Category Archives: Ramblings

Reflecting on 2015 and Plans for 2016

Welcome to 2016. I hope everybody had a good Christmas and New Year with plenty of food and drink! This is my first blog post of the new year, and I just wanted to go back and reflect on what happened in 2015 (which as you’ll see wasn’t much!) and also discuss what my plans are for 2016.

So, going back to 2015, I wrote a blog post similar to this right at the beginning of the year called 2015: The Year of the Carp. Well, it didn’t quite work out how I thought it might do when I wrote that post. My fishing time was severely limited – I have a busy job and a young family so my free time is somewhat limited and at a premium. I also have other hobbies that need to share any free time I do get. So my carp angling was limited, and I only managed two sessions all year. Those sessions were 48-hour sessions though so decent length sessions, and both were quite productive.

Both sessions were at Brandesburton 3&4, a venue I’ve spoken at length about on this blog. 2014 was out first ‘year’ on there and in all honesty we struggled – we didn’t have night permits so were fishing days only. Last year though we decided to put our hands in our pockets and get night permits and I’m glad we did as the two sessions we did manage to squeeze in ended up being very productive indeed. Between the 2 of us over the 2 session we managed about 30 bites (not all landed unfortunately) compared with a single bite across more (day only) sessions the year before. We shared the same peg in both sessions which allowed us to figure a few things out like when the bite times were. Once we figured that out, the penny dropped why we didn’t catch much the year before – we were always there at the wrong time of day!

We also found some good spots so when we’re fishing that peg next, we know exactly where to be casting to. We got takes from multiple spots, which is really good. They were marked down in my diary and pictures taken. So those sessions were good to us, but if you read the blog post from last year, I said that I had certain targets that I wanted to achieve this year, and only one of those has been ticked off.

Those targets included catching a bigger fish than what I previously caught at Brandesburton, that was the one that I ticked off. I did that in the first of those two sessions. One of the other targets was to catch a 20lb fish from a local day ticket venue. I didn’t get the opportunity to fish that venue last year, so unfortunately I didn’t manage to achieve that.

I also wanted to catch a fish on the fly which should be straightforward as I fly fish for trout and grayline so I kind of know what I’m doing when it comes to fly fishing, although I need to do a little bit of research into how to catch carp on the fly. But I think I could have done that if, again, I’d have had the opportunity which unfortunately I didn’t get.

The other thing that I wanted to do was start rolling my own boilies and catch a fish on them. Again, I didn’t manage to do that. I fell into the trap of not preparing properly for sessions and the day before going to the local tackle shop and picking up the boilies that I always use, which are the 12mm Sticky Baits Krill which I am a big fan of. When something works, it’s hard to change but I did want to start rolling my own bait. I was going to use the DIY packs from DNA Baits but I never ended up investing in the equipment and due to my poor organisation I carried on buying last minute shelf life boilies.

So I did manage to tick off one of the four, but to be honest I’m still happy that I had a good couple of sessions at Brandesburton and caught some nice fish, not huge fish but nice. There’s not really any huge fish in there, they only go to mid-20s. I still haven’t caught a 20lb’er from there, but I want to to carry on trying to do that, and I won’t stop until I do. I’ve had a few nice mid-doubles which have all been really nice-looking fish but I do still want that elusive 20.

So that was last year. Going into 2016, some of the same targets apply really. Because I’ve increased my PB at Brandesburton, I do want to catch that magical 20-pound fish from there, which if I manage to get more sessions in this year, which I’m hoping to do, should be a realistic target. There are though people on there that have been fishing the venue for a few years that haven’t managed to catch a 20-pound fish yet. On the other side of the coin though there are also some people who will go there and catch more than one 20lb fish in a single session so it’s absolutely realistic if we put the work in.

The day ticket lake, I don’t think that I’ll be able to fish again this year. To be fair, there’s a booking system in place, and the way I plan my free time is not that much in advance, so it’s hard to work around that sort of system. I don’t really want to be ringing up on the first day of the month to book for the following month. That doesn’t really work for me so I probably won’t carry that target into this year. But certainly the one around Brandesburton, I will.

Regarding the bait, I’m not sure about that yet. I need to think about it. It would be nice to start rolling my own bait so I could customise it and all that kind of thing, but in all honesty I’m happy with the Sticky Baits Krill. I’ve got confidence in it. It works for me, so I’ll probably continue to use that. And I like using shelf-life baits as well, whereas if I roll my own, that will more than likely be freezer bait.

