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And so it begins...


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Some of my earliest memories are from when I must have been 4 - 5 - 6 years old... crammed into a Mk4 Escort, windows down with an Oasis cassette blasting through the speakers, buried under a metric ton of carp gear for hours on end on the way to spend what felt like an eternity - bored stiff - in a bivvy on the banks of one massive lake or another... repeatedly being told to "sit down" and "keep the noise down", confused... baffled... as to why my Dad seemed to actually enjoy it as I was just so excruciatingly bored.

These days they are my most cherished childhood memories.

I never did follow my old mans footsteps into carp angling, I must have by scarred by the experiences 😅 - but I was always an angler, I'm 30 now, but as a kid mainly mixed species float fishing in early days - as you do, but I do all sorts, in recent years my favourite flavour has mostly been Ultralight / BFS lure fishing, and bobber fishing on ultralight spinning tackle for Perch and Trout, importing Japanese Domestic Market tackle made of spider webs and magic that costs its weight in £20 notes.

I've been mostly into deviating from the tried and tested, experimenting with new ideas that I'll think up for myself, my latest being importing a Kokanee Rod from the US, Eagle Claw 8' 100% fibreglass ultralight trolling rod (2lb - 8lb), and using that with a BFS reel (Bait Finesse System / a Japanese concept involving specially designed reels with feather-light spools and finely tuned brake systems made for casting ultralight <5g tackle on bastcasting gear), and using that stuff to trot jigs under a float for Brown Trout on rivers, US Steelhead style but scaled down to ultralight gear, good stuff.

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I've been around carp fishing all of my life, it's in my blood - I don't know why but I've just never had to urge to buy the gear and get behind a set of delks... until recently I started watching some youtube content from the likes of Alan Blair and Alfie Russell, and I was absolutely captivated by one of Alfie's fish... 

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It looks like it lives in a volcano, of all the thousands of fish I've seen over the years, this one just had me absolutely gobsmacked, it came with a 40min film about his fishing and personal issues in recent years, and his quest for this particular fish, great watch...

All of a sudden, out of the blue - it has taken many years, but I'm absolutely DESPERATE to get fishing for these majestic creatures.

 

I'm building up my gear at the minute and getting ready for my first campaign come autumn, I do like doing things proper (in my own way) - 

I know what I like when it comes to gear, for me it's all about compact, lightweight, tidy and organised, no 12ft / 6ft rod sections, 700g 14000 reels for me, not my style...

I'm definitely a 2 rod man, and the Shimano Tribal TX Lite 4pc rods looked like the were designed for specially for me, I love a bit of marketing spiel (4pc but 2pc action / you'd never know it was 4pc), drilled styling on the carbon woven reel seat, foam rings on each joint - nice touch, nice thin carpy handle on a forgiving 10ft 2.75lb progressive blank - 

I've got over 20 rods and usually always buy online, so it's always hit or miss when I get them out of the tube and wobble them around for the first time, and I must say - I'm OVER THE MOON with my pair of TX Lites, first impression shaking them around in the house... full to the brim with confidence in these rods, and the best bit? £180 each RRP? Nope, Uttings supplied a pair for £90 each on sale, couldn't be happier.

Next was to be the net - Sonik Xtrator Recon, full 42 inch net, packed down to 30 inches (matching the length of my packed down TX Lites) thanks to telescopic net arms, I'll have some of that, got that brand new for under 50quid - it's going well so far.

A few other bits I've gone with is a Korum Aeronium Supa Lite - lightest proper chair on the market at 2.3kg, I do have one of those 1kg camping chairs that go into a 30cm bag but they're unstable and uncomfortable.

My Korum Aeronium clips onto a Korum transition Ruckbag (hard back version) for all the bits, another fantastic bit of kit I'm feeling happy with.

Pod - I've bought a New Direction Carbon Compact pod, 2 rod version, nice light low compact modern carpy pod, I've also picked up some ND T10s bobbins which look the part and some of their Magnetic butt rests.

An Advanta Protector Quick-Cradle for 37 quid on sale - and 2 hours later it was back to the regular £50 so I got that by the skin of my teeth.

