"HE WHO RIDES A TIGER" Chief petty office Peter Thompson the upstanding, charming gent hides a secret, he is an abuser of children. How long can he evade the law. one young girl, his daughter finds the courage to come forward to tell all after years of torment.. based on a true story. "A must read"


57. 57

“I let it live by throwing it back.’ his codling didn’t live five minutes it was snatched up by that seagull over there. It swallowed it in one gulp.’

“The greedy bugger said the man laughing.’

“Well let’s hope we get a bigger one tonight so it can go into my gob with a big plate of chips said the other man sarcastically.

Elizabeth Rose gave then a look of disgust then turned to Bobby. The sun was getting out properly now and you could feel the heat from its rays. Smaller boats were heading out to sea with several anglers on board. These charter boats went three miles out over rough ground and they usually came back with a bag full of fish each.

Bobby had been told that the mackerel were coming on off Blyth Pier. He would give that a go next weekend he thought. He could strap his spinning rod to his bike place his tackle into a rucksack then cycle down to Blyth for the day. He had to bring in his line again and wait until the boats had all past before casting out again. They both put on their sun glasses and then sat back in the home- made camp. Bobby folded his coat and used it as a pillow for them both. It meant that their heads were almost touching each other but Bobby didn’t mind. He lay there just watching the tip of his rod for some kind of movement. He hoped it wouldn’t be the tap, tap, tap of the whiting’s who could strip a hook in thirty seconds. The suns reflection on the water had the two men further down squinting. They launched their baits into the river one at a time then shared a double rod rest after winding in the slack line. They were accomplished fishermen thought Bobby as he watched then closely as they baited another hook trace each and hung it over the V of the rod stand. They were using a mixture of wragg worms, Lug worm, and fresh mussel tied on with elastic thread. The tide was almost at its height. It wasn’t a big tide, it said a 4.0 tide in the little book he had bought from Temples tackle shop in Whitley Bay.

He wished that he’d bought some lug worm and Mussel. He did have some fresh mackerel that his father had got him. Bobby went into his box and took out his filleting knife. Using the technique taught him by his father he cut two fillets off the fish. the iridescent purple blue skin of the fish shone in the sunlight. He expertly cut them into strips so they could be threaded on the hook after the wragg worm. The oil from the mackerel was a good attractant for a vast array of fish. He brought in his line quickly baited up and launched it back out again then lay back down on the pillow again next to Elizabeth with a satisfied grin. Now we will see who the real fishermen are he thought.

Bobby’s knowledge of fishing was vast, he read the sea angler and the angling times every week. He also had the sea fisherman’s hand book which told him all he needed to know about how to tie strong knots, what hooks were best for what fish that you were targeting. Everything from the most aerodynamic lead weights to get the maximum distance. Bobby had been coached by Terry Patterson from Whitley bay who had won many competitions. He now knew about inertia and how to get the most out of his three- piece rod. Even though he was just over thirteen years old he was casting as far as these two men who were physically bigger and weighed about five stone more than him as well. They plumbed for what is termed an over- head thump.

Bobby put the bait at eight o’clock behind him as if he was standing in an imaginary circle he balanced himself then took up the line until it was taught. Then he just pivoted his hips and whipped the rod around in an arc and the bait shot out. It went 170 yards and the two men looked on puzzled how a small boy could cast further than them.

As hard as they tried they could not cast like Bobby. They were blaming their rods rather than their technique.

Bobby was right in the middle of the river and his chances of landing a bigger fish were enhanced because there was a deep gully there where the bigger fish fed. Sure enough his hunch proved right. Bobby had been plotting a course with his baits he started at one o’clock in the imaginary circle working his way around to nine o’clock.

The first solid bite had bobby jumping to his feet and Elizabeth saw the excitement in Bobby’s eyes as he struck into something solid.

“Fish on’ he proclaimed as the bend in his rod increased.