One target that I will carry from last year into this year is capturing a carp on the fly. I really do want to do that. Like I said, I fly fish already, and that’s another passion of mine so I’m sure with a bit of researc, I’ll be able to figure out what they’re likely to take on the surface. I tie my own flies as well so I’ll be able to tie something up that’s suitable for carp. So that target will be carried into this year and I’ll report back once I’ve managed to achieve it (if I manage to achieve it, hopefully I will but we’ll see!)

So that’s it. That’s a reflection of last year and a brief plan of this year. My night permit is about to come through for Brandesburton. Hopefully, from spring time onwards we’ll be getting back up there. It’s a three-hour round trip, so normally, we do slightly longer sessions. Hopefully, we’ll get a decent amount of weekend sessions and full weekend sessions this year. We’ll see if we can catch that magic 20lb’er.

The club that own the fishery, Hull and District Angling Association have done quite a lot of work on it recently. It’s now got an otter fence and I believe that they’re doing some work on the path around the lake this year, because sometimes it can be quite hard to push a barrel around. So the venue is improving all the time. There’s a waiting list for permits and so it’s becoming a bit of a popular venue. It can be busy on a weekend, but still, the lake is absolutely stunning, and I’m still massively in love with it and until I achieve what I want to achieve on there I’ll continue to fish it. It might take me another year, it might take me another 10 years, I don’t really care! As long as I’ve still got a passion for it, and I’m still chasing something, then I’ll continue visiting and writing about it. If I do catch it this year, we’ll see what happens. Hull and District have other waters that I can potentially look at a night permit for.

Syndicates are another option but because of the amount of time that I do have free to fish, it probably wouldn’t be financially viable for me to join a £500-a-year syndicate. But that is an option. It might be that I’ll start traveling further afield to look at certain day ticket lakes going into 2017 if I achieve everything I want to achieve in 2016 in Brandesburton. But I’m not sure yet.

We need to see all this new pans out. If it goes to plan, then next year could look very different. If it doesn’t go to plan, then so be it. 2015 didn’t really go to plan. I’m not too concerned about that. I’m still having fun, which is ultimately what it’s all about. And hopefully, it will be a good year. And of course, I’ll be keeping you up to date on the progress in blog.

Regarding the blog, content-wise, I want to continue to write about my ups and downs and carry on being completely open and honest about my angling. I do want to start doing some different types of content, so reviews are one thing I want to focus on. As a good Yorkshireman, I research products in depth before I buy them – I want to make sure I’m getting value for money! I always appreciate reviews from bloggers as well as people on social media and forums etc… so I think that type of post offers a lot of value to readers of a blog. If there is anything in particular that you want me to review, then let me know, and I’ll try and do that but also, if you have got any suggestions for the type of content that you want to see on the blog, then please let me know. I want to make sure that I’m producing content that resonates with everybody, that’s on topic, and that’s ultimately valuable, and that can help you in your fishing as well.

I want to increase the emails I send out, so I’ll be looking to send certain pieces of content through email only. So if you haven’t subscribed, please do that. There’s a link at the bottom of this post and also at the top of the right-hand side of the blog. You just need to put your email address in that, and then you’ll get updates when a new blog post goes live plus some additional content that I’ll be sharing via email only. So please do that and good luck in your own fishing for 2016.

Until next time, tight lines…

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2015: Year of the Carp

I can’t believe it’s been three months since my last blog post, where does time go? I haven’t really fished much over the winter, probably 5 or 6 hours in total at my local lake – unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of carp to share as a result! I have though received my night pass for Brandesburton 3&4 which I’m really pleased about, I love the place and being able to do longer sessions should really help me to start unlocking the secrets of the water. You may recall a blog post from last summer about my first ever carp at Brandesburton 3&4, I’ve only fished there once since so I can’t wait to get stuck into the place.

The only fish I’ve ever caught from Brandesburton 3&4 – now I have a night permit though will this be my year?

The only fish I’ve ever caught from Brandesburton 3&4 – now I have a night permit though will this be my year?

As well as fishing BB3&4 I also plan to have a few more sessions at Raker Lakes. The booking system is a bit of a pain but it really is a lovely place to spend a session chasing big fish. I want a 20lb carp this year and I think Raker is my best chance of that. I’d love for my first 20 to be captured at BB3&4 but I also need to be realistic with the time I have available so I won’t be too disappointed if it’s from Raker. I do have other targets and goals for 2015 and I thought I’d share them with you in this post. Some are quite obvious ie ‘catch a xxlb carp’ but some are a little different, see what you think.

