FL13 - Page 206



Sutton
F
or me, fishing started
the minute I entered
this world. I was born
into a family that loved
their angling – well,
the male side of the
bloodline did anyway. My dad and
uncles all fished for several species,
but carp were their main targets.
While I was still in nappies my dad
applied for a junior ticket on D.D.A.P.S
which arrived through the post within
weeks. And not long after I could
walk, he would take me once a week,
every week (or whenever he received
p e r m i s s i o n f r o m t h e g u v n o r, o f
course).
So, at three years old, there I was,
catching anything that took a liking
to maggots, casting up trees, creating
knots in my line that appeared as if by
magic, and tangling my end tackle
around the tips of my dad’s carp rods.
As I write this now, I’m laughing
away to myself at the thought of all
those times my dad was in fits of
cursing and swearing, almost to the
point of crying, thanks to my misfortunes with a float rod. However, it
(Top) The Big Fully in all its glory.
(Below) Big common, 40lb 02oz.
didn’t take me long to grasp the concept of casting, tying my own knots
and plumbing the float to depth. Float
fishing made up the first couple of
years of my fishing and people used
to comment on how disciplined I was
with a float rod, sitting there like a
cardboard cut out until the float
moved.
At the age of seven, on Christmas
day, Santa had delivered me a new set
of rods. If I remember rightly, they
were 1½ lb TC and were made by
hand by my good old dad; he always
did sort me out with gear and still
does to this day, to be honest. So that
was it, my fishing now swayed to
larger species, and I caught a lot of
bream, tench and smaller carp using
those rods. I liked this, and I was
enjoying my fishing! Of course, I still
played with the float rod when times
were hard, and a highlight for me was
picking up a near-3lb roach from Littlebrook on double red maggot. I
remember it was around this age that
fishing really took a hold deep down
in me. Every night was filled with
fishy dreams of different scenarios
and catches. Everything else began
to not matter to me any more; football
fell in the pecking order, school days
were spent daydreaming, and all I
ever wanted was for my dad to take
me fishing. I spent a few nights in the
back of dad’s bivvy at Darenth Big
Lake and witnessed him land quite a
few big carp. That was it for me; it
was stuck in my mind, and I wanted
to be just like my dad. In the winters I
dabbled for pike, but didn’t much like
the sharp teethed critters at that
FREE LINE 203

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