FL13 - Page 177

In Search Of Monster Carp
take us long to realise that you could
simply pass the remaining tail of your
hooklink material through the eye and
put a loop on it and pull your bait onto
the loop, and it would be just as effective as tying this length of half a
pound or one pound breaking strain
line separately to the hook.
So it was an exciting time; it really
was. I hadn’t totally finished with
Arlesey; in fact I fished Arlesey right
up until about 1983, or I think it may
have been 1984, but 1983 was the last
proper year that I fished on there. I
had come up with a boilie mix, a popup mix to use for the next 15 years on
dozens of waters and it outfished anybody I fished up against; it really was
the ultimate bait. There was a time
when I first started the magazine in
1991 that I actually thought about
marketing these pop-ups as guaranteed fish catchers, and just selling
them in packets of six because you’d
catch six carp on them, and I’m sure
you would to this day. I used to buy
my bait ingredients from a chap
called Geoff Kemp, who had one of
the first bait companies that you
could buy ingredients from. He and
Duncan Kay were the early ones; the
Carp Cellar in Watford became synonymous with Richworth, but also
sold bait ingredients.
All the proper carp anglers of the
day would make their own bait. They
pooh-poohed the mass manufactured
commercial boilie, which was going
to be, and still is, very, very popular, as
most people buy readymade boilies
these days. Our lives are so hectic
and time is so precious these days,
we just haven’t got the time to sit for
hours every night rolling bait, but in
those days, bait was the be-all and
(Above) Fairlands Valley setup, early
(Below) B.C.S.G. Carp Conference
programme 1983. The highlight of the
show was a debate between ‘Sacker’
Maddocks and ‘Keepnet’ Kay about
which was best for retaining carp.
end-all – if you had a good bait you
kept it secret and you made your own
bait religiously and carefully every
We had a lot of ideas about what
the carp could actually detect and
how acute their senses were. If you
have ever read Jack Hilton’s Quest for
Carp, you’ll no doubt recall the fact
that when he put his bait on, he made
sure that his hands smelled the same
every time. He was a smoker so there


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