freeline-29 - Page 118

Fishing Rules, OK
by Keith Jenkins
‘Rules are made to be broken.’ That’s
a phrase that has peppered the
English language for hundreds of
years and, whether you agree with it
or not, that is certainly what happens
in all walks of life. Whether it be the
flaunting of the ‘Don’t Walk on the
Grass’ sign, the handball in the
penalty area or using three rods
instead of two, millions of rules and
laws get broken every day.
For the purpose of this magazine,
we are obviously going to concentrate on rules in fishing, and who by or
how they are broken. The catalyst for
this discussion was elicited by a couple of threads running on different
carp forums about ‘rule breaking’. The
general theme, in both threads, is that
‘well known’ or ‘famous’ anglers
seem to be able to get away with
more rule breaking than the vast percentage of anglers.
Now, let me try to split up the different questions that these threads initiate. Firstly, the usual jibes directed at
the ‘famous’ anglers. I find it so hypo-
critical when people have a go at the
likes of Terry Hearn, Dave Lane, Nigel
Sharp, etc., etc., because these very
same people are the ones who revere
and adore these very same ‘famous’
anglers. They buy their books, which
are normally littered with incidents of
rule breaking in one form or another,
and chortle heartily and applaud
loudly when the broken rule allows
the ‘famous’ angler to catch the fish of
his (and the reader’s) dreams. People
often ask, ‘What’s the best carp book
you’ve ever read?’ and the list invariably includes books by the above, as
well as Rob Maylin, Rod Hutchinson,
Mickey Gray, Jim Shelley, Mike Willmott etc. Tell me which of those
books doesn’t include some rule
breaking of one sort or another? But,
without doubt, that is why the books
are so popular; they’re edgy, close to
the mark, giving it to the man (whoever he may be). What makes me
laugh is that the people who are ranting on these threads about rule breakers are the very same people who are
raving about the up and coming book
by Terry Dempsey, ‘Urban Myth’, the
front cover of which shows a lake
scene with an eight rod set up in it!
Which side of the fence do they sit
now, I wonder?
The dichotomy for most anglers is
that they love these stories of derringdo from their heroes, until said hero
starts doing some derring on their
lakes, then it suddenly becomes a
(Top) Pick the bones out of that.
(Above) Sonning, where strange
rules abound.
(Left) Laney with a stunning leather.

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