  1. Beat my PB of 14lb 6oz – from Brandesburton (update – DONE! Read about it here)
  2. Catch a 20lb fish from Raker Lakes
  3. Catch a fish on my home rolled boilies
  4. Catch a carp on the fly (I fly fish for trout and grayling so in theory should be quite straightforward)
  5. Streamline my gear so that I can be more mobile in my approach – I want to feel like I’m on fish all the time

Now you might laugh and be surprised at my mid double PB but remember that I get to actually fish only a handful of times a year and I haven’t been doing it for long – I’ve been fishing since September 2010 but only last year did I start to carp fish properly. Don’t worry though, come the end of 2015 and I’ll have smashed all my targets and will have a more impressive PB to quote, hopefully!!

Back to Brandesburton, I recently went for a walk around to see how they’re doing with the otter fence that’s being built. It looks like a lot of trees have had to be cut right back to get the fence in and the place looks very bare because of it. It’s such a lovely lake normally so I’m hoping that it will start to grow back soon. I’ve included some pictures below, unfortunately I don’t have any ‘before’ shots but when you were stood in one of these pegs you couldn’t see any of the other pegs. Now you can see all 4 of them. The trees did need a bit of trim as casting was quite difficult in a couple of the pegs and I know that room had to be made for the fence but the place does look much less scenic now.

The fieldside pegs, much more exposed now than before – let’s hope for a quick recovery.

The fieldside pegs, much more exposed now than before – let’s hope for a quick recovery.

DIY Boilies

You’ll have seen that one of my targets for this year is to catch a fish on my home made boilies. I’m a bit particular when it comes to boilies and I can only get anywhere near to what I’m looking for with a combination of Sticky’s Krill range and the Nash Crab & Krill. When I say ‘what I want’ I mean 12mm baits, 12mm popups with matching and coloured versions, 10mm baits and 10mm popups. I like small baits and not many bait firms offer both 12mm and 10mm boilies. SO, the only option really is to roll my own. After some research I’ve decided to use the DNA Baits DIY packs which come with base mix and liquid food. With only eggs to add even I should be able to produce something half decent. I haven’t decided which boilie my bait will be based on but the current front runner is the SLK. Here is what I plan to roll:

  • 12mm natural coloured baits
  • 12mm red coloured baits
  • 10mm natural coloured baits
  • 10mm red coloured baits
  • 12mm natural coloured popups
  • 10mm natural coloured popups
  • 12mm red coloured popups
  • 10mm red coloured popups
  • 12mm coloured popups – white, pink, yellow
  • 12mm natural coloured wafters
  • 12mm red wafters

I need to buy some equipment to get going with this so the cost of the bait for my first season is quite high. Here’s how it breaks down:

boilie making1

To buy 10kg boilies rolled for me and 9 tubs of hook baits would cost around £140 so it will cost me around 50% extra but from the second season onwards I’ll only have to buy the DIY kit as I’ll probably have popups and wafters left from season one.

If you have any boilie making tips for me please let me know via the comments, I’ve never done it before so need all the help I can get!

Anyway that’s it for this post, a bit of an insight into what I’ll be doing in 2015. As always I’ll do my best to keep you updated on progress and come the end of the year I’ll do a post on achievements vs targets to see how successful I was.

Until next time, tight lines…

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Erics Angling Carp Night 21/11/2014 – Report

Attending an event and then writing about it afterwards feels like a very ‘blogger’ thing to do, unfortunately I had to buy a ticket like everybody else and didn’t receive a guest invite so my stature as a carp fishing blogger clearly needs some work! One day eh, one day…

When I read on Simon Crow’s Twitter feed about the Erics Angling Carp Night in Doncaster I just had to get a ticket. Crowy is one of my Northern carping heroes, I’d never met him in person and he was launching his new book which I’ve been reading the odd tweet about over the last few months. To top it off Rob Hughes was doing a talk on the findings from his diving sessions on carp waters around the UK. I read his articles in Carpology but to see him talk live would be awesome. The night seemed to come around fairly quickly after booking the tickets and before we knew it we were driving down the M1. We set off at 6pm which was the earliest time possible because of work, the doors opened at 6 but I’d Tweeted Simon earlier in the day and he said that the talks would start around 7:30pm so I was happy that we wouldn’t miss any of it.

