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In Search of Monster Carp
Higher Maynard.
Chris Yates had done their recording
for Passion of Angling, and I was lucky
enough to see it fairly early on after
they’d done the filming. I was speaking to someone, I can’t remember
who it was, and they paid what I
heard was around the £1000 mark to
fish the venue, or book the venue.
Now I thought I want to do that, so I
went to the Carp Society Conference
the following year, and I heard that
they had put it up for auction. I think
this was around 1997 if I remember
rightly. I was in the auditorium, and
Tim Paisley was doing the auctions,
all of a sudden Redmire came up.
Now I didn’t have much money in
those days, but I did have a credit
card. I still lived with my parents – a
typical carp angler to be honest with
you. They started the bidding and it
went £100, £150, £600, £750, £800, and
I don’t know what did it, but I stood
up and I shouted a bid. I was right at
the top of the auditorium, I will never
forget it as long as I live. Everyone
was looking at me and I thought,
balls, what have I done? I’ve committed myself here. “Going once, going
twice, to you sir, up at the back.” I’d
done it; I’d got Redmire! Now I have
got to be honest with you, but at the
time I didn’t know whether it was for
two or three days, or a week.
This was the year after they actually filmed Passion for Angling, and
this was for the first week of the season on Redmire in 1997 – well what
could I do? So they asked me to come
down from the auditorium, and I
walked down to the stage, with god
knows how many thousand eyes staring and me, and I thought, my god,
what have I done here? “Right, so
how do you want to pay for it? Cash?”
I went, “You’re having a laugh, aren’t
you?” But I did have a credit card on
me, and I remember a week later,
looking at the bill that came through
the post, and thinking, how the hell
am I going to pay £800 off my credit
card? In those days, that was a flipping lot of money to me. So I thought,
well this was actually for three people,
so I could take another two people
with me. All of a sudden, I’d got a million mates, and my phone was red
hot. In the end, I decided that Micky
Fisher and Micky Scott, two of my
friends at the time, could come with
me under one condition – they got the
transport, and they paid for the bait.
So Micky Scott got hold of a Land
Rover, and we had a blooming great
6x4 trailer in the back, and Mick and I
spoke about bait. We decided to use
Nutrabaits, the Big Seed Mix with
black pepper oil. I don’t know where
that came from, and it’s stuck in my
mind ever since, but we decided to
use quite a pungent seed mix. This is
such a history lake, but we didn’t
really know what was in there. We
watched what was on television
about it, and what had been caught,
and we could see that there were a lot
of nice commons. We weren’t going
there to catch 50’s, or 40’s, or even
30’s; we were going there because it
was Redmire, and now I can say that
I’ve been on that venue once in my
life, taking pictures of the various
swims, the Willow Pitch, Keffords,
Evening Pitch, etc.
So before we knew it, June came
round, and we were going to Redmire
for the start of the season. To be honest with you I just couldn’t think
about anything else; it was Redmire,
Redmire, Redmire. I couldn’t work, I
couldn’t do anything, I couldn’t sleep,
I wasn’t eating properly – all I could
think was I was going to Redmire for
a week. Obviously Ross-on-Wye is a
fairly long trek with your fishing gear;
it’s probably the longest journey I had
ever made to go fishing up ‘til then.
Mick did the driving, and we put the
gear in the trailer. Now we didn’t
know what the traffic would be like,
so we thought we would leave late in
the night on the day before. We were
allowed on there early morning from
what I remember, so we left around
midnight or whatever, but there’s
quite a funny story to be told about
the way up there. We had this Land
Rover, a fair size, with this massive
great 6x4 trailer on the back with all
the gear, all the particle, and the
boilies, with a bloody great tarpaulin
over the top of it. No one would have
known what we were doing or where
we were going, unless they were an
a n g l e r. S o w e g o t t o w h e r e w e
thought was fairly close to Redmire,
but to be honest with you the directions we had weren’t exactly straightforward. It’s not an easy place to find,
and if you don’t know where you are
going, you have got to ask a few people to help you. So we got in the vicinity of Ross-on-Wye, and we got lost.
By now, it was probably about 2am, so
we looked at the directions, went
down one lane, then down another
lane, and thought, right, no, that’s
wrong, so we turned round and went
back again.
We turned into a farm, thinking, this
looks like it; it might have a lake, this
could be Redmire. In the dark, we
went into the farm, drove round a
barn, and then came out the other
side, realising that it wasn’t Redmire.
Then we went down the road, and we
did exactly the same thing. Before we
knew it, we had a police car come up
behind us, and another one in front of


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