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Rotary Letter
Dave Lave
Question 1
Jon Mc Allister asks: What in the contributors eyes constitutes as a
‘wrong’un’ these days ?
Oh no, someone’s taken the top off
Pandora’s Box again! I don’t think
there can ever be a definitive answer
to this question as on the one hand
they are all imports or offspring
thereof, because carp are not an
indigenous species to the British
Isles. On the other hand we have built
up a base of fish that we accept as
‘true blue’ even though a lot of them
are not. Without doing the research,
and therefore putting myself up for
criticism, I think I am correct in saying that there is a fair chance our current British Record was not actually
spawned in this country; neither were
a lot of the famous big fish of old.
If you look at specific examples,
you have fish like Bazil from Yateley
(and a lot of his mates). These are
revered as stunning of examples of
English carp, but, I think you will find,
they were originally first generation
imports by the Kent River Board and
stocked into Sutton before being
transferred to Yateley, therefore not
actually born in this country at all. A
lot of the Colne valley monsters are
also imports – look at Harrow, or
Springwood as Rob called it in his
books.
Chopped Dorsal, the big mirror
from Harrow, which, had it not have
died just before attaining the required
weight, would have been welcomed
with open arms as a new record. That
fish was, I believe, Belgian, as were
the majority of the stock. The Leney
strain of fish are without doubt held in
the highest esteem amongst the
purists of our sport, but what did Donald Leney do for a living? Import carp,
that’s what! He imported carp and
either sold or bred from them and
seeded the future of our sport, so the
very fish we hold in the highest
regard from our short carp fishing history are imports – Redmire, Ashley
pool and many others. So how does
that fit neatly into our pigeon holing
of what is right and what is a
wrong’un? It doesn’t is, the short
answer; it’s a can of worms that you
can never truly unravel, but, that is
not what we are trying to do, is it? We
are trying to define the differences
that we all know in our hearts exist.
The current record holder; I don’t know where it came from and I don’t really care.
I know what I want to fish for… I
define a Leney as a proper carp. I
wouldn’t give you tuppence for one of
these big bloated ‘instant whackers’
from a dubious little commercial pond
somewhere. And yes, for those with a
long memory, I did once fish for them
during a competition, and I found the
entire experience totally soulless and
unrewarding, but I refused to be
beaten by somebody who thought it
was ok to do the same, apparently
safe in the knowledge that I wouldn’t
follow their lead and therefore
couldn’t compete – you know who
you are, and you were wrong! I have
not one single photo of that lake, nor
do I have a memory worthy of the
storage space in my head; it was a
means to and end, and, in hindsight, I
guess I was just too competitive for
my own good.
For my own fishing I always set my
targets within the boundaries I have
devised, and if it doesn’t feel right
then I don’t do it. I recently fished a
water where the second biggest carp
was of ‘dubious origin’. I didn’t want
to catch it; for me it wasn’t a proper
target, but I did want the rest of the
stock. I did eventually capture it
though. On its previous visit to the
bank it had been 46lbs so it was a fair
old lump, but, unfortunately, it would
Just the way I like them.
FREE LINE 81

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