FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 67



In Search Of Monster Carp
ing in this country, little monsters and
beasties are coming across from foreign countries, and god knows what
is going to happen. We’re probably
going have scorpions and tarantulas
in years to come, who knows? I’m not
phased by creepy crawlies generally,
but I’ll never forget that as long as I
live.
I carried on fishing there for quite a
few years, and I’ve had some ups and
downs. One of the big lows at the
time was when Scruffy Bob, Frank
and I were fishing on the river bank.
As Rob said I actually run the Dartford
club now, but one of the silly rules at
t h a t t i m e w a s t h a t y o u w e r e n ’t
allowed to use an unhooking mat! Yes
that’s right, you weren’t allowed –
you are reading right. Most people
used a bit of bubble wrap, which was
supplied by the club, and was nine
inches long by god knows what, and
which you could pick up out of a box
at the car park. I think it was the environment agency, or someone along
those lines, had warned the club
about diseases and god knows what.
I don’t think SCV was in existence
then, well it probably was, but we
didn’t know what it was in those
days, and fish deaths weren’t attributed to anything other than probably
being spawnbound and stressed, or
lack of oxygen. But at that time we
weren’t allowed to use unhooking
mats, but as a vigilante as I was in
them days, I took an unhooking mat
with me every time and used it. I got
caught, I went up before the committee, and I actually got a year’s ban
from the Dartford club for using an
unhooking mat, and so did Frank and
obviously so did Scruffy Bob! How
much things have moved on, we’ve
learned our lessons, and god forbid
that anything like that should happen
again. Looking at it now in hindsight,
that was probably one of the better
things that ever happened to me, well,
me personally, not for the fishing, and
I’ll explain that later.
Going back a bit, the fish in Sutton
ranged from high doubles to mid-20’s,
and as I said earlier on, there was one
fish that I caught in the early days
that actually went to 40lbs, and I can
see that the venue will hold fish of
that calibre in the future. I think at
this stage, and I know I have jumped
a little bit, I’d got a job working in the
civil industry, and I got my very first
car when I was 17, which was an old
X-reg Datsun Sunny. If you parked it
on a bit of grass it would never start,
because the dampness went up in the
engine and I had to get the AA out.
But Christ, what an achievement that
was for a kid of 17 who’s totally
addicted to his fishing and nothing
else. At that time I wasn’t involved
with girls that much, and to be honest
with you my fishing time just took
over, and I just wanted to be down the
bank every minute of the day. I would
go down to Sutton, on a typical Friday
night, and park in the car park, the
same as today. It still is, and has been
for a long time, a very popular venue,
and believe it or not, you can have 4050 anglers on that venue. Obviously in
the very early days, it was the same
old people; you’d have half a dozen
people turn up that you knew, with a
few other people to fill a few holes.
Every weekend you knew who was
going to turn up, and if they weren’t
FREE LINE 67

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