FL12Sept - Page 211



In Search Of Monster Carp
lake on the shallows where the wind
was blowing into. We spent the day
fishing with floating crust, with the
sun in my eyes, and I remember latching into one of these fish, the only one
of the day; a fish of around about 5lb,
and a lovely scaly little mirror became
my first ever carp that was caught by
design.
Another passion of Big Frank’s was
barbel fishing, and he and his pals
would go down to the Royalty Fishery
at Ringwood and fish on the Hampshire Avon, and I began to get into
barbel fishing too. At the time maggots were banned on the Royalty
Fishery if you can believe it! Quite
why there was a maggot ban I don’t
know; I suppose people were putting
in far too many of the little wrigglers.
They certainly wouldn’t ban them
these days, knowing how nutritious
they are for the fish, but at the time
maggots were banned. But being a
bit of a scallywag, of course that was
the bait we wanted to use down
there, so when I began to fish the
Royalty, we would dig a hole in the
bank and put our bait tins in the hole,
and then put a large tackle box over
the top of the hole and sit there all day
long. As soon as the bailiffs had gone
(Right) A couple of shots of the
Airman Pool at Henlow, Bedfordshire.
(Below) 20-pounder from the Airman.
by, we put in some large balls of
groundbait laced with maggots, and
we had some tremendous fishing
down there. I’m laughing as I relate
this, but I’m really not trying to teach
any of the younger readers of the
magazine my bad habits. Then again,
you are what you are, and I’m sure
you don’t want me to hold back on
any of the little edges that I had at the
time.
So, barbel fishing became a bit of a
passion of mine, and I would go down
to the Royalty Fishery a couple of
times a year for a holiday, staying in
the bed and breakfasts, normally Mill
Stream Cottage if my memory serves
me right, and fishing the Avon, wandering up and down, and even on to
the Throop as well and having a little
go on there.
Once the winter came round, just
about everybody changed to pike
fishing unless they were in the match
scene, and at the time some large
FREE LINE 209

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