The Carp Society Show

Inside this year’s show there were many leading brands, fishing tackle and bait companies to choose from and plenty of DVDs and books from the big names in the fishing industry.

A few of the names up there were the likes of Martin Bowler, Jerry Hammond, Terry Hearn, and Danny Fairbrass to name just a few. This year was different for me as I was going with the intention of getting a few interviews with the big names.

Martin Bowler

Q. Best days fishing and where?

A. Best days fishing is my next day’s fish, as long as I’m fishing I’m happy. Where? I don’t mind, I love everything from going Salmon fishing, to sea fishing for sharks, to carp fishing.

Q. Most memorable catch and where and why?

A. It’s hard not to say the two British Records I’ve had because they are British Records. I think the 5Ib 4oz perch from catching the Impossible which I had on a pole using a flat float and I taught myself that method and employed a match fishing method to catch a huge fish under the pressure of a camera.

Q. What do you think has been the biggest innovation in fishing since you started?

A. Hair rig, its allowed people to go to sleep, use alarms and made the sport a lot easier.

Q. What are your pet hates on the bank?

A. Noise, other than angling noise and you’d be amazed when the cameras start rolling a Helicopter fly’s over your head and god knows what else.

Q. What are your plans for the coming season?

A. Making a film at the moment called ‘Chasing Shadows’ which will due out next November, other than that just enjoying myself

Gaz Fareham

Q. Best days fishing and where?

A. That’s a tough question, a couple really. The Hampshire syndicate I’m fishing, a couple of weeks ago it was an amazing day, I had two beautiful thirty pounders but I would have to say catching Heather the Leather and then going straight to Glastonbury after.

Q. Most memorable catch and where and why?

A. Again id have to say Heather, I spend three years on the Car Park and to be honest I never thought I’d actually catch it.

Q. What do you think has been the biggest innovation in fishing since you started?

A. I don’t know really I’m not one for innovations but I would say the boilie.

Q. What are your pet hates on the bank?

A .Turning up to a lake and knowing you can’t get anywhere near the fish because there are people in the swims doing five days a week.

Q. What are your plans for the coming season?

A. Carry on at the Hampshire syndicate and fish a few lakes in the woods, fishing with my mates and just enjoying it.

Joe Morgan

Q. Best days fishing and where?

A. It’s got to be the big common I had recently from Spitfire pool to be honest with you, it’s such a special fish it’s only been caught twice! And not a mark on it so yes a real result.

Q. Most memorable catch and where and why?

A. In France a couple of years ago at Mazon, I fished four nights and had four forty’s, five fifty’s and one sixty, incredible really it was one of those sessions.

Q. What do you think has been the biggest innovation in fishing since you started?

A. Modern baits and dead sharp hooks.

Q. What are your plans for the coming season?

A. Probably have another go in spring on the Snake pit to try and even up the score.

Ian Moore of CC MOORE

Q. Best days fishing and where?

A. 1995 at Somerly in Ringwood on a Sunday at the last weekend of the season. I had my first twenty in the shape of a 26Ib 6oz mirror then braced that with another mirror of 24Ib 14oz.

Q. Most memorable catch and where and why?

A. My first carp was a 7Ib 6oz mirror which I caught at the age of fifteen at Longleat lakes on the float with lunchmeat. I started late because I was playing a lot of tennis at the time and competing.

Q. What do you think has been the biggest innovation in fishing since you started?

A. Bait in general, the quality is better and the range is greater. On its own I would have to say the spomb.

Q. What are your pet hates on the bank?

A. Etiquette, and litter, in my opinion when you go fishing you should leave no trace.

Q. What are you plans for the coming season?

A. Fishing, grabbing whatever time I can and take my son fishing for roach and perch. Also I’m going to Zwolle in Holland and Montlueon in France for the first time to continue to build our non-uk trade.

Team Korda

A1. Night fishing on a midlands syndicate, I had 2 thirty’s and 2 forty’s.

A2. The Mrs. But don’t tell her.

A3. Boilies and bait in general have come on leaps and bounds.

A4. I think everyone hates bad etiquette?

A5. Wellington in spring, filming in France in the Summer and then my own fishing in autumn.

 

A1. Catching Single Scale at 40Ib 8oz after 3 years.

A2. Gaz my first thirty at 33Ib 8oz. I love how we give regular fish names.

A3. Korda Krusha – for an easy way to mash baits! Saves plenty of time.

A4. Bad Etiquette. It doesn’t take a lot to be curtious

A5. Fishing for a linear on a water in Essex.

 

Ian Bailey

A1. Midlands clay pit I had seven fish to 35Ib, what a place.

A2. Cambridgeshire linear 40Ib 2oz. Remember it like it was yesterday.

A3. Chod rigs – Probably the biggest innovation in the last 10 years.

A4. I despise Jealousy and bad etiquette.

A5. Carrying on in Bedford.

