Carp Fishing Records IN THE WORLD

Carp Fishing Records

Do you think you’ve caught a world record carp? Compare your monster catch to the world records below from the International Game Fish Association, also known as IGFA. Hey, you never know, we might see your name in the below list in the future.

Carp World RecordJeffery J. Rorex caught a bighead carp (aristichthys nobilis) in Guntersville Lake in Tennessee, USA on June 2nd, 2005 that weighed 40.82 ( 90 lbs. 0 oz.)

Carp World RecordKenichi Hosoi caught a black carp (mylopharyngodon piceus) in the Edo River in Chiba, Japan on April 1st, 200 that weighed 18.5 kg (40 lbs. 12 oz.)

Carp World RecordLeo Van Der Gugten caught a common carp (cyprinus carpio) in Lac de St. Cassien in France on May 21st, 1987 that weighed 34.35 kg (75 lbs. 11 oz.)

Carp World RecordLars Johnson caught a crucian carp (carassius carassius) in Ostanforsan, Falun, Sweden on June 12th, 1988 that weighed 2.01 kg (4 lbs. 7 oz.)

Carp World RecordStoian Iliev caught a grass carp (ctenopharyngodon idella) near the Piasuchniko Dam in Bulgaria on July 22nd, 2009 that weighed 39.75 kg (87 lbs. 10 oz.)

Carp World RecordChongdae Lim caught a silver carp (hypophthalmichthys spp.) in Andong-s, Kyungsangbok-Do in Korea on Jun 4th, 2006 that weighed 32 kg (70 lbs. 8 oz.)

About Carp (Cyprinidae Family)

About Carp (Cyprinidae Family)

CarpCarp is a term used for several types of fish that are in the Cyprindae family. Carp are large, freshwater fish that are native to Asia and Europe but have been imported to many other countries with mixed results. Some of these countries consider them an invasive species. Some of the more prominent carp are silver carp, common carp, grass carp, bighead carp, crucian carp, catla carp, mrigal carp, black carp and mud carp. The diet of carp can vary by species and habitat but is generally the same. This includes aquatic plants, aquatic insects, crustaceans and other types of small aquatic life. While one female carp can lay over 1,000,000 eggs in a 12 month period their populations remain the same, this is due to how vulnerable their eggs and fry are to bacteria, fungi and predators.

Carp FishingCarp are known as still water fish but have successfully developed breeding populations in canal systems and rivers. Depending on food availability they can grow up to 2 pounds a year, and in some cases, as much as 6 pounds. Carp have become an invasive species in many countries. For example, in Chicago Illinois electric currents are passed through certain water ways to prevent Asian carp from reaching the great lakes. The damage done by invasive carp can be devastating to any body of water, both large and small. They can promote rapid algae growth due to the fact that they don’t entirely digest their food, which rots when excreted. Little known fact, goldfish and koi, common household pets, are a species of carp.

The best carp tackle Guide 2015

Every carp fishing angler,Thank you for read this Guide.

Now we recommends your the best carp tackle of 2015 to you. It was included all carp tackles and all best brand carp fishing tackle in the world. Such as Bivvy,Rod,Bite alarm, Rod Pod, Accessories, reel etc…

Hope to get your affirmation.

 

1.The best Bivvy-Trakker

 

Trakker is a company with a rich history. This heritage is important to us but we must always look to the future. Our customers have steered the company to the needs and expectations of today’s serious angler.

2.The best Rods-CENTURY

Century has produced fine rods in England for over 30 years. A passion for fishing is about escape. To change the routines and stresses of everyday life into the thrill of the environment, brimming with anticipation. Becoming one with yourself and your surroundings.

Century is committed to environmental care in everything it does. We are the first rod company in the World to secure the internationally accepted standard for environmental care – ISO14001:2004. Tough – independently audited systems ensure that we protect the environment in making our products. We do not pay lip service to the environment – we say what we do, do what we say, prove it and improve it.

Our manufacturing processes are demanded by leading anglers, World Champions, leading aerospace companies and Formula 1 teams. We are performance driven.

Simon Chilcott, who founded the Company, has always focused on the importance of understanding technology and where it meets the water.

