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Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:50 am by Chris Ball

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The Special Album

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Re: The Special Album

Post by Stoney on Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:08 pm

If i remember rightly he was in one of the early specimen groups that were around at the time

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Re: The Special Album

Post by The Sweetcorn Kid on Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:58 am

Fantastic again Chris....

I believe Peter was of Tiddenfoot fame?

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Re: The Special Album

Post by Chris Ball on Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:07 am

Dead right.... same person.
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Re: The Special Album

Post by Bob on Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:59 pm

Peter was a very good all rounder, he wrote the Step-By-Step Book on Barbel Fishing (on the Lea) and ran the ran a famous Perch Syndicate on the Ouse.

Sad he's not to well.

Bob
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The Special Album

Post by Chris Ball on Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:57 pm

Jack’s Net
In the mid 1990s John Baker got together with film maker Len Gurd to make a video all about the famous Ashlea Pool. During the course of the filming John contacted me to set up a meeting so Len could film with John interviewing me about Jack Hilton’s involvement with the pool. To add a little more ‘flesh to bone’, I arranged with John Carver to borrow Jack Hilton’s B. James a & Son laminated cane carp landing net, one he purchased in the late 1950s.

He used this net extensively at Ashlea and later at Redmire Pool and besides it being Jack’s net it has an amazing notoriety to it. Down the handle in Indian ink (under the varnish) was recorded in Jack’s fair hand every carp he ever caught starting in 1959 with 4 & 5-pounders and onto to Cheshunt carp, Brooklands carp, Broxbournebury carp, Eggetts carp, Redmire carp and so.

After having this net for sometime I thought one day I must catch a carp and net it in Jack’s net. Shortly after I went to local lake and soon got some fish feeding on mixers. Pretty soon I hooked one and after a tussle saw it foundering near the edge of the net - it looked like a twenty!

However, it turned out to be a close miss at 19lb 14oz, but I got my picture of a carp in Jack’s net. Sometime later when I returned the net to John I failed to mention I’d used it - only years after did I own up.

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Re: The Special Album

Post by The Sweetcorn Kid on Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:05 pm

Marvellous stuff yet again Chris....so iconic. cheers cheers 


On the subject of famous nets, here is my current PB (32lbs 6oz) caught using cane and mitchell and netted in the very net that engulfed the Bishop for Chris Yates that fatefull day in 1980 at Redmire Pool. You can see the net propped up behind me...

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The Special Album

Post by Chris Ball on Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:01 pm

Frensham trivia
In the summer of 1985 Kevin O’Farrell was still snoozing as the early morning light revealed a mist covered (as usual) landscape out in front. He was stirred from his bed by a sound nearby. Looking up from his bedchair there in the half light were bodies moving around and a car being driven slowly along the sandy shoreline some 30 or so yards further down the bank. Kev told me at the time that after he and Steve Neville had packed away (as you can see Kevin was successful and photographed with a upper double common) they went to see what it was all about. Soon it was clear that it was a ‘photographic shoot’ for a new car that was being undertaken for promotional adverts etc. Blow me if later that year I spotted this double-page spread in one of the Sunday supplements. You’ll notice the front of the car in the Kevin O’Farrell picture.

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The Special Album

Post by Chris Ball on Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:02 pm

Brooklands Lake
With the Tackle Box, Dartford celebrating 30 years in the fishing and tackle industry this coming Saturday (26th) at the shop in Dartford thought I’d look at Brooklands Lake which is in the vicinity.

Brooklands was stocked with carp from way back - even before the old Kent River Board introduced masses of small carp throughout the county of Kent giving it the nick-name of ‘carp county’ in a few short years. By the late 1950s some of the Brooklands carp had grown into big fish.

As far as I can establish in August 1960 the first recorded 20-pounder was landed by Laurie Zurcher at 22lb. Soon after a 21¼lb mirror was banked by Len Hamilton, this in turn was followed by another of 21¼lb netted by John Miller. The following year a 15-year-old lad, Paul Cheek, also landed 21¼lb mirror. Clearly there were a number of carp that had grown over the magical twenty pound mark - a very rare beastie in those days.

Another early angler of note to taste carp success in 1961 at Brooklands was Bob Buteux. Years ago Bob told me, “It was the biggest fish I had ever seen, and looked so fat that I thought if it grew any bigger it would burst. On my new 30lb balance it weighed 20lb 4oz.”

Later this fish went on to become a lake record at 26½lb when Gerry Savage caught it twice in fairly quick succession. Prior to this it was banked by the renowned Bill Quinlan who at the time recorded what was a personal best for him at 24¾lb.

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Re: The Special Album

Post by Paul Bennett on Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:57 am

Mr Ball happy new year, with all these winds & bad weather could you give us another of your carpy storys please to put a smile back on our faces.

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Re: The Special Album

Post by Chris Ball on Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:03 am

Paul,
Funny enough was just thinking I must get a Special Album piece done - be up on the site on Weds this week.
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Re: The Special Album

Post by Paul Bennett on Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:31 pm

Good news Chris looking forward to the next installment.