I've already got 2 Delkim Ev-D's, but I do see a couple of Txi-D's in my future, need to sneak them onto the bank statement somehow...

I'm gonna be starting with day sessions for a few months, so I've not thought about much else, bed chairs, proper bivvies or any of that stuff - I think I'm going to pick up a Fox easy shelter+ to tide me over (the one that backs down into a small bag, and instantly pops up and pegs down like a kids argos tent 😁), as I said, it's all about easy, light, compact gear for me and that looks the part, I'm allergic to the sun and immune to the cold so I'd have no trouble in that even in the winter.

This won't win me any friends in the modern day - but I love a Baitrunner - I've got a few around intended for deadbaiting and barbel (namely my pair of 6000 Baitrunner OC's, amongst a few others), I don't have my reels fully decided yet but I'm leaning heavily towards Ci4+ medium longcasts, I'm considering the Ci4+ 5500 Ultegra's but I don't fancy QD, we'll see in the coming weeks.

I'm hoping to have everything that stays above water for day sessions sorted in the next week or 2 - even down to a bottle of carp care, then it's onto the exciting wet stuff, researching / learning, doing up some rigs, bait selection and then I'll be selecting a venue for the first session hopefully in September - probably a local pool or potentially a commercial to begin with.

 

I've not told my Dad yet, I'm waiting to get one on the bank and show him that first picture of a carp, he'll be godsmacked, I've rinsed him for 15 years about camo-camping behind his shiny solar pod - looking like it has been perfectly aligned with a spirit level and splashed with holywater, can't wait to tell him I've come over to the darkside.

 

So I'm just here to take part, share my fishing, and learn from people who know better than me, I'll be around 👍

Edited by B33TR00T
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love the post, i started as a specimen angler and never really targetted carp at all in 40+ years but caught one by accident when going for tench on a feeder and from there i have been building up gear bit by bit. i ended up chucking out a carp rod i picked up cheap alongside float fishing using my wychwood freespin reel from my barbel set up and the baitrunner aspect works fine, now go out for day sessions with a 2 rod set up just for carp and when i go with my daughter i still float fish as we like a little competition on the silvers front and put out a single rod for carp away from the float action.

 

am finding my feet in the carp world and as the only set of scales i have ever owned stretch to a mighty 3lb i have no PB for carp but a lad fishing next to me once weighed a common and it came in at 11lb 7oz so technically it is the first carp i have weighed but not the biggest i have caught.

 

i hope you have a much fun switching species as i have had as it is teaching me a whole new world of rigs and set ups which will keep my going for years to come

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I've started with PVA solid bags with mixed carp pellets and crushed boilies, inside I'm putting in a hair rigged 15mm popup hookbait - on a very short (3cm - 5cm) 20lb coated braid hooklink, an inline lead size-appropriate for the water, connected to 15lb sensor mainline.

 

Trapped a couple, 8 and 9quid respectively, the biggest in this tiny water is 11lb so it's not too bad!

I'm off work all next week so spending this weekend assessing venues to target some bigger fish 😉

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Edited by B33TR00T
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Only because a little pond like that would have been right up my alley when I was a kid and that , in turn , brought up a good few happy memories.

In the good old days before I came over to the dark side and spent thousands on tackle 🤣

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52 minutes ago, newmarket said:

Only because a little pond like that would have been right up my alley when I was a kid and that , in turn , brought up a good few happy memories.

In the good old days before I came over to the dark side and spent thousands on tackle 🤣

Exactly as I did! It absolutely is "one of those" ponds, I'm going to take a float on there soon - that's definitely the way to fish it, the stock has always been very response to luncheon meat for 20 years, a little cube under a float will catch fish after fish, I'm just too hooked on "getting runs" at the minute, I used to think watching a float go under was the most exciting way to fish, but hearing the delks warble and spool spin yesterday was something else - I regret that I've ignored "proper" carp fishing for so long!

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2 hours ago, carpepecheur said:

"Proper" carp fishing means different things to different people. There is nothing improper about float fishing for carp.

You know what ? That exact thought crossed my mind when I was posting yesterday…. But decided against mentioning it for fear of offending , as , as you say it means different things to different people .

But while we’re on the subject 🤣….