 

 

I have to thank the boys above for giving me their time and making the effort to answer my questions. It was great speaking to you all and I hope to see you next year!

Well I must say that it has been a fantastic day and yes I even spent some money, and if you didn’t make it down this year or haven’t been then I recommend that you make an effort next year, you won’t be disappointed.

CARP, TENCH AND SPANISH CATS

Since my last feature, I’ve been back for one last session atHorseshoeLake, reverting to one of my favourite swims, Choppy’s onWinterBay. Once again, though, my timing was poor. Why is it that I’m always told that, “you should have been here last week etc?” I know I couldn’t have fished any more effectively, having carefully located a nice clear gravel bed in the middle of silkweed and baited it accurately. Although I did catch a couple of tench, they again were only average fish up to just over 6lbs. My searches for a really big tench have been constantly thwarted this season.

I’ve also been back to my local carp fishing water for a day session, taking seven more lovely carp, all good doubles and had several exploratory sessions on the upper Warks Avon, which is close to my home. The signal crayfish situation on my beloved Great Ouse has now reached plague proportions and I have to say that the fishing is no longer enjoyable at times. Summer fishing is now a real trial, the damn crays are on the baits in minutes. Even the usual tricks of encasing in mesh or trying to lure the crays away with tins of cat food or tethered fish are not working very well. There are simply too many crays. What the river needs is an injection of a few catfish in each affected section. They will soon thin down the crayfish population!

On the Avon though, I can still find peaceful fishing. I’ve been on the extreme upper reaches, which have no real form for anything other than average chub and barbel, but I do feel that there may be a big fish or two to be discovered. Apart from one very accessible section, the river receives little pressure and I’m very hopeful of uncovering something exciting. So far, barbel to only 8-12 and chub to 4-10 have rewarded my efforts, but I do know of genuine 11 and 6 pounders respectively. so, the search continues, which is great fun in itself.

Early August saw me back on the Ebro system in centralSpain, fishing the river’s tributary the Segre at Mequinenza with Catmasters Tours. The fishing was as much fun as ever, although a little slower than previous trips. Apparently, a combination of an extreme heat wave and late spawning had resulted in many of the bigger fish not being in the usual areas. Fran and I were joined by two father and son combinations, Paul and Patrick Reed and Paul and Zach Sparrow. Patrick, who is 21, had never before landed a catfish and on the first night landed one of the biggest cats ever caught by a Catmasters customer, in fact one of the biggest cats ever caught anywhere, at 224lb. For good measure, Zach, 15, also had his first ever cats, his biggest being 182lb! Both lads were teased about their golden appendages for the rest of the week!

Compared to those two monsters, my catches this year were quite modest. My best was 126lb, well short of my personal best of 186lb caught last November. I also fluked a 28lb common on a catfish rod, as well as dropping a carp in the margins that looked every ounce of 40lb plus. That was the only 100lb plus fish I had this year, although I did manage two very hard fighting fish of 83lb and 84lb.

If you get the chance you must give it a go. You do not need to be an experienced big fish angler, as the guides do all the important work of selecting the swim, rowing out the baits, baiting up and so on. They also are on hand to advise on playing these immensely powerful fish and landing them for you. As Pat and Zach proved this year, anyone can catch a monster, even the most inexperienced. So you cannot take it too seriously as it is certainly no measure of angling skill. What it is though is bloody good fun and I can thoroughly recommend it.

 

 

TF Gear Trail Blazer Barrow and Bag

TFG Trail Blazer Barrow

I’ve tested out the new TF Gear Trail Blazer Barrow for some time now, and really put it through its paces. It caters for all my angling needs, from carting my excessive amount of fishing tackle around a 70 acre lake for 3 days fishing, to light loads for a day session. The barrow is lightweight and has adjustable front and side bars for larger loads with 2 adjustable back legs. When fully loaded, the barrow has a good centre balance and really impressed me by not tipping over – something which has happened to me on numerous previous occasions. The barrow comes with 2 bungee ropes that hook onto 4 rings which are built into the framework for better grip.
The frame is lightweight and has a removable wheel for ease of loading in your car, with screw-in hands making the barrow useable in a matter of seconds. The tyre has good tread that is nice and thin which helps when pushing over rough terrain. You can even place 2 buckets at the back of the barrow which will rest on the 2 bars perfectly when requiring more space.

TF Gear Force 8 Heavy Duty Barrow Bag

The barrow bag is the perfect accessory for the barrow, with a hard top and bottom and heavy duty material which will protects all your gear inside. The bag comes with 4 large pockets on the outside, and one large pocket in the lid with a heavy duty zip. Inside the bag there are pockets built into the back and sides for easy organisation of your tackle. For the best result, try 2 barrow bags –  this will take all your gear and fits on the barrow perfectly side by side.

The Heat is On!

