FL13 - Page 190



In Search Of Monster Carp
(Above) Dave Thorpe, a prolific
catcher in his day.
(Bottom) Arlesey 20, 1983.
while I was still tied up with the company. I eventually left Kevin when
Mainline first started up; I was a very
good friend of Zenon’s, and soon
became friends with his business
partner Steve too, and they asked me
if I would use their bait. Well, rightly
or wrongly, I don’t know, I agreed. I
mean at the time they were good
friends so why not? I didn’t owe Kevin
anything; he and I certainly didn’t fall
out when I left Nash, and we’re still
great friends today. I’m writing this in
April 2010, and I’ve just spent the
weekend in Kevin’s company, laughing and chatting about the old days,
and he’s going to write an article for
Big Carp magazine entitled ‘The
Strokes We Pulled’. We were laughing
about some of the things we got up to
in the early days. But anyway, when I
left, Kevin decided to keep the name.
Some years later Leslie’s decided not
to carry on doing the rods, and Kevin
brought out Pursuit rods and Pursuit
this and that, and still has that name
today, but originally it was my idea.
But anyway, back to moving into
swim 3 on D Lake… I’d got my prototype Intermediate 12ft Pursuit, and
soon found on my first cast that
instead of struggling to reach the
Back, which was only about 90yds
away, I over shot by 30yds, and ended
up over the barbed wire fence and
30yds into the field behind. So that
was the difference that those rods
made compared to the 11ft 2¼
Sportex carbon rods that we first used
when they came out. I purchased
them from the Carp Cellar on my very
first ever credit card, an Access card. I
actually got the Access card so I
could go down and buy these rods
and Cardinal reels. I remember it well,
and how pleased I was to have this
fantastic new setup. After having a
whole mishmash of reels and bank
sticks, not one matching another, it
was great to suddenly look the
absolute bollocks on the bank.
Anyway, these guys who’d had a
week in swim 3 were interested to
see what we were doing, and I was
showing them the rods, telling them,
“These are the rods that I’m going to
do for Leslie’s of Luton; they’re a fishing tackle shop and you know, I’m
going to be marketing them.” Anyway, second cast, it went right under
the bushes on the Back, and soon I
had both rods out there. I’ve actually
got my little catch report from that
first day that says I caught half a
dozen or so carp – three or four of
which I caught while the guys were
still there, including the Leather, my
first ever 30lb’er.
I also met another guy who’s still a
great friend of mine – top Norfolk
angler, Peter Regan. I shouldn’t really
say that because he’ll get all big
headed now, but I met Peter on that
session. Peter was actually banned
from D Lake for catching too many
fish if I remember. The owners, who
were friends of Peter’s, wouldn’t let
him go on there any more because he
caught too many. This is a coincidence, but only yesterday I was chatting with Peter, who had purchased a
l e a t h e r- b o u n d c o p y o f P e t e
Springate’s book. He’s now a book
collector, and in fact he actually
FREE LINE 187

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