freeline-21 - Page 132



Rotary Letter
to” books out there nowadays. If
you’re not sure about a rig then don’t
be ashamed to ask for help. It’s better
to do that than bodge a rig up and
cause damage or even worse tether a
fish.
Lee Jackson
Hiya guys, happy New Year to you all
and all Big Carp readers.
Re: carp matches – initially I was
the same as you, Ed; I didn’t think
that they were going to be my cup of
tea at all initially, but have since
grown to enjoy them, and I now really
look forward to them for a number of
reasons. Apart from school and club
matches when I was a youngster, the
first proper carp match that I took part
in was the Sony King Carp Challenge.
I think it was Dave Gawthorn who initially asked me, and at first I turned
him down. I think what swayed me in
the end was that although it was an
individual’s match, if I agreed to take
part then I would be part of a little
team that called themselves the Solar
Red Army – Lockey, Dave, Paul Forward, Tim Hodges and all the gang,
and we would all go into battle wearing red Solar T and sweatshirts and it
would be a bit of fun, which it was.
The Sony match had the same sort of
format as the BCAC match does
nowadays; you fish a qualifier, and
then if you finish in the top three, you
go through to the final.
I fished my qualifier on Broadlands,
and although I only managed second
place, I had the added bonus that I
won a Sony world band radio worth
200 quid for catching the biggest fish.
200 quid? I wouldn’t have given you
two bob for it; it was a load of rubbish
Caught in deep silt on a foul smelling bait.
unless you liked listening to foreign
radio stations. From memory I think
all of the Red Army members qualified
through to the final on Horseshoe
Lake, but what a disaster that was.
We all marched off to Horseshoe and
it was all a bit extravagant when we
got there. There was a great big
scoreboard much the same as they
have at a horseracing track with all
the competitors’ names down one
side, and they’d put up a great big
marquee, which had crystal chandeliers inside. I don’t know if any of you
lads know Horseshoe, but it all went
tits up straight away because of the
way they pegged it. Basically they
pegged the Witney Bank and Trout
Bank but didn’t put any swims along
the Road Bank or around the point
area. As a result, when the pressure
From a clear spot surrounded by a mountain of weed.
132 FREE LINE
on them started, the carp just got out
of the way and there was only one 14pounder caught all weekend. My
worst memory of the match was losing one during the early hours of the
Sunday morning because of having to
use barbless hooks. The chances are
it would’ve beaten Tim Hodges’s 14pounder and picked up the ten grand
first prize, but in the worst case it
would’ve got second place and three
grand’s worth of Sony electrical
equipment.
Well since that I’ve taken part in
quite a few carp matches, although I
wouldn’t if it was an every weekend
thing – a couple a year is about all I
would ever want to do. Undoubtedly
my favourites are the big international
carp matches. I enjoy meeting anglers
from other parts of the world, the
camaraderie between fellow team
members and countrymen, and all of
the friendly banter and socialising
that goes with it.
Winter fishing and baiting… I know
what you’re saying, Ed, about milk
proteins being difficult to digest, but I
think it’s all down to the quality of the
ingredients being used. I must admit
that nowadays I rarely ever use milk
protein based baits during the winter,
not because I don’t think that they are
effective, but more to do with the fact
that I can no longer get hold of such
good quality ingredients as I used to
be able to get hold of, believe it or not.
The main ingredients in milk protein
baits are casein and caseinates, and
these can vary so much in quality,

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