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Big Carp Now and Then
about it myself, and I worry that it’s
robbing carp fishing of much of its
mystery. In many walks of life I’m
sure that it’s a good thing, but in carp
fishing it’s all a bit too fast for my liking. Catch reports go up via anglers’
mobile phones almost as soon as
they’ve happened, and in some cases
the whole world knows about it
before the rod has been recast! I don’t
want to sound too negative, but it’s
definitely fair to say that the carp fishing grapevine has gained incredible
pace over the last few years. Mobile
phones and text messaging was one
thing, but the forums and social networking sites have taken it to a completely different level in a very short
space of time.
One thing that’s definitely changed
for the better is the amount of carp
fisheries and the amount of big carp
inhabiting them nowadays. I remember when there were only half a dozen
carp over 40lb in the whole country,
and they were all looked upon as
being super special, but nowadays
you only have to flick through the
magazines to see that there really are
countless big carp out there. Obviously that’s a good thing, but on the
other hand there are far more anglers
fishing for them, and so it’s still just as
difficult to find somewhere quiet.
When it comes to bait, I don’t think
that things have moved on that much
since the early 90’s. We had good
baits then and we have good baits
today, but our rigs and the components used to construct them have
certainly moved on in leaps and
bounds. There are now so many
tackle companies making hooks and
hook link materials etc that it’s hard
to keep track of what’s what, but I do
love the choice, and no matter which
rig you want to use, nowadays you’re
sure to find what you’re looking for.
Rigs like the hinge stiff link, the chod
rig and PVA stick rigs have certainly
made things a little easier, and I’m
sure that these presentations alone
have helped many anglers to catch
more carp.
And so, carp fishing has certainly
seen many changes over the years,
but to my mind the above changes
have had the most influence on the
scene. The Internet has made knowledge much easier to come by, and the
increased amount of big carp available for all to fish for, plus our rigs and
presentations, which have definitely
46 FREE LINE
Wraysbury’s Mary at a British record weight of 55lb 13oz back in ‘96.
improved.
Obviously there have been a few
changes on a personal note too,
something that happens to us all with
age and the addition of responsibilities, I guess. Buying and then maintaining a house isn’t easy on your
own, and no matter how much you do
there’s always something else that
needs doing. I bought an old house
that was in need of a lot of work and
so seven years on I’m only just beginning to feel like I’ve got on top of
everything, but it’s been well worth it,
and I feel very lucky to have done it
when I did. To the younger carpers
out there, I’d definitely advise getting
the very best out of your fishing
whilst you’re still living at home with
your parents. Looking back those
were the years when every ounce of
enthusiasm and energy were focused
on the fishing and nothing else
seemed to matter... blooming great!
Nothing stays the same forever, but
whatever changes carp fishing has
been through, good or bad, I still love
going just as much as ever.
Keep catching ‘em!
Changes Through
Time – Steve Briggs
Around the time that Big Carp was
getting off the ground, big changes
were going on in my life in carp fishing terms and in general terms. I had
been carp fishing for many years
before, but as Rob rightly pointed out
it was a period when things were
really taking off. I had only just started
getting in amongst the big fish of the
Darenth Valley, and it was also around
the time when I first started traveling





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