Hall of Fame - B
Inducted: March 2011
From the mid seventies to the mid eighties there was a carp-fishing divide, with the Carp Society and Peter Mohan’s organisations lying on either side of it. As a result of this divide I didn’t get to meet BCSG hierarchy member Chris Ball until the mid eighties when he suddenly materialised at a Carp Society conference!
I think it is fair to say that Chris has been high profile since the early seventies. Organisers are thin on the ground in carp-fishing circles and Chris has always been an excellent one. As an angler he is readily associated with floater fishing, but that has been through choice, and his successes at Yateley, Frensham, Wraysbury and elsewhere emphasise that the man can cut it in any carp fishing situation.
Because he had a reputation as a historian, when I first booked a week at Redmire in the nineties I invited him down to spend the night of 12-13th September (the anniversary of a certain significant capture) in the Willow Swim. He blanked the night then caught a good twenty off the top from Pitchford’s the next morning, and then went home! I didn’t dare tell him but I was impressed: I was there for the week for one double.
Chris has contributed to numerous books over the years, and has Crowood’s The King Carp Waters to his name, plus his co-authorship (with Brian Skoyles) of Floater Fishing in the ‘Carp in Depth’ series. He has been a regular contributor to Carp-Talk and Carpworld over the years and his archivist’s look back at anglers, waters and captures have always had an avid following. He is an enthusiastic, captivating and in-demand (and tireless!) speaker, too.
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Inducted: March 2012
Steve Briggs has been a high-profile carp angler and writer for many years. His beginnings in fishing started in the late sixties, with carp fishing coming along in 1974 when he landed his first carp from the famous Brooklands Lake, Kent.
After cutting his teeth at Brooklands, Steve moved on to the Darenth complex, initially fishing the Big Lake with Peter Noonan, but then going on to the Tip Lake a little later. This happened in 1985 and Steve and Peter had a great year on the Tip Lake, with Steve catching all three of the known thirties in the Lake, plus an unknown one. Later Steve tackled Harefield, Longfield, Farlows and a host of other famous UK waters.
A big turning point in Steve’s life was when he heard about UK angler Kevin Ellis catching an enormous 76lb mirror from a large lake in the south of France called Cassien. He was eager to try his luck and, after passing his driving test and buying a car, the considerable undertaking of travelling from Middlesex to the South of France first happened in September 1986. That initial exploratory trip yielded a number of big carp including Steve’s first 40-pounder. The following year he landed a giant of 61½lb and so it has continued. Cassien has become a place of annual pilgrimage for Steve during the last 25 years!
Many anglers will know Steve and his soulmate Joan for their foreign fishing exploits. Indeed, Steve has carp fished around the world and very successfully, too. He has also won the World Carp Cup twice; once at Fishabil and once on the St Lawrence River. Back at home Steve was successful at Wraysbury, and realised an ambition in catching a UK 50-pounder when he landed the Black Mirror. Just recently he landed a near 60-pounder
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Inducted: Dec 2007
Reputed to be the first man to catch a carp from the one-time record- breaking water Mapperley Reservoir in Derbyshire. Albert Buckley became intrigued by the fish that several friends had hooked and lost, sometimes running off all the line from the reel before breaking free, from this 28-acre fishery in 1930.
He was determined to find out whether these big fish were carp, as the water had a reputation of uncatchable monsters. To his credit, he indeed found that the culprits were carp and landed a number of ‘doubles’ before his big day in July 1930. Using light tackle, in a mainly weed and obstacle-free water, he banked in a few hours fish of 9lb, 11lb 15lb and a new British Record of 26lb. This fish took Albert nearly an hour and half to land.