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In Search Of Monster Carp
and dumped my gear off. I sorted
myself out; I only had my 45in brolly
and my recliner chair, and it started
snowing, and did it snow. Anyway I
thought to myself, I’d better go round
and see if he’s alright. I got round
there and he’s got this 45in brolly up
with like a wrap that he’d made. He
had his stove on, and he’d got his
socks, trying to dry them out, with
steam coming up everywhere. So I
said, “Are you alright, Rich?” “Yes, I’m
alright, I’m trying to dry them off,
they’ll be alright”, and he was going
into one. So I said, “It would be nice if
you made a cup of tea with that kettle.” Then he said, “I’ll tell you something; I’ve leaned something this
week,” so I said, “What’s that mate?”
He said, “I know what they’re catching the fish on.” I said, “What do you
mean, what they’re catching them
on?” He said “I’ve heard there’s a new
thing out mate,” and he brought this
maggot box out, a round maggot box
– I’ll always remember it. He took the
lid off and there were a load of hooklinks tied up with what was called
‘the hair’. I said, “What the hell is that
then?” He said, “You don’t put the
hook in the bait.” So I said, “How does
that work then? You’re pulling my
leg!” He said, “No, I’m not.” So that
was the first time I ever found out
about the hair rig. We fished there for
a few weeks, and I can’t remember
whether we had anything or not now,
but I know Roy Johnson came down
to see us, and Kenny Hodder came
26lb 8oz Redmire 1982.
down to see us, and Mike Harris, and
Bruce Ashby, and it was bloody snowing. I remember sitting there one
night, I don’t know what bit of the
lake it was; it couldn’t have been
where the stream comes in, but I’d
got my brolly up, and I’d got my
reclining chair, and I woke up in the
morning and I was in the water. It
was lucky that I had my boots on so I
didn’t have wet feet, but everything
else was floating around where the
water had come up. Good days.
About a week after I had the
Yeoveney brace, Richie came over just
to congratulate me. We were chatting,
and I showed him where I parked my
car in this barn. Anyway, I said to him,
“I’ll tell you what I’d dearly like, to
catch at 30lb’er out of Redmire,” and
he said, “I’ll have a word with Tom
and see if we can sort you out.” Anyway whether he did or not I don’t
know, because we used to have our
meetings at the Crooked Billet, and
Tom Mintram used to go there. Alan
Vincent, and sometimes Jack Hilton
would turn up too, and I said to him,
“Any chance of getting into Redmire?” I knew quite a few of them
that had fished there previously, and
he said, “Write to me, boy.” Those
were his exact words, “Write to me,
boy.” Anyway in the end I thought to
myself, I will, so I did, and got my
name down. It was a couple of years
or so later that I had a phone call one
evening, “Do you still want to go into
Redmire?” I said, “Who’s this?” “This
is Tom Mintram here,” and I said, “Oh
yeah, Tom.” So he said, “Can you be
round at my house tomorrow night for
an interview?” I said, “Yeah ok, mate.”
He said, “Bring that Kenny Hodder
with you as well.” Funnily enough at
the time Ken had been popping round
to see Tom because he worked in that
area, and he saw Tom quite a bit. Alan
Vincent and I thought that if anyone
was going to get in, Kenny would. So
anyway, I told Kenny and he said, “Oh,
I was hoping to play darts that night.”
I said, “Give the bloody darts a miss
mate, this is a once in a lifetime
opportunity.” So we got over to Tom’s
house and had this interview. Johnny
Carver, Dave Short and Tom Mintram
were there, and they were asking
questions. I was sitting there thinking
to myself that Kenny wasn’t overenthusiastic every time they asked him
a question; you’d think he’d be pushing himself. I thought it was quite
strange, but we came out, and they
said they had someone else to interview.
I thought to myself, that looks like
Kevin Maddocks’ motor over there,
because someone had knocked on
the door and gone into another room.
I said to Kenny, “I reckon that’s Kevin
Maddocks’ motor, I bet he’s the other
person,” and he said, “No, they wouldn’t be interviewing him.” So anyway
we went back to my place, and about
an hour or two later, the phone rang,
“Johnny Carver here. I’ve got good
news – you’re definitely in, but it’s a
toss-up between Kenny and Kevin
Maddocks.” He said, “Well, to be honest, Kenny didn’t put himself across
as very keen.” Well I found out afterwards Kenny was just about to buy a
house, and he really didn’t want the
expense, because at the time it was a
lot of money, and so that was the reason. But anyway in the end for some
reason Tom Mintram wanted Maddocks, so Kevin got in. I thought to
myself, this is a dream come true, as
from the early days of carp fishing I
used to read all Hilton’s stuff when he
used to write articles in the Angling
Times about Redmire; I used to cut
them out and keep them. Then everyone had to meet at Tom’s house to be
introduced to one another, and that’s
when I met Kevin and we chatted. Oh
no, I think we went round to Dave
Short’s house, yes, that’s where it
was, and they were telling us about
all these monster fish they had seen
FREE LINE 113

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