Kevin & Gareth The Carp Spark Reignited

I am new to writing blogs so please bear with me. Hopefully, we will struggle through this age of fishing, modern technology and social media together.

I saw a post on Twitter a while back from the team at Carp Fishing UK asking for people to write a blog reviewing their fishing sessions and kit used. After a few red wines, I thought “That’s a good idea, think I’ll get involved in that”.

Then the next morning I realised I was no good with technology or social media but thought well in for a penny in for a pound.

Like many anglers, I started fishing when I was a child after being introduced to it by my dad and from that moment guess what… I was hooked.

I fished on and off through my childhood and then into adulthood. In my job that I started in late teens, I was lucky enough to serve with my new best friend and fellow passionate angler (Gareth).

We taught ourselves carp fishing and thought we were the next John Wilson and Matt Hayes. We fished for many years together and then due to work commitments and different postings we suddenly stopped.

After 16 years I left the role I was in and joined the real workers in the real world and relocated to the not so sunny Welsh Wales. The “G dog” and I stayed in touch and talked of fishing days gone by.

How it all started…

One Sunday evening out of the blue I thought, “I want to go fishing again”. I immediately picked up the phone and spoke to Gareth and then and there got a date set.

I went online and was instantly mind blown how technical Carp fishing now was. Ronnie Rigs, Helicopter Rigs, 360 Rigs, Chod Rigs, Hair Rigs and that does not even touch the now thousands of different boilie flavours.

I spoke to one of my kids who put me on this thing called YouTube. It is awesome, there are loads of videos on there telling you how to do things. If you have not seen or used it then get on there (that is a joke).

Well, I decided after careful consideration and the fact that the tackle shops were closed to use eBay. I ordered some Ronnie Rigs from That’s-Carpy and some Mainline Tutti Fruiti Pop-Ups from JC Tackle.

I also went for standard Hair Rig with 10mm Hemp Boilies. Now I restocked the tackle bag and changed the line on the reels. The morning then came for the mammoth trip.

We’re on our way…

It started with a 177mile trip across the bridge into England and down to our favourite small quiet lake, West End Fisheries, Waltham St Lawrence, Wokingham. This lake is awesome.

It is a small lake, stocked well with singles, and doubles up to about 22lb. There’s Mirrors, Commons, Tench, Rudd and Roach. It is a great lake to practice on and brush up your skills.

The staff there are friendly and helpful. I set off at 4 am and arrived just after 7 am. As I arrived so did Gareth. We spent 20mins chatting and walking the lake seeing what had changed and talking about what our PB’s were.

We could not remember so decided that today we would reset and start afresh. So we walked to our swims and set up. Gareth handed me a bag and explained I had left it in his garage the last time we went fishing.

I carefully opened it expecting a nasty surprise. Inside were my old fishing table and some spare rigs. Also, inside was a copy of Zoo magazine. Its was dated March 2009. That meant I had not been fishing for 11 years.

The Rigs, bait and spots!

I decided to run with a Ronnie Rig on a 12mm Tutti Fruitti Pop Up and on the other Rod a Hair Rig with two 10mm Hemp Boilies. I cast out and fished into the margins of the main island.

Within about 20mins the bite alarm went off. I dived out of my chair and grabbed the rod. I was into a 7lb 6oz Common. At least I had not forgotten who to fish.

The main thing that got me was the excitement of the bite alarm going off. I was like a kid at Christmas. I had the obligatory photo and put her back in. Gareth was quickly into one and that was the recipe for the day.

Gareth fished on two standard Hair Rigs with 15mm Tutti Frutti Boilies. We tried a few other baits that were new to us but had probably been out for a while. Before going I went onto the DNA Baits website and saw a few videos on there.

I liked the idea of the stick mix as that concentrated the bait directly around the boilie. I made up a DNA Secret 7 Stix Mix and added some Switch Pellets, SLK Liquid Food and a splash of Hemp Oil.

This was then stuffed into PVA Mesh Stick and attached to the hook. This seemed to get the Carp into a biting frenzy. I was getting bites on most casts when using this method.

A great return to Carp Fishing

We had plenty of singles and it was just a great day. It was awesome being back on the bank and getting the lines into the water. Even though we weren’t landing doubles it was nice to shake the rust off and practice for when we felt more confident to hit the big water.

This blog does not go into the technical aspects of carp fishing as I have got to learn them all again myself. The real aim of writing this is to tell people to just go out there and try it.

If like me, you have had a break from fishing and want to get back into it but are put off by the technicality then don’t be. The systems are still the same and the fish still take the hook and play the same. Just the choice of rig set up has got wider and the baits will blow your mind.

Do not forget the fishing world is 99.9% a friendly. It’s a place with people wanting to help and give you their advice.

Some words of wisdom…

As I was once told by an old school instructor, he said “Son, when you get out there in the real world everyone will want to give you advice. Smile politely and listen. Then when they turn away you decide if you want to take that advice on board”. That’s the same with the world of fishing. It’s full of options, you just need to choose the one that is right for you.

Worst case, come and join me and the G dog on a trip. We will get it wrong and laugh together.

I hope you enjoyed this. We have many more trips planned out. If Carp Fishing UK let me back, I’ll tell you how it went. We will get some technical aspects and kit explained in detail from a novice’s point of view.

Tight lines team.