Christmas day in the morning 2001

....Dreams do come true !.

Well I have fished for Carp for many years now, first becoming addicted in 1978 when fishing over walthamstow reservoirs as a young lad. Catching a 16lb mirror Carp at that venue was to prove to be the beginning of my desire to catch Carp. We all as Carp anglers, have a dream of catching a really huge Carp, well today, Christmas day that dream came true for me. My wife and I were awakened by our children in the early hours of Christmas morning, 5.15am to be precise, so the un-wrapping of the presents began. I had made up my mind that after the children had filled their boots and breakfast had been eaten, I was going over the lake for 6 hours, returning for Christmas dinner. It's been really strange this year, our first Christmas in France and because we have spent so much money, we had decided not to buy each other any presents this Christmas.

I arrived over lake Merault at 7.20am, armed with just a couple of rods, Imx 13ft 3½ pound test curves along with reels, baits, and a few other bits and pieces. I cast out about 60 foot, put a few baits out "minstral Isotonic" then sat down to reflect on the past 8 months.

Its now 1pm and I am thinking to myself it's time to go, when out of the corner of my eye the left hand rod pulls round. I am in and it's big....BLOODY BIG !, the fish has taken loads of line and is now over 125 yards down the lake. I've hooked one of the big Catfish in the lake, which I lost after one and a half hours of one the most incredible battle's imaginable, but that's another story which I will get round to telling you about soon. It seems like the fish is starting to get tired now, as the runs are not so powerful, one thing's for sure it's not a Catfish this time because it's just rolled 30ft to my right. Well I can tell you my legs are like jelly and my arms are killing me, but I will get this fish on the bank, I feel that its within me now, well to tell the truth...........I've done it. The feeling of this fish sliding over my landing net and that 2oz lead hitting the spreader block will live with me forever.

The Best Christmas Present I've ever had and will ever have, is now laying on my, what use to look like a big un-hooking. I quickly put her in the sack and run up to a friend of mine who lives in the village, I then ring my dad and the wife and kids to tell them the good news. They arrived no sooner than when I had got back to the lake, the fish was weighed, photographed and then with my heart still racing released back to the water........You see Dreams do come true.

Oh sorry!!...... the weight of the Carp...............57lb.4oz


Regards and best wishes for the New Year

Fred Stanmore

Tight lines!