A bygone age, many would say the good old days, a time long ago before Facebook, the Internet, or even mobile phones!! However did we survive? It certainly was a very different sort of carp angling to today’s high pace, remote control, Snap chatting, wannabe blogger’s world we find ourselves in.
Our contributors to volume 2 are the anglers we aspired to, the heroes of that bygone age who were catching carp years ago before the hair rig when not everyone could catch them quite so easily. Bruce Ashby is haulin' on Laughing Waters, Leybourne as it became known. He and Mike Harris were prolific catchers in the sixties, with not a boilie or a hair rig in sight. Jim Gibbinson was more than a legend – a god some would say – from an age gone by. Rod Hutchinson… well, what can you say about this carping genius that has not been said before? His fishing and writing have entertained us for over a quarter of a century. Ritchie McDonald was way ahead of his time, the original pursuer of the largest.
Kevin Maddocks was the man who unlocked the secrets of carp fishing to the masses, the angler who made carp fishing commercial and astounded us with his catches 40 years ago and gave the world Carp Fever! Stevie Briggs has seen the changes firsthand from his early days in the Kent hotbed to globetrotting in search of the biggest it has to hold. Also there is a tribute in this book to the late, great Vic Gillings from Dick Gaynor. Bill Phillips recalls his early days. Richard Skidmore looks back at Redmire, and Paul Wilkinson remembers Wormleybury Manor. Derek Ritchie reminisces about Essex in the seventies when he held the county record.
In this book you will find the anglers, some still well known and others perhaps forgotten that were shaping our sport thirty or forty years ago… some even longer! They were carp anglers from an age of secrecy, of originality and invention, carp anglers who were the first of their kind to put pen to paper and divulge their obsession.
Our front cover shot is the great Bill Quinlan, famous for his Redmire catches, whilst the back cover is Jack Hilton, a carp angler whose tales of old spurred many a young man to try his luck for the ultimate prize, a fish thought virtually uncatchable, the biggest and cleverest in the land, the mighty king carp… I remember so well reading his tales, spellbound, almost transported to the bank where Sir Jack was on his Quest for Carp.
So in this volume, we have many new additions to our series. As I say, some you will know and others you may not, but each had his role in moulding today's carp scene. Steve Allcott makes a rare appearance with his story of a Savay record that propelled him into stardom in the 80s and made him the king of the Colne Valley. Rod Hutchinson joins us again, this time with some advice on his favourite subject,
bait, and some wise words on rigs, which still hold true today. Roy Williams talks of pioneering France back in the day. Eddie Bates tells a tale with a twist. Peter Stone tells the tale of his first big carp. Peter Luck and Alan Smith tackle an estate lake. Kris Ford looks back to how it was. Paul Hughes gives his impressions of Ashlea Pool. Mick Hall catches a monster. Mike Starkey has success. Keith Jenkins masters the art of blanking. Dave Hyde and Mike Wilson both give us two chapters, each on special moments in their long careers. Dave Duffy gives us an extract from his diary in the early 80s, while Andy Wade looks at winter fishing in the same era. Brian England catches a holiday thirty. Andy Little talks bait together with Terry Dempsey.
Our photo album from the past depicts many old faces from an age gone by, an age of mystery and of the unknown, an age long gone in today's world of social media, YouTube and the Internet… Carp fishing, and in some ways life itself, seemed to go at a much slower pace. Was it better than today's carp scene? I'll let you read the book first and come to your own decision.