High temperatures and bright weather aren’t my favourite conditions to be carp fishing in, but I’d booked the Friday off work so Thursday night – with car packed – I was off to my syndicate water in Herefordshire. A stunning estate lake with some of the best-looking carp I have ever seen. Thursday night was quiet, just a good tench of 8lb 6oz and a new lake record (which was very pleasing but not exactly what I was after); the rest of the night drifted by quietly. Friday dawned calm and hot, and unfortunately some of the lake’s residents had started to spawn! Talking to the other members on the lake, we all thought that with these conditions it was going to be a struggle.

I walk around the lake and climb a few trees to see what’s happening, and find a group of carp feeding well away from the spawning fish;  clearly, a move was in order. My TF Gear Chill-out bivvy is soon moved to my new swim, rods cast out just as the late afternoon sun is starting to lose some of its bite. The lake is crystal clear and one of the most important bits of tackle I have for these conditions is the Tfgear Secret Trap fluorocarbon main line, which is almost invisible in the water. Having a  higher specific gravity than water it sinks really well, and on slack lines it is almost like having backleads on – which helps not to spook any of the fish in the area. Within 10 minutes of setting up in my new swim, one of my TFgear Glimmer bite alarms screams into life and the left hand Tsi rod cast close to the far tree line is in action. The fish comes in to about 30yds quite easily – making me think it was maybe one of the smaller fish in the lake – when suddenly it banks to the right and a slow solid run that’s impossible to stop takes 50-60yds of line off me in one go. The fish now kites even tighter to my right and my line is now going through the tree branches. The forgiving tip on the Tsi rod cushions the carp lunges, but with the line now precariously caught up there’s only one option – into the water I go! 10 to 15 minutes later and I’m slowly making some ground on the fish, it rolls out about 15yds and the action of my 3.5lb Tsi is great even at this close range. A couple more minutes and I slip my net under a very large common, but its not till I try to lift the net from the water when I realise I have the lake’s biggest resident; a stunning common that sends the scales round to settle on 40lb 8oz, a new lake record.

40lb 8oz Common – a new lake record.

Pictures taken and congratulations from the other guys, and I settle back down with all rods recast. I retreat to my Comfort-zone fishing bed chair, looking back through the pictures on the camera to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, before drifting off to sleep. I have a few liners in the night so fish are still in the area, but a quiet night overall – not that I’m too bothered. Up early and Saturday is much the same, hot and sunny. I sit out watching the lake wake up, kettle on for an early morning brew when suddenly my middle rod is away. After a very hard fight I slip the net under another stunning common, the scales settle at 30lb 4oz a great result and another lake record falls – the largest brace ever taken on the lake, it really can’t get much better this!

The second Common, yet another lake record

I have to recast all 3 rods after playing the last fish; with all the commotion I was not expecting any more action, so I sit back down to finish boiling the kettle and make some breakfast. The fish have other ideas, and incredibly I’m in again after a good fight as a stunning 25lb mirror comes to the bank. What a session – after 5 years on the water, and many blanks in what seemed perfect conditions, a couple of days I thought would be tough tough turn out to be a record session. I slowly pack down and make my way home, and I think only another angler will know the feeling of satisfaction you get when it all comes together in a session of a lifetime.

25lb Mirror, last catch of the session.

Margin Fishing

How many of us inspect the margins when we arrive at a lake?

You might want to, if you want to improve your catch rate. Fishing for carp in the margins can be extremely productive if you find the right places and apply good angling tactics. How many fishermen/fisherwomen ignore the margins when fishing? They see all that water out in front of them and think that the fish must be out there. I often see anglers using three fishing rods with all of them cast out to the far bank. With so many anglers casting out far it makes the margins a safe place for carp to hang out. In fact, the margins can even be the best places to target the bigger carp in the lake.

Fishing in the Margins

As long as you’re quiet when setting up and fishing, you can take fish from the margins in most lakes. Carp have great hearing and will be able to pick up vibrations from the surrounding bank, so you do need to be as quiet as possible.

Centre Pin Fishing Reel

When it comes to margin fishing I tend to use a small 8ft rod and centre pin reel; this allows me to fish in-between trees, and other places where it would be hard to use a 12ft rod. It’s best to wear dark green or brown fishing clothing, or better still, use camouflage clothing, as you can blend into the surrounding. I like to find the more subtle features rather than the obvious ones such as overhanging trees, island banks, etc. I like to look for features like undercut banks, posts or trees sticking out of the water, small bulrushes, bushes, lily pads or inlet pipes all these can be ideal feeding spots for carp.

Carp taking bait

I like to use a small float, 8lb fluorocarbon line and a size 10 hook partnered with good quality bait. One of my best methods is to wrap paste around a small boilie, many fish have taken using this approach, as the carp are not wised up to these methods. So as the weather starts to warm up go out and have a go, this is a very rewarding way of catching carp guaranteed to provide a good fight whatever size fish you’ve hooked into.

Landing the Carp

All the best and good fishing!

Fantastic result!