Danny Moeskops from Belgium – World Casting Champion for the past 15 years using Century rods – is a passionate carp angler and has profoundly influenced Century’s designs. His quiet and thoughtful approach has generated many improvements. His reputation in casting is legendary and Century is proud to be associated with him.

 

 

3.The best Wireless bite alarm set-King indicator

King indicator bite alarm

new direction carp fishing wireless  bite alarm set

 

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New Direction was established in 2009, Design the different wireless alarm set is our mission. In six years, we listen to customers, design & produce favorite products for customers. We want to become the most popular brand of customers.

The revolutionary New Direction’s Bluetooth carp fishing alarm set will take your hobby into a totally new level.The wireless fishing gear comes with multiple high-end and user-friendly features that make it irresistible to the hobbyists.
The carp fishing alarm comes as three separate modules, namely the Remote Control Mode, Full-Featured App and the Modular, Illuminating Snag Bars, which work in coordination to ease the life of the user. The remote Control Mode offers the owner full access to control the bite alarm’s volume, tone, sensitivity, nigh light while remaining in the comfort zone. Meanwhile the enhanced functionality of the Android and iOS apps of this carp fishing alarm offers the user control to the device with a few taps and swipes!
Modular, Illuminating Snag Bars, which can be introduced as the key components are rich with hi-tech functionalities such as the extremely low power consumption rate, ultra long signal range, ability to self-test the signal range, waterproof, halo effect for nigh light, advanced individual anti-theft alarm system etc. The era you had to waste hours sitting in the banks of a river or lake with a fishing rod in hand is long gone. Let the innovative Bluetooth alarm system do that for you!

 

 

4.The best Rod pod- Task

Taska Elbrus Pod

‘Great News’ a new exciting development in the UK fishing tackle market has just been announced. The launch this week of Taska fishing tackle is being welcomed throughout the industry, bringing some forty years tackle knowledge and know-how to the market. The Taska Company is destined to become a major player in the 21st century UK angling market with its wide ranging and ambitious plans for the coming year.

Headed by owner and Director Steve Tasker, this new company brings together an array of talented and experienced associates well versed in the exacting requirements of the UK tackle industry. Together this formidable management team will quickly stamp its mark in the angling field with the launch of new, exciting and innovative tackle ideas and products.

The Taska Company is committed to developing and designing all its own products using the latest ‘in-house’ state of the art technical design CAD equipment, enabling it to produce some of the best, high quality, tackle available anywhere.

Look out for the 2012 launch shortly of a new and exciting tackle brand ‘TASKA’

 

5.The best accessories-FOX

EDGES<sup>™</sup> Angled Drop Off Run Ring Kit

The company originates from Essex, UK, where Cliff Fox (who is still today a substantial investor) launched his first ever Fox International angling product – a metal ruler showing size limits of certain species of fish caught in UK matches (when anglers had to fish to a set of size limit rules).

Sales of the product were good and encouraged Cliff to expand into other products from his small rented workshop, which was close to the company’s current HQ in Hainault, Essex. The first product to bear the ‘Fox’ name came in 1967 was a metal baitdropper. The company soon outgrew its original rented workshop, forcing Cliff to move to new premises, which are still today the company’s UK headquarters. The company continued to grow in the year proceeding its move to UK headquarters and was forced to open up a huge European distribution plant in Meer, on the Belgium/Dutch border in addition to the Hainault offices. Fast forward to 2015 and Fox International now employs over 100 people, spread across the UK and Europe, including a dedicated on-the-road sales team, a team of expert marketing and media personnel, a specialist design department including an impressive CAD product development team and a strong team of angling consultants across Europe.

In recent years the company has continued to grow from strength to strength and now currently sells well in excess of 3,000 products in over 30 countries, including the USA, Japan and Russia. The Fox portfolio of brands has a number of flagship products that help to reinforce a formidable reputation for innovation and quality. In the carp market, items such as Micron bite alarms, Flatliner bedchairs, Edges accessories, Supa Brolly shelters, FX11 reels and Rapide PVA bag systems have all contributed to Fox being widely regarded as ‘the brand’ to own. In addition Matrix also has a number of standout products including Super Box seat boxes, Evolution feeder systems, Quad Rollers and 3D seat box accessories. Furthermore, Fox Rage has fast become a firm favourite with the modern predator angler offering a wide range of top quality products for lure angling. With a host of soft and hard baits, rods, reels, clothing and luggage, Fox Rage is set for continued rapid growth over the coming years.