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The Special Album

Post by Chris Ball on Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:19 am

Winter carp with Derek Stritton
When the realisation came in the late 1960s/early 1970s that carp could be caught in the depths of winter from waters which were in no way influenced by warm water (such as power station warm water outlets in rivers), there were a few notable angling writers producing articles on the subject. One that fanned the flames of this new and exciting branch of carp fishing was Essex carp specialist Derek Stritton.

Derek had tasted success and just loved the banks being almost devoid of anglers in winter time leaving only the ‘madmen’ to pursue ‘their’ carp. Early on he found the four or five hours from dusk onwards to be the most productive and that prebaiting in winter was a winner.

Besides runs, these were the days of twitches and small lifts which sometimes constituted a hooked fish and in darkness isotopes set in washing-up bottle tops for indicators - first unitised by doubles-catcher supreme Bob Morris - proved to be invaluable.

The picture below shows Derek Stritton with a lake record 19¾lb plus an 11¼lb which comes from an article he wrote for Angling magazine exactly 40 years ago this month.

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The Special Album

Post by Chris Ball on Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:00 am

Fun in the Winter
As a follow on from the last instalment concerning winter carp fishing with Derek Stritton, nearly a decade before the hardy souls of Peterborough and the surrounding area were reaping the seeds of a stocking by The Nene and Welland Fishery Board of many thousands of yearling carp from Donald Leney’s Surrey Trout Farm in March 1952.

Some of these tiny carp were placed into the river Nene at Peterborough and eventually took up residency in the vicinity of a warm water outfall - which poured into a third of a mile section off the main river known as the Electricity Cut - of a coal-fired electricity generating station a short distance from the main town bridge.

Within ten years 20-pounders were being caught and because of the warm water often flowing into the Cut made it a hot-spot (excuse the pun) during the winter months.

There soon grew a dedicated band of plucky carp anglers willing to suffer the cold of both day and night throughout the wintertime. Amongst them was Dave Goodrum who proved to be one of the most successful at the time landing a total of four 20-pounders. Here is Dave’s first; a beautiful 24lb mirror caught on potato around 5am on 2nd January 1965 after a night of freezing fishing.

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Re: The Special Album

Post by CARPINGCOOKIE on Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:50 pm

brilliant post again,chris, almost better than fishing!!!
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Re: The Special Album

Post by Paul Bennett on Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:44 am

Chris,
Am I right in thinking Elliot Symark make his name on the cut? & do you know what he is up to & does he still own my water?
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Re: The Special Album

Post by Chris Ball on Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:35 pm

Paul,
Yes, Elliot Symak (his surname back then was Smith) bust on the carp scene on New Year’s Day 1966 with a brace of mirrors - 13½lb and 22lb from the ‘Cut’. His pal Stuart Ellis also banked a 24lb common on the same day. Elliot went on to become a very successful ‘Cut’ angler landing a number of twenty-pounders up to 1971. He created the marvelous Northey Park fishery near Peterborough and runs it with his family. Though Elliot has taken a lower profile in recent years he still remains one of my favorite writers on carpy matters of the last 20 years.
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Re: The Special Album

Post by Paul Bennett on Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:51 pm

Thanks Chris for the reply, & by the way Alf Engers rang me out of the bule the other day, I mentioned that I asked you to write somthing about him on here, he has done his leg in at the moment but am hoping to have a session with him when he recovers.

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Re: The Special Album

Post by Chris Ball on Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:55 pm

Ah... good old Alf, nice bloke and dedicated carp angler. Sorry to hear he is off colour, please pass on my regards to him.
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Re: The Special Album

Post by Paul Bennett on Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:56 pm

Will do Chris.

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The Special Album

Post by Chris Ball on Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:05 am

Dippy
This famous carp which became known as Dippy made quite a name for itself in the 1990s by being caught from the 17-mile long river Gipping, which is a source river for the River Orwell in Suffolk in East Anglia, its name deriving from the former Gipping Rural District and the village of Gipping.

Dippy came to prominence through the captures of the late Ted Head who landed this carp three times over 40lb in the early 1990s and thereby creating, at the time, a new river carp record.  Naturally this drew the attention of a number carp specialists in the area who became besotted with Dippy for it was a giant amongst river carp.

One angler and a friend, Keith Bridges, who once ran trips to France in search of big carp, set his heart on capturing this renown carp. He fished long and hard having to put up with all kind of obstacles (shopping trolleys and the like) not the mention some rather unsavoury floating objects in the river.

But it all came together one November morning in 1995 when Keith spectacularly landed a super brace which included Dippy at an all time high of 46¼lb.

After being landed at least six times from the Gipping in late 1999 it went missing without prior notice and travelled some considerable distance to another county and was suddenly found swimming in the celebrated Snake Pit in Essex. The controversy this caused rumbled on for ages not that it stopped all and sundry piling onto Snake Pit in an endeavour to catch the huge mirror.

It was landed a number of times and went even higher in weight when captured in November 2000 at 48¼lb. A few years later it went missing for good. An amazing fish with a story to match.

