freeline-28 - Page 136

Big Carp Now and Then
Nothing matched – those were the days!
Armalite rods. 11ft and 1.75 t.c. was
about the norm! A Delkim conversion
alarm was state of the art, and was
the stuff of dreams to young lads like
me, and no setup was complete without a set of monkey climbers.
What amazes me most was how
difficult we had it back then, but yet
how much more exciting that made
it. Everything seemed new and there
were lots of new ideas to test and try
to get yourself an edge. Nowadays it
seems that it’s all been tried and
tested and then put on a DVD! There
is a twenty pounder in every pond
and puddle, a thirty in most, and even
forties aren’t that uncommon. Half of
the kids on my local lakes have
caught bigger fish than me, and they
have never sat behind a float!
It’s not all bad these days though. I
think it’s great that our sport is still
growing. It’s great that there are lots
more waters to fish and more tackle
to choose from. And carp safety has
The true spirit of carp fishing lives on.
improved infinitely. In 1990 I had no
idea what an unhooking mat was. In
fact, I don’t even think that they were
available in tackle shops until later.
They certainly weren’t available in
my local shop. I wanted to be
involved in the fishing industry even
way back then, and I’m pleased to say
that dream came true and I’m absolutely loving it. Running Cleverley
Fisheries has had its ups and downs,
but, all in all, I feel lucky and privileged to do what I do for a living.
The only problem with carp fishing
growing as fast as it has is that it has
become big business and with that
comes greed and jealousy. It used to
be that carp anglers would pull
together and be pleased for the guy
next to them when he caught a fish. I
hope that there is still a place for that
spirit and for some camaraderie
amongst our fellow anglers. After all,
we’re all trying to achieve the same
thing… happiness! Remember when
carp fishing was about enjoying yourself and not how big your PB was? If
you still enjoy blanking as much as
catching and enjoy catching a five
pounder as much as a forty, you’ve
cracked it! For the past 23 years, carp
fishing has been a massive part of my
life and my love for it gets stronger
daily. And now I have different goals
as I dream of seeing my son hold his
first fish and hope that he feels the
same excitement that I did all those
years ago. If he does, he’s in for the
ride of his life and I will be envious as
I watch him experience it all for the
first time.
Finally, for those of you who still
think that fishing is about expensive
tackle, level rod tips and beating the
guy in the swim next door, I’ve added
a picture that really shows the true
spirit of carp fishing and the friendships that can be made from sharing
a common goal. Two of my very good
friends, Chris and Ayesha, lost their
baby daughter, Faith, shortly after
Christmas and never have I met two
stronger people. As a memorial we
planted a cherry blossom tree at one
of my lakes. The snow was thick and
fell constantly, the temperature was
minus two, driving conditions were
horrendous, and yet our carp angling
community made an amazing effort
to come and pay their respects. Over
70 people turned up and helped to
make it a very emotional day. On top
of that, they gave me hope for the
future of the sport that we all love so
Rest in peace, baby Faith. And if
you happen to be looking down as
Daddy and I sit beneath your tree
with the rods out, do me a favour and
bring Hendrix along to one of us,
please. xxx

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