Fox International has a long heritage built on innovative, high quality performance products that have been designed by anglers for anglers and it is this ethos that will see the company continue to supply the products that our customers require and to the exacting standards that they expect of the team here at Fox…

 

 

 

6.The best carp runner-DAIWA

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TOURNAMENT BASIA QDX
Big pit carp reel with QD drag system

 

The Tournament Basia QD has gained in very short time superior reputation and is considered as one of the best carp reels on the market – the follow up, the Tournament Basia 45 QDX will increase this reputation. The new “Black Basia”, as it is called by our consultants comes with spare spool!

The bail is turned by hand.

  • 7 ball bearings
  • Air Metal magnesium reel body
  • Air Metal magnesium rotor
  • CNC cut aluminum handle
  • Machined Digigear II
  • Wormshaft oscillation system
  • Gyro spin
  • Quick drag system (QD)
  • Infinite anti-reverse®
  • Anti-backlash system (ABS)
  • Special long cast spool
  • Aluminum spare spool
  • Airbail® made of stainless steel
  • Twist Buster® II line roller
  • Longlife bail spring
  • High Impact Protection line clip (HIP)

 

The History Of The Electronic Bite Alarm

The modern day bite alarm is a ‘must have’ tackle item in the modern day carp angler’s kit, in this article we give you a brief run down on its history since the 1950s and how it has shaped the way today’s carp anglers fish.

The most famous bite alarm is probably the Optonic manufactured by Efgeeco in the early 1980’s, these indicators were the first to use a roller system and revolutionized the way carp anglers fished, they could fish all night without the need to reset the bite alarm and the Optonic also indicated drop back bites too when used in conjunction with a monkey climber or hanger on the line. The only problem anglers at the time had with the Optonics were that they were far too quiet so some innovative anglers began to convert them with telephone GPO speakers to make them louder, two anglers called Del Romang and Kim Donaldson were such innovators in this field and started converting Optonics for friends then commercially and the now famous bite alarm company called Delkim was formed, their converted Optonics became the standard on most carp waters up and down England.

After a legal battle Delkim ceased converting the Efgeeco Optonics but went on to develop their own bite alarms and today Delkim are the leaders in the industry with their vibration based indicators being very popular with today’s anglers and with the new digital technology, remote sounder boxes. The vibration idea came to Del during a dream in 1983 when he woke up with in the middle of the night and ran naked down the stairs to run a section of mono across the stylus of his record deck. Finally in 1992, after 9 years development time the vibration based bite alarm was finally manufactured.

Nowadays there are many other companies manufacturing bite alarms such as New Direction,Fox, Gardner, Steve Neville, Prologic and TF Gear and the bite indicators of today have many functions such as flashing LEDs, volume, sensitivity and tone control, remote sounder boxes, drop back tone definition etc. and can be bought from as little as 20 for a basic version up to over a 120+ for a top end model.

The bite alarm is an essential part of the modern day angler’s kit and you will find most carp anglers that spend time on the bank will be seen behind a set of rods sitting on bite alarms while they soak up the lake’s atmosphere knowing that if they get a run they will be alerted straight away…. Bleep, bleep, bleeeeeeeep, looks like were in!

Now the latest version , the best bite alarm set from New direction include Remote control function , the receiver can Remote control the bite alarms, and the receiver can work with smartphone via Blue booth. The new set is very useful for angler.