The first thing I noticed when we arrived was how busy it was, absolutely packed! We got a raffle ticket on the way in which we exchanged for our entry tickets. After a drink and a quick walk around we took our seats and waited for the first talk – Crowy’s. Northern carping just doesn’t seem to get the coverage in the monthly mags that the Southern scene gets so anything that is specifically about the Northern scene interests me greatly.

carping_in_the_north_simon_crow

Being a member of Hull & District Anglers Association I was particularly interested in the slides on Tilery and Motorway. Although I don’t fish them because of my love of Brandesburton 3&4, I plan to give them a go eventually once I’ve cracked Brandes (which could be some time…) I loved Simon’s description of Tilery “a real man’s water”, I understood what he meant when he said that it can be a 45 minute walk to your peg lugging all the gear – ouch! He covered 6 or 7 venues, some in Yorkshire, some in North Lincolnshire and we got to see some stunning carp along the way. All the venues he covered were open access, either syndicate or club waters. One which I’d love to join one day is Tyram Hall although I think I’d probably struggle to get value out of it with the limited time I have available to fish.

At the beginning of the talk Crowy said that the talk wouldn’t be a technical one and there was only one picture of a rig in the whole presentation which was actually quite refreshing!  He keeps it simple which was something that was hammered home in Dan’s story of the Les Genets lake record; he caught the 59lb 9oz monster on a standard knotless knot and some maize on the hair. One thing that stood out throughout the talk was that actually there are some lovely looking carp in Yorkshire and some big ones at that, also that if anyone can catch them Crowy can! After the talk finished I bought a copy of his new book which he kindly signed, it looks like a great read and there’s even a section in there about the Brandesburton ponds – bonus!

simon_crow_the_adventures_of_a_carp_angler_book

A Northern carping legend – and that’s Crowy on the left 😉

In the last few days, Carp Talk have uploaded Simon’s talk to their YouTube channel, enjoy.

Up next was Rob Hughes and his underwater slides. He interacted well with the crowd and asked a few questions which got everyone thinking. There were some real gems in the presentation. Did you know that red boilies actually look grey in deeper water or that the realtree camo outfit you bought in certain light conditions make you stand out like a sore thumb? No I didn’t either!  One key takeaway for me was the colour of silt; I have to confess that I use black leads, clips and tubing when fishing over silt but Rob said that the colour of silt will vary depending on what the colour of the local stone. There are two layers of silt and it’s the bottom layer that is black, the top layer will be the colour of the local stone. In some regions this stone can be almost yellow, couple this with the fact that during the day the water takes on a light green tinge and with added weed, that bright yellow pineapple popup you’re using might not be as visible as you think…

After Rob’s talk was the raffle draw. I only had one ticket which I was given when I first went in. Erics Angling were giving away 20 winter tickets to their Willows lake, a water I’ve read a lot about but never got round to fishing. Anyway, guess what – I won one! Ticket 207, lovely stuff. A couple of days later I received a call from Tom at Erics and I booked my first session on the lake which is in the next couple of weeks. With winter truly in force I felt I needed to upgrade my Trakker Big Snooze for something a little bit warmer so as we speak I’m awaiting delivery of a Fox Ventec All Season bag.

So, the Willows – big, muddy, weedy, spotty but full of monster carp. I don’t think I have much chance at having the big un’ (58lb!) or even one of the 13 x 40lb’ers but I’m not bothered, a single 20 will do me just fine and I’ll see that as success. It will certainly be a learning curve and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.

Until next time, tight lines…

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My Perfect Carp Fishery

A bit of a random title I know but I’d love to run a fishery one day so thought that it might make for an interesting post. No doubt my wishlist will change as I become more experienced and visit different venues to fish for carp. There are some things I’ve seen at the other fisheries I’ve visited and some things I haven’t seen at all. If you know of a fishery which ticks all of these boxes, please let me know – as long as it’s in the North of England!

