FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 61



In Search Of Monster Carp
R
ob: I was on the
phone to Mark
McKenna of Baitcraft
the other day when
he suggested to me
that I get together
with one of his consultants, Craig
Lyons, who is based down in Kent.
Now many of you will know Craig and
will have heard of his exploits as he
was Carp Angler of the Year in 2006,
but something that many of you
might not know is that Craig holds
down a full time job, just fishing at the
weekend and on his normal work holidays. He is also chairman of Dartford
and District Angling and Preservation
Society, the second largest angling
club in the country, which as you
might well imagine demands a lot of
Craig’s time. Craig is 36 now, and
began his carp fishing in the early
80’s. I am going to pass the microphone over to Craig now, and he’s
going to talk us through his carp
angling life, and what a fantastic life
he has! Just looking round his house
where I am today, the walls are decorated with photographs of big carp,
and he showed me his impressive
collection of carp books, which
encompasses every carp book ever
printed – a fantastic accolade there
for carp fishing literature.
Craig: Hello Rob, and thanks very
much for inviting me to do this interview. As you said, it all started in the
early 80’s, like everyone we don’t
actually start with carp fishing, hopefully we do a bit of float fishing here
and there, and mine started on the
river Darenth, down near Horton
Kirby, going down there with a bit of
cane as a rod of a weekend in
between going to school, trying to
catch my first fish. The first fish I can
actually remember was about 1978 or
79, going down Franks Lane on the
river Darenth, and catching a chub
that must have been around the 2-3lb
mark. Obviously, at that age, it was
one hell of a fish – a monster fish. To
be honest with you I just couldn’t
believe my eyes, and to think that that
was literally on a cane rod with a bit
of line tied to the end, and if I remember rightly, with a curtain ring, tied to
the end, and I just dangled a worm
underneath the bridge. I know you
read about these sorts of things and
it’s often just a story, but it’s not, it’s
factual, that’s actually what happened.
From there, my fishing just developed, and I got hooked – I just wanted
to go fishing every weekend. Obviously school determines how much
time you’ve got to do that sort of
thing, but I decided that I wanted to
join a lake or do something along
those lines to catch some bigger fish,
because the river Darenth was quite
limited in to what it had species-wise
and size, although size in those days
didn’t really matter, and to be honest
with you, it doesn’t today. What I
found out was that just down the road
from where I was fishing on the river
was Horton Kirby, which was on day
ticket at the time, and was controlled
by Dartford and District Angling and
Preservation Society. At the time I
lived in New Barn, which was a good
mile away from the nearest train station, and unfortunately I had no way
of getting to that train station on a
Saturday morning other than actually
walking. It was probably the same for
most people, but unfortunately I
didn’t have parents who were willing
to drive me down there at half past
four on a Saturday morning. So I
loaded myself up, with the old seat
box, rod bag, a few sarnies, cup of tea
etc, etc. I would start off walking early
(Top) 9lb 10oz Kirby.
(Left) Kirby – my first carp.
FREE LINE 61

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