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The Beginnings – by Terry Fishlock

Contrary to popular belief carp are not native to the United Kingdom or continental Europe either. They are an introduced species. Carp originated in central Asia from the Caspian Sea about 10,000 years ago. During the ending of the last ice age carp migrated into the Black sea area and colonised the Aral system and eastern Asia including China, thus giving some the impression that they originated in China and the Far East. 8,000 years ago carp began to be found in The Danube and quickly spread through that system to many rivers and lakes in continental Europe. The Romans were responsible for the introduction of carp into Italy and many other colonies from the Danube area. The United Kingdom was not included this initial expansion of the carps territory. Following the decline of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Monastic life of the early Christians the carp became a domesticated food fish of the monks. Indeed during this period the first selective breeding took place to try and improve the carp’s growth rate.
The actual date of the introduction of carp into the UK is in some doubt, The Complete Angler written by Izaak Walton in 1653 states “Hops and Turkies, Carps and Beer Came into England all in a year” Hops were introduced into England in approx 1428 but carp may have been introduced as early as the 1300’s the early writings are unclear and even the authorships are in dispute so we can only say that the carp was established in the UK by the end of the 1600’s
All of the early introductions were fully scaled fish, some of these would have been true “wild” fish never selectively bred, though some would even at that early stage have been “King” type fish, bred for weight gain. So the claims for the status of some fish even today to be original wild carp are vexed with problems of identification.
Fish with irregular scale patters or having no scales at all are natural mutations, they occur by genetic modification due to outside forces, notably natural radiation. So it was not unknown for carp to be produced either naturally or by selective breeding with different scale patterns, the deliberate breeding for these scale types started fairly early but not necessarily for any benefits in growth potential. This was a secondary aim, maybe to make the fish easier to clean for the table. Certainly by the late 1800’s mirror and leather carp had been introduced into UK waters. These fish however were still rare until the early 1920’s when mirror and leather carp were on offer by English fish farms for introduction into fishing waters. Some of the earliest of these were stocked into the River Thames, Great Ouze, Crystal Palace Boating Lake and many other waters.
The notable importer and distributor of these fast growing king carp was Donald Leney of the Surrey Trout Farm, These fish imported from Holland originating in the Galicia region of Poland were sold to many angling clubs and introduced into many waters which latterly became famous for the size of the fish they produced.
So begins the story of carp fishing as we know it, the pursuit of these fish and their offspring.The Waters

There are thousands of carp waters now; however it has not always been so. At one time they were few and far between, and waters that produced carp over 30 lbs rarer still.
Beechmere (Bradmere pool) in Devon was one of the early waters to grab the imagination of the fishing public. Largely brought to light in the writings of “BB” Denys Watkins-Pitchford. His descriptions of fishing the old copper mine and the battles with its residents in Confessions of a Carp Fisher were the essence of 1950’s carp fishing. I am fortunate to have fished Beechmere and it truly is a special place to fish. Never producing really big fish until it was stocked with some Mirrors in the 70’s it still held a reputation as a magical place. If you have not read Confessions then please get hold of a copy. Beechmere carp have the long lean shape of what many would call a “wild” carp. They have been fished for by many of the top names in early carp fishing history.

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Other waters of the same period include Hunstrete Lake in Somerset where Richard Walker played a “huge” carp for hours only to find a small cap had wrapped the line round its dorsal fin. Dagenham Lake London which produced many 20+ fish in the 1950’s and 60’s including some close to the then British Record. Woledale, Maurice Ingham’s home water. Mapperly Reservoir where Albert Buckley and others landed big fish on light tackle. And Cheshunt Reservoir the home of the previous record.

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The premier water of this era though must go to Redmire (Bernithan Pool), The lake at a little over 3 Acres is the result of the damming the small River Garron This produced a water with a deep centre channel and shallower margins particularly to the north at the opposite end to the Dam. The pool was rich in aquatic food and there was little to eat it apart from eels and a few old trout from the unsuccessful attempt to turn the water into a trout fishery. Following this attempt it was decided to introduce some carp in order to attempt to control the prolific weed growth. So some carp were placed on order by the owner Lt Col Barnardiston with the Surrey trout farm. These 50 1 to 2 year old fish of approx 5 to 8 inches inches in length were introduced in March 1934.

These fish were of the Galician race of carp from Poland, they had the advantage of a long growing life frequently not ceasing to add inches until their 15th year. This meant long fish that could later fill out on the abundance of food at the lake. The situation was ideal for big fish. A water rich in food, with little competition from other species, undisturbed by angling pressure for nearly 20 years and stocked with some of the best carp ever bred. Little wonder then that as soon as the water was first fished the size of the fish astounded the lucky few who gained access.

