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In Search of Monster Carp
their mind they were going to take it
off him anyway. So by now, in effect I
was running my own water as well,
which was quite nice, and it gave me
a lot more interest in that particular
fishery. One particular year I had a bit
of a fish kill on there. There used to be
lots of little stunted commons in the
lake, and the bulk of the fish that died
were those commons. They were old
fish; they never going to grow any
bigger, but as a result the existing
stock that was left really did put a
spurt on. I added to this stock, putting
a few new fish in there as well, and
built it up to the phenomenal water it
is now, with a long waiting list.
As well as running the syndicate, I
was by now heavily involved with the
Carp Society. A few years previously,
along with Alan Smith, we ran the
Kent region of the British Carp Society
Group. I must admit when I first
started carp fishing in 1970, as I said
earlier in the article, it was always my
ambition to become a British Carp
Study Group member. At the time it
was a little bit of an elitist organisation, but I managed to gain membership. I always remember my interview with Andy Spreadbury; I ended
up having an argument with him, and
I thought I didn’t stand a chance of
getting in, but fortunately I did and
Alan and I ran the region for a number
of years. We used to have monthly
meetings at Gravesend, and conferences once a year. Then the CAA
came along, which was an offshoot of
the BCSG that anyone could join. For
anyone who doesn’t know the BCSG,
at the time you had to be considered
to be a successful angler by your local
standards, and a decent bloke really
whereas, virtually anyone could join
the CAA. Unfortunately Peter Mohan
ran both those organisations, and
Peter, as much as he was a nice fella,
was a little bit of a dictator type. You
used to have to do what Peter said,
and anything he said went. The Carp
Society came along and to me, being
a dead keen carp angler, anything to
do with carp angling was well worth
joining. Consequently I had a little bit
of a falling out with Peter, and he gave
me an ultimatum to either resign from
the Carp Society or resign from being
a BCSG regional organiser. I immediately resigned from being a BCSG
regional organiser because there was
a lot of politics about at the time,
which is best not to drag up again,
168 FREE LINE
Winter biggie.
you know.
So Richard Lovatt and I ran the
Kent region of the Carp Society for
seven years. We used to have our
meetings at the Bexley Mental Home,
at their sports and social club. We had
400 members turn up, and 200 went
home, but the rest got kept in, and we
had some great meetings. I used to
sign off our regional reports, and I was
that proud of the region. Through the
carp society, you would get to meet a
lot of people countrywide, and lots of
famous people, including yourself
Rob, came and did a slide show for us,
and it was a lot of fun. That to me is
what went out of carp fishing a little
bit – the fun side of things. When
money became involved, things
unfortunately fall apart, but it was
also through the Carp Society that I
first got interested in the match side
of carp fishing. In the early days I did
a few fishing matches, sea fishing
matches and junior school matches
and things like that. I was quite successful, but carp fishing and matches
didn’t really seem right together, but I
used to go on the inter-regional
matches at Horseshoe and all that.
There would be two or three of you in
the team, representing your region,
fishing against all the other regions. It
was always good fun, and never taken
too seriously, unless of course you had
the chance of winning it, which we
did on one or two occasions, and then
it was taken a little bit more seriously.
Then you had the other offshoot
matches from that; you had the Carpworld match on Horseshoe, and you
probably remember that one, Rob.
There was so many famous names on
there, and that was the match where I
think John Lilley got banned or something like that for fishing the out-ofbounds or fishing where he shouldn’t
have been fishing, and I think old Tim
Paisley managed to win it on his own.
Also at the time Ritchie really made
an impact as well; he absolutely
caned them, and had a fight with Tim
Paisley as well. But they were great
times, really good social events.
As for my fishing at the time; I have
always enjoyed fishing different lakes
rather than stick with one lake. I get a
kick out of fishing anywhere basically
that contains carp, and by this time I
had travelled abroad a little bit, fishing on places like Les Quis, which is
always a lot of fun. The good thing

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