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In Search of Monster Carp
think that was very much how it was
in those days. Nowadays in magazines, everyone can’t wait to tell you
the latest bait, because there are payments involved – if you can tell someone the latest baits, it sells bait for the
bait company, you make a few bob,
a n d i t ’s v e r y m u c h a b u s i n e s s ,
money-orientated, but in those days,
everyone did everything themselves.
If you had a bait, it was one you had
formulated yourself and paid for yourself. They were always expensive
ingredients, and people didn’t want to
give them away, so it was all very
hush-hush, Secret Squirrel stuff. But
he was one of those guys, and Jerry
Savage was another one who was
down there at the time. I remember
he was the first person to actually
bring out a protein bait onto the market – Hi-Pro. I remember seeing that
in the shops, and I remember it was
never that popular with the people
round at Brooklands, even though he
was a good angler. He caught some
big fish, but no one seemed to like
him, perhaps because he publicised
the fish. They were all frightened that
it was going make Brooklands even
busier. It’s a bit strange looking back;
they were all good guys really, and it
was probably just a bit of jealously
from most people when I look back
and think about it.
There were some real things going
on; it was all happening down in that
area. I moved on to some of the other
waters; I fished Horton Kirby that
year, and I remember catching four in
a day. After going two years without a
carp, all of a sudden I caught four in
one day! They weren’t big, but it was
amazing – four in a day. It was like it
was going off all the time sort of thing,
and I remember this guy coming
round and he took a couple of pictures for me and asked if I minded
him moving in next door to me. It
turned out that the guy’s name was
Paul Golds. He was about the same
age as me, and we ended up teaming
up for the next couple of years, and
we actually made a good little team.
He was a good mate for a while, but I
haven’t seen him for years now. I
don’t know what happened to him,
but that was my first carp fishing
friend if you know what I mean –
someone you call a friend who you
(Left) Fibre glass rods, Mitchell 300
reels, yellow bottle top indicators –
and no alarms yet!
(Top) One of my favourite pics of the
past, a Bulphan Park brace from a
‘learning year’ at the start of the
1980’s.
146 FREE LINE
team up and fish with.
It was a good year; we fished all
through the year on Suttons, Brooklands, and Horton Kirby, and I ended
up with 24 carp that year, so after taking two years to catch my first one, I
then went on and caught 24. They
weren’t massive, singles through to
mid-doubles really, again all on bread
and luncheon meat. I remember we
came up with this rig down at Horton
Kirby that we called the Kirby Rig – a
floating crust rig. In the old days we
used a big cube of floating crust, a big
old stale bit of crust, probably about
an inch and a half cube sort of thing,
and you cast it out and used the
buoyancy of the crust to get it up to
the surface. You’d open your bail arm,
and the buoyancy of the crust would
float it up to the top. Well we soon
worked out that the carp were really
wary of these big bits of crust, but
they would take little bits, but of
course, you had to get them up to the
surface. So what we did was use

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