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Bob Richards a Gloucester tobacconist was lucky enough to learn of the fish at Redmire through a friend Harold Boulton, Harold had fished the pool in1949 and had not caught any but seen large fish from the punt. Bob phoned the owners and obtained permission to fish, he did so in late September 1950 and though he caught nothing he did see a monster carp from the boat. Bob fished the pool through 1951 only once on the 10 or so occasions he fished did he get a bite, the fish broke him in the weed. His last trip was to be on October 3rd and prior he managed to get the bailiff’s son to bait a swim for him with egg sized pieces of bread. The day dawned mellow and warm, an “Indian summer” late into autumn. The swim was coloured by feeding fish and Bob eventually after loosing a number of fish, late in the day hooked and played a fish that smashed the record and broke the 30lb barrier for the first time, at 31.04 it held the record for a short time.

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This news awakened the interest of Dick Walker who wrote to the owners and gained permission to fish. History tells us that on the 15th of September 1952 he landed a 44lb common carp that was named Clarissa this again smashed the record to splinters and established Redmire forever in the imagination of carp anglers as the “Mecca” of places to fish for huge carp. Over the years from Walker onwards there have been stories of huge uncaught fish in Redmire, These mystery fish fuelled the legend of the place which still in the new century holds a special place in carp fishing history. Following Redmire is no easy thing, though many waters like Ashlea pool in Gloucestershire, Billing Aquadrome in Northants and newer waters like Savay, Wraysbury and Conningbrook have tried, none however have captured the atmosphere of Redmire or the mystery of its inhabitants, maybe it’s fitting that the 4ft long common was never caught though seen by too many to doubt it’s existence.

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t just adds another story to share of the uncaught monsters and the guessing game of the ultimate size of the Redmire Fish.

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The Fish

It’s not known when anglers first turned their attention to carp as a sporting fish as against a fish cultured for food, the records are just not there to examine. However it’s safe to assume that anglers were fishing for carp in far earlier times than the records from the fishing Gazettes of the 1800’s suggest. The early literature talks about the carp being the “fearfullest of fishes “ written in 1653 so we can say that carp fishing had an early origin in the UK. Because of the lack of early records the weights that these rod caught carp attained is in doubt. The first true lists show fish of 20lb being caught in the 1800’s. Fish netted or found dead were reported as heavier than this the best a 29 lb fish found dead in March 1903 at Wytham Lake Bourne.
The first notable fish recorded as being caught on rod and line is a 20 lb fish caught in 1890 from Diana pool Hampton court . Thought the first fish that caught people’s imagination was the 17 lb fish caught by Otto Overbeck in 1902 from the famous Croxby pond. Quickly followed by the Cheshunt fish of 20.03 (1916) John Andrews,
However the first fish to really cause a stir was the 26 lb monster caught from Mapperly Reservoir by Albert Buckley on the 24th of July 1930. This fish caught on extremely light tackle took over an hour and a half to land, the publicity of this and Buckley’s other carp caught from Mapperley reinforced the general opinion that carp could only be caught on light lines and small hooks, no wonder they gained the reputation of being uncatchable, and even when you did hook one it was almost certain to be lost. Albert Buckley was lucky in that Mapperley is virtually snag free and this allowed him to fight the fish for long periods.

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Albert Buckley’s record fish stood for many years, only closely challenged by fish from Dagenham Lake in the 1940’s, the best of these being the 25.09 of George Draper in October 1947.
It’s fitting that the first recorded 30 lb fish came from Redmire ( Bernithan Pool). This fish which weighed 31lb 4 ounces and caught by Bob Richards on October the 3rd 1951 was a revelation at the time. Bob hooked no less than four fish only one of which was landed on his 6lb line. He moved swims and eventually returned to the Willow pitch to try again to land a big carp. Almost immediately his float slipped away into the coloured water as the carp moved away with the honey bread paste. This time all went well and he soon had the big carp rolling in front of him, far too large to fit in his landing net the fish was eventually gaffed in order to land it. Weighed on the Salter scales at the farm the weight was confirmed. This fish made headline news even in the national press and started the Redmire evolution of carp fishing in the 1950’s.

