OK its not about me but did anyone ever remember the story about the guy on Horton some years back (I think it was Phil Thompson) who hooked a fish in Church lake that he battled for over 13 hours.... YES 13 HOURS!!!!!
It was very well documented and several other anglers including Del Smith witnessed it. They battle took place on both bank and boat and they never got whatever it was more than a few feet off the bottom at any time.
Eventually Phil became physically unable to fight it anymore and another angler took over and started to heave the monster up from the bottom, the line was already knackered and then it cut on the bottom of the boat. The free end of the line slid over the edge of the boat and everyone was left wondering what it could have been.
These where very experienced anglers and the census was that not even a big forty pound Carp foul hooked in the tail could have fought for so long, someone suggested a monster catfish, but one has never been landed or even seen in there....who knows ?
I've been de-spooled twice before.
Once on a gravel pit in South Cerney, Mitchell 300, 11lb sylcast, opposite direction, down to the stop knot....TWANG.
Once on Chesil Beach fishing a live pout for the bass.
20lb mainline, 13ft 8oz beachcaster bent double.
It just kept going and going and going.
Very slowly, very unstoppable.
Went up and down the beach 3 or 4 times and then headed out to sea.
Probably a shark, who knows...........
Perhaps the lost monsters are part of the magic of it all.
I hooked an unstoppable fish last season - the float shot under, the baitrunner was whirring away before I even picked the rod up and it ran about 80yds down the lake before I lost it. The hooks pulled out as I increased the pressure to try to turn it, so I assume it was probably a sizeable carp foul-hooked in the tail or a fin.
Several pike anglers fishing the Ouse got snapped up by "unstoppable" fish last season, esp around Brandon, Ely etc. A number of seals were sighted in the river at around the same time, so I have my suspicions.
When I started fishing I lost a fair number of fish through badly tied knots etc. Now I've eliminated that, when, from time to time, I do lose a fish by the sheer power or whatever, I know it's a monster !!
I think 'the one that got away' is part of the magic of angling.
My own monster lost story is a bit different in as much as no epic battle was involved, and it wasn't my fish. My long time friend and then angling partner Gary Bagley, ( the Gary in John Sidleys book River Pike) and i fished as a two man team then and we were piking on a large lake, we were having a decent run on the water with fish in the 15-22lb range but we both had a "gut" feeling that the water held something special. It held huge shoals of bream in the 1-5lb bracket and we both thought it was these that the real big fish would prefer so we both put a bream of about 2lb on our rods. We were boat fishing and not casting too far and the bait was very lively but Garys float started to do strange things, he asked me what he should do and my reply was to "feel" for the fish, Gary gently drew back line and it kept coming save for the odd tug all of a sudden a bloody huge Pike appeared with Garys bream in its jaws, the water was clear and we both saw the fish in all it's glory, it was huge! it swam the length of the boat before seeming to sense what was happening, it then dived and moments later Garys bream appeared minus the Pike....It was truelly the biggest Pike i have ever seen and i went on to catch plenty of big Pike to a fraction under 30lb from that water but never anything to rival Garys Biggy...both of us to this day refuse to put a weight to it.
I posted this one to the mailing list after coming back from a trip on the lower severn. I hooked a fish that took off downstream against my clutch with the rod bent double. Not a hell bent run, just a constant irresistable force. I couldn't do anything about it. After a couple of minutes the hooked pulled.
I have taken barbel to 9lb from there, and having fished for over 30 of my 40 years, I also believe I know when I have a foul hooked fish on. It could have been foul hooked I suppose, but it just didn't feel like a foul hooked barbel. It left me shaking from the adrenalin rush and I still believe it was a big barbel.
I remember that Dave !! Or it could have been a carp? I had a 12.12 from the same stretch, I'm 100% positive they're in there much, much bigger. On a trip to the Great Ouse in the summer I caught a 23lb carp while after barbel.
I had the same thing Dave, I was fishing my swim and my r/h rod fished upstream on the inside pulled round and then dropped back.
I hit it and then it just went off downstream, slow and steady, I clamped down when it had gone about 50 yards and the hooklength snapped.
I presumed that a tree or similiar large item of debris had tangled/hooked up on my line.
No Carp, mine was definitely alive! This was back in august when the river was low an not much flow. The tip banged over and the fish took off faster than the river. The problem was it just didn't stop!
I've often struck into bites when float fishing on still waters and been snapped up by an unstoppable fish (on light gear any way) it's always a possibility on carp infested waters, but on the great Ouse over Olney it's going to happen at least once a session. I fished a couple of swims in the summer for roach and chub and the odd decent perch and fed maggot and hemp. And then bam! float goes under and straight downstream into the rushes and your left looking at the end of your broken line feeling a right t*t. It was either one of the Ouse's big barbel that are not supposed to feed in daylight or one of those huge carp that sedge has had a tangle with.
I tend to fish alone, but when I do fish with a mate(usually the same one) there's nothing more amusing to the other than a lost fish.
However, 'bout 10 years ago I was tench fishing on a pit in Gloucester. I'd recently upped the PB to 6 pounds. A usually prolific swim was very quiet, actually, I hadn't had a sniff since dawn and lunch time was approaching. Round went the tip and there followed the most dour unstoppable fight I have ever had. Admittedly, 5Ib line isn't a match for even a modest carp. But I knew it was a Tench and after half an hour or so, including traversing an obstacle course up the spit, we had it plodding around just beyond the net.
This thing was huge, when the hook pulled on the final desperate lunge, the most telling thing was that neither of us thought that was funny(and this is a mate who thought 22 stitches in the nut after falling out of a tree was THE most amusing thing he'd ever seen!)
How big. Hard to tell.
The pit, which I love and still fish has fully authenticated eight pounders taken every year.
I do know the line had two and a half feet of slime on it though. Could have wrapped round at some stage I suppose...but who the hell wants a reasonable explaination!
I think having seen a fish and you know it was WAS big is worse than losing a fish that you only thought was big. I lost a Bristol Avon barbel at the net that I'm convinced was a good double and therefore a p.b. It is a devastating moment that has frozen in my minds eye and will haunt me I'm sure until I land a similar fish. But hey, isn't that what makes us keep going back?
What got me well and truly hooked on fishing is a salmon taking my silver arsely bomb when i fishing for trout in the river wear in Durham. It looked about 20lb, and i thouht i may be able to hook and land it on 4lb line and a size 16 hook. It got away.... how oppitimistic you are when you are 11 years old....but i still wish i landed it though 14 years on.
I was fishing the river Lee relief channel the day before the big floods this year.At mid day I had a take from a rod fished 20 yards upstream.When I struck it powered off past me and down stream,I eventually stopped it 60 yards down stream where it tried to get in the near side reeds.It then came back up stream along the far bank untill it was opposite me.It's next trick was to come straight across the river and go under the platform I was fishing off.I had to pass the rod under the platform and then continue the battle which I eventually won.The culprit was a 15lb 8oz Common.Had it been at night I would never have landed it and I would have been phoning Ian Welch to tell him I had losted the biggest carp in the river Lee.Thats the beauty of carp fishing the rivers because there are uncaught monsters and even the doubles fight like monsters.