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   Old Thread  #4 13 Oct 2016 at 11.51am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #3
My skipper at the time was a guy called John Affleck, an old school carper from up country, asked me if I knew anything about the Roche AC waters “up the Luxulyan road”. He told me that one particular lake was “living with carp” Yeah! Right! This is lake ‘up the Luxulyan road’

The lake, of course, was Wheal Rashleigh, and he wasn’t kidding about it being stuffed! There were carp everywhere you looked and some were clearly pretty big. Derrick was then working at the tackle shop in St Austell and he signed me up as a member right away. Next thing I knew I was preparing for my first session. John was right. It WAS living with them.

I had done a fair bit of a recce the previous weekend and had spotted a very distinctive bar in a swim down at the end of the lake, and I decided to make a start there. However, the best laid plans and all that…There was a guy in the swim when I arrived and he had caught a fish, a big fish for those days, a common of 15lb or so. The guy then told me that he was packing up and that I should jump into the swim immediately. Can you see that happening to a total stranger walking onto a modern carp water!

The guy in question was Tony Chipman a Club committee member and keen carper. As if allowing me to jump right into his swim was not enough, he also gave me some of the trout pellet paste he was using. Nice guy!

I fired out about 50 Robin Red freebies to the bar and cast my two rods out spaced about 20m apart, one at the back of the bar, the other on the top of it. As before at the pond when I had caught Big Daddy the response was almost instant and after a dogged fight I slipped the net under a right bruiser of a fish with a very distinctive tail. It was the fish that came to be known as Busted Tail! I later found out that this old mirror was the largest carp in the lake. So, within a few minutes of casting out on two different venues, I had landed the biggest carp in each one! Thank you Robin Red: Thank you hair rig!

As if that wasn’t enough, while I was weighing the first fish the other rod went off resulting an a common of 17lb +. Though I did not know it at the time, this was the biggest common in the lake! I was alone, as Tony was driving out of the car park as the first take happened so I did a quick photo of the two fish on the ground. It was only later that I became aware of what I had achieved that day!

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   Old Thread  #3 13 Oct 2016 at 11.49am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #2
We were enjoying a lazy lunch at the Seven Stars in South Tawton when Bill brought from his wallet my very first encounter with the hair. He had been fishing at Cut Mill when one of the regulars took him into his confidence and showed him the hair rig, and it was this Holy Grail that Bill showed me in the pub. Naturally I thought he was taking the pee and to my lasting shame I ignored this glimpse of the future completely. What a moron!

It was a few weeks later, when I again fished with Bill that I told him I had not been using the hair. He called me several choice names and kicked me up the arse, (metaphorically I hasten to add) and when we got back to the lake after another pub lunch, Bill showed me exactly how to set it up. This was the original tying of the hair.

Naturally, in conjunction with the RR boilies AND the hair, we now enjoyed phenomenal sport at Ockenham, so much so that Peter Mohan dreamt up a stupid excuse to kick me out of the syndicate. I brought the two secrets back home to Cornwall with me and I am almost 100% certain I was the only carp angler in the county that knew about the rig, or about Robin Red come to that.

The downside was trying to keep the rig and the bait secret! For instance, if another angler came over to chat and you had a flyer, this was bound to increase the guy’s suspicion. Flyers simply did not happen pre-hair! As if that wasn’t bad enough, if the guy the offered to net the fish for you, it was only right and proper that you told him to F*** off as the last thing you wanted was him spotting the rig! However, some guys can be very thick skinned and even after ripping the net out off his hand and landing the fish yourself, you had to be pretty quick to tear off the hair and the hookbait before he clocked it.

Meanwhile, back in Cornwall I set about finding some decent carp fishing locally. A local guy was fishing a small lake I had heard contained a few carp. I went down to this lake to meet him and was astonished at how small it was. Ian then set about trying to blind me off the place, but I wasn’t fooled for long. A flock of seagulls flew in, screaming for some bread that had been thrown onto the surface of the pond, and as they did so they spooked several carp.

Later I went down for a look around with a stalking rod and a bag or RR boilies. It was a bright sunny day and the fish were plain to see. I put and handful of bait in the margins by the lifebelt, popped a hookbait on the hair and cast out just off to the side of the freebies. Almost immediately a fish swam up to the baits and began wolfing them down. Suddenly the tip pulled round as a frantic carp made off with the bait. Soon it was in the net, no size but it was my first carp from what came to be known as Salamander Lake.

Next day I was back in the same swim with the same bait and again I saw carp move onto the bait almost at once. Next thing I knew there was a huge swirl, the rod tip jerked around and the reel screamed and a few minutes later I had a large carp in the net, a fish that was later to claim fame throughout the country as the fabled ‘Big Daddy’.

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   Old Thread  #2 13 Oct 2016 at 11.46am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #1
I started fishing at a very early age under the watchful eye of my Grandpa, a pretty inept teacher if the truth be known. However I will always be grateful to him for igniting the spark that turned me into an angler.

I first cast a line for carp in 1965, at Keston Ponds in Kent. Needless to say, I was hopelessly inexperienced for those Leney warriors and failed miserably. But that didn’t stop me trying and after getting married we moved to Ash Vale in Surrey, not far from the famous Cut Mill, a lake that belonged to Farnham AS. It was here that I really got into carp fishing in a big way, catching my first double on anchored floating crust, the upside down set up as it was called.

Oh to be thin again!

Then in 1971 we moved down to Fowey and I started work on a commercial fishing boat and carp fishing was shoved aside for several years. At weekends we took out parties to fish the wrecks and one of our regular groups was a bunch of mates I used to carp fish with in Surrey. Their chat about the goings on in the carp world “up country” rekindled my interest in carping and in 1977 my mate Bill got me into the Ockenham Lakes syndicate in Devon that was run by Peter Mohan. It was here that I first came to terms with proper boiled baits, and also got into particle bait fishing, Rod Hutchinson’s articles in Angling magazine having sparked my interest.My mates called the trips down west wrecking with the hippy guy!

Ockenham lakes are deep and gin clear and the best tactic was to bait up right in the margins in 12-14 feet of water, using a carpet of any brightly coloured bait – sweetcorn or black eyed beans – with the hookbait of two black-eyed beans side hooked and placed just off the carpet. Then you kept your eyes glued to the hookbait until it disappeared. This meant that a carp had snaffled it! This was pre-hair fishing at it’s most difficult, for if you didn’t strike the moment the hookbait disappeared you missed the take. This is Speedy Bill at Ockenham. This is how we always fished it.

Then in 1978 Bill came down to join me on the Lakes with a couple of very interesting “secrets” up his sleeve, secrets that he very decently shared with me. These were the very first version of the hair rig and a boiled bait that incorporated Robin Red. I shall never forget when Bill first brought up the hair rig…
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