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In Search of Monster Carp
it is as easy as we thought it would
be, but as I said, just being there was
good enough. By about the Thursday,
the initial feeding frenzy with the
hemp was over for some unknown
reason. Whether it wasn’t the right
conditions, I’m not sure, but it only
seemed to work for that one night,
and the lake water slowly went back
to being gin-clear. I thought, hang on,
I’ve got a couple of nights left, and
I’ve got quite a bit of hemp left, sod it
– it worked once. I’d tried it a couple
of time since, and it hadn’t worked,
but I kept the bait going in that same
area. I didn’t know anything else
about the lake, so it was worth a try.
I’d done a bit of stalking, had a couple
of movements on the float, but had no
luck catching anything else. Apart
from the carp, the only other two fish
in there are eels and gudgeon. I have
never known gudgeon to do what
they do in Redmire; they jump out of
the water and make a flipping noise
on the surface with their tails, and
when you’re sitting there, the noise is
so weird.
I can’t put it like anything else; it’s
so atmospheric, unbelievable, and
that is something else I remember
from the trip that made it so good.
Well, Thursday went, Thursday night
went, and now we were on to Friday,
the last day, with less than 24 hours
left, so I had to make the most of it. I
put three baits on the far margin, and
I had a take. I played this fish, and it
went in and out of the weed, out the
weed, and I thought flipping heck,
here we go. I have never caught fish
really in weedy waters before, so for
someone who hasn’t fished in weed, I
don’t think I did too badly to be honest. I landed this fish with the help of
one of the Micks who came running
round, and it was a mirror. I’d caught
a mirror from Redmire; I could not
believe it! This was a perfect linear,
and I don’t care what the size was; it
could have been 10lb, or it could have
been 30lb. We weighed it; it was a
recognisable fish, a perfect linear with
a 50p scale in exactly the same position on both sides, and it went 22 or
23lb. I have given Rob the photos, and
they are fantastic. I have got a lovely
photo of it, holding it on the dam wall.
Redmire, what can I say; I’ve been
there! I would like to go back there
again in future years, who knows?
Obviously the mystery has been
taken out of the place now, because
they have netted it and various
things, but it’s still a perfect part of
I don’t think I fished properly that
year at all after going to Redmire. I
think it just put me in a daze, as wherever I went, and whatever I did, I was
thinking about Redmire. It’s got such
an enormous amount of history to it,
and to think that I have actually been
there is amazing. In previous years I’d
been to Birch Grove and places like
that too, which are places that I never
thought I, Joe Bloggs, would ever get
to see. It just shows you; it’s who you
know, not what you know, and I think
if you put yourself in the right circles,
you can get a chance to fish these
waters. By then my carp fishing was
getting better and better, and my
knowledge was building up purely on
experience. I joined the British Carp
Study Group; I put my name forward,
and I didn’t think I would have a cat
in hell’s chance of getting in, as I had
heard about a lot of people getting
turned down for various reasons. At
the time Nick Buss and Joe Jarman
ran the Sussex and Kent area, and I
had been to a few meetings as a
guest with Mr Carver, so I put my
name forward. I filled in the sheet,
and I couldn’t believe what was
required. I was writing and writing,
and listing fish, and I didn’t want to
blind them with science; I just
wanted to put the facts on paper, but
I ran out of paper. Anyway, I went for
my interview, and the next thing I
knew, I had been accepted, so I was
over the moon. Since then I have been
involved in quite a few meetings, and
I was lucky enough to get my Korda
ticket a couple of years after joining
the British Carp Study Group, after
putting my name on the list, and that
is a venue I will talk about later on.
DDAPS is a club very close to my
heart, and it is where I started carp
fishing. I was lucky enough to be
invited onto the committee in the
mid-90’s as a youngster, but I think it
was a case of them wanting new
blood coming through. It was known
as a prolific carp water at the time,
and it got a bit political as to whether
it was run for the carp angler or the
match angler. Anyway, I put my
young views forward, and spoke my
mind, which is something I have
always done, sometimes to my detriment, but what’s the point of holding
stuff back? As long as it’s not per-
sonal, or aimed at anyone individually,
I can’t see the problem in speaking
your mind, because you need people
out there who can do that; there’s no
point sitting behind closed books all
the time. I sat on the committee for
quite a few years, and the Chairman’s
position changed two or three times.
Then I got the chance to become
Treasurer, which I took, and for two or
three years was Treasurer for the club.
This club has been going since 1931,
and has over 3,000 members, so it’s
got quite a good bank balance. Also
the history and knowledge that the
members have got between them is
unrivalled by any other club other
than Birmingham AA, which is obviously the biggest angling club. Obviously you can’t count Cemex, as
that’s a business. I haven’t said much
about Brooklands, and it’s quite a prolific water although, believe it or not,
it’s not a water that I have fished a
great deal over the years. Brooklands
provides our main day ticket revenue,
but obviously our members can fish
there too. There are quite a few 30’s,
absolutely shit loads of 20’s, and it will
be, with what is being done at the
present time, one of the most prolific
waters in the south east in years to
come. It has literally got thousands of
carp in there that are now around the
low-20 mark, and getting bigger, so
for anyone who fancies a walk round
there, I would recommend it.
Time moved on, and before I knew
it, the position came up for Chairman.
I had been on the committee for quite
a few years by then, I think it was
something like seven years. As Treasurer, one of the rules is that you have
to have been on the committee for
over five years, along with other criteria that you have to meet, before you
can become Chairman. At this stage, I
was probably 30 or 31, and the Chairman’s position has always been filled
by someone of senior retirement age,
someone who doesn’t work, and can
commit themselves to a club of that
size, which is second to none to be
honest with you. I thought, hang on a
minute, can I chair an AGM with a
couple of hundred people, plus can I
speak my mind and not be intimidated too much by people’s views.
It’s a democratic society, and we
should listen to everyone’s views, but
it is very difficult running a club like
that, as you can understand, with 18
members on a committee. So, I put


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