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Canal Carping A Tale of Two Records
I recorded many wildlife events of
interest. Badgers and foxes became
friends, and encounters could be startling to say the least. My diary reads
“Almost kissed a fox.”
Picture this: It was a warm, still
August night, and I was fishing alone
in the big dugout. There was an eerie
feel to the night; it was very dark and
felt stormy. The roof of the dugout had
gone so a brolly was erected to form a
roof, which was about level with the
top of the bank behind me. The roar of
the lions from the wildlife park was
louder than usual. I had goosebumps,
and the hairs on the back of my neck
stood up, an uneasy sort of feeling to
say the least. I shrank back in my
deckchair, watching the bottle top
indicators in the flickering candlelight. My eyes began to close, and I
was ever to have on the RMC. The
remainder of that season, although
eventful in many ways only produced
another three carp in 250 hours. I
never stopped enjoying the magic of
the challenge, and even though I had
other easier waters to fish, I rarely
betrayed the water I had grown so
fond of. The harder a thing is to
achieve, the greater the satisfaction,
and that I am sure was the driving
The 1974/5 season was to be my
most successful in terms of numbers
with nine carp up to a new PB and
Ashford club record of 25lb 7oz. However, I did spend a lot more time there,
recording 500 hours. During that time
started to drift when I became aware
of a presence. Very, very slowly the
brolly started to turn. There was virtually no sound as it continued to sway
gently around. I absolutely froze, too
frightened to move or look. God
knows what I thought it was, but I
know I nearly gave birth. After what
seemed an age, I plucked up the
courage to turn around and look. By
this time the brolly had tilted over. My
head was about level with the top of
the bank, as I peered over the edge of
(Top) An early 22lb from the Devises
area that liked Robin Red.
(Above) Small pound backwater on
the K and A. Some of these areas are
very ‘carpy’.
(Left) December 1999, my first and
only canal carp in the snow from
Kingfisher on the way to be painted.


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