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Canal Carping A Tale of Two Records
(Above) Typically nicely scaled
mirror at 14lb 8oz, October 2009.
(Below) First capture of the fully
scaled over the magical forty at 41lb,
29th February 2012.
seemed to work ok; it just looked
awkward. Patch, being a bit greedy
like most dogs saw the opportunity of
a free snack. Just as Ang was about to
cast, after landing her umpteenth fish,
quick as a flash Patch pounced on the
rig and swallowed the baited hook.
Ang yelled in horror and dropped the
rod as the poor old dog ran hell for
50 FREE LINE
leather down the towpath with the
rod chasing him. What a commotion!
Ang and I were running down the
towpath chasing the dog with him,
seemingly more frightened of the rod
chasing him than from the hook in his
throat. It turned out ok though, and
after cutting the line and taking him
to the vet all Ang (well, it was her
fault) had to do was feed him brown
bread and sort through his poop to
confirm he had passed the hook. She
never did find the hook; she probably
didn’t look closely enough… Yuk.
Anyway, he never seemed to suffer
any ill effects, but the biggest tragedy
was that it put Ang off fishing. However, she does still come with me on
lots of my trips abroad fishing, bless
her.
Up to its re-opening in 1990, Robin
Red had caught me hundreds of K
and A carp up to scraper twenties. For
a few years after the opening I lost a
bit of interest in it mainly due the boat
traffic, but also I was doing a far bit of
fishing in France with family and caravan in tow.
During the 1990s we were offered
the use of a friend’s 45ft narrowboat
“August Folly” for a few days. We
absolutely loved it and were fortunate
enough to use it a few times. Our
favourite mooring was by the turning
bay and swing bridge at Sells Green.
The canal was by then a murky
brown from the disturbance of boat
traffic and there was little or no weed
left. But, it still fished its head off with
loads of carp to mid-teens, great for
the kids. Unfortunately, August Folly
was sold, so that was the end of our
boating, thought I.
So great was the appeal of the
canal boating I knew I had to have
one. By 1999 I had purchased an old
dilapidated 30ft narrowboat named
Kingfisher. Most of the next year was
spent renovating it, we so loved that
little boat. It was while taking her up
to Devises for painting that I caught
my first and only ever canal carp in
the snow, just shy of a double, but
very welcome.
It soon became apparent we
needed something bigger. I sold Kingfisher and bought a 50ft sailaway hull,
which I was to fit out myself, and we
named her “Cypry”. Now, anyone that
knows narrowboats knows that the
fitting out of a shell is a massive task.
At the time I had a mooring under the
chandlery building by the Hilperton
marina. This was on a five-mile
stretch of the K and A that I had not
fished, and at the time I did not know
if it contained carp.
The plan was to put a rod out while
building the boat. This I did, most
evenings, and every weekend was
spent working on it, and all the time a
rod would be out. Not the most
attractive place I have fished, but the
pod was set up in the bow so as to be
clear of the low roof (chandlery floor)
above the mooring, which was very
awkward when netting a fish as the
pontoon stopped ten feet short of the

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