As the slack line hanging vertically from my rod tip suddenly started lifting in the water, I realised a Carp was on. No need to wait for the indicator to sing but being the traditionalist that I am… indeed I did wait. I had Carp over my baited rods that may rub against the braid but deep down, I knew it couldn’t be a line bite. With heavy sinking braid such as the one I was using, there was a very good chance that after two days of lying untouched, the said line was actually laying in the thin layer of silt I was fishing over. So as the indicator also lifted, I was on the rod and bent into it gingerly. I say gingerly as I had dropped a fish off the previous day and was concerned about hook pulls. Braid is not that forgiving of rough hands but provided you are smooth and in control, even the fiercest lunges of a big Lakeview Carp will see the hook staying put.
Lakeview had been good to me this season and had been my main target water. In fact I had not fished it consistently for five years and so it was enjoyment of the highest order to be back on its beautiful banks. Throw in the fact its exclusivity, which I make no excuses for, and I was a very lucky chap. However, no more luckier than the anglers who had fished Redmire, Ashlea Pool and other fabled pools from the past.
So as I had caught a fair few big Carp this season, I knew what a real big one felt like… and this one was big. Very big. The fight lasted for about 20 minutes during which time I could feel the Carp’s tail pinging the line as it turned to move away. The lead had dropped off due to the lead-eject system and I could feel every twist and turn of the fish during the fight. Strangely enough about 10 minutes into the tussle, I realised I must have a good hook hold as I had to turn the fish quickly away from a nearside snag. With this in mind and the Carp now being in open water, I really bent into the fish to try and lift it up in the water so I could get a glimpse of it. The Greys Torsion 2.75TC Rods have such a through, forgiving-action that I knew it would absorb the weight of the fish. However, I was shocked and surprised as to just how heavy this Carp felt. As I stared down at the fish in my landing net, some ten minutes later, I could see this was a colossal fish. I struggled to lift the beast from the water onto the top of the bank. It was as I tried to lift it that I knew for sure; this was a 50lb plus Carp.
Weighing 50lb 6oz, which was a little surprising as I expected it to weigh more, the realisation of what this Carp was didn’t initially impact me. It was only after the obligatory celebratory cup of tea by yourself when the entire crowd has gone, that it truly hits you. A UK 50lb Carp is a giant and in a size-orientated Carp world even more so. Yeah you can get all the idiots who try to devalue anyone’s catches that they don’t appreciate. As I have written in the past they will claim, exclusive private water, lake not large, not much angler pressure, unknown fish yet these are the very people who would give their right arm for that in their own fishing. Don’t listen to a word they have to say, Carp fishing is what it means to you and catching huge Carp of 50lb + is a very special moment. A moment in time that should be savoured forever and enjoyed as God only knows if you will ever be lucky enough to sample it again.
Having been a Carp angler since 1975 I do know what I am talking about, I derived particular satisfaction as my recent 50 was my first ever Carp from Lakeview in 2004 when it weighed 19lb. Little would have I expected the float-fished, sweetcorn victim of then would one day be a 50 pounder. Now, through dedicated fishery management by myself and other Lakeview anglers it was the 2nd 50 caught from it. In fact it was my sixth UK 50+ and I had been lucky to catch them all in the last five years. This is proof to me that when I get asked, how do you catch huge Carp and can I do it? I always answer the same. My own way and of course you can!
Over the years I have done many slide shows. I first started doing them in the eighties and still do them today. As the audiences I come across have varying degrees of understanding, I always explain to them everything I tell them is my way of Carp fishing. Not Gospel, not THE way but just my way. I make this point as my own Carp fishing is quite methodical and thought out. I believe strongly in karma and see far too many carp anglers thinking themselves out of capturing a huge Carp before they have begun. But why? Usually because they haven’t managed to catch one yet and believe media-hype that to catch the real big ones, you need to be a genius. NEWSFLASH No you don’t. You have to be dedicated and the type of angler that perseveres whatever.
Before everybody says well I can do that, there is one more HUGE reason why certain anglers can huge fish and which you have to replicate to also catch them. This next piece of information is so fundamental and pivotal to your success so please don’t forget it. Ready…this will blow you away…fish waters where huge Carp live!
Before I get dismissed as some idiot stating the bleeding obvious, that is not so easy. You may remember I told you that some anglers would belittle certain captures, as the water is too exclusive. Therein lies the problem. Most waters that contain 50lb+ Carp are quite difficult to obtain tickets for. However, they are not impossible and the best piece of advice I would give to anyone is to persevere and be patient. Once you have permission to fish a lake that hold 50lb+ Carp you then need to fish them as much as you can. With the mantra, there are three things that can happen: the 50 pounder will die, I will die or I will catch it! You will be surprised what you can achieve.
With today’s Carp fishing full of companies such as Hardy & Greys wanting to supply you the best tackle available, the time to be a big Carp hunter has never been so good. Just do it.
Take it from me, there is never a moment when those monsters have been in my arms, that I would change places with anyone in the world. ‘The Land of the Giants’ is no longer the domain of the rest of mainland Europe. The UK now have the stuff of dreams on your doorstep. Just go and find your very own Land Of The Giants. You will have a great time along the way. See you on the bank