The Lake

OK, starting with the most obvious and by far the most important part of the fishery – the lake. Some people like small intimate estate lakes and others like huge inland seas of 100 acres or more. Me personally, I like an old gravel pit of between 10 and 20 acres. I wouldn’t want it to be round or square or any other regular shape, no I’d like it to have a few bays which would be good for stalking. Depth wise I’d say 8ft to around 20ft would be perfect, with distinct shallow and deeper areas so that you could choose an area to fish depending on weather conditions and the time of year. The bottom of course would be gravel being an old pit but I’d like it to be nicely matured with silty areas full of juicy bloodworm. Distinct gravel bars would be nice so that there was the option of fishing on top of them in warmer weather or fishing at the bottom of them near the warmer silt in winter time. As the pit would be a mature one it should be fully tree lined so that fish spotting was made easier and of course a tree lined water looks so much better than a lake with exposed surroundings – I’m always disappointed when looking at a Google Map of a new water to find it’s surrounded by nothing but grass, as if a hole has been dug out of a field and filled with water from a hose pipe! Of course, lilly pads and reeds are a must. Reeds are great for finding fish, they tend to move unnaturally as the carp are knocking into them and lilly pads just look stunning. Too many lilly pads make life difficult for the angler at times though, I fish a water called Brandesburton 3&4 on the HDAA book and although I love the place, the lillies do render a couple of good pegs useless in the summer.

The lilly pads at Brandesburton 3&4, they look lovely but don't help the fishing. Fish can regularly be seen crashing in these towards the trees - impossible to get to!

The lilly pads at Brandesburton 3&4, they look lovely but don’t help the fishing. Fish can regularly be seen crashing in these towards the trees – impossible to get to!

Access

Now, I do own a barrow but I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I’d rather not use it – they can be a pain to load properly and if the track isn’t completely flat then getting to your swim in one piece can be a bit of a challenge!  Even though the lake should be tree lined, a tarmac road should then surround the trees and you should be able to park at the side of the road behind every peg (2 designated parking spaces behind each peg would be nice). A small track from the ‘road’ down to the peg would be required but this should be kept as short as possible.

The Pegs

Now pegs for me don’t have to do very much but the difference a good one can make to the enjoyment of a session is huge. Here is a list of what I see are the essentials:

  • No overhanging trees which could interfere with an overhead cast
  • Decent size, enough for a 2 man bivvy with room left to cook and sit outside
  • Ground soft enough to allow bivvy pegs/bank sticks to be put in without having to get the hammer out
  •      Gravel/woodchip over grass I’ve found to allow this yet still keep the ground clean when wet
  • Enough room for a 3 rod pod, an angler playing a fish and a person next to him with a net

Essentials covered, here’s what I’d class as ‘nice to haves’. This is a post about my perfect carp fishery so all of these should be included!

  • A tree at either side of the swim which was safe to climb
  • Somewhere to hang my boilies and my rubbish bag
  • A portaloo (yes, a portaloo!)
  • A bit of shallow water to test presentations

The Facilities

A shop on site would be marvellous, just in case I forget to take an item of tackle or something breaks. A good selection of bait would be good too – I’m not sure how much I’d actually use it as I like to make sure I’m prepared for my sessions but knowing it’s there should I need something would be great. A café serving breakfast, lunch and dinner would be nice, I do enjoy cooking on my stove outside my bivvy but now and then something made for you feels so much better! A shower and toilet block like you get on camp sites would be excellent, also a fresh water tap where you can fill up your bottles should you run out whilst fishing. The block should also contain a first aid kit and a washing up sink.

The Rules

I never really complain about fishery rules, I just respect the owners’ wishes by following them. I’ve heard people complain about not being able to use nuts or barbed hooks but at the end of the day the fishery owner also owns the fish and without those fish doesn’t have a source of income so rules should be followed at all times. Without getting into a barbed vs barbless debate I would insist on barbless hooks. Some people think that they cause more damage, others don’t. I’ve used both and am more comfortable with barbless so that’s what I’d insist on. Here are some points about the rules I’d enforce:

  • Leaders allowed but leadcore banned
  •    Yes I use it but I do so responsibly, some people don’t
  •    I’ve found leadless leaders to be superb, still heavy and much more supple
  • Nuts allowed as long as they are prepared properly and used sensibly
  • Home prepared particles allowed, again if they are prepared properly
  • Barbless hooks only, no limit on size
  • Minimum 15lb breaking strain line, no braid (except for markers and spods)
  • Large unhooking cradles only, no flat mats (I’ve seen fish flap off of flat mats)
  • 42” landing net minimum
  • No sacks but retainer slings are OK, maximum 30 minutes
  • Booking system
  •    This is the probably the most complex bit and if I’m being honest I haven’t thought it about it too much but I think a booking system would be needed (the perfect carp lake would surely be a popular venue!) I think a booking system would need to be enforced on weekends. I don’t think I’d do it like some I know where you have to book on the first of the month for the following month. I’d simply have an online system where you can see which pegs are free on any specified day and you can book there and then. This means that if you wake up on a Saturday morning and fancy going fishing you can logon, see what’s available, pay your money then travel to the venue knowing you’re going to get a peg

The Stock

So, the fish – quite an important part of a fishery I’d say! It wouldn’t be ‘well stocked’. When I hear that phrase I think of pale, starving, pellet pig fish being angled for in a muddy puddle. That’s probably a bit unfair but that is the first thing that comes into my head. My perfect fishery would hold about 5 – 10 carp per acre, no more, no less. Size wise a couple of 40’s would be nice with half a dozen 30’s, a good number of 20’s and some backup doubles. I’m much more interested in fishing for old originals than I am the biggest fish around.

