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Made In England
Joey Thomas with Westhampnett lake record of 44lb.
strength. When she rose again from
the depths it was for the last time and
she rolled exhausted, unable to find
the reserves to struggle any more. The
current now acted in my favour and it
swung her across the river to my own
bank, where I let her drift slowly
backwards into the folds of my net.’
Just a hint of what’s hidden within
the pages of Mark’s book, and the rest
is equally as descriptive and evocative. Chris Yates is going to write the
foreword, and, coincidently, I got a
copy of his book, Four Seasons, as an
early birthday present. It covers four
seasons spent fishing between 1977
and 1981 and is basically a reproduction of his angling diaries at the time.
As you might expect, Chris’ diaries
aren’t quite the same as other people’s and the result is a wonderful
insight into what was happening at
the time, when Chris was absolutely
obsessed with carp, especially those
that inhabited Redmire. When you
read it, what is amazing is the number of fish he lost at Redmire, and
good ones as well. At times, I don’t
think I would have been able to have
survived without either smashing my
rod to pieces or disappearing to the
local hostelry until oblivion eventually
138 FREE LINE
blocked out the memory. How he persevered is beyond me, but persevere
he did and eventually claimed the
greatest prize of all. Wonderful stuff.
Prior to the freeze up, there were
still some great catches being made,
and high on the list of those were the
two wonderful commons that Kyle
Poxon caught. He’d been baiting an
area on a local syndicate water for
about three months, and when he
saw some activity over it he was soon
over there and angling. In an 18-hour
session he managed two fish, topped
by a cracking 31lb common. Confident that the fish might be visiting
the area regularly, he returned for
another look a few days later and, sure
enough, fish were present again. Racing against the fading daylight, he
eventually got the rods out on dusk,
but not after having to return home to
get the bait he’d forgotten! The trip
was so very well worth it, though, as
after a double figure mirror, he hooked
a much more powerful fish. This fish
took a lot of line on its initial run and
had soon become lodged behind a
weedbed, so Kyle and a friend had to
take to a boat to free the carp. Once
free it proceeded to tow the pair of
them around for a quarter of an hour
before eventually slipping into the
net. It was the fish of Kyle’s dreams,
one he’d been after for five years.
Another common, but this time a
scale-perfect fish of 42lb. Brilliant!
There have been a few other goodlooking carp around, and Jamie
Maher’s 30lb mirror from Suffolk
Water Park was certainly one of them.
Jason Leonard’s 22lb mirror from the
Park may not have been the biggest,
but what it lacked in size it certainly
made up for in stunning good looks,
and not to be outdone on the same
venue, Ricky Preston took good looks
and size and put them together with a
cracking 41lb mirror. Further west, at
Linch Hill, Andy Edwards banked a
classic Oxfordshire carp in the shape
of a beautiful, scatter-scaled mirror of
35lb on the usual winning method at
Linch Hill – a zig-rig, at a depth of
twelve feet. It really is a winning winter method on a lot of deep waters,
and my old mate Laney swears by it
at this time of year.
Another couple of cracking carp
have come from either end of the
country, and first there is Jamie Britton’s personal best 42lb mirror from
Burghfield Blue Pool. Its larger neighbour is usually the one to grab the

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