeed...

 

Needless to say I now take a pair of binoculars on every fishing trip! :oops:

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Well you did ask nicely but this is not about carp. It is from a book I am writing at the moment so some bits might seem out of context and this anecdote concerns fishing in West Africa.

 

Our first indication of the fishing potential was when we were startled by a large crash and splash in the water beside us. A fish eagle had swooped on a rather large fish and struggled to carry it away.

 

The first problem was bait. We found a local fish market and were correctly advised that a prolific small fish called a Bonga would be ideal. The supplies were unreliable, relying entirely on what the last boat had brought in. There were no refrigeration facilities and it was very hot so the catch went off very quickly. After a while we purchased a local throwing net. This was a circular affair with small weights around the circumference attached to a cord in the centre. It is thrown over a shoal of fish and then when the cord is retrieved, the weights close the net, trapping some of the fish in the folds of the net. It was much more difficult than it looked but we soon got the hang of it. We then had a good supply of live bait.

 

We had no idea where to fish but we did have a top of the range, professional, echo sounder and the means to position ourselves very accurately. This was long before the days of fish finders and GPS which make fishing at sea so much easier nowadays. Of course we observed the locals in their dugout canoes very closely and soon built up a picture of where to go for specific types of fish.

 

One spot we found was very good for hammerhead shark. The technique we used was up tide casting with a live bait. Because we were fishing at the entrance to a very large river, the currents were quite strong and we lacked the wire line and heavy leads needed to fish straight up and down.

 

One particular day I had a good run and after a fight of about half an hour I brought a good hammerhead to the side of the boat. This was lifted into the boat and dispatched to take back. These days I would not dream of killing such a magnificent fish but in those days, fish was a valuable, and surprisingly expensive, source of food. Everything we caught was taken back and given to the locals who lived a very impoverished existence and were over the moon with our welcome gifts of fish. There was a certain pecking order. A big fish like a hammerhead would be given to the chief of the village to dispense with as he saw fit. Smaller stuff was given to our houseboy who I am sure sold it on to augment the ridiculously low wage he was paid by the company.

 

The first hammerhead was about 10 feet long and must have weighed between 100 and 150 lbs (we had no scales to weigh it). This was cause for celebration and we cracked open one of the bottles of champagne (paid for with bar chits provided by the Company) that we had taken along in our cool box to celebrate a capture.

 

The second hammerhead was bigger and put up a fierce fight. The runs were so fast that the reel was getting red hot and had to be cooled by pouring water on it. Eventually I got it to the side of the boat and it was obvious that we were going to have a problem. It seemed to be as long as the boat. As we were working out how to deal with it, it started spinning in the same manner that a large conger eel does. We were using a leader of 250lb breaking strain line and steel trace. This was not used for casting heavy weights. It was used so that fish, with skin like sandpaper, e.g. sharks, did not rub against our 30lb main line and cut through it. As this shark was spinning, it tangled with the strange nose like structure of the hammerhead and started winding around the fish. Eventually the leader ran out and as soon as the skin touched the mainline, it cut through and the fish was lost. Trembling, we had some more champagne to celebrate its near capture.

 

I fished on and managed to get a third take but this time it was completely different. Normally when you set the hook, the fish takes off at speed trying to get rid of it. Not this fish. It did not seem to realise it had been hooked. The rod bent hard over and line started stripping from the reel against a very tight clutch. It did not speed up or slow down. It did not move from side to side. It just carried on relentlessly in a straight line, no matter what pressure I put on it. I can only describe it like hooking a submarine (there were rumours that Russian submarines had been operating in the area!). Eventually the line ran out and the inevitable happened and the fish (assuming it was not a submarine) was lost. Time for another champagne to commiserate its loss.

 

It was soon after this, whilst leaning over to get another live bait from the net at the side of the boat that I fell overboard. Partly due to the alcoholic fug from the champagne, and because I am a reasonable swimmer, I was not at all worried and started to swim back to the moored boat. I did have a vaguely uncomfortable thought about the large sharks I had just lost and wondered if they might want to get their own back. I couldn’t remember if hammerheads were known man-eaters or not so I started to swim a little bit faster.