Bobby overheard the two men “he’s bringing a big crab in they laughed. Bobby knew different, he felt every movement of the fish as it tried to take him into a snag. He kept the rod tip up not allowing the fish any leeway. Soon he was making headway and he only had forty yards to go.

The battle against man versus fish was over. Bobby got his first glance of the green and brown coloured cod as it broke the surface briefly before trying to dive for the bottom. Again, Bobby kept pressure on the fish.

“Go on Bobby, you show them shouted Elizabeth Rose. Bobby walked slowly to the edge of the jetty as he reeled in the last few yards and the cod broke the surface. It was at least five and a half pounds thought Bobby. He unhooked the fish took off the old hook trace and replaced it with another and launched in the same place as his last. He dispatched the fish with a home- made priest.  Then weighed it. It was six pounds two ounces. I good weight for a cod. The two men were in awe as Bobby pulled in two more of similar size.

If you had been fishing the competition today you would have won it with those three fish.

Some big money to be won in those competitions you know.

“Tell you what I’ll buy the three fish off you for a tenner, what do you say?

“I say no.’

“Christ kid, ten pounds is a lot of money.’

“Yes,’ but the Angling Times are offering £100 for the heaviest fish plus a host of other prizes like a TV and a washing machine for the collective weight of three fish plus the best junior trophy. “You see I’m as stupid as you two thinks. I entered this morning you see from Temples.’ Bobby took photos of his three fish on his instamatic camera then bagged them up. he looked at his watch it was 3-45p.m. He had to be back at Temples for the weigh in by 5 p.m.

He saw Rose pull up further along the quay and he started to pack up. He saw one of the men strike his rod looking at the rod tip there was no kick. He grinned as he saw the man reeling in for all he was worth only to pull in a big green backed crab.

Wendy pulled in her line and she had caught another flattie again she released it before the two men could ask to buy it from her. When they were all packed Bobby said good luck to the two men. “You have forty- five minutes to be at temples for the weigh in. Crabs are not allowed.

Bobby and Elizabeth walked off, both were grinning as they rounded the corner to where Rose was waiting. “Could you drive me to Temples in Whitley bay to weigh these three fish in Rose I’m in a competition.’

“Do you think you’re in with a shout?

“Well there’s a best junior cup and I’ll get my photo in the angling times.’

“We had better get you there then.’

Outside of Temples many anglers were arriving they all stood outside in the hope that they had won a prize.

He waited in line until it was his turn he put his they fish on the scales and the man asked his name.

 “Bobby Parkin.’ Bobby showed him the photos he’d taken. Can I keep these asked Sam Harris behind the counter? Bobby told Sam about the two men who tried to buy the three fish off him.

“Did you get their names?

“One was called Alex and the other Jimmy I think, I heard them talking.’

“Great I have them pegged you see. Did they have any fish on them?

“Not at 4.15 p.m. they didn’t.

“Good lad, now I need to weigh these fish individually don’t go away will you?

I’ll be outside with the others Mr. Harris.’

Once outside Bobby returned to the car and sat inside waiting. At five minutes to five a white van pulled up and both men that they’d seen on the quay earlier walked in carrying a large bucket with three big cod in it.

“Wow did you see that, they must have caught them when we left said Elizabeth.’

Ten minutes later the police arrived and they were arrested for cheating. Apparently, they had bought the fish un-filleted the day before the competition and tried to say that they had caught them that day. The police ushered them into a police vehicle and they were driven off.

Sam Harris and another man came out with a microphone. “Today we had over 300 rods out from all over the North East thank you for making it a great competition by entering each year.

Also, today we have just witnessed cheating first hand. If it weren’t for a young boy coming forward they might have got away with it. It’s amazing the lengths people will stoop to but luckily, they have been found out.

“A big cheer went up.’

“Right then your Junior cup winner is the young lad who reported the two men who tried to cheat He weighed in with the heaviest fish of 6 pounds three ounces. Bobby Parkin, where are you?

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