Under normal circumstances I’d be adamant that on a pond like this , where the fish go to 11lb , the approach with the heavy artillery, 15lb line 20lb hooklink etc hook size unknown ,  would be massive overkill and , for me , would take all the fun out of playing the fish .

However on this occasion I’m certain that this is merely a practice run , as it were, for B33troot trying out his new set up etc . He said himself above that he is already doing his homework, seeking out appropriate (runs ?) waters actively as we speak in search of larger quarry and he has been angling and been around angling for many years so knows the score .

Indeed I would be the last person to try and teach grandma to suck eggs 

Hope you aren’t offended B33T 👍🏻

Edited by newmarket
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9 minutes ago, newmarket said:

You know what ? That exact thought crossed my mind when I was posting yesterday…. But decided against mentioning it for fear of offending , as , as you say it means different things to different people .

But while we’re on the subject 🤣….

Under normal circumstances I’d be adamant that on a pond like this , where the fish go to 11lb , the approach with the heavy artillery, 15lb line 20lb hooklink etc hook size unknown ,  would be massive overkill and , for me , would take all the fun out of playing the fish .

However on this occasion I’m certain that this is merely a practice run , as it were, for B33troot trying out his new set up etc . He said himself above that he is already doing his homework, seeking out appropriate (runs ?) waters actively as we speak in search of larger quarry and he has been angling and been around angling for many years so knows the score .

Indeed I would be the last person to try and teach grandma to suck eggs 

Hope you aren’t offended B33T 👍🏻

100% correct on every word 👍

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2 hours ago, carpepecheur said:

"Proper" carp fishing means different things to different people. There is nothing improper about float fishing for carp.

I'd say "proper carp fishing", in the UK at least - implies static rigs on the bottom - boilies and size 6 or bigger hooks - 9 out of 10 times, 15lb+ mainline, rods on buzz bars with alarms / baitrunners, 42" landing nets, probably a bivvy, etc etc.

"proper" is a poor choice of word, but it's also completely understood if you're not being pedantic - when you look at a "proper" carp angler on the bank, you instantly know exactly what he's doing, as opposed to an angler holding a float rod who could be doing anything of a number of things - you wouldn't really instantly know what flavour of fish he's targeting.

"proper" wasn't a word to discredit other approaches - although I can definitely see why somebody might conclude that it is, like I said - poor choice of words, it was intended to imply the instantly identifiable approach to carp fishing.

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5 hours ago, newmarket said:

You know what ? That exact thought crossed my mind when I was posting yesterday…. But decided against mentioning it for fear of offending

Oh dear, I certainly didn't mean to offend anyone. Use traditional methods as a starting point of course but I find the fun part is developing and trying your own methods. 

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On 09/09/2022 at 21:38, B33TR00T said:

I've started with PVA solid bags with mixed carp pellets and crushed boilies, inside I'm putting in a hair rigged 15mm popup hookbait - on a very short (3cm - 5cm) 20lb coated braid hooklink, an inline lead size-appropriate for the water, connected to 15lb sensor mainline.

 

Trapped a couple, 8 and 9quid respectively, the biggest in this tiny water is 11lb so it's not too bad!

I'm off work all next week so spending this weekend assessing venues to target some bigger fish 😉

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Visited the same venue today - 

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Something to note is that I forgot to subtract my net weight on these carp until today, weighing my net today it was exactly 2lb (wet) - which means today's carp was 8lb, the 2 carp in the OP pictures are therefore 6lb'something and 7lb'something, so still no double from this venue yet. 

I'm going to a different venue tomorrow with the potential for some 20lb+ fish and also some big ghost carp known to be up 18lb.

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On 10/09/2022 at 11:00, newmarket said:

Only because a little pond like that would have been right up my alley when I was a kid and that , in turn , brought up a good few happy memories.

In the good old days before I came over to the dark side and spent thousands on tackle 🤣

I used to just go floater fishing armed just with a bag , rod , mat and landing net ; only taking a seat and ledger rod if the weather looked as though nothing could be tempted on the surface .

However getting older with a manual job sometimes I just want to plonk myself down in a swim , and set up shop .

So am I enjoying my fishing more these days 🤔

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