FL12Sept - Page 207



In Search Of Monster Carp
stories of parboiled potatoes and cat
food specials up on this Airman Pool,
which was another deep lake by the
way.
One day there were big celebrations within the shop, and we were all
taken across the road to the Bute
Street Milk Bar. It’s funny, you don’t
see these places these days, but there
were actually cafés that specialised in
milk and milkshake drinks, and a lot of
the teenagers would end up in there.
The reason for the celebrations was
that one of the guys had caught a 20lb
carp – 21lb 10oz. I still remember the
weight even though I was probably
no more than ten or 12 years old. I
mean this was a big carp for the day;
we’re talking about the early 70’s
here, and it was like catching a 50lb’er
these days, I suppose.
Anyway, I was very, very fortunate
appear, with big smiles on our faces
listening to the stories of some of the
older guys who were in the coach,
and who had been out the night
before, on the beer and on the pull.
They would have very colourful stories to say the least about some of the
ladies they had met in the local clubs
and the things they had got up to,
with some of them barely making the
coach that morning having spent the
night around a girl’s house. To hear
these stories at the age of ten and 12
years old certainly opened my eyes to
the world, and was a fantastic start for
my fishing.
There were two or three other
teenagers who worked in Wilds the
tackle shop that were keen carp fishermen They too were fishing over at
Henlow, but in the lake just up the
road from Withy Pool, or Maylin’s Pool
as it was known at the time – a lake
known as the Airman Pool. As I told
you earlier there was an airfield
across the other side of the road,
which had airmen from the UK and
from the US. For some reason there
were a lot of US airmen in this area,
and Chicksands airbase was not far
away. I remember listening to their
in that working in the tackle shop I
got to meet some of the best carp
anglers in the area, and a couple of
them took me under their wing, one of
which was Big Frank. Now Big Frank
loved his carp fishing. He wasn’t a
BCSG member; in fact he was a bit of
a rogue if I remember correctly, but he
had a car and he was willing to take
me fishing. We began our carp fishing
down on the Stanton Harcourt venue
I spoke about in Oxford in 1970, so I
would have been 14 then. We found
the carp down the bottom end of the
(Top) Maylin’s Pool – original.
(Above) A quiet corner at Woburn
Sands.
(Left) One of my original “Catch Data
Cards’ from the seventies.
FREE LINE 205

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