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Canal Carping A Tale of Two Records
sional light plop as a pad is submerged, clearly showing the presence
of a carp. Oh what wonderful memories.
Alas, so much has now changed.
The romance and mystery has long
gone. A change of controlling clubs
has allowed a large part of it to fall
into disrepair. But, who knows, maybe
she still holds a few treasures; if I still
lived in Kent I would certainly be
looking. However, here are a few stories from those magical years in the
seventies, a time when many carp
anglers were truly habitual, striving
against all odds. They rose to the
challenges, solved the mysteries,
enjoyed their failures and were
ecstatic with any level of success.
Aldergate is between Giggers
Green bridge and West Hythe dam, a
distance of three to four miles without
the interruption of a road bridge. This
made it the most secluded and undisturbed length of the canal. It was the
middle reaches of Aldergate, the farthest walk from the bridges where I
was to start my campaign to catch a
canal carp on the magical 16th June
1970. I had discovered the consistent
presence of my intended quarry in
this most beautiful area. It’s a magnificent stretch of water, and to this day,
my absolute favourite, with open
fields to the south, nestled into the
(Top left) 30 inches to ‘V’ of tail and
29.5 inches girth.
(Left) 32lb, 28th October 1978.
(Below) Fred Wilton’s letter advising
on bait recipes for the canal.
best way to describe my passion for
the RMC in the 1970s. Even now, forty
five years on I still get very emotional
when I reflect. Sadness for the loss of
that irretrievable magic but then joy
for the privilege to have experienced
such a personal passionate relationship with such a wonderful water.
Strangely, as if it were yesterday, I can
smell the water, the grass, the trees
and even that ‘fishy’ scent that only
the habitual angler can understand.
The relentless croaking of the frogs at
dawn, the chatting of the birds as
they seek their evening roost, all coupled with the roar of the lions as they
are fed at nearby Port Lymne Wildlife
Park. Recollections of the slightest
flickering of the lily pads causing ripples around individual pads, the occa-


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