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Fishing: A fishy tale of cook line and stinker!

Byline: JOHN INGHAM

RICHARD SIMMONS would jingle like a four-star Hollywood war-movie general if a medal was pinned on winners of fishing prizes awarded by the SP.

But he's no hero to the big chub in some of England's best-known coarse fishing rivers, including the Thames, Kennet, Hampshire Avon and Dorset Stour.

Richard's first winner in the SP competitions was a 6lb 2oz Stour beauty in February, 1997. Four more top-scoring river whoppers to 6lb 8oz followed in 1998, 2000, 2001 and January this year.

Seriously big chub are loners, fiercely territorial and easily spooked by a careless footfall or shadow on the water.

Just why so many exceptional specimens fall for Richard's tricks probably owes more to a hi-pong cheese paste made from his own top secret recipe. That's fair enough. Richard is an Oxford university chef, and all chefs keep a secret recipe or two under their apron.

Richard, 29, found a chubby-looking bend in the Hampshire Avon, near Bournemouth, for his latest break and cast whiffy cheese on a light leger rig and quivertip rod.

He waited until early afternoon for the first touch and netted a four-pounder. He missed the second quiver 'knock' but hit the third for a 5lb 14oz entry for the SP competition. All his fish go back after a brief photocall and a farewell peck on their chubby chops.

CAST your eyes over the SP's Super September Shakespeare prizes!

-Ugly Stik Gold 50lb-class, 6.5ft boat rod fitted with Fuji guides, given for the top-scoring fish caught from a boat.

-Ugly Stik 12ft beachcaster for top catch from beach, pier or rocks. This hi-tech mix of carbon and glass fibres casts 6-8oz weights over distances others cannot reach.

-Odessa Gold 13ft match rod, a three-piece hollow-tip cracker for a coarse fish better than the rest.

-Summit 5000 rear-drag fixed-spool reel with two spools for the river or lake runner-up.

Never won a fishing prize from the SP? Keep trying! You could net a Shakespeare seat-box, supplied with padded, carrying strap and waterproof seat cushion. We've got two to give away as September rewards for good performances that miss the frame.

To win, write in and tell us about your latest catch. Don't forget to include your full name, age, job or school - and enclose a photo of yourself with your catch.

Post to: The SP and Shakespeare Angling Competition, PO Box 822, Christchurch, Dorset BH213 5YJ.

CAPTION(S):

Richard Simmons with his 5lb 14oz chub; PRIZES: Shakespeare seatbox, cushion and strap
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Sep 8, 2002
Words:419
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