The Big Carp Diaries
CREATIVE COMMONS: Attribute, non commercial, no derivs.
KEYWORDS: fish, carp, fishing, angling, anglers, bait, hook, rod, line, lake, water, satire, humour, humor
RIP Benson: Star Of The Carps
Boggartblog is saddened to report the death of Benson the carp.
Benson lived in Bluebell Lakes, near Peterborough and was a firm favourite with the anglers.
She was introduced into the lake in 1995, as a twenty pounder, when the owner thought she was about five years old.
Over the ensuing years she continued to grow, eventually weighing in at 64lb 2oz, and was a prize catch for the anglers who came from far and wide to have a go at getting her to swallow their bait.
But now she lies in the deep freeze, waiting to be stuffed and mounted, a tragic beauty, her life cruelly curtailed at the tender age of 29 ish.
But mystery surrounds her sudden demise and already there are suggestions that here could be something fishy about her untimely departure.
Witnesses have reported finding discarded nuts on the banks of the lake. Nuts can be used as bait but need to be processed properly, if not they can be fatal to fish.
Was Benson inadvertently poisoned by an angler keen to have her picture in his collection?
Or does the Nuts in question refer to the lads mag? Could this indicate a fish porn ring? Did the lads want a picture of Benson with a fin bra and her scales trimmed in true Brazilian style? No-one was available to comment on this speculation.
Animal rights campaigners have pointed to the number of times Benson was landed. They claim taking fish out of water is the equivalent of water-boarding a human.
The stress of struggling to breathe and finding oneself only sucking in air could have taken its toll on poor Benson's heart.
However experts say that landing a fish, weighing it and then posing for a photo with it is in no way detrimental to a fishes health.
They claim that if a fish doesn't want to be caught it won't be, pointing out that Benson went through a period of allowing herself to be caught every Monday for six weeks, but then disappeared for the next twelve months.
Does this indicate that Benson could in fact have become addicted to breathlessness in an auto erotic way?
Did she get a kick out of being hooked, hauled out of the water and held up by her tail?
Unfortunately we will never know as dead fish aren't renowned for their loquaciousness.
Live ones aren't much chattier either, so at least her secrets, whatever they may be, wil not be splashed over the front of the screaming red-tops, like other recently defunct celebrities' peccadilloes have been.
Heather The Leather
Do you ever get that deja-vu feeling, especially when listening to the news?
I sometimes wonder if there are any truly new stories or whether the news, like fiction, has only five plot lines.
Last year I wrote about a carp who had been found dead.
Foul play was suspected as nuts were found on the bank of the lake where she lived.
And apparently the deceased carp was something of a celebrity in the angling world, weighing in at 50lbs plus and being quite old.
Well you could have knocked me down with a fish scale when I opened my paper yesterday and found a picture of a man holding up a rather large carp under the headline:
ANGLERS MOURN THE END OF THE LINE FOR 'HEATHER THE LEATHER'
Heather was apparently a scaleless carp, aged about 50 years old and weighing 52lbs, although unlike last year's predecessor old age was deemed the cause of death, and also unlike last year's celebrity ex carp who was a bit of a slapper by all accounts, letting all and sundry get their hook into her mouth, this one was notoriously dificult to catch.
A former captor of Heather said,"She was the epitome of everything that carp fishing is about, the battle of wits between man and fish."
Well hell and I always thought it was just a case of having a quiet day away from the missus and the kids, sitting under your brolly on the lakeside and tying a maggot to your hook every now and then. I'm now looking forward to the inter-species human/fish chess championships.
Two-Tone is Dead!
Boggartblog was saddened this week to learn of the death of Two Tone, once the largest carp in Britain weighing in at 67lb 14oz.
Already tributes have been piling up on message boards, the event has been reported in the national press and there is even talk of setting up a memorial at Two Tone's grave by the side of the lake where he spent most of his adult life.
The freshwater carp which came to be known as Two Tone was born in an undisclosed location about 40 to 45 years ago.
As a youngster he didn't impress particularly but after he was bought by Chris Logsden and transferred to Conningbrook Lake, Chilham, Kent, he began to show his developing skills, which led to him becoming one of angling's greatest challenges.
Indeed even though at any one time there could have been seventy-five skilled anglers after him he still managed to elude most of them, being caught on average only once or twice a year.
One of the successful anglers claimed that to catch Two Tone you had to use all your skill and cunning. He declared that Two Tone was the smartest fish he had ever tried to catch.
It was becoming clear that Two Tone was a cut above the average fish. With the guidance of his manager, former Fulchester United goalkeeper Billy the Fish, half man, half fish, he was able to exploit his abilities to thwart the anglers attempts to catch him and bolster his reputation at the same time.
Having quickly learned that if he was caught he would be returned to the water, Two Tone began a steady campaign to remain almost uncatchable and also to continue growing. His fame spread way beyond the confines of his lake and soon he was amongst the elite of carp, those that have been given a name.
But Two Tone had even bigger ambitions.
Studying A levels through a correspondence course he became the first carp to attend Cambridge University, reading Biology and Ecology.
He was a popular student gaining a blue for the swimming team and should also have represented his college on University Challenge, but was unable to attend on the day due to ill health, his place being taken by the understudy, one Stephen Fry.
On leaving university with a double first Two Tone found employment with the Department for Agriculture and Fisheries and quickly rose throught the ranks, although his continuing growth did rather limit the amount of time he could spend in the office, to have a tank large enough meant there was little or no space for anything else in the room.
Bearing this in mind Two Tone left the government, although he did act as an adviser and became a close confidant of both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
He recalled these years in his best selling memoir, "The First Fish", which acted as a refreshing counterpoint to the spin Of Alistair Campbell's memoir and the slimyness of Peter Mandelson's.
He also rather touchingly gave the real reason no such memoir was forthcoming from Gordon Brown, in that Gordon kept on breaking the keyboards by typing too hard.
At university Two Tone had had a chance to sample life way beyond the realms imaginable by the average carp.
He developed a love of the arts and was particularly taken with the humans ability to create a range of diverse sounds and call it music.
Wishing to further the developmant of the humans' talent for making music he founded his own record label which helped the careers of some of the 1980's best ska musicians.
However he never lost sight of the fact that his remarkable achievements would not have been possible without the continued support of the angling community and elected to remain in the lake at Conningbrook, putting in rare appearances and generally enjoying a kick about with Billy.
He continued to enjoy a wide range of interests and had staged a one fish show at the Royal Academy where his artworks were likened to those of Jackson Pollock and, more interestingly, Monet in his Water Lily period.
It is believed he was working on his first symphony at the time of his death.
Late last week an angler reported seeing a large carp in distress.
On Saturday a passer-by alerted Mr. Logsden to the corpse of a carp floating on the surface of the lake, and when he investigated Mr. Logsden was gutted to discover that Two Tone would evade capture no longer.
Two Tone was buried with his cambridge colours in a simple ceremony beside the lake where he led such a long and colourful life. He is survived by his manager and latterly civil partner, Billy the Fish.
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