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A big smile for Keith Bridges as he holds Dippy at 46½lb captured in November 1995.
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The Special Album

Post by Chris Ball on Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:54 am

The Dawn of a New Era
It’s now well over 30-years ago since the ‘game changer’ known as Savay Lake burst on the scene. Though very much under the radar during it’s formative years when the likes of Mike Wilson in the 1970s  ran amok with particle baits and, in doing so amassed an amazing total of big carp.
However, the landlord of the controlling club, Redlands Aggregates, headed at the time by Graham Rowles, decided to make the greater part of the bank space into syndicate status starting in 1980. This information was circulated within the inner circle of carp fishing at the time and soon enough names were gathered which formed a syndicate split into two rotas.
But what a roster of names it included: Rod Hutchinson, Len Middleton, Kevin Maddocks, Bob Davis, Geoff Kemp, Roger Smith, Albert Romp, Bob Baker, Clive Dietrich and Andy Little.
The delicate close-in approach that Mike Wilson had used was replaced in the main with long-range fishing with boilies - thousands of them - along with just a handful of the syndicate using a new method, the hair rig.
On the first night Andy Little was pitched up close to Mike Wilson - Mike having joined the syndicate too. Within minutes of Andy casting out to an area he’d peppered with dozens of ¾-inch size boilies he had a run and in came a 19lb 12oz mirror. And so it continued, then around 3am his right hand rod again raced away and this time a long protracted battle commenced.
Eventually there lying in the bottom of the Andy’s net was a glorious 31lb 12oz mirror. It was the start of an extraordinary season for the likes of Andy, Rod Hutchinson and Len Middleton - the rest is, of course history.

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The Special Album

Post by Chris Ball on Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:42 pm

Redmire anniversary
A few weeks ago we passed the 80th anniversary of Bernithan Court Water (Redmire Pool) being stocked with 50 tiny Galician carp by Lieutenant colonel Ernald Barnardiston. This consignment of carp was picked up from the Midland Fishery farm at Nailsworth, Gloucestershire (part of the Surrey Trout Farm & United Fisheries) by the Colonel and his wife Katherine on 10th March 1934.

Released into a smallish piece of water of around 3-acres that was a haven of food with hardly anything to eat it, the tiny carp grew rapidly and saw no sort of angling pressure until their growing years (in bone structure) had finished, which meant there were numbers of carp in the twenty-pound class besides the real fliers which had doubled that weight.

The effect of seeing these outrageously large carp swimming around in the often aquarium-like clearness of Redmire drew breath from the early anglers who fished. It’s a little known fact that the first recorded carp from Redmire was a 6-pounder landed by John Munro in 1950 showing that the mature carp had successfully spawned.

At the pool on that fateful day of 3rd October 1951 the fishing world was turned upside down when Bob Richards received no less than six bites landing three of the carp, the last of which broke the British carp record by the considerable margin of 5¼lb. At 31¼lb this linear mirror changed the course of carp fishing and put Redmire Pool on the map forever.

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Three days after his record-breaking carp in October 1951, Bob Richards waits for his float to stir in what later became known as the Willow Pitch at Redmire Pool.
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Re: The Special Album

Post by Jarvy on Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:45 pm

Chris

Thanks for posting these pieces on the site, a pleasure to read, about some of the history associated with our pastime.

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The Special Album

Post by Chris Ball on Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:50 am

Cometh the Taxman
I’ve known Ken Rowley since the late 1960s, first coming into contact when I saw him fishing at Keston Pond in 1968 - he caught a 15-pounder as I walked past.

Ken (a Tax Inspector at the time ) along with fishing pals, the late Steve Edwards and Chris Haswell, were at the time really coming to grips with catching carp, many of them decent fish, in the Kent area. As with others before Ken, Steve and Chris wanted to catch bigger and bigger carp and in Ken’s case this led him to the famous Ashlea Pool.

At the time this small weedy and lily-chocked ballast pit had gained legendary status by producing big carp from the mid 1960s along with tantalising rumours of uncaught monsters spotted. The first recorded 30lb fish fell to Peter Mohan in June 1969. This was bettered by a new pool record of 32lb caught by Ken Rowley in August 1970 - a real big fish at the time and the fifth largest reported that year - Ken also landed a 28-pounder as well.

This carp sometimes known as the Slopey Head Mirror appears in The Special Album a number of times, other captors included Bob Burchett, Geoff Booth and Kevin Maddocks and was believed to be an original fish stocked either in 1948 or a few years later at under a pound in weight.

Over 40-years after this capture Ken Rowley is still out there catching them - good lad.

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Ashlea Monsters..

Post by Gary Bills on Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:12 pm

Chris, - brilliant, brilliant stuff! - I remember reading Quest for Carp as a lad and just drinking it in, believing that Ashlea held monsters, - Hilton painted the scene so vividly. Do you think it ever held fish to threaten the Walker record? Also, are there any old fish still left in Ashlea?

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Re: The Special Album

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