FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 180



In Search Of Monster Carp
went down there in my dad’s old Ford
Anglia; I must have been about five at
the time. No one else was fishing; I
was hanging out this tree, and there
were these tiny jack pike. I was using
my great big bobbin float and 18lb
line, which at the time you thought
you had to use – I was completely
naïve about fishing. I was desperately
trying to catch one of these pike, and
all of a sudden this fella, who put me
in mind of the ranger in Yogi Bear, as
he had a brown hat with “Ranger”
written across the front, said, “The
fishing season doesn’t start until
tomorrow.” My dad had a little bit of a
row with him, saying, “We aren’t
doing any harm,” but the ranger said,
“No, sorry, I can’t let you fish – it doesn’t start until tomorrow.” So we had to
pack up and go home, and I thought
to myself at the time, how unlucky
can you get; you don’t know anything
about fishing, you don’t know anything about the seasons, and the first
time you go fishing it’s June the 15th
and you get thrown off.
From there really I suppose it progressed to fishing with mates from
school, bearing in mind that when
you lived in Deptford and places like
New Cross, going out to Dartford
Lakes and Horton Kirby was like
going out in the country, because in
comparison, it was. We were surrounded by tower blocks and Dartford
at the time was still quite a nice area.
We used to go off on the train, get a
180 FREE LINE
train from Deptford station, the first
train down to Dartford, and I suppose
really most of our first early fishing
was on Dartford Lakes, fishing for
anything that came along. You couldn’t help notice along the way there
were these mysterious looking characters with floppy hats, but we never
really used to take too much notice of
them. Well, to be honest they would
never talk to you; they had their little
secret service. I suppose at the time it
was people like Jack Hilton, but we
would sit there, merrily fishing away
with our floats, catching loads and
loads of roach and what-have-you.
My best mate at the time was a guy
called Ronnie Angel, and he was
really good at all sports. If he was
boxing, he was the schoolboy champion of Great Britain two or three
years on the trot and all that, and
good at football and everything, but
the one thing he couldn’t beat me at
was fishing. There was a little competition between the pair of us, and then
we progressed to fishing further afield
to Horton Kirby, which is still fairly
near Dartford.
Horton Kirby at the time was probably the hot bed for carp fishing, and
we started seeing quite a few people
fishing for carp, and occasionally
(Top right) Brooklands bream.
(Right) First season on Horton Kirby.
(Above) Brooklands mid-20.

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