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Big Carp Now and Then
Now and Then
– Robin Dix
Since the start of Big Carp, I would
say the sport has become quite
unrecognisable to the one it was 20
years ago. The commercialisation and
availability of tackle has made instant
angling available; it has turned it into
a branch of the sport open to all.
Please don’t get me wrong; the fact
you can now walk into a tackle shop
and buy something as simple as the
size and shape of lead you require has
got to be a good thing. It may be hard
for newcomers to imagine that hooks,
leads, bait ingredients and flavours
were traded from the boots of cars up
and down the country; that is if you
knew the right people.
I had only used ready rolled bait
once 20 years ago, and that was a mix
that we had supplied and had made
up by a friend running a bait firm.
How things change – now you are
hard pressed to buy separate items to
make up a base mix. I studied in the
school of Fred Wilton and virtually
used nothing other than milk protein
baits. As for ready tied rigs, I don’t
think there were any, and it does help
anglers to use safe, carp-friendly rigs,
which from a personal point of view,
must come first.
As to my own angling, I did if possible fish most days. I lived close to
the Yateley complex and would visit
Jumbo return.
my chosen lake, and if conditions
were right I would fish. The stock levels and size of fish would not be
r e c o g n i s e d b y m a n y o f t o d a y ’s
anglers. This was brought home to
me when talking to a friend about the
Pad Lake which 20 years ago held five
mirrors and one very small common,
compared to a stock now of 300-plus
fish – quite a difference!
I still love my fishing, but these
days work and family commitments
limit the amount of time I spend on
A future monster – maybe.
the bank. I tend to spend more time
fishing smaller waters after a diversity
of species, and as for my carping, I like
to keep it low key with an old school
approach…
Wishing the very best to all, Robin.
Now and Then
– Nick Helleur
Single Scale.
70 FREE LINE
What has changed since the first
issue? Well, quite literally everything
if truth be known! Back when the
mag first hit the shelves, big carp
were still a relative rarity in this country.
Their numbers were low; certainly
no more than seven or eight fish had
topped the magical mark of forty
pounds – an amazing statistic when
you compare the numbers nowadays.
It’s simply impossible to keep track
there are so many. From those magical first few issues the only constant
has been the anglers who wrote for
Rob back then. Most, I’m pleased to
say, are still out there and at it today,
me included. What’s more the sport
has grown and grown, and here we





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