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Canal Carping A Tale of Two Records
the hardest fighting canal carp I had
ever had. The line cut through the
lilies like a scythe as it made run after
run. After at least twenty minutes I
was so pleased when it rolled into the
net. On my return to the swim for
w e i g h i n g a n d p h o t o g r a p h i n g, I
realised the camera had been left at
home. I desperately wanted a picture
so decided to sack it and go home for
the camera. Back then, the sacks we
used were the old hessian grain sacks
that we were to later realise did not
allow enough water exchange.
Anyway, I am sure you have by
now guessed that on my return the
poor fish was dead, having spent several hours, in the heat of the day,
starved of oxygen. I was devastated.
However, it did encourage me to
me to make some lightweight sacks
from tent material for future sackings.
Lots of small holes were punched in
for good circulation, and a proper
drawstring was attached. It was
another one of those big lessons that
were learned along the way.
Not knowing what to do with the
dead fish and worried that I might be
in trouble if anyone found out, I
wrapped it in the sack and took it
home to bury. While at home I made a
few inquiries and found a fairly local
taxidermist who quoted £23 to set it
up in a glass case for me. Even though
it was a great deal of money I could ill
afford at the time, I decided to have it
done rather than just bury it. That
lovely common now hangs on my
study wall among a collection of old
fish taxidermy and memorabilia that
it is largely responsible for.
The 1976/7 season saw me
accepted to the BCSG and learning
from other carp anglers. One of the
members that vetted me was Fred
Wilton. Fred was kind enough to
write me a letter with bait formulations to try on the canal. That season
I did my biggest baiting campaign
ever on the canal, and it resulted in
my most frustrating seasons. I even
purchased a small motorbike to use
for travelling the 20-mile round trip to
bait up every few days from April to
June 16th. The bait was a PYM protein boiled bait with a floater made
(Top) First capture of a fish that was
to become a record. Under The
Chandlery at 20lb on 19th March,
(Left) A very nice linear at 16lb, July


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