Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Wednesday 3 February 2016

No comparison

Since May 2011 I have captured a large number of carp all, but eight, from the local commercials where they are an extremely easy target. At Long Shaw, on a good day, it is possible to experience catch rates of three fish an hour, off the top! It is incredible fun, but it ain't carp angling - it's "scamping!" Ravenous hoards of small/medium sized fish that exist to provide the casual/pleasure angler with just that - pleasure!

If you are going to target carp it is essential that you use the right kit!
I have used these type of venues as a facility where I can go to get a bend in the rods after extended periods of blanking elsewhere, or to have a social with Benno & Luke on a sunny afternoon when we've nothing better to do. Commercial fisheries are there to provide easy fishing for anglers in the modern, instant gratification, world in which we now live. Exciting, enjoyable, fun - yes they fulfil all these requirements, but what they don't provide is challenging, thinking, carp angling. In no way will these fisheries assist in your development, as a carp angler, beyond the basic skills of tackle control, playing, landing and handling the species. Location, rig mechanics and presentation, bait selection and umpteen other of the finer points, of carp fishing and water-craft, cannot be learned whilst on the banks of these overstocked carp puddles.

Fish of this stamp are able to test you, and your tackle, to the very limit - not a challenge for the feint hearted?
It is certainly not my place to question how other anglers choose to spend their time and money - if the commercials work for you? Fill your boots! From my own perspective, I will also continue to visit them; particularly Sandwich Coarse Fishery, in order to test ideas for knot strength/reliability and hook patterns but, my real quest is in secluded spots, away from the crowds, where it will just be me against the fish. Venues with low stock density, where location is fundamental to any chance of success. Bait choice and rig effectiveness, however thorough their preparation, count for zilch if fished in the wrong place. Just as I had set myself targets when I returned to pike angling, I have a goal, a benchmark, which I would like to reach before once again seeking new angling adventures. Between now and the end of 2016 I would like to have captured four carp in excess of twenty pounds, one of which weighs more than 23 lbs 14 oz. I make this statement of intent to draw a line in the sand, so to speak!

A "scamp" from a commercial fishery. I cannot deny that they provide great fun, but they ain't a challenge!
Obviously there is much which could conspire to stick a spanner in the works - but this will do as a template for my angling journey through the coming year. It will also serve as a kick up the arse should I get distracted. Four twenties in a calendar year is, actually, a pathetic target in 2016 - I managed five in the season 83/84 and three of them were on consecutive casts! Some of the carp anglers, I work with, would expect to beat this target during the first weekend session of the new season. so I'm not aiming at the stars! However, unlike my work mates, I will not be bivvied up at some syndicate venue, or club lake, my carp fishing will be short sessions on very unfashionable venues. I think that "Hit and Run" might be the best way of describing my tactics. I've a head swirling full of ideas. I am actually getting quite excited by the prospects - silly me! Until I complete my eel challenge, this carping lark will take the back seat, but I already have a window of opportunity coming my way. I will know more after Friday - the 3rd anniversary of my Mum's passing - time flies! Emily was five yesterday - and that's proper scary! Where's all that time gone?

A proper carp, from a proper venue. I very much doubt if this fish has ever been caught before - a
magnificent wild English carp from an East Kent drain - four more of the same please.


  1. Dyl, that last one is an absolute stunner. Beautifully dark, scale-perfect like a wood carving - a 'proper carp' indeed!

    1. Cheers Gavin, the capture of that fish was one of the most special moments of 2015. An early morning pre-baiting trip, leaving home at 02.00hrs, visiting a couple of other venues, en route to this final drain, where I had a few hours to spare before needing to get home so Bev could get to work. The bite was spectacular, the fight epic and the fish magnificent - like it was carved from mahogany. The best carp I've caught - ever - probably because it was so unexpected? A 1983 Duncan Kay 1 lbs 10 oz t/c rod with a Mitchell 300 reel - what I seek now is a repeat performance with the Mk IV and a centre-pin! - Here's hoping - Dyl