He's not a name most of us would think of when the like's of Shelley, Chillcott, or Hearn are mentioned, but John Claridge's catch list is a match for many of the top boys.
Documenting over twenty years of his angling life, Beauties and the Beasts takes us from John's early years fishing with brother Paul and catching his first chub, to a final chapter with him chasing a forty on a local water, Dog Park.
Born and raised in Yateley, well known to anglers for its famous carp venue, John fished these lakes as a junior for tench and pike, but after witnessing the capture of a monster 6lb mirror carp, the seeds where sown.
At 16 John's parents moved to Gloucestershire and he soon joined Frampton Court fishery to start on his campaign of catching some proper carp. It was a steep learning curve, but he was soon putting plenty of fish on the bank, which didn't make him particularly popular with the guys running the venue!
This all led to John looking to pastures new, with Farmhouse Lake and Patshull's Church Pool filling in for a couple of seasons, but it wasn't long before the lure of even bigger carp drew him back home to Yateley.
Working his way up the ladder, John relates how he started with a season on the Match lake, before heading over to Copse with thoughts of some of the historic old mirrors that inhabit its waters.
With the first few trips ending in lost fish, his frustration was ended when Slate Grey came to his net at 32lb 11ozs, and the target thirty was achieved. And not many sessions later the Pretty One at 31lb 14ozs was also captured.
With the Plate, Scaley, and then the re-capture of the Pretty One, amongst others, John felt it was time to move over the road and fish the North… in search of the best known carp in the land.
John keeps the tales of big fish coming as Scale-on-shoulder, and finally Bazil going 46lb 4ozs, are brought to the net.
The Car Park lake followed and just over a year later the 40lb+ Chunky was captured, then Pearly, and Single Scale.
With visits to Linch Hill, Savay, Longfield Road Lake, Fox Pool, Frimley, and Pingewood, John takes us through the good and bad times of fishing these busy circuit waters, which as he says 'You may have read about before, but each and every carp is a special one so I make no apologises'.
This really is a tour de force of carp catching with John either having a stunning memory, (or having taken plenty of notes in his diary!), as so many captures are recounted in such great detail over the 480 pages of this book.
With plenty of trophy shots and scenic pictures, you start to get a feel for some of these famous venues, and with detailed drawings showing every swim, you are right there with him.
After meeting John at one of the carp shows earlier this year, he told me how he felt it was time to get his adventures published, and hopes it will entertain, and possibly inspire other anglers… well I'm sure it will, really enjoyed it mate!
Beauties and the Beasts can be purchased from Calm Productions at £27.00, for more details go to http://www.calmproductions.com/acatalog/beautybeast.html