New to the scene
I say new to the scene but I actually used to go fishing in my early teens for Gudgeon, roach and even a goldfish at my local small park lake. The experience of being at a lake, amongst nature and trying to catch was better than even playing footy with mates. The fish always seemed to elude my best friend William and I but the excitement and tranquillity of actually going fishing always brought us back to the park each weekend. The memories of this time in my life at the lake, tying the floats, hooks, biting down the split shots, casting out and then watching the float in anticipation is exactly what, 22 years later, ignited the motivation to return to the bank and soon afterwards begin a journey into Carp fishing. The journey to date has been 2 and half years and today I will share my perspective of the Carp fishing world as a newbie.
But before I lay out my thoughts I assume you’ll be asking how did you get into Carp and the answer is simple and no different to what has been been penned in every “When did you start” article that is out there. I caught one! The experience of actually catching, fighting, netting, holding and returning a 5lb Mirror left me in awe. It was not huge but the moment was enough to capture my mind and soul!
So on to the main article piece which will not do complete justice to the ubject but as a start I will focus on three areas of the adventure so far, Super-Size Me, Don’t believe the Hype and Code of Honour.
Trips to my local tackle shop is always a dangerous moment for my wallet but at the beginning it could have been slaughter. Initially I was unaware at how large these wonderful specimens could actually grow to, but the promotional boxes at the tills with a cheerful Mr Fairbrass holding a giant educated me quickly. The thoughts could have become pre-occupied with wanting to capture huge Carp with the substantial number of fisheries here and abroad that could provide that opportunity; it could have followed through into action. However, size is not the be all end all for me and I’m very content in taking my time in this path. There are a couple of venues I regularly visit and the focus has been on developing Watercraft skills, basic rigs, baiting approach and carp care. Don’t get me wrong I will eventually have seasonal goals of wanting to land the wiser, more elusive larger carp but I believe jumping in at the high end means one will not fully appreciate the art or have the opportunity to build up a library of experience and skills. In a world where nearly everything has to be fast, quick or instant, Carp fishing for me can slowly take its time.
Don’t Believe the Hype
Following on from point one another space that has taken me time to digest is the amount of tackle products and baits that are on the market to partner the traveller on his journey. From sawn offs to 13 footers, boilies to pellets, groundbait to cat food and glugs to sprays it’s enough to send a new angler crazy and bankrupt. Each product with its marketing has had its moment of capturing the buying part of my brain and inducing images of me cleaning up at my venues. The amount of times I had spent standing in the bait section of the tackle shop mulling over which product to buy or read about left many of the staff wondering if I turned to stone. It was very confusing at first and without doubt there certainly are quality manufacturers of tackle and baits available, I follow the principle generally that one gets for what one pays for, but at the end of the day marketing is marketing and has only one objective and that is to sell. My principle is to keep things simple and as stick to what I’m confident in full stop. Along with catching the giants this domain can also takes its time as I am content with researching what I actually need and then buying the best that my budget allows me to.
Code of Honour
This aspect has been the most profound to date and I will briefly summarise it by applauding all the wonderful anglers that I have come across and built relationships with. From my local tackle shop, variance of venues I attend to the small number of quality gentleman that I have connected with online. Each and every one has been welcoming, helpful, supportive and very good listeners to the plethora of questions I have asked. Carp angling I have found is certainly subjective and having people that you can trust to bounce ideas off and build your own judgements is has been crucially important. Simply speaking I may not have been able to last this long to have written this article if there was not sound people around to guide through the mysteries of the above two points. The opportunity to air thoughts or views with honest fellow anglers has been the greatest companion to my journey so far and long may it continue.
In summary I am thoroughly enjoying my Carp fishing and will be looking to develop my watercraft skills through the winter months on a 1st proper winter campaign. For any newbie like me that read this article my advice to you is never lose sight of why your fishing, take your time, be grateful for each session and find good people to support and encourage you.
Finally, I often hear and read about the term “That’s Carpy”. I don’t truly understand what it means and smile as I write this but understand there is a whole culture to this world with its own legacy. Maybe I will write about this at another point on my travels.
Big thanks to Jay Khan for writing this article