Improve Your Coarse Fishing (UK) - - Reader Offer - ALAN BAKER, KENT

I've had a four-year break from our sport as the carer of an el­derly par­ent. At 65, I pon­der how an­gling has changed dur­ing my life­time. Where com­mer­cial fish­eries now dom­i­nate, we see fish of a size, and in num­bers, that we could only dream of in my youth. All caught us­ing bait, tackle and tactics which had yet to be pi­o­neered. Fish­ing within a 25-mile drive from home, I fre­quently held up to four club sea­son per­mits or syn­di­cate mem­ber­ships at any one time. And I be­lieve that my re­sults stand proud in com­par­i­son with mod­ern cap­tures. I banked a cred­itable tally of carp to 31lb 12oz, pike to 15lb 8oz and tench to 8lb 2oz from gravel pits and es­tate lakes dur­ing the 1970s and 1980s, and carp to 24lb 6oz, pike to 19lb 8oz and tench to 5lb 5oz from the River Med­way dur­ing the 1990s. As land­scape and nat­u­ral his­tory pho­tog­ra­phy took up more of my time dur­ing the 2000s, I re­turned to my an­gling roots. I banked 4lb chub and 5lb bream from the River Eden and perch to 2lb 6oz along with some beau­ti­ful rudd from a small, deep 19th cen­tury farm brick pit. I'll con­tinue to fol­low my own path now that I'm fish­ing again and I've re­cently joined Pen­shurst AS. Their four still­wa­ters along with sev­eral miles of the up­per River Med­way and the River Eden are just a 15-mile drive from home. This is Ideal for short morn­ing, af­ter­noon or evening ses­sions which I can fit around manag­ing land that was orig­i­nally my great grand­fa­ther's small­hold­ing.

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