FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 63



In Search Of Monster Carp
I think at that time I must have
been very close to a birthday or
Christmas, because as far as I can
remember, very soon after that I had a
pair of carp rods – they were the old
Jerry Savage Horton Kirby rods funnily enough, in green glass. They
would have been second hand, and I
had a pair of Ryobis, the first decent
reel that I owned and in those days it
was all top of the range to be honest
with you. We didn’t have the sophistication and baitrunners and god
knows what like you have today.
Yo u’d fi s h w i th the o l d mo nk e y
climbers and reel spinners, and many
times you’d get a take and you’d nigh
on break your knuckles where the
handle would spin round so fast, or
you’d keep your fingers on the spool
and you’d strike, and the bobbin, the
old monkey climber, would get stuck
on the needle, or the washing up liquid bottle top would get jammed in
the front of the buzzers. I don’t actually remember what buzzers I had in
those days and to be honest with you;
I would have thought they were Magnatronics or the old Optonics, as I
don’t know whether the Magnatronics were out then. I remember having
a set at one time, but so many things
have moved forward, and we’ve progressed and moved too quickly I think
personally, and forgotten about
what’s really important in carp fishing. Those days to me still are the best
in respect of nostalgia; you went fishing to catch carp and it didn’t matter
what you caught; you went home
happy. I think that’s of major importance in carp fishing today; it doesn’t
matter whether that fish is 9lb or
hypothetically 90lb – you must enjoy
your fishing, go out there, and destress from work, and enjoy yourself.
All the banter that goes on within
carp fishing today, isn’t needed to be
honest with you; we’ve all got something in common and that’s carp fishing, and I think we should enjoy it and
remember that a lot of the time.
I’ve digressed a bit there, so we’ll
go back to Horton Kirby as a kid.
You’ve got four lakes there, and at the
time, as I said, the left hand lake was
mainly members only, but the rest of it
was day ticket fishing, with a good
head of carp. I remember having
probably four or five 8-9lb commons
(which at that time were very common, hence the word I suppose), in
that venue, which hopefully Rob will
put a photo in of, which I’ve managed
to scrape out of the bottom of the
boxes up in the loft. It’s one of those
waters, and I probably met a lot of
people that I know today down there,
but never realised who they were. It’s
probably close on 20 acres, and it had
a lot of nostalgia. It’s one of the
waters where carp fishing began;
Jerry Savage and the like fished there
on a regular basis – I don’t even know
if you went down there yourself, Rob.
Did you ever fish Horton Kirby in the
early days? No? It’s surprising… You
read a lot of the old books and articles
by Jim Gibbinson etc, and Horton
Kirby is always mentioned; a lot of
people started on Horton Kirby and
Sutton at Hone. I think it was probably two or three years that I fished
Kirby, and I’d not fished anywhere
else. I would pay my day ticket when
the bailiff would come round, and I
can’t even remember how much it
was to be honest with you, maybe a
couple of quid, but no comparison to
today’s prices. I remember asking
someone about joining the club. It
was hard paying a day ticket when
you’re that age; I think I did a milk
round or a paper round to pay for it, or
you scraped your coppers together,
but you had to pay for your fishing
whatever happened. I wanted to go
every weekend, and I eventually
somehow got into the Dartford club.
I’m not too sure how I did it, but obviously in those days it would have
been the same as today – the form
was filled in, sent off to the office, I got
my little slip, and before I knew it I
had my membership through. I can’t
actually remember the day, but I must
have been so ecstatic – I was a member of Dartford, and at the time it was
a prestigious club, and still is.
Funnily enough I still fished Horton
Kirby for two or three years after
being a member. I didn’t progress
onto Sutton at Hone or Brooklands,
but I do remember being a member
for two or three years, and then someone said to me, “You’ve not been to
Sutton?” I’ll never forget the story,
because then I said, “Sutton, where’s
that then?” I thought, hang on a
minute, Sutton is literally three or four
miles down the road. I don’t know
how I got there, I think someone
dropped me off or took me down
there to have a walk round, but I
walked through the gate, and I couldn’t believe what an oasis in the middle of nowhere it was. At the time
Sutton was full of weed; there were
reeds, and there were willows overhanging all the pathways – it was a
fantastic place. Steve Briggs and people like that fished there in the early
days, also Kevin Maddocks. I could go
through a list of people who have
fished Sutton at Hone; it was just
unbelievable. A lot of things happened within carp fishing in the early
days on the banks on Sutton at Hone.
Just like I said about Kirby being
famous in carp fishing and fishing
Sutton DDAPS – 20’s
FREE LINE 63

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