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Rotary Letter
end of the day if you’ve got fish and
they’re on the move and they’re feeding, that’s the time to put the bait in.
If they’re laying up and not searching
for lots of food then it just goes to
show you that’s the time just a single
bait might score. My answer of course
was a lot different to the others
because, as I said, the last half a dozen
winters I haven’t used a boilie at all.
Maggots have been my chosen bait,
and I’ve had to pick venues that suit
them, but once again, as I said before,
even if you’re not using maggots on
the hook they make a fantastic
groundbait in the winter, which really
gets the swim moving.
I don’t intend to get into dissecting
the answers from the contributors last
month. I know some of the other guys
are going to do that. I’ve already been
speaking to Sean and Ed Betteridge
on the phone, and I’ll let them have a
look at that first, and then might make
a few comments afterwards. This is the way
the Rotary Letter works
and the questions can
roll along for several
answered in different
ways. Quite a few new
questions have come in
this month, and one or
two of those I’ve got a
fair bit to say about, so I
really wanted to divert
my attention to the new
questions and then perhaps come back to
some of those questions from the first
Rotary Letter next month.
One thing I would like to just finally
add about lasts month’s questions –
one of them was about how we more
experienced carp anglers, those that
have been fishing for a bit longer, look
at the current big carp scene. I think
one point that wasn’t really raised is
that years ago there were just carp
anglers, a lot less of them, but one sort
of carp angler. They were highly
secretive, went about their business
without publicising any captures,
bait, tackle and venues were all top
secret and not divulged to even their
own wives, but these days there is a
complete array of different types of
carp anglers out there. At one end of
the spectrum you’ve got anglers like
John Holt and Steve Allcott and quite
a few others; I’m not going to go into
loads of names, but friends of mine
out there who never ever publicise
their captures. They’re not tied up
with any tackle companies or likely to
be tied up with tackle or bait companies. They’re not seeking any sort of
publicity whatsoever and they relate
more to the old type of carp angler
where everything was kept secret.
You’ve then got your pursuers of
the largest, if you like, which is a term
I came up with when I wrote Bazil’s
Bush. It was nearly the title of my
book, funnily enough, and ended up
being the title of Terry’s, but you’ve
got quite a good proportion of carp
anglers out there going from water to
water like Sean, Ed, Dave Lane, you
know, after the biggest and the best
in the country. Travelling is no problem, no obstacle; it doesn’t matter
where it is, they’ll go from Lands End
to John O’Groats, and no effort is too
much. You’ve really got to take your
hats off to these guys; it’s very much
the sort of fishing I used to do in my
heyday if you like, in the 80s and 90s
when the Famous Five and I would go
from water to water in search of the
biggest, and there’s quite a few of
them around.
Then you’ve got your consultant, or
tied into a cheap bait agreement type
of carp anglers, let’s call them for
want of a better word. They’re sponsored anglers I suppose, that’s the
best way to call them, sponsored by
some big bait company or big tackle
company like Fox or Mainline, right
down to the guy who’s just making
bait out in his shed and you know,
calling himself A1 Baits. I don’t know
whether there’s a company called
that, and if there is, I apologise, but
you know… He’s basically just servicing the lakes in his local area, doesn’t
particularly advertise, but may be on
Facebook and those sorts of places,
whereas Fox and Mainline are spending hundreds of thousands of pounds
on advertising a year and paying their
consultants huge wages.
Look at this massive conglomerate
that’s materialised over the last couple of years – Dynamite, Ace, Shimano, Normark – what a formidable
company this is, all owned by the
huge American lure company Rapala,
and this company does every single
thing you could think of to do with
carp fishing. They’ve got the lot, and
they’re obviously out there to take on
the other big tackle companies and
big bait companies (you know who
you are; you’re all reading this I’m
sure), and it’s a David and Goliath situation. We’ll just have to see how this
pans out over the next few years, but
there are bound to be some casualties
and a lot that fall by the wayside. A
conglomerate, a gathering of such
huge companies together is surely
going to take some beating out there.
So your consultant anglers, they’re
still out there catching quite big carp;
they’re not really searching out the
monsters, but they’re not fishing for
doubles either. They want to be in the
magazines every month or up on
Facebook or any of the forums showing captures regularly. A great example of this Perfection Groundbaits,
Alan Cooper’s company. They’ve got
some guys catching some absolutely
beautiful carp all over the country,
and some big ones too, and on a bait
that really doesn’t get publicised that
much. He hasn’t got a huge advertis-


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