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Canal Carping A Tale of Two Records
bow. I only used one rod to make it a
bit less difficult. The bait was still
Robin Red, and a couple of dozen
baits were put in every time I was
there whether fishing or not. After a
few sessions I started catching
bream, tench and some big eels but
no carp. Not wanting to waste working time catching unwanted fish, I
started making the baits much bigger
and harder. Several weeks passed,
and I began to think there weren’t any
carp in the area, but then as I was
working away one evening a blistering run resulted in a 16lb common.
That fish was the first of many over
the two-odd years it took me to fit
Cypry out. It became almost uncanny
how the bites became so regular. I
would go down to the boat each
evening at about 7pm, put a rod out,
chuck a few baits in and then work till
midnight, except for weekends, when
I would stay on the boat. Ang would
ring most nights at about 10.30pm,
almost without exception, and if a
bite was to come, it would be while
Ang was on the phone. So often did
this happen she had to change the
time for ringing. Out of 51 carp caught
while working on the boat, 29 of them
came between 9.00pm and 11.00pm,
and most of the rest were just before
daylight. Thirteen were over 19lb, six
of which were between 20lb and 22lb,
a far better average than I had
achieved on the K and A before. One
of the 20s, caught on the 19th March
2002, was a beautiful fully scaled mirror that was to become well known to
me. I in fact caught it again during the
build a year later on the 3rd April 2003
at 19½lb.
Cypry was finished in 2003, and the
maiden voyage was to Hungerford,
because I had heard of some decent
fish down that way. When we arrived
there it was thrashing it down with
rain, mooring was difficult, and we
had to make do with a rubbish place
directly outside the church. There
wasn’t room for the pod on the bank
so it was balanced on the bow, a couple of rods quickly put out on the old
faithful RR and a rapid retreat back in
the boat to dry off. Ang cooked a
meal, and as we sat down to eat, the
remote let out a one-toner. I leapt out
and pulled into what felt like a decent
fish. There followed a slow, plodding
fight that lasted long enough for me
to get thoroughly drenched. I eventually put the net under a big mirror that
52 FREE LINE
weighed in at 26lb 4oz, my biggest K
and A carp to date.
We spent many happy hours on
Cypry, catching lots carp from all the
more obscure areas of the canal that
were not normally considered for fishing. We once stopped directly outside
Dick’s restaurant in Bradford on Avon
for an evening meal. The place was
heaving, and most of the dozen or
more tables outside right beside the
canal were taken. After the meal I
decided to put a rod along the margin
where lots of people were having a
meal. My thought being, they must all
(Above) A propeller damaged 30lb
10oz carp, May 2013.
(Below) The seventh capture of the
fully scaled, what a result! A new
British canal record at a massive 46lb
4oz, 15th August 2013.
throw food in for the ducks, which is
affectively baiting the swim. Within
an hour, off it went, producing a pristine 19lb mirror that had probably
never been caught before. In fact,
almost wherever we moored, I would
catch a carp at some time or another.
With eight grandchildren all enjoy-

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