FL12Sept - Page 145

Made In England
Ayla showing grandad what’s to come.
done, mate. Good to see it’s not all
about sixties and seventies.
Ian Stott is becoming more of regular in here than me, of late. His carp
catching abilities are amazing, and I
see that he has rightly been named E.
England Carp Angler of the Year. Well
done, mate, lovely thirty-nine pounder
amongst a smattering of only slightly
smaller fish. You should take this seriously sometime; you might make
something of yourself. The W. England
C.A.O.T.Y. was Andy Shellard, and it’s
hardly surprising with some of the
fish he’s caught. A couple of crackers
are the 33lb black mirror, and the
incredible Hamster at 47lb. Both are
worthy of the Spirit Level Award, but
I ’ l l g i v e i t t o t h e H a m s t e r, j u s t
because. Brilliant fish, Andy – I’m sure
you’ll keep ‘em coming.
On the same water, Kev Hewitt is
running Andy very close, and last
month his capture of the Slate Grey
won him the Trakker first prize. I’d
asked him for his address to send him
the bivvy, and he has just this minute
sent it, and with it a photo of an
incredible 35lb 12oz mirror from the
same lake, one that doesn’t appear to
have been caught for a couple of
years. There was me giving the award
to Andy, and now this one arrives. I’m
really torn, and I’m thinking that Kev
has already won a bivvy, so Andy
should have the Spirit Level. But then,
Andy has the Carp Angler award, oh
my, it’s so complex! I would say, however, that anyone can own a Trakker
bivvy, but only a privileged few will
ever receive a Spirit Level Award,
don’t you agree Kev? So, not wanting
to set a precedent here, I’ll give two
awards this month. Don’t expect it
every month, okay? Well done, lads,
beautiful carp. Keep ‘em coming.
Just along the road at Linear Lakes,
the reverend Chris Ball has just broken his personal best. Almost twenty
y e a rs a fte r c a tc hi ng O l i v e fro m
Wraysbury on a floater, he’s gone and
done the same thing on Manor, catching Cut Tail at 36lb-plus. Obviously,
with Bally nothing is mundane. The
rod was an 11ft Jack Hilton glass fibre
rod matched with a Mitchell 411 reel.
The battle was titanic, naturally, but
Bally won the day. Well done, Chris –
still loving it, mate. Oxfordshire does
seem to be throwing up some stunning carp, as usual, and Rich Evans
caught one so breathtaking he omitted to tell me the weight, although
this is one of those ‘the weight is irrelevant’ type of carp, I’m sure you’ll
agree. This was from a small lake with
very little pressure, but a carp that
Rich has been after for four years, so
no easy matter. Brilliantly done, Rich.
Lastly for this month, another mate
of Vince and Ben’s from Crawley, who
knows his way around big carp, Stuart Harrison, has bagged one of the
country’s most sought after carp – the
Royal Forty. He began his campaign
at the lake on the 16th, as you have to
on the park lakes, and within the hour
the great fish was his. At 46lb, a beautiful personal best. Well done, Stu.
(Freddie’s just been bowling, and he’s
got one! Come on the big man!).
I wanted to discuss the otter situation, which Tim and Joe have been
discussing elsewhere, but time is
pressing, and it is a subject that needs
some space. I may approach it next
month in some detail, but it is something that is not going away. They are
such good hunters that a lot of rivers
and streams are soon denuded of
food, and their obvious next step is
onto enclosed waters where there is
no escape for the fish. A lot of waters
are starting to show serious signs of
otter predation, but the EA and the
like are loath to do anything about
them. They are too ‘cuddly’, and are a
favourite of the nature media, and
therefore the public, most of whom
have never, ever seen one in the wild,
and are hardly likely to. Like I said,
there is much to discuss on this matter, and not enough pages here. I will
continue this later.
Just as I was about to sign off, I just
had a text from my old Horton buddy,
Tony Badham, to tell me he’s just broken his PB common with a 33lb fish,
after many years of waiting. Hopefully
he’ll get a photo to me before this is
due to go to the printers. Well done,
Tone, still doing good for an old‘un.
Well, that’s me for now, although I
might add a bit before I send this off,
depending on the final score in the
cricket. I’m off to Devon with the missus for our anniversary weekend, so
no angling for me until next weekend.
Who knows what the weather will be
like then, because at the moment it’s
perfect for fishing, but not for triking.
Talking of that, my granddaughter,
Ayla, is starting to get the feel for the
three-wheeled steed. Soon be having
a little drive with grandad, if I can
swing it with her mum.
Keep it up, chaps. The summer is
before us, and the old foe needs vanquishing, so have at them! n


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