I guess like the Hair rig or skinning paste in boiling water, a book centred on the contribution to carp fishing of one county is simple yet genius. This 360-page production is truly one of a kind, and if carp angling was an academic subject it would be on the required reading list.
I doubt any book has contained so many famous and time served carpers, or covered so many significant venues or famous fish. From Pete Springate to Lee Jackson, Derek Stritton, Roger Smith and Jim Gibbinson the contributors' names are as revered as the carp and fisheries they document – Pilgrim from the Tip Lake, She from School Pool, Sutton-at-Hone's Fully Scaled and so many more. You'll also find tank suits, knotted mesh and monkey climbers, but above all there's history on every page written by the people who made that history.
There's wonderful reading from cover-to-cover but Fred Wilton's contribution on the development of carp bait is unprecedented. You'll read of library visits to measure pheasant eggs to ensure he was using bait the size recommended by Dick Walker through to precipitating his own casein in bins and a spin drier whilst pursuing his belief in food value in carp bait. Every carp angler should read it.
Far from just being a fascinating read, this is a genuinely important historical record. If we don't record history we lose it, and Chris Haswell and Mike Starkey should be proud of their achievement producing such a volume. From personal recollections to black and white plates to newspaper cuttings it has been thoroughly researched and presented beautifully. An absolute treasure trove of a carp book.
“GIMME": £35.00; tacklebox.co.uk
Oz Holness, Mike Harris, Jim Gibbinson, Chris Ball, Roger Smith, Ken Rowley, Chris Brown, Fred Wilton, Robin Monday, Chris Haswell, Michael Hatchman, Alan King, Peter Springate, Robin Johnson, Derek Stritton, Bob Morris, Terry Gage, Dave Lawrence, Jason Barber, John Carver, Daren Norman, Lee Jackson, Mickey Nolan, Ted Bryan, Steve Briggs, Mick Cutler, Gary Peet, Lee Randall, Roy Ashdown, Steve Burke and Tony Pocock.
Compiled by Chris Haswell
Edited and designed by Mike Starkey
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