 

Unfortunately the tide was now at full ebb and, no matter how hard I tried to swim, the boat became further and further away. I was in the middle of nowhere and drifting at speed towards the open Atlantic. I wondered why my colleague did not start the boat and come to my rescue and then realised that the ignition key was on a cord attached to my belt.

 

As I was pondering my plight, I heard the sound of an outboard motor and saw another boat a short distance away. My waving and hysterical screeching attracted his attention and the owner changed course and came over to enquire if I would care for a lift.

 

His name was John Ranzetti and he was the pilot of the Twin Otter which had flown us out to Kamsar. His previous engagement was a tour of duty in Viet Nam as a fighter pilot but was now earning a living doing private work. I pointed to our boat, which was now a dot on the horizon, and he dropped me off back where I started. He then sailed off to continue his exploration of the nearby mangrove swamps as if saving the life of a careless, inebriated surveyor in the middle of the Atlantic was an everyday occurrence!

 

Some months later I again found my life in the hands of this super cool pilot. We were travelling back to Conakry international airport to catch a flight home. The twin otter was being thrown about a bit in the blustery wind and the visibility was very restricted because it was the rainy season. As we approached our destination, John turned round to us and explained that he was not sure exactly where we were. Nobody could be raised on the radio and the landing aids were not working (there had been a massive power cut). He said he would try and go as low as he dare to try and see through the mist and cloud and try and pick up his bearings otherwise we would have to return to Kamsar.

 

Eventually we could just make out some buildings. The aerials on their roofs seemed to be inches away from the landing wheels on the plane. We zigzagged about a bit with John making discouraging sounds. Then suddenly he spotted the house of a friend of his. All we had to do, he said, was follow the road to the roundabout and turn left, go for a about 1kilometre to a right fork and then turn right at the lights into Airport Road arriving via the main road entrance and making a safe landing.

 

Unconventional navigation, but it worked. A quick change of underwear ) and we were ready to continue our journey home.

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If you get tired of the ramblings of a silly old fart just say so but you did ask.

One of my worst mistakes concerns the era when I was cat-fishing on the Ebro.

I have to explain that this was the time they first discovered the Ebro cats, nobody knew how to fish for them and English anglers from two towns, 50 Klms apart "invented" a method simultaneously.

What we did was to anchor a large bottle and attach a float rig to it with a weak link of 7lb line, then set the rod upright so that the main-line was right out of the water. This worked well for years until the Water Authority banned it.

Obviously the anchored bottle and the line had to placed from a boat but I used a surf-board which was much more convenient than lugging a boat around.

We started using normal 3.5 lb TC carp-rods but, as the fish grew bigger, they were found to be inadequate and we ended up with 9ft, 5 lb TC boat rods and multiplier reels loaded with 400 to 500 yards of 30 lb nylon.

The pool below the dam at Riba-Roja is around 600 metres wide and very deep; downstream from the dam it narrows and gets shallow, consequently there is a formidable current at this point, and some large weed-beds, and this is where the cats hung out.

One evening matey Rene hooked into a big fish with a carp-rod and it got downstream in the strong current. He simply could not shift it and said it must be caught in the weed.

I went out after it on the board by handlining down to it, anchored my feet in a nearby weed bed and pulled it cleanly to the surface. A very good fish at that time with proved to be 80 or 90 lbs but not weeded at all and with a clear channel back to Rene who was about 200 yards upstream. Amazingly it was hanging on there in the current, with his mouth wide open and swimming backwards.

I rowed back in the falling light. "Cummon Rene, don't be a wimp! It's not weeded! Give it some wellie" So Rene pulled and pulled with the rod bent right round in an arc but to no real effect whatsoever and he couldn't walk down to the fish because of the trees. It was hilarious! Finally the reel stem snapped.

I landed, grabbed some pliers and a stringer and went back down to the fish. The poor thing was knackered. I got my feet in the weed-bed again, hand-lined him towards me, got a stringer on him and snipped through the trace. Then it was just a case of rowing him back to land, around 500 yards downstream. We got the hooks out and released him safely - job done.

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After that I began to think. The lads from Mequinenza were already getting 150 lbs+ fish and saying that they only way to land them was from a boat.