After seeing and setting up this huge fish Richard Walkers interest in the previously unknown water was kindled, he gained permission to fish and landed the first 40+ carp ever taken. This fish possibly the most famous carp in the world weighed 44 lbs and was captured on the 13th of September 1952. This fish was landed alive and spent many years as an exhibit at London zoo’s aquarium. Dick also started the fashion in naming fish, calling this one “Clarissa”.

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The first 50 lb carp again came from Redmire in June 1980. This fish at 51.5 was well known and had been caught over the years at weights of 35 to 41 lbs. This time it was caught be Chris Yates on sweetcorn

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Another famous 50+ fish and probably the most caught above this weight was Mary the Wraysbury no1 fish that dominated the big fish lists of the mid 90’s. Caught no fewer than 25 times over 50 lbs and at a best weight of 56.06 in September 1998 by Kevin Cummins this fish became the “one” to catch in this period.
Although anglers from Walker to Yates had seen fish described as over 60 lb at Redmire none were caught, though Jack Hilton describes loosing a near 4 foot long fish at the net, he actually had the fish across the arms of the landing net but it refused to fold into the mesh. The first 60+ fish was caught from Mid Kent Fisheries, Conningbrook Lakes, in October 2002, by Gary Bayes. This fish called Two Tone weighed 61 lbs and is a well known fish caught over the years. First recorded at 34 lbs in 1992 this fish still holds the British Record at 64.05 by John Pack in Jan 2004.

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Will there ever be a 70+ from the UK, My guess is yes. The weight of fish caught is steadily climbing as the quality and quantity of bait increases. What the eventual size will be is a guess but the world record at over 80 lbs has shown that carp can reach these sort of weights. Time will tell.

UK Carp Fishing “A Personal History” by Terry Fishlock

Being born just after the second world war was a plus for me, it put me squarely in the “zone” of the carp fishing development of the 1970’s and 1980’s, it made me a contemporary of people like Dick Walker, Jack Hilton, Bill Quinlain, Peter Mohan, Rod Hutchinson, Chris Ball, and many others. I was also inspired by the writings of “BB” Maurice Ingham and Dick Walker. These earlier generation carp fishers were still writing and sharing their thoughts via correspondence with me and people who like me were thirsty with the need for carp fishing knowledge. The late 1960’s and 1970’s saw the development of specialist carp fishing tackle which started as people making their own rods bite alarms and most other items of tackle. Many of these people turned their talents into what was later to become the technical explosion in carp equipment.

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I began fishing in my teens, fishing for roach, perch, bream and other fish like Dace on the local rivers and pits. I first fished for Carp at a lake in Badminton Great Park in Gloucestershire. This lake of about 5 acres was set in a Deer park, it was open and subject to any breath of wind, it contained many wild type carp at that time. I can remember to this day trying to catch that first carp. I tried worms, maggots and cheese before discovering that the carp were in the marginal weeds high in the water. The only bread I had was in my lunch sandwich, however catching that first carp was far more important than lunch, so on the hook a chunk went and I just lowered it into the margin. A set of rubbery lips emerged from the murk and sucked it down like bath water going down the drain. I was so surprised I didn’t set the hook the carp did the honors for me! The fight of that 3 lb carp sealed my fate from that moment. It was like fighting all the fish I had previously caught all at once! Into my home made landing net at once and a proud fisherman held his first carp for that special trophy photo.