Summary

So, does a venue like this exist? Should it? I certainly think so! The problem is that if it did it would be rammed day in, day out. The fish would be massively pressured; the lake would become ‘spotty’ and the carp ‘riggy’. Pegs would start to be described as ‘hot’ and before long it would just be another day ticket carp fishery. OK, maybe there isn’t such a thing as a perfect carp fishery and never will be…

Until next time, tight lines…

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And so it Begins! An Intro Post…

Hello! First of all thank you for visiting my blog; I’m glad you found it. I suppose I should introduce myself really and tell you a little bit about my angling background and how this blog came about.

Unlike many fisherman (and women), I never fished as a child nor did I have any angler family members or friends. In fact I never really got it, I used to watch Matt Hayes a bit on Discovery Shed but that’s about it – I had no idea what fish he was catching or how he was doing it, I simply stared at the TV because nothing else was on. I have though always been into shooting (mainly clays) and in the summer of 2010 I was browsing the classified section of a shooting forum and noticed a post by a guy wanting to swap some fly fishing gear for an air rifle. As it happened, I had an air rifle sat in the loft collecting dust (I’m notorious for having new ideas, buying all the gear and a few weeks later realising it’s not for me – this item was a victim of this habit) so thought why not. I met him at a service station and exchanged goods – I had no idea what I was getting, how much it was worth or more crucially how to use it, it did however give me an excuse to find out…..

Fast forward to the September and I’d booked a lesson with a local fly fishing instructor, his name was David Henderson and I had the day with him at a local (ish) trout Stillwater called Raygill Fisheries near Keighley. It turned out that the rod was decent (Wychwood Trufly 9’6” #7/8) and the reels were OK, one of the lines was a floater the other a sinker and the vest did the job. I was fairly happy with the deal I’d done. Anyway to cut 4 years of trout angling into a couple of lines I loved it, was well and truly hooked and quickly moved onto fishing for wild brown trout on the Yorkshire Dales rivers (my favourite being the Nidd). I still fly fish now and absolutely love it but my time these days is divided between fly fishing and carp fishing.

So, how did I get into carp fishing? Well, I was bullied into it, sort of…  A couple of my neighbours were coarse fisherman and I started going along to the local commercials with them more for a social than anything else. Coarse fishing never appealed to me as a fly man, it just seemed too easy and if I’m honest I was right – it’s not challenging enough for me. I’m not saying that coarse fisherman aren’t good anglers because a lot of them really are especially the match men but it’s just not my bag. I still do it now and then but only for a bit of fun, I don’t really take it seriously. Anyway so I started coarse fishing with them and as much as I tried to sell them the delights of fly fishing they were never that interested, one of them bought some gear and enjoys it (and is actually quite good at it!) but they’re coarse fisherman through and through. They started getting interested in carp fishing and I just went along with it, I saw carp as just another coarse fish so didn’t take too much interest but I bought some gear and gave it a go. It turned out that specimen carp fishing wasn’t anything like general coarse fishing, it was a much bigger challenge and the mindset was completely different. Blanks are much more regular than even fly fishing, the venues are less commercial then coarse fishing and you’re fishing for big old characters that have been around for years. I saw many more similarities between fly and carp fishing than I did between coarse and carp fishing and I got the bug big style. I never saw myself pushing a barrow loaded with gear, something which I could never understand when I knew nothing about it – after all, the kit of the fly fisherman is pretty much a rod, a reel and a box of flies! I’m now a true carp angler with a barrow, bivvie, 3 rods and bite alarms – yes bite alarms! Delkim’s of course…..

So that brings you up to speed with my angling ‘career’. There’s plenty I’ve missed out of course but you get the idea. Fishing for me is about escapism, achievement, relaxation, friendships and learning. I hope this blog enables you to share some of that magic with me.

Until next time, tight lines…

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