Angling by Trevor Johnson: May 23

Gary Maton
Gary Maton

This big French ‘girlie’ helped Gary Maton work up a sweat on his latest foreign trip – and at 37lb she’s a bigger grass carp than most are ever likely to see!

During the same South of France jaunt he also had a PB 35-10 mirror and, with mates Bill Bradshaw, Mark Gaylor and Kevin Briggs, totalled 103 fish for 2,099lb!

Much nearer home (and much younger) 13-year-old Callum Smith bagged his first carp, this 11 pounder from Tear Drops. May he have many more.

Commeth the day when even the old have to pay their full way...and quicker than some might think – with more clubs forced to slice into their senior citizens’ discount (traditionally up to 50 per cent off full price season cards).

And with the numbers of over 65s now in so many clubs it is obvious why: ever fewer are subsidising the rest.

The Environment Agency started it by pushing concessionary rod licences up to two thirds full rate (£18 against £27) and then having the nous to make it a fiver for juniors.

Pulman AC bit the bullet and made their oldies/disabled and standard ticket the same price. MKAA and Beacon AC are reducing their discounts...and DATS have just bumped their discount ticket up from £5 – a super-low one-third full price – to two thirds (still £5 for juniors).

It was ‘just another day in the factory’ at Alders, Sunday, as five rods topped 200lb each. Trevor Price had 245-14, Colin Fossdick 241-14 and Richard Brain 233-9.

The captures of at least two other 30s have been ‘leaked’ from Willen since Sam Willis had his 39-10 common five weeks ago.

Unfortunately those captures are also helping attract rule-breakers among others, and MKAA is to crack down on those flouting the ‘bait boats’ ban.

Then there are those allegedly thoughtless enough to leave braid tangled round the ski-tow launch area.

Just think what that could do to someone towed into it at speed...and IF you are one of those responsible – and value being able to fish there – cast some place else!

Steve Drakulic won Newport’s Abbey pits spring league round with 9lb and Team Drak were top on the day, but are still 3rd overall behind Dizzy’s Drawbags and Lakes Lane Lads. Steve Wright was runner-up with 8-2 as Steve Glidewell netted 7-5.

Paul Chapman topped DATS’ Cosgrove evening cut do with 10-13 (skimmers) as Nigel Steel had 7-1 and Lee Jones 5-15 – the latter winning Sunday on the Navvi with 10-2-8, followed by Ernie Sattler 9-2-4 and Pete Wattley 7-8-4.

Carp stayed mainly out of the way in Towcester’s Bairstows open as John Broughton won with 6-15. Dave Martin had 6-9 and Mick Goodridge 155 silvers for 6-5. Broughton won the six match series on weight over Martin.