FREE LINE 03 - Page 93

Israel or Sutton
happy life, swimming around up to its
pecs in bloodworm, until one day it
was netted by the club that passed on
the lease to fish the mere. Our now
rather stressed carp was sold to a
southern day ticket venue, and moved
from its crystal clear home to a venue
so murky you couldn’t see the bottom
in a foot of water. Everywhere it
turned it bumped into a rather pale
coloured carp, busily swimming
(Top) Linear. One of my favourite fish.
May all my babies grow up to look
like this.
(Below) Off you go, girl.
(Right) If I were a carp, I would want
to live here!
around trying to get every scrap of
food before another pastie-shaped
fish beat it to it. Our 40lb common
took some time to settle before feeling
the primal need to feed to survive, and
joined in the eat or starve rat race.
Only a week or so after being moved
from the heaven in which it had spent
all its life, it was being netted on the
banks of hell. I know the captor, the
fish being an English PB by about
20lb, and he had only recently taken
up the sport. Proud as punch he
shows the pictures to his mates,
sporting a 40lb common on his CV.
Does he, or for that matter any of the
hundreds of anglers that have pursued him (the carp that is), and his
mates since, give a damn about the
life of purgatory our common had
been subjected to? Answer – no, and
many would come back with the
retort of, “Why should they?” The fish
was moved legally by reputable people with thriving businesses, so why
should they care? Why should we
care if we are fishing a lake full of
English fish that were stocked at 30lb
out of a carp farm, or for that matter
40lb foreign fish, that are KHV cleared
and legally imported?
The above are fundamental ethical
questions that we have to all wrestle
with on a regular basis as we progress
through our carp fishing lives. Now I
have never had a problem deciding
where I stand on the issue. Although
not a founder member of ECHO when
it was born on the banks of the Car
Park Lake, I was fishing locally at the
time, and was delighted to be one of
those invited to join in its early days. I
fully supported it then, and do to this
day, but just recently some of the
issues Chilly, Ruth and the dedicated
band of followers have been educating the uninitiated about have been
pushed front and centre in my mind. I
have less than a year to do in the
Army now, and Angling Intelligence
is thriving thanks to some superb
management by our finance expert
Paul Ovenden. One of the other projects I have been working on in the
background is at last moving towards
its fruition. I can clearly recall as a kid
walking our black Labrador over the
fields and finding this overgrown
marshy pond full of bulrushes. I had


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