|My PB - 23lbs 14oz of Stanborough Mirror Carp (Feb '84)|
It was February 1984 when I caught my PB carp (23lbs 14oz) from Stanborough Lake, Welwyn Garden City, Herts. Rob Maylin had christened this venue "The Cracker Factory" and I have to agree that it was a superb place to catch, what were at the time, big carp; I had taken three twenties in three casts during the previous November - special enough to make the weekly angling press.
Today fish of this stamp are so common as to be treated with contempt by the higher echelons of carp anglers, big fish now weigh over 40lbs and 30's are as troublesome as mid-doubles were, when I thought carp fishing was important.
I am eternally grateful that I had gotten carp fishing out of my system before the mid-80's. My memories of chasing Catfish, Bream, Tench, Roach and Pike throughout the rest of that decade and the start of the 90's are some of the happiest of my life.
|14lbs 6oz of "Carp Puddle" enjoyment - a wildie?|
|11lbs 15oz of Tyler Hill Common Carp|
taken on a floating crust
Benno introduced me to the delights of "carp puddles" during the summer of 2011. I fell in love with this "pleasure" aspect of carp angling. I knew that I could go to a venue and, for £10, could reasonably expect to catch carp at 2/hour off the top - didn't matter what the weather. I hadn't invented some secret bait, nor developed a new technique - I simply fished free-lined floating crust amongst a few scattered cat biscuits.
What I find rather disturbing is the number of these day-ticket carp anglers who don't have a clue how to maximise their returns. Sure, they've read the books; but do they really have the experience to "ring the changes" to ensure they are fishing their baits to the best effect? From my own viewpoint, what I've seen does nothing to support an advance in knowledge and a rise in the skill-base (you can't buy that from the tackle shop) with the present generation of pleasure anglers. Those that I have encountered, have no more idea as to rig effectiveness or bait presentation, than I did prior to 1982. Have they missed out on something because they haven't enjoyed an angling apprenticeship? - it's for the individual to make that call; but I know what I think!
|I wonder how many modern "pleasure anglers" would take the time to enjoy this spectacle? (June 2012)|