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I fished Badminton all that summer, I learned a great deal about stalking and surface fishing. It was usual to catch 10 or so carp in a day, the best fish I had from that water was 10 lbs 2 ounces, which was a really good fish for the time and for a wildie type carp it was fantastic. However I wanted to catch bigger fish, and really wanted a Mirror carp.
So I set about building a new set of rods for a new season. I chose a couple of SS3 blanks, through action fiberglass, still a new material at the time. So the winter was spent fashioning cork handles, whipping guides and sealing with coat after coat of thinned varnish. I also bought a set of the new Heron bite alarms that had just come onto the market, these were based on Dick Walkers original designs and although good I modified them with new tungsten contacts and a coat of black paint. I searched the lakes in Somerset a 40 mile drive during the close season (March to mid June) and found the sort of fish I was looking for in a series of old clay pits called Dunwear ponds just outside Bridgwater. There were three lakes, two about 8 acres and one about 25 acres. I was going to concentrate on a swim on the south pond that was the last before a “dead end” the end on the lake was 70 yards away the width was 20 yards and the water got shallower as it approached the far end, there was an electric cable going across the swim about 40 yards from the end. So the trick was to cast as far as you could towards the far end but not to cast over the cable, tricky in daylight more so in darkness when you had to feel the direction of the line after casting to make sure it was not going skywards! The bait was cat food, tinned meat mixed with suet and flour to produce a stiff paste; this was moulded around a piece of breadcrust that was treaded onto the hook. This made bait 2 inches round, big by today’s standards. This was cast as far up the channel as possible and close to the weed bed edges. I soon discovered that this was a night and early morning water, after 10 o’clock you were generally wasting your time. Equipment for overnighters and longer sessions was almost unknown at this time, no bivvies, bedchairs, stormpoles and comfy sleeping bags. The best I had was an umbrella a sun lounger and an old army blanket, so any heavy rain and wind saw me holding on rain soaked for dear life. The problem with Dunwear was that it was an old clay pit with steep banks; this made using a two legged sunlounger as a bed fraught with danger! One night I was set up on the sloping bank after a heavy shower of rain, I had a run about midnight, as I sat up to get off the longer it tipped up and I slid gently off from under the blanket and groundsheet down the slippy bank and straight into 12 feet of water! Just like a burial at sea. Getting back up the bank was a wet muddy experience. On good nights I just sat and watched the rods, no self hooking at this time no bolt rigs. The hair rig was way in the future. So you had to strike the hook through the bait into the fish’s mouth. Leave it too long and you would have dropped bait.
My new rods performed well, I caught my first mirror of 12 lbs and went on to catch 10 more in the first few weeks of the season. Fish of over 10 lbs were rare at this time with 20’s and 30’s almost unheard of outside of Redmire pool. There were few specialist Carp anglers. In the whole of the south west of the country there were 6 as far as I knew. One of these was Peter Mohan, Peter was the Secretary of a newly formed carp club, and this was called the British Carp Study Group. This was the first national single species fish group and the first club that exchanged information among carp anglers, it produced the first carp magazine, and the first carp show and get together. The first regional sections, science officer, records officer and a committee to oversee the whole group. There was an exclusive club called the Carp Catchers Club which Dick Walker formed in the late 1950’s that really was a group of friends who fished together without any formal structure. I had been writing to Dick Walker and Peter Mohan for advice and was greatly helped by them. Peter suggested I join the BCSG and we met up for the “interview” all BCSG applicants even to this day had to be invited to join and the requirements for membership were not easy even at that time, currently you have to have 15 years carp fishing experience to be able to apply for membership. So I passed and joined the Group. This opened up many avenues for me, mainly being able to share information with other carp anglers at regional meetings and being able to read the group magazine,
Peter suggested I change water to fish one 10 miles from Dunwear. This lake was about 12 acres and surrounded by houses and shops on 3 sides, there was a no night fishing ban on the water. Some carp had been caught though the total number of carp and their maximum size was unknown. I started fishing with Nigel Dennis another BCSG member from Devon. We first fished with the usual meat baits and caught some fish, though even then the meat baits were loosing their effectiveness as the fish learned to avoid baits that they had been caught on before. Peter got to know of secret new bait that was working really well in the Kent area of England. This bait known as “Black Magic” was catching lots of fish and a bigger average size than the meat baits. The new super bait was mainly made up of ground up Trout Pellets. So a trip to a local Trout farm yielded a couple of bags of brown gold! We decided to chum with this new bait prior to using it, so we spent 3 weeks making bait and introducing it all over the water, gradually reducing the area as the weeks passed, finally concentrating the bait to a couple of good looking swims. The first time out I caught an 18 lb leather a personal best and a big fish for the water it might have been a water record at the time, we continued to catch through that year and ended up with 60 fish over 10 lbs ( Doubles) with a number over 15 lbs (upper doubles). This was good fishing for our area. Peter was a joy to fish with; he was funny and generous in sharing information and tactics. We were friendly with the bailiff of the water who lived right next to the lake, he would let us night fish and even brought breakfast out to us in the morning! Peter was prone to slightly odd behavior sometimes on one occasion on a pouring down day he decided it was a great day to get wet, and a better day to take his shirt off and have a rain shower. He never did tell me why he did this!

