|THE REDMIRE EXPERIENCE|
|COARSE FISHING WITH THE ESSEX ANGLER|
By John Turner
It was the third of august 1997, when John Wooding, Peter Kilick, my son Tony & I set off on our long journey to Ross on Wye. We left Thanet at 05.30 in order to arrive at around midday, at the carperís mecca of Redmire. We made two stops in order to have refreshments and to plan our seven days at our magic venue. For this is where the last three British record carp had been caught and although our thoughts were not of such a capture, to fish at such a special place was high on our lists and perhaps to catch one or two of those famous carp.
On arrival, we made our way up the long drive to the gatekeeperís house. Then through the gate and down the hill to the wooded pool, we could not yet see the water, even when we pulled into the carpark. Tony & I could not wait to see for ourselves and were soon out of the car making our way to the dam end of Redmire. The shock of seeing the size, or should I say the lack of size of this famous pool shook us both and Peter who had never been here before. Although both John & Tony had been here in November 96, they said it still shocks you that such carp could come from such a place. On their Trip in 96, they had nothing except frostbite. But now it was summer, or so it should have been except it was raining, it had started as soon as we entered the drive. But this did not concern us; we were here at last Redmire pool.
We had arrived early, we made our way to the hut at the dam end of the lake, tea was called for and a chance to read the log to see how other anglers had faired. Then we took our tea back to the dam to look at the pool again. Other anglers were leaving now, it was nearly our turn to enjoy our time here, they stopped to tell us that the pool had beaten them all, not a carp had been caught. The place was now empty except for us, it was our turn now. We could now walk round the pool and pick our swims for the week. John had the stiles swim, while Peter took Pitchfords. Tony and I made our way round the other side, Tony went into Keffords, and I made my way to the shallow end of the pool and into Pitch 2.
It was around 3pm before I had cast out any rods, as setting up camp seemed the best thing to do in the rain. Tony & I had come with nutrabaits classic combination boilies, cranberry flavoured (15mm) and ball pellets also cranberry. The baiting pattern for me was 5 ball pellets per 20 boilies to each rod. The first rod (left hand) was cast to the shallows, rod 2 (mid left) was cast to first willow opposite bank, rod 3 (mid right) to second willow opposite bank and right hand rod was cast middle of the pool in around four feet of water. As darkness fell, we all recast and settled down for the night following a chicken curry and glass of wine, plus a few beers. I was soon asleep, only to be woken by shouts from the far bank, I staggered out into the dark to find Tony with a torch making his way to the punt. Peter had a carp on and it had become weeded, by the time we reached the punt at the dam end of the lake, John and Peter had freed it and banked it. We made our way round to see Peters beaming smile, John had also landed one, so two carp on our first night at Redmire what a good start.
Our first full day, recast to all four spots then tea as Tony had joined me for a chat about the nights events Then we walked to bramble island to look over the whole pool and take it all in, I had only seen it in books and on a passion for angling, nothing comes near to being here in the flesh. Itís like a golfer playing at St Andrews a dream to many and just being here was enough for me.
It was still raining all day in stops and starts, and then at around 5pm the sun came out just for a while. Just as that happened my (mid right) hand rod screamed off line I was in, My first Redmire carp was about to put the icing on the cake. As it rolled into the waiting net held by my gillie Tony I could not see it for weed, but we parted the weed there was this pot of Redmire gold a common of eighteen pounds twelve ounces.
With photos taken I walked out into the pool and released her. I think I was still on cloud nine an hour after landing her, when I was in again this time the right hand rod Was off. My gillie was back to help as another eighteen pounder rolled into the net, another common of eighteen pound nine ounces. What a magic day for me, but poor Tony had lost one fish at the net and John and Peter had not a touch.
So my first day total was 37 pounds 5 ounces. Tony on the other hand was still looking for his first carp of the trip, weed was a problem for him and we did feel for him.
Early morning saw me lose a common to the weed cables of Redmire, which had so Far caused Tony so much trouble. John landed a small scamp of just three pounds, while Tony lost two more to the weed. Peter was having no touches but we were feeling sorry for Tony more, the weed was giving real problems.
Many anglersí have come to Redmire and blanked, including Richard Walker. Who held the British Carp Record (forty-four pounds common) from this pool. It was he, who also named the pool Redmire, because of the colour of the clay soil, which gives the water a tinge of red. Also to keep the pool a secret, a special place, away from the anglerís who would have invaded in their hundreds to fish this place. This secret is still kept to this day, invitation only for four anglersí at a time. We four were lucky to have this chance and there was still time for Tony to land a carp.
That night saw no action, except for two owls calling to each other, and great carp crashing in the pool to let us know they were still there.
