freeline-24 - Page 62

Made In England
girl’s got balls! Steve Cliff opted for a
little bit more than a single hookbait,
fishing over a couple of kilos of
chopped baits and hemp, and was
duly rewarded with a couple of fish in
his 48-hour session, the best being a
lovely, long 40lb mirror.
Carl Pritchard didn’t overdue it
with the bait either, fishing with just
half a dozen free offerings around
each hookbait, but he ended up having the session of a lifetime, beating
his PB of 39lb FOUR times! Actually, it
wasn’t just one session at Fryerning,
but a series of three trips between
Christmas and New Year. The first, on
Boxing Day, produced his first ever
forty in the shape of a fish called the
Rudder, which weighed in at exactly
A couple of days later he returned
and caught two more – a 39lb 14oz
mirror and a fish called The Nunn at
42lb 7oz – this was becoming like a
dream for Carl, but then it went off the
scale when he returned just before
New Year’s Eve and caught the lake’s
biggest resident – a 50lb 3oz mirror
called the Gurm. What an incredible
way to end the year – well, what an
incredible way to end a week! Brilliant stuff, Carl, and I’m sure we’ll be
hearing more from you.
As well as some lunkers there have
also been some cracking looking fish
out, and not least amongst them is
the 33lb mirror that Jamie McCready
caught on a southern venue. Once
again, a single hookbait was the
carp’s downfall (am I seeing a trend
here?), fished at 50 yards to some
showing fish. Stunning fish, Jamie,
and the same can be said of the wonderful linear that big fish man, Matt
Eaton, caught recently from Dinton.
He’d been experiencing a few blanks
and was, as he says, entering ‘The
Land of Confusion’. But then he went
back to his tried and tested method
(which wasn’t a single hookbait, incidentally), and that produced the most
wonderful result, ‘one of the jewels of
the lake’. At 37lb, it was nowhere near
a PB for Matt, but I doubt he’ll catch
many fish that are better looking.
On any normal occasion, either of
the three captures above would have
won the Spirit Level Award, but then I
saw the photo of young Eiran Morrow. The nine-year old lad was fishing
with his dad, Steve, and using a ninefoot rod when along came a carp, and
after a right old battle, Eiran landed a
30lb 2oz mirror. As you can see from
the photo, he is just slightly happy!
Top photo, top story, the Spirit Level is
all yours, Eiran. I hope that the enthusiasm that is pumping out of you now
remains with you for many, many
Well, that’s a nice, uplifting way to
end this month. What with that, and
the Spurs riding very high at the
moment, I must admit that the January blues are steadily turning pink.
Let’s hope it continues that way. n
Born to Run
fter a pretty actionpacked 2011 on the
front, I had little
idea that 2012
would start quite
as explosively.
As December clicked into view I
knew that we were going to be seeing Joey Bones again in March, but
that was it. Then, within weeks, it
was eyeballs out and hold on tight. I’d
said to Porky that we really needed to
get out on the trikes this year, maybe
have a bit of a Boys Only adventure,
culminating in a festival somewhere,
and pretty soon it became clear that
the Isle of Wight was where it would
culminate. Bruce Springsteen was
named as the Sunday night headliner,
but as much as I wanted to see him, I
was loath to pay £160 for the privilege. The thing is, the past couple of
IOW festivals haven’t really been up
my strasse and I was worried that the
same might be true for the rest of the
weekend, but within days that idea
was trashed when it was announced
that Tom Petty would be headlining
on the Friday. That was it. Somebody
that Porky and I have wanted to see
for years, and there he was, on the
same bill as Bruce – job done. Since
then the likes of Pearl Jam, Black
Stone Cherry, Madness and The Darkness have also been added, so a-triking we will go!
Within a week of that, and just prior
to Christmas, I noticed that Aynsley
Lister was returning to Crawley, to
play a solo show at the Hawth. I’d
seen him a year or so ago at the same
venue and he was incredible so I purchased four tickets for the February
gig, and they would be cool as Christmas presents for Porky, Vince and
Lin and I have been to Weyfest for
the past couple of years, so I’d been
keeping an eye on this year’s lineup
and, lo and behold, all within the same
week it was announced that Asia,
Curved Air and Steve Hackett were
the first names to be confirmed – certainly good enough for me, so that’s
nailed down as well. So, here we are,
a week or so into the New Year and
I’m all ready to rock – lord alone
knows what other gems will be
revealed in the coming months.
Just before Christmas I saw a feature on The One Show about a rather


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