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My mission was now to catch a 20, not easy as none of the local waters held fish over 20 lb. Jack Hilton had been fishing a water called Ashlea Pool in Gloucestershire and had written in the BCSG magazine about the success that he and Bill had been having there with fish to over 28 lbs and he talked about 2 uncaught fish of well over 30 lbs and possible over the current UK record of 44 Lbs from Redmire. Jack had obtained a lease on Redmire the following season and Peter had the opportunity to take over the lease at Ashlea. I was offered a place on the syndicate and looked forward to fishing this water.

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Ashlea is tiny, at an acre and a half it really is small, that you might think would make it easy to fish, not so. And the reason is that it is covered in lilies and water cabbage. The cabbage grows from the bottom to the surface in 10 feet of water. In the shallows add in soft weed and reeds and you can see the difficulty of fishing. There were a couple of small open patches in the deeper water and one off the island. Down one bank a series of covered pitched had been constructed by Jack and his friends, these allowed access from the rear to avoid being seen by the fish. During the close season I spent as much time as I could visiting the pool and watching the fish, there appeared to be about a dozen fish most of which were in the 20 to 30 lb mark though there were a couple in the 15 lb size.

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I saw the two biggest fish which looked to be 35 to 40 lbs in the water. Neither of these fish had ever been caught though one had once taken a worm in the sunken tree swim. The fish spent a lot of time cruising above the weeds which were half grown at this time of year. The syndicate was split into three groups. So you could only fish one week in three, so you had to make the most of your time. I worked close to the water so I decided to fish every night and morning of my week and all the weekend. I would go to work each day after fishing. The start of the season was really slow, the fish were not moving into the prepared swims and none were caught by anyone in the first 8 weeks. I decided to try a new tactic. I knew that the fish would just hide as soon as they saw or felt people were fishing for them, one poor cast or loud noise would mean an end to fishing for the day. So I decided to stop night fishing and just sleep in the car till first light, then stalk fish for the first few hours of the day. First light would often see undisturbed fish feeding close in particularly in the shallows. The first time I tried the stalking tactic I put all my Badminton Park experience to good use, treading quietly into position behind a tree and watching a good fish feeding between the lilies. I cast a small piece of breadflake to land on a lilies leaf and gradually drew it off when the fish had its head buried in the silt. The bread drifted down to where the fish was rooting, the line twitched and I struck into solid resistance. The fish flattened lilies and cabbages as it roared off across the shallows, causing a big wave and bubbles as it went. After a short fight when I had to go into the water to get it off a snag. I landed my first 20. A beautiful almost leather with great proportions. These tactics caught me a further 4 fish one of which was another twenty at 22 lbs. Now I wanted one of the 30’s

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Peter was going to re negotiate his lease with the owner Mr Perry and asked if I wanted to fish for an hour while he went into town. I borrowed one of his rods and some bread and went stalking. After creeping round for a while I spotted a big fish working down the field bank margin. I crept round to a point ahead of it and placed some breadflake on the hook. I waited and gently cast out ahead of the fish. The mirror spotted the bait as it fell through the water, to my surprise it took it on the drop! I struck and the hook went home. The fish fought really well and again I found myself waist deep in water fighting the fish in and out of the Lillie roots. Eventually I managed to land it and when Peter returned we weighed it on his scales. Round went the dial to just over 30 lbs. wow a thirty, a rare capture in those days and it made front page news in the angling papers. We nicknamed the fish “Lucky” because I was lucky to catch it. She was caught a number of times over the years at different weights. The best at 38 by Kevin Maddocks. So many anglers were lucky with “Lucky”

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That concludes my early carp fishing history. I’m still at it 30 odd years later, I tend to fish in Canada and the USA now and it’s not unusual to catch a number of 30’s in a days fishing, times change and carp fishing and fishermen with it, I’m happy to have started in the early days and to have met and fished with so many famous anglers.

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