The rain was still falling and had been since we arrived, everything we had with us was soaked and full of red clay. But we were still happy to be here despite being wet. I was just drinking a cup of tea and peering out at another dawn with drizzling rain, when my right hand rod screamed off line. This carp packed a punch; it veered off to the right to my near margin and under the willow. There was no stopping it, the clutch on my reel fought against the take of the carp, then it was gone leaving me cursing on the bank, I reeled in to find the hook had straightened out, what a take. As I re-rigged the rod, the left hand rod was away. This was a small mirror, which I lost at the net, I could not believe my luck two takes within half an hour and both lost. Tony had again been in battle with the weed and carp and lost again. Early afternoon, and again I was in a battle with a carp. Which picked up the bait to my inside left rod, this one I landed, another common a personal best of twenty pounds nine ounces. I was over the moon, a new p.b. And a total of fifty-seven pounds fourteen ounces for three carp. A chicken curry, a bottle of red wine, loads of beer and a glass of vodka followed this. What a day, than I staggered back to my bivvie for a good nights sleep.
At last the skies had cleared, it was warm and a mist hung over the pool. John came round to see how we were doing, both Peter and John had nothing to report. Tony had nothing to say except bloody weed, I told him I was moving Friday into the willows swim, so he could move into pitch 2 if he wanted. We agreed that would happen in the morning. As they walked off back to their swims, my left hand rod was away, soon a small common of fourteen pounds and four ounces was in the net, and took my total to seventy two pounds two ounces for four fish.
The only other species in Redmire Pool are Eels and gudgeon
Early morning and the sun sent beams through the trees, it was nice to think that the rain had finally gone, and we could now enjoy the pool in all its summer glory. Slowly, I started to pack-up for the move to willow swim, perhaps the most famous swim on the pool due to the fact that this is where Dick Walker Landed Clarrissa the record forty-four pound common. I had promised myself I would fish the last few days there. As I packed away, the right hand rod was away, but again I lost the fish at the net.
Time to move, I dropped my first load at willows and made my way back. As I reached Tonyís, he was into another fish.
This time I grabbed his landing net and jumped into the water and out I went up to my waste. Tony was not going to lose this one; slowly we got it clear of the weed and into the net, one up to Tony at last, a six-pound mirror. Now it was time to move swims, Tony pitch 2, me the willows.
Once Tony and I were sorted, the baiting started again, one in the gully, two short and one to the dam end. Twenty boilies per rod, plus ten pellets then I settled back to enjoy my new view of the pool.
Tony, landed another carp of twelve pounds from pitch 2, but that was his lot for the week. John had also played his hand but lost another.
Peter was still waiting for another take since his first night, in which he had beamed from ear to ear.
That night, we sat and enjoyed a bottle of wine together. It was Tonyís night and we enjoyed the whole evening in the pitch of the same name.
Our week seemed to go so quickly, even though they say time collects here. We had just one more full day here, then the following we would leave, and it was not time to toast the mire not yet anyway.
It was warm in the sunshine of the morning, the carp were moving close to the surface, mocking me as I tried to tempt them with floating biscuit. Moving past the bait and clipping it the tail as they went away again.
Although the carp were there on the surface, action was about to take place below the surface. I was so taken with the large carp playing with the biscuit; another large carp was taking a boilie on the bottom, which was attached to my left hand rod. My bite alarm screamed out, I dropped the rod I was using with surface baits and seized the rod with line leaving it at great speed, the rod bent round in an arc to the right, a battle broke out between the carp and myself.
I remember thinking at the time; I must land this one Iím in Walkers swim. By now Tony, Peter & John had arrived in my swim, the battle went on for sometime with all enjoying all the problems the carp was giving me, kiting to the left, then the right, into the margin, then out into the middle. Slowly I gained control, then a large lump rolled onto the net.
John said, itís a twenty-five plus thatís for sure, I knelt there shaking, looking into the net at a large golden scaled common, it was big much bigger than I had ever landed. I composed myself, unhooked her then gently lifted her into the weigh sling.
The scale went round and stopped at twenty-three pounds bang on, Johns weight was wrong, but it was another personal best for me. We took the pictures on the dam end of the lake with my back to Redmire to show her splendour I was so proud to have landed a carp from the willows, Walkers swim this took my total to NINTYFIVE POUNDS TWO OUNCES for five carp all commons & two personal bests all here at Redmire Pool. I spent the rest of the day riding the high of that common with a bottle of wine.
John & Peter gave in and asked for some bait and that night they used it. This was our last night at Redmire; I spent the whole night taking in the pool and all the sounds and smells of it. There was no movement in my swim all night, but it did not matter, I just wanted to enjoy my last night here and the dawn was on its way.
So it had come, the final day. We would have to leave at mid-day, I spent the early morning clearing up. It was around 9.30am, when the shout went up. Peter was into a carp, his second of the trip and on my bait, he was so overjoyed as the scale stopped at fourteen pounds, not that weight matters when you are at Redmire Pool. Photos taken again on the dam then back into the pool it went.
I spent time walking the pool and taking it all in, then off to the hut to fill in the log. I had a wonderful week at Redmire, we all had. But the morning soon went by, and then it was time to leave the magical pool and return home. But not before remembering such people who had brought us to Redmire pool. Jack Hilton, Chris Yates and the man Richard Walker. To them I say thank you. John Wooding, Peter Kilick and Tony I say it was a great time and to Redmire pool, I say may you long be the Mecca of carp fishing and never be forgotten. For I know I will never forget you and perhaps one day I will return.
THANK YOU, REDMIRE POOL & PATRICIA who said,
ďIf you have a dream forfill it and live your dreamsĒ
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