I was star­ing in dis­be­lief.

Anglers Mail - - Informant The -

REG­U­LAR read­ers will know that I like to try new waters, and the other day I had a chance to visit one that had been rec­om­mended to me a while back.

It was a club lake that al­lowed day ticket an­glers and was stocked with a mix­ture of species, but most an­glers fished for the carp.

The chap who told me about it said you had to de­cide whether to fish down the edge or out in the mid­dle, be­cause the fish some­times fed in one area and not the other.

When I ar­rived, a few an­glers were set up al­ready, so as I passed the first pair I stopped and asked them if they had done any good.

“Not yet, but Ted’s had a few next door.”

In the next swim there were two chairs with their backs to me, and some lug­gage on the ground be­tween them. The right-hand one was oc­cu­pied by a man float fish­ing in the mar­gins to his right.

The sec­ond chair was a lot smaller than the first, and in front of it was a carp rod set up with a bite alarm and bob­bin, fish­ing off to the left.

“Any good?” I asked, leav­ing my stuff and walk­ing to­wards them.

“I’ve only had one, but Ted’s had a few,” the man with the float rod told me.

As I got level with the smaller of the chairs, I got a sur­prise. It was like that mo­ment in the Al­fred Hitch­cock film Psy­cho when the chair is spun round to show the mother he’s been talk­ing to through­out the film has been long dead.

On the chair was a teddy bear, dressed in a child’s fish­ing coat and trousers.

I was star­ing in dis­be­lief when the alarm bleeped and line was pulled from the reel.

The an­gler grabbed the rod and played a carp of about

4 lb to the net, and when he’d un­hooked it he rested it on the teddy bear’s knees and took a photo of him with it.

I watched him put the fish back and went on my way as he wiped the slime of Ted’s coat and trousers, try­ing not to shake my head in amaze­ment.

I set up in a swim fur­ther along the same bank, and hadn’t been fish­ing for long when the bailiff turned up for the day ticket money.

I’d put one rod out in the mid­dle and one down the edge, but he said: “I’m gonna have to ask you to reel one in. We have a ‘one rod per per­son’ rule here.”

I men­tioned about the bear, but he said he was a fully paid up mem­ber.

On my way back at the end of the day I stopped at their swim again, and the chap showed me Ted’s mem­ber­ship card, com­plete with his photo id.

“They voted him onto the com­mit­tee one time,” he said “but he gave it up af­ter a year. He couldn’t bear the long meet­ings.”

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