So I decided that using my board would be an answer but what they failed to say was that they had an anchor as well.

The following day I hooked a good fish that headed off downstream. I held him back best I could whilst my mates got me ready, with life-jacket, pliers, stringer, etc., and off I went winding down on the fish.

OMG, what a mistake! He took me up and down the river for an hour and, at one point I was right under the dam with the water boiling out of the turbines in 20 metres of water. He was certainly in his element and I wasn't. A couple of times I managed too pull him up a bit but was so knackered I had to let him go down again.

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Crowds had gathered and I could hear my mates cackling and laughing "WheeeyHaaayHay! Go on boy, give it some wellie".

With one last effort I finally got him up and could feel his soft, slimy skin under my bare feet.

I suddenly though "You silly plonker. If one of the trebles is outside the mouth and you get it in your foot, its brown-bread time for you".

In the end I landed the fish by rowing back to the bank and playing him in from there. He was not even that big, around 80 lbs (as the pic shows).

"What were you lot all cackling and laughing about, I could have been killed out there". "Sorry Mike but it wa so funny to watch. You've had that board for 15 years and never gone so fast"

The silliest part of it all was that there was a very simple solution. If the float is really big and you let the line go slack immediately after setting the hooks then the fish swims upstream because the float is pulling him downstream. Works every time!

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  • 4 months later...

My Fishing story is simple:

 

I started in Sea fishing. This gave me a pretty good natural casting ability, although I cannot shake off the 'wrong' way of casting that I use which is sort of a semi-sideways action, lol.

I still like to sea fish, just simple stuff off walls and piers.

I love nightfishing.

 

It took me a while to build up all the carp kit, as the stuff worth buying is expensive, but I have a nice setup now of perfectly ok mid range reliable kit that I take great pleasure from using. I love kit - I love browsing, buying, trying, and improving little details constantly.

When my setup does start to throw in the towel I will be more than happy replacing it with smart cheap options such as simple and solid Regal X reels, and JRC or Wychwood rods for about 30 or 40 each only. I went a little bit too down the tarty route with my setup, but never mind, the mid range tackle about these days is absolutely stunning quality. We are truly spoiled!

 

I am a very conscientious and caring angler and I take carp care very seriously. I also like to think for myself and use my eyes and ears. If I think something is not right, I stop doing it. I don't care what other people think on the topic. There is too much trendy opinion banded about in fishing that people take as read and believe too easily, in my opinion, and I think the carp media is too geared towards 'catch, catch, catch' without having enough in depth research about things like the cause(s) of mouth damage..

 

I love snag fishing and like to think that I am quite good at it now. I have only lost one or two fish in the snags. Both of them made me rack my brains for months about why it happened ways to avoid it happening again..

I love catching carp and I don't want them to come to any harm at all other than the small hole left by the hook going in and out again.

 

I pick up litter after other anglers. I am so used to doing it now that I don't even think about getting angry at them. Some people are just burks, and life is too short to rant and rave.

 

I bailiffed two carp lakes for a while, I was quite good at it because I never 'gave it the biggun' with people and am good at being diplomatic and politely pointing people in the right direction, if they needed that, (and I never impolitely stayed in people's swims chatting to them for hours like some do- very bad form) but I didn't like it all that much. I would much rather be fishing.

 

I don't like too much fuss, clutter, and expense.. I am lucky in that I fish a smashing water, but I don't like clipping up, tying bags, crushing bait, etc.

 

I snag fish during the day only, and like nothing better than making a tight cast 'on my own' each time without clipping up. I love a neat cast into a tight spot, and I like to think that I am absolutely terrific at it! Combined with using my seriously neat new drennan match catapult to fire out the odd single bait as accurately as possible, this is me in my element on the bank.

 

At night I margin fish or open water fish only. I would never dream of snag fishing whilst snoring in a zipped up bivvy.

 

I am very impatient and need to work on that.

 

I don't think I am Terry Hearn, but I would offer this tip to people:

Don't pile the bait in, just keep it trickling in. In my opinion many carp anglers use way too much bait, and it can't be good for the lakes. I don't have any faith at all in a huge bed of bait as a tactic.. At the very least people could wait until they get a bite!!!!

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