freeline-24 - Page 58



Made In England
An absolute belter for Matt Eaton, all 37lb of it.
whatsoever that there is even a problem with otters (and cormorants, for
that matter). How do you, then,
mobilise enough anglers to veto the
fishing licence? Martin Bowler came
across very well on the BBC recently,
but the guy from the E.A. was having
none of it, and was even intimating
that there are too many specimen
fish! What! With that sort of thinking,
a brick wall would be far easier to
bang your head against.
Tom Bankes and Co. did remarkably well to get 100,000 anglers to
sign a petition, but it took a huge,
concerted effort by many people. And
all they were asking for was a signature, nothing else. Now, anglers will
be expected to sit on the bank, without a licence, and if an E.A. bailiff
catches them they will be bang to
rights, and liable to a hefty fine, and
you can bet your bottom dollar that
once the E.A. got wind of this they
will come down hard. It’s a totally different mindset. ‘Signed my name,
done my bit, that’s it’ or ‘For fishing
without a current rod licence you are
to pay £100/£500/£1000.’ If every
angler in the country could be persuaded I think it would have a huge
58 FREE LINE
impact but, I’m afraid, there is no way
I can see that happening, so another
way will have to be sought. The
Angling Trust have, I believe, been set
the task of coming up with a solution
but, as yet, nothing meaningful has
come from that liaison. I wish I knew
of a workable solution, but I’m afraid I
don’t, so, as I’ve said before, I can only
see the illegal way at the moment,
and if that hits the news it could be
just as catastrophic as a blatant cull.
Seems I’ve started the year in
proper Grumpy Old Git mode – must
be the weather and the aftermath of
the Christmas viruses. Having said
that, how could I be feeling anything
but elated at the moment? It’s 2012;
the year of the Queen’s Diamond
Jubilee, the Olympics, the release of
The Hobbit, and on top of all that, the
Mighty Spurs are riding extremely
high in the Premiership – life couldn’t
get much better, really. The Wraysbury Chronicles are finished and
should be arriving on my doorstep in
the next few weeks, and by the time
you read this I’ll have started sitting
down with Sir Pete to get his whole
life story down, in anticipation of publication in November. No, at the
moment everything’s looking good –
just a little too salty, maybe. As I said
earlier, Reg and I had a little postChristmas sortie at a lake near Swindon, and were joined by his mate, Jim.
To be honest, we normally just get
together at this time of year for a bit of
respite from the seasonal madness,
and rarely do we dream of catching
anything. But this year the weather
was ridiculously mild; a big southwesterly was due to blow in later in
the day, so we were actually pretty
confident.
We all spent an hour or so getting
sorted in our respective swims, then
adjourned to Reg’s swim, which was
central, and sat down for an evening
of food, wine, banter, and Spurs on the
radio. Dinner had come and gone, and
we were just moving on to the second
bottle of wine when the Spurs game
started then, within minutes, the
unthinkable happened – Reg had a
take! After a bit of fannying about, as
is Reg’s way, I slid the net under a
freaky looking fish. At first we
thought it was some sort of deviant
bream, but it turned out to be a
deviant carp of about 11lb. It had a
squat little tail, bulgy eyes and a spike

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