Hi........ Here is a little bit about me and how I became very much ‘Hooked’ on carp fishing.......

Fishing was something that I NEVER pictured or imagined myself getting involved in at the age of 30 something... that was until I was introduced to it by Elaine.

One day she suggested going fishing for the afternoon in conjunction with a picnic and a bottle of wine to twist my arm. My first thought was ‘fishing’ no....‘picnic’ maybe.... ‘wine’ oh, go on then! We loaded Elaine’s car with all the picnic stuff, a couple of float rods, a landing net, 2 chairs, a toolbox that contained floats and tackle, and made our way to a local tackle shop to buy some additional bits for the trip, to my horror we also got some MAGGOTS!!!

We arrived at the venue and once settled Elaine started to show me how to set up a float rod. I didn’t understand it at all and certainly couldn’t handle or touch any maggots, YUCK!! Eventually the rod was cast out and I tried to concentrate on the orange float that was attached to ‘my’ rod..... It wasn’t too long before I had hooked my first fish; a perch, which pleased me no end. I was soon distracted however by the picnic and wine (and a friendly sheep that appeared in the field behind us). We packed up at dusk and walked back to the car, I figured that fishing wasn’t that bad after all. We’d had a nice afternoon, I had caught a fish and even got brave enough to put maggots on the hook as the day wore on and the wine numbed my fear!

Over the next few months, I bought my own float and ledger rods and gradually built up my tackle box. We went fishing to other venues and I can still remember coming home and trying to identify my 2lb-4lb captures in a coarse fishing book. To me they all could have been either Dace, Crucian Carp or Bream, but hey, looking them up in my book kept me occupied! I went to sleep at night with the imprint of a float (from staring at it all day) and the sound of my reel spinning when I had a run, etched deep into my brain. I had no bite alarm for my ledger rod at this early stage of my tackle set up..... I was REALLY beginning to enjoy this fishing malarkey and didn’t need to be bribed with food and alcohol to do it again!

I then started fishing for carp, albeit small ones and by this point I was the proud owner of 2 cheap carp rods, my own toolbox of tackle, a cheap rod pod, 2 cheap bite alarms and 2 Fox swingers (which I used to sit watching like a float for the slightest sign of movement!).  I think at this point my PB was around 9lb…..

Gradually I got into night fishing. The first session was an impromptu one and consisted of rushing to the nearest town to purchase Woolworth’s bargain sleeping bags, which we used straight on to the ground.....not comfortable but it was summer! The second night session I had the same £6.00 sleeping bag but had also invested in a camping bed from Argos, (I didn’t want to throw a lot of money at fishing at this stage in case I changed my mind)! This session was in the winter months and comfort was more on the agenda….. the beds were like sleeping on concrete slabs and the sleeping bags were about as warm as the inside of a fridge!! Elaine spent most of the early hours walking around trying to maintain her circulation as she had given me her sleeping bag! I now had the equivalent of £12 worth of insulation and hypothermia didn’t seem too far away…. I was glad to see morning and get home to some warmth!

Despite these 2 sessions not quite going to plan, I now had the bug and after rapidly upgrading my bivvy, bedchair and sleeping bag, we found ourselves doing longer sessions. Moving house also was made priority as a garage was needed for the fishing gear that was rapidly amassing!

It didn’t take long before a trip to France was booked. This felt very intimidating when we arrived at Dover, meeting twelve other guys but once we all got settled it turned out to be a great trip. I improved on my rig knowledge and was also shown how to hold a fish nicely for photos, prior to this trip, I had not really caught much in the way of big carp. We also out fished a lot of the lads on the trip which was nice!! This massively improved my confidence and from then on I have some really nice photos of me and my captures from various venues in the UK and abroad.

That was years ago now, and since then we have fished a variety of lakes both in South of England and in France. I am now used to handling and appreciating bigger fish, and personally prefer now to go fishing for longer sessions, during which time, I do love to cook the evening meal….. It made me smile while when in France this year when one of my ‘Dishes of the Day’ was Sirloin steak, mushrooms, onions, peas and chips, all cooked on the bank…. And I have to say, it tasted and smelt divine!!

I love the peace, wildlife and solitude that fishing brings…. Waking up to a mist shrouded lake, seeing small birds perched on my rods and being able to get close to nature’s new born; coots, ducks and even frogs….

I wouldn’t swap it for the world!