This was my best and most enjoyable fish (before the Fradley carp....... )
Note the scene, landing net in the water, whip and rake !!.........
We had moored just below lock 38 in Penkridge opposite static caravan park. Rachel and the other crew had gone into Penkridge and left me fishing. we were on the 4 counties and the maggots had run out so I was fishing sweetcorn and bread pellets. Not much happening so I trotting /9as much as you can on the canal) about 18 inches from the bow of the boat, when rather slowly the float went under and bang I was playing a large carp, I was on a 4 meter whip (see picture) with a lightweight bottom 16 hook to 3.2 or 4LB line - only problem was did not have a a landing net - no excuse just poor planning.
I played the fish for about 20 minutes , just managing t0 turn it every time it went on a run, it tired and my only plan was to hold it to the armco and then get into the canal to lift it out....... I was desperate not to loose the fish, as soon as I lent down to it it gave one last kick and snapped me.....Aaaaarrgghhh, I nearly burst into tears.
I opened a beer and calmed down (those who do not fish will think how daft this sounds....) I tackled up - same hook etc and started again - within 5 minutes same again, different fish, the one above, which I think was slightly smaller.
I played this for some time, this time getting off the boat and walking up the canal with the fish. About 20 yards up the canal were a couple of guys fishing from their ma's caravan and they noted the action. The watched for a few minutes and then I told them I did not have a landing net - they were true fishermen, recognising a fantastic canal fish. One of the guys said he would throw their (his mates) landing net - his mate was not too enthusiastic about this. The first guy was confident and launched it like a javelin and plop it went into the cut by the armco. His mate was less than impressed . Not to be put off he said he would send over his ma's hoe to fish out the landing net. The hoe being heavier made it (just missing me - remember I was still playing my dream fish and praying for a boat NOT to come along)
I then used the hoe to fish out the landing net and then used the net to land the fish - pleased, you bet. Rachel came along just in time to take the pic. When we moved off I returned the gear to my new fishermen friends (who were now fishing with sweetcorn !) with some cans of beer in there for their help.
I actually told this story to the local paper and they published it with the picture above in - a real claim to fame.
I think fish like these are quite frequent in the cut - I have certainly been broke a few times and now tend to use rod and line rather than a whip or pole.