Dave Lane Book Review: An Obsession with Carp

Dave Lane needs no introduction; mention the name to any serious carp angler and the response you get is likely to contain the word ‘legend’. I’d read a lot about Dave (I’ll pretend we’re on first name terms) in the magazines and had seen a few videos with him in them but had never read anything about his background or how he got into carp fishing. My friend Dan had started reading his first book An Obsession with Carp and was really enjoying it so I thought it would be rude not to buy my own copy and give it a go.

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The cream of carp fishing for me is angling for big, old fish from low stock, tough waters. Unfortunately this isn’t the type of fishing I’m able to do. For a start I’m in the wrong part of the country but the main reason is that I just don’t have the time. I literally only manage a day or 24 hour session once a month. Because of this I find myself fishing club or day ticket waters close to home. Knowing that Dave was a full time angler and fished the tougher waters, I wanted an insight into what life was like for this privileged being. As it turned out it was mainly spent in the pub! What a life eh…

The book starts out with Dave talking about his younger days and how he got into fishing. Like many anglers (excluding myself) he was a young lad who went fishing with his father and ended up getting interested in carp as he got a bit older. Once the book gets onto carp fishing you get a real feeling about the places he describes. Some of the venues covered are classic, English carp fisheries including Harefield, Horton and of course the legendary Wraysbury. Even more exciting are the fish which Dave goes on to catch from these venues – ever heard of Mallins, Cluster, The Pug, Mary? Of course you have!  There are no technical rig diagrams to show you how these fish were caught but Dave allows you to get into his head and throughout the book you pick up plenty of insights into how he approaches his fishing. The thing that really stands out is how hard he works at his fishing, other than a natural gift this is obviously another reason why he’s so successful and catches so many fish. The other thing that’s apparent as you work your way through the pages is that there was a massive sense of camaraderie with plenty of other anglers being mentioned and all in a good way. From what I’ve seen of the modern day carp scene there just isn’t the social side of it like the more experienced guys talk about from the early days. It’s a shame really but then again with my limited time on the bank I wouldn’t be winding in to go to the pub that’s for sure!

Dave’s writing style is brilliant and I have to say he’s very funny. Some of the stories had me in stitches and it really does help to connect the reader and keep them engaged. His crap cars, fat dog and love for Guinness make for some fantastic tales!

In summary I thought the book was excellent. I read it twice in quick succession and once you get into it, it’s hard to put down. I’d thoroughly recommend it to anyone who wants an insight into carp fishing in the glory days when Mary was still with us and Wraysbury was at its best. As a holiday or bivvy book I don’t think it could be beaten. The book is available from Amazon and I’ve provided both the Kindle and Hardcover links for you below if you want to read this awesome book yourself, you certainly won’t regret it.

Kindle version

Hardcover version

Until next time, tight lines…

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