FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 184



In Search Of Monster Carp
(Above) Cool carp.
(Below) A scaly 20 from Darenth Long Lake.
baits.” So we asked the chemistry
teacher at school, “Have you got any
idea what I can use as bait that has
calcium phosphate in it?” He said,
“Yeah, I’ve got just the stuff… Go
down to the local florist or garden
centre and buy yourself a bag of
bonemeal fertiliser, but make sure you
buy the sterilised stuff, because you
can catch diseases off the unsterilised
stuff.” So I went down the garden centre, and bought this bag of white
stones. I knew nothing about mixing
baits with eggs at the time, and so I
thought the only way I can do it is
grind it up into powder with a pestle
and mortar, and then make a real
sloppy bread paste up, and keep mixing this grey coloured powder with it
until it makes a nice paste. Anyway, I
spent hours preparing it. By the way,
by now it was February 1972, and I
went down to Horton Kirby on a
freezing cold winter’s day, the first
time ever using this bonemeal fertiliser bait. I cast out, and round about
midday, I caught a 24lb 8oz carp, and
in 1972, believe you me, it was an
incredible sized fish. That was my
first double actually, and I sent it off to
184 FREE LINE
the Angling Times. I applied for the
British Carp Study Group on the
strength of that, but when I got the
form back it asked how many doubles
this year and last year, and I realised I
wasn’t quite ready for it. Really that
fish was a milestone, and it made me
think that I liked this carp fishing lark,
and I suppose from then on, I virtually
ate, slept and drank carp fishing, and I
read everything. I had a little scrapbook where I used to cut out and
paste all the carp caught in Kent or
South East London, and used to religiously read all the articles by Jerry
Savage, Jim Gibbinson, and anything
written about carp. I was so into it;
other lads were out there playing
football, but I used to just spend hours
upon hours studying carp.
Where I was fishing in Kent, it was
really when the bait boom started, the
Fred Wilton days and things like that.
From the bonemeal fertiliser we progressed to using eggs and things like
that. I can remember I was down at
Brooklands one day, and there was a
guy fishing behind me who caught a
17lb’er on this round ball of bait that
was quite hard. I think his name was
Tony Miller, but he was a member of
the then Dartford Specimen Group of
something like that, and he actually
told me about boilies. So I went home,
made up my KiteKat and all that with
eggs and everything, and boiled it to
make it more resilient to the tench
and small fish. Of course we found
out about the very famous Fred Wilson PYM recipe. For anyone who
doesn’t know it, it is based on a bird
food called PYM, which stood for
Phillips Yeast Mixture. It was a really
superb bait, and we had quite a bit of
success on it fishing Brooklands.
Most my fishing by then was Brooklands; I mean Horton Kirby didn’t hold
such big fish as Brooklands, even
though I didn’t catch any of them. I
think my biggest fish from Brooklands
was round about 25lb, but I there
were fish approaching 30lb in there,
so it made it a lot more interesting,
plus it was a lot easier to get there by
train. So we spent a lot of time fishing
down at Brooklands, and I met various other friends, people like Colin
Swaden and Micky ‘Curly’ Hatchman,
who also lived at Deptford as it happens. I can remember Lockey in the
early days too, a spotty little kid with
no teeth who used to come round,
asking all the questions and all that,
but it was really exciting.
Then, probably around about 1974-

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