Mo­tor­way – sum­mer 1991

Carpworld - - MAINLINE -

That first ex­cit­ing trip to a new wa­ter is some­thing ev­ery carp an­gler will have ex­pe­ri­enced. What we take from it can be used in fu­ture years to make fur­ther ‘first trips’ more pro­duc­tive. If you don’t learn from the in­evitable mis­takes then you will prob­a­bly con­tinue to make them, but if you do, then be­lieve me, lit­tle will phase you... Last month I looked at wa­ters I tack­led in the 80s (Tyram, Drax, Three Lakes, Wil­low and Til­ery), and this month there are five more from the nineties and noughties that shaped my fu­ture. Look­ing back, it all seems so daft, but, by the late eight­ies I still felt I hadn’t had a ‘big carp’ – de­spite hav­ing them to 28lb 4oz from Three Lakes on a day-ticket ba­sis. De­spite catch­ing a stack from Til­ery, both ‘Big Un’ and ‘Sumo’ had evaded me, al­though I did drop the for­mer at the net, when the lead hit the shelf and nicely bounced the hook out. My fish­ing part­ner at the time, Andy Bram­ley, had started to fish Mo­tor­way with Mally Roberts, which could also be fished on the H&DAA per­mit, and was re­ally en­joy­ing it. Mally had al­ready nailed the big­gest fish at up­per 20s (it be­came known as Mally’s Fish in the early years) and it ap­peared that the fish were re­ally grow­ing. Per­son­ally, I hated the place, as it was sit­u­ated slap bang be­tween the M62 and a hous­ing es­tate, which was def­i­nitely not my idea of carp fish­ing, to put it lightly.

How­ever, if I was go­ing to catch a big carp I needed to get my head into gear and grow a pair and get on with it. The Til­ery was start­ing to frus­trate me and, much as Mo­tor­way was not my idea of fun, I was young enough and daft enough to put up with it for a stupid big carp. That was the easy bit say­ing I’d do it, but now I’d have to get on with it. I knew very lit­tle about the place other than it was to be en­dured rather than en­joyed – so it was time to do my re­search while on the good old work par­ties that we had to do.

Pulling out sunken trees, burn­ing rub­bish and gen­er­ally milk­ing the ‘Mo­tor­way Crew’ for any­thing I could get from them – such was life in those days. From talk­ing to the lads, it was a case of fish­ing as tight as pos­si­ble to any re­main­ing snags and hook, hold and hope... nice! Most of them were us­ing the boilie ap­proach (Crafty Catcher in those days, I think?) which was all well and good but I felt like mak­ing the num­bers up to be hon­est. I’d been very im­pressed with how Brian Skoyles had tack­led the Em­mot­land com­plex, with boilie crumb and huge hook­baits and de­cided that is how I’d ap­proach Mo­tor­way. Sacks of Nu­tra­baits Big Fish Mix were pur­chased and us­ing the Cran­berry/ Salmon Oil/sweet Ca­jouser/glme com­bi­na­tion, I rolled hun­dreds of sausages and then once they had boiled, crumbed them and froze it in one kilo bags. That was an in­ter­est­ing March and April I can tell you! Hook­baits were around 24mm in size and would be flossed to Dren­nan Con­ti­nen­tal Size 2 hooks that I’d hand sharp­ened as best I could with the tools of the trade, ’91 style.

Rather than jump straight onto a venue I didn’t re­ally know any­thing about, like, or un­der­stand, I de­cided to spend two weeks vis­it­ing the wa­ter three or four evenings a week, look­ing for carp. That was fun too – mosquitoes, hay fever, kids on push bikes, bream, fairly se­cre­tive lo­cal an­glers, with just the odd carp spot­ted. Heaven help me. To be fair I had seen some fish show­ing all over the cen­tral area, as the lo­cals had pre­dicted, so if you can’t beat them join them, eh?

Trip one was planned for the first week in May and would be one of three mid­week nights that week. Crikey, I was keen in those days! Liv­ing at home with mum and dad and work­ing in Selby meant I could be at the lake by 6pm and could hang on un­til 7am if I re­ally fan­cied my chances. I’d started to use a bait­boat dur­ing my last year at Til­ery (gulp), so that would be part of my ar­moury

too. Find the carp, cover the spot or spots in crumb and then catch as many as pos­si­ble, as quickly as pos­si­ble, so I could leave this hell hole and go some­where qui­eter and more hos­pitable – well that was the plan!

I left work a lit­tle ear­lier than usual as it was to be my first trip and soon the bat­tered old Golf was pulling into the car park. As usual for a mid­week night on many fish­eries at that time, it was an­gler free, so I guess the world, or should I say the Mo­tor­way, was my oys­ter. Two hours later and those crafty carp were not mak­ing it easy for me. Not a sign at all so I guessed I’d fish Danny’s Point and hope the lo­ca­tion, cou­pled with the crumb, would do the trick. Two trips with the gear and then I pro­ceeded to get the hook­baits as tight as pos­si­ble to the re­main­ing snags. Each hook­bait went out with a kilo of the BFM/GLME crumb and then it was down to the carp to play ball... If only it was that easy! As the light faded it be­gan – and never ended... The loaded swinger dropped back and as I lifted up the AKN I could tell it was not a carp straight­away, as it flapped and flopped, rather than seek­ing sanc­tu­ary in the snag. Won­der­ful, a snotty bream! Through the course of that evening and night, they re­duced my stock of crumb by five ki­los and upped my tally to seven. What a great first trip. No carp, no sleep, stream­ing hay fever and a tac­tic that prob­a­bly was not go­ing to work.

Post­script: I per­se­vered with the crumb and huge hook­bait tac­tic for two more weeks but, other than stacks of bream and two mid-dou­bles, I came to the con­clu­sion that copy­ing the other mem­bers’ choices of swim and tac­tics was plain daft. I took a week out and af­ter two fur­ther mid­week vis­its I found the big­ger fish be­tween Thomo’s Point and the Cold Hole – Plenty of big boilies got them feed­ing strongly and within two weeks I’d had the two big­gest carp in the lake. The Big Un at 30lb 4oz and Nel­son at 29lb 4oz. Job done and away to san­ity.

ABOVE The lads got their backs into it, whilst I sat back and looked pretty





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