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In Search of Monster Carp
myself forward for Chairman. What a
result it was too, because I have been
Chairman for over four years, and
we’ve moved the club forward. Fair
play to the Chairman before me, and
all the work that has been done,
because without all that, the club
wouldn’t be where it is today. But I
like to think I have turned it around;
it’s an equal opportunity for everyone,
all 3,500 members, and it has a very,
very healthy waiting list. It is something I enjoy, and I am proud to say I
am the Chairman of, and hopefully
something I can continue to do.
The years are going by; I’m catching more and more fish, and to be
honest with you, I just enjoy the carp
fishing side. I’ve specialised in carp,
but I won’t say that I don’t fish for
other species. I’m going fishing for
barbel at least once a year up at
Bridgnorth with some friends. I
hunted out some big crucians the
other year, and I’ll be going again to
the place where I fished for them, so I
do enjoy diversifying a bit and fishing
for other species in between fishing
for carp. What can I say? I got voted
carp angler of the year 2005, which
was a fantastic achievement. I’ll go
over the year previous to that, but
when I saw my name put forward for
that award through Carp-Talk, I just
fell on the floor. I thought to myself
there are plenty of people out there
who are worthy of that title more than
me. I think one of the things that has
helped me along is that I do only fish
weekends, or on holidays off work.
I’ve got a full-time job, which does
take up a lot of my time, and it’s not
easy when you’re competing against
full-time anglers. You have to think
about the only two days that you’re
going to fish, Saturday and Sunday;
you can’t plan for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday just because you look
at the weather map and see there is
some high pressure coming in. I
won’t fish; I’ll have to wait for that to
disappear, so everything is against
you. You have to make the most of
Saturday and Sunday, or Friday night
at the best should I say, and it’s not an
easy thing to do.
So my name went forward and
before I knew it, I got a phone call. I’ll
never forget it; I was at work, and the
caller said he was Chris Ball. I just
couldn’t believe it when he said,
“You’ve won Carp Angler of the Year.”
I went “Nah, you’re winding me up,”
and I put the phone down – honest
truth. I just couldn’t believe it, but he
rang back and said, “Craig, it IS Chris
Ball, and you HAVE won Carp Angler
of the Year!” I was gobsmacked. I’m
sitting here now looking at the trophy
in my cabinet and you know, to be
honest with you, some very good
anglers were up against me. The feedback I got was that the public vote
was hugely in my favour, and I can
only think that was because of what I
just said, being a weekend angler, and
so they could put it in context more
than they could for someone who
could fish when they wanted. I went
up to the conference to pick up my
cheque, thank you very much, very
nice, and my trophy. I was called up
on stage, which was the most embarrassing day of my life probably. Even
though I had chaired AGM’s, and can
speak my mind in front of hundreds of
people without a problem, this just
gobsmacked me. Since I was awarded
that title, I must have had a very good
year previously, and I did, so I am
going to pick a couple of stories that
happened over that year to get me
into that position, and one was the
capture of a very well known fish from
Sutton Leisure Sport…
Join us next time as Craig enjoys
tremendous success on Sutton, using
a technique never publicised in any
magazine before. n
Lower Maynard common.
FREE LINE 107

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