First of all thank you for taking the time out of your day to do this, the title for you new book is Fallen kings, great title how did you come up with this and what does it stand for?
I wanted a name that wasn’t the norm as in carp fishing. I used the name Fallen kings because when I was a lad I had a course fishing book and within the pages there was two photos of a common and Mirror carp and the caption read King carp as that is the strain of the carp we fish for. King.
When and why did you decide to write a book. What motivated you to put pen to paper?
Many years ago I read carp fever and Rob maylins books, I was in my teens and I dreamed that one day I would write a book, coming from a most normal back ground and badly educated it really was just a dream. The years passed and I fished so many waters catch carp from all types of water I started to get noticed and with this came the writing work. I was in my 30s when the first publisher approached me about doing a book and to be honest I never had the confidence. Then I started to see some of the other books out there and thought these guys are living on the bank not working like me. I want to do a book that’s realistic to other anglers something they can relate to. So with a deep breath I contacted Angling publications and said I’d like to do a book. So I guess my motivation was to show others it’s not all about living on the bank. The book really is a life story told by me with a little bit more than just catching big carp about me although there’s plenty of them.
It is all about the soul of it
What inspired you to get into carp fishing and how big was your first carp?
I come from a time where you didn’t just start carp fishing, not every lake had carp in and if they did it was normally a very low stock of fish, so carp were almost mythical with you just hearing the odd story of someone getting snapped up after a twenty minute battle with a beast of a fish. I had fished from 7 years old and learnslow as no one in my family fished, my mum didn’t know why I wanted to fish or why had a fascination with fish but I did, so in time I started to learn catching different types of fish and learning how you could change tactics to catch certain fish.
One day I saw a guy in a green boiler suit catch a 14lb mirror and that fish blow me away, honest I was dizzy with excitement and right away at 13/14 years of age I was hooked. My first carp was a 7lb common and I can still remember the fight and the excitement now 30 years on.
What is the hardest water you have fished and why?
The hardest water I ever fished was Tol pits, why, because I fished it wrong, it wasn’t until looking back years later and relating to other situations I’d fished in that I knew where I’d gone wrong. The lake was only small with 20 odd swim and very pressured all year round, the stock was very low at the time when I fished there with 13 mirrors and 16 commons. I did about 40 nights on Tol in two seasons and had 8 bites witch seems ok until I tell you I had three in the same day. Every bite was hard earned and although I did manage to catch one of the big old Italian mirrors from there I desperately wanted a few of the others but they died of old age.
I never worry about how hard a lake a lake is, I start fishing and look at my results a year later blanks are just part of the building the Pictor so to speak., In fact I love fishing challenging waters as they ween out the weak.
What are your views on the new era of carp fishing? What changes have you seen over the years?
Wow have you enough room for another book! Carp fishing it’s self has never been so good in as much, the waters we have with big fish and the tackle we have is first class.
The anglers are of a mix though, I’ve met some of the best people I know through fishing, friends for life. But then there’s the other side that I hate, the guys who think its ok if you bait a spot to fish over it, In one case I read a guy watch some one bait a spot and waited two days then fished it as he knew the area was then prime. He caught a 44 mirror off that spot and he’s mates were saying good angling! He caught that off the back off another anglers work. Anglers turning up to a water just because they see a post on social media, I call these slugs. I don’t put a lot of my fish on media until weeks or months later because of this. While on this subject, sponsored anglers putting small carp on in the summer months and # this # tag that! I would honestly like to shoot them, get some respect for yourself. I’m sponsored and it is a real privilege and one that’s not free it has its own commitments, but I’ll tell you now I wouldn’t kiss any arse for it, let alone keep posting small carp just to keep your sponsors happy and # the arse off of it. You want to be a pro! Start by acting like one. If my sponsors dropped me next week I’d still go fishing every week because I go for the love of it and do it with passion. Istill have a lot sole in my angling. And as times have changed I think far too many are fishing for the wrong reason other than the love of it.
Rant over sorry, I just wanted to make it clear if you # loads of companies in your photo you’re a xxxxxx
In the words of Frank Warrick, in a world where everything is judged on how many likes you get; I’m not sure I like it.
Why have carp anglers complicated rigs so much, Do you think this actually helps or is it just a trend?
To be honest I believe it is because if we want to keep out smarting the same fish then we need to be a little smarter too. Most anglers me included with have three maybe four rigs in there armoury and it’s the time and place in which you use that rigs that counts, I’ll give you an example. Low laying green silt weed can’t present a bait in it, a chod rig with sit lovely in this area almost too good. And it will work.
Now we’re fishing a clear clay area or gravel patch, put the chod rig in that area and its sat there looking about as exposed as a flasher in a kids play ground!
Have you ever encountered crayfish and what have you done to deal with them?
Yes I have a few times, most recently I took a tutorial on fryerning lake. It has a lot of cray fish and although they are a big pain I can’t help think they have contributed to the size of the carp in there. There’s a few ways of getting round them. Plastic baits are the obvious one but I like the shirk wrapping bait. I’ll do this weeks before fishing and drop the baits in a dip. I have a few pots made up all the time.
Bait wise I can tell you a bit. I took two crayfish home and kept them in a tank and run test on what they do and don’t like. Anything meaty fish they love but the fruity baits were almost left alone. All particle baits were ignored. So when I fish a water with cray fish I will mix the bait up with boilies and particles this way there always something left in the swim.
Rig wise I always fish something the crays can’t twist up and this is 20lb flro.
This is an area where you want everything pinned down and balanced bottom bait on a blow back rig, hook sharpened. So fish the rig to suit the situation.
Yes there are some rigs out the that catch more anglers then fish but we must try or we’re never do better
What is your most memorable catch?
In 30 years there have been a good few but if I had to name one that sticks in my mind it would be one a few years back when I got permission to fish a 485 acer water that was thought to have no carp left in it after a fish kill some 10 years before. It took months and a lot of leg work till I even saw a carp but the thought of catching an uncaught carp kept me so focused. It’s a long story but in the end I hook a uncaught virgin carp and as I played it my heart was pounding and I prayed it would stay on, I hoped it was a 20 and as it rolled I see his width and thought this could be 30 and uncaught! As It went in the net I know I had something very special. Dark like varnished wood and apple slice scales along he’s sides. Easily among the best carp I’d ever seen let alone caught. She in the book under the Chapter; The last of the Kings. I’ll post a photo of the smaller carp I caught that year from there but I’ve never show the bigger fish to anyone so I hope you see it in the book.
I don’t ever feel a need to big my sponsors up throughout my writing preferring to just tell you who I use.
Korda end tackle, Mainline Baits, Trakker and Free spirit and not a hash tag in sight.
Tight lines everyone hope to see you at the shows or on the bank some time.
Big Thanks to Dave Levy for answering these questions
If you would like to pre order a copy of “Fallen Kings” then follow the link to the carp store
The smaller of the big res fish
Categories: Q & A
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