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10 of the best from Issue 1

1. ‘Strategy and Stamina’

Kurt Van Cawenburgh and Luc De Baets

‘Not every target fish is easy to catch and you inevitably get your hands on a lot of other big carp in your quest for the grail, especially when that target is very elusive or notoriously unpredictable in the ‘where, when and how’ it will get caught. The moment I’ve caught it, though, I just stop fishing that particular water and move on to the next one on my list. There’s always another one out there somewhere and for me personally, that’s what keeps me going and drives me on’

 

2. ‘The Record Netting’

John Carver

‘Now, you have to understand that Chris rarely, if ever, swore and if he did it was always fairly mild, like ‘bloody’ or ‘sod’, but never a four letter word. I turned round in disbelief and watched him throw his rod down and storm off. As he got level with me on the bank, I called across to him. “It’s in the f—–g net, Chris!!!”

 

3. ‘Lo-Pro’

Tom Stokes

‘I’m sure its created by a longing for the fame and glory which goes with it all nowadays, rather than just having a passion for the sport, which has created this type of carp angler, and it’s the huge amount of publicity which carp fishing receives which leads these newcomers to believe that they really can be ‘famous’, and that it’s somehow a good thing.’

 

4. ‘Freshly Pressed’

Gio Vanhooren

‘We didn’t want a typical name, or a generic term, as some of the surf mags like ‘Carve’ or ‘Swell’, we wanted something that referenced and acknowledged the history. People always talk about the ‘good old days’ and so Monkey Climber seemed appropriate. It’s old school meets new school. We are living now, but it is good to know and appreciate the past as well. I talked the idea through with my girlfriend and then, on my birthday, she made a mock up with me on the cover and some rough layouts, so we said ‘fuck it’, let’s just do it ourselves, with our own money. I had been freelancing as a copywriter for an agency for a while and had saved up quite a bit of money, so I invested everything I had and went for it.’

 

5. ‘Nothing Without the Magic’

Terry Dempsey

‘Carp fishing is a bit of a community, and that spirit is important. People like to be in that community, to be a part of something and have that comradeship, the difficult waters attract that as well. Catching a carp can be a very shallow experience, especially from a non-anglers perspective; you’ve cast out this rig, a buzzer’s gone, the rod bends and you wind it in. At base, and from an objective standpoint, that seems like a shallow experience so you have to have that magic spark in you, for it to mean anything, for it to be anything. You could tell a million people about that and it wouldn’t mean a thing to them, it would just be like dust on the ground, so without that magic, you have nothing, that’s all carp fishing is. I think a lot of people have it, but don’t even know it. It stays hidden behind all the concepts and science and facts, and that’s just not what it is all about. You have to hang on to that magic to make it what it is, or what it can be.’

 

6. ‘Made in Hampshire’

Ben Hamilton and Steve Fantauzzi

‘Like we said earlier, making the effort to prep spots can be key, but just making the effort in general, especially if you’ve chosen a venue that is close to home because then you can always squeeze an hour in before work, just to watch or drop a bit of bait in. Even for the big fish angling, if you have something going and a spot baited, just an hour on that spot might be all you need at times. Same as in the evenings; if you can drop in on your way home from work it might only be a ten-minute diversion, but you can get in, bait and then get straight out of there. Thinking outside the box helps as well, so I set things up so I can see what has happened while I’ve been away. I’ll place mussel shells or twigs on spots so I can see if it’s just the birds that have cleaned the spot off, or if it’s carp that have been in. It’s trying to work out what’s going on without having to spend hours and hours at the lake. Margin fishing is ideal for that because you can often see what’s going on and whether bait has been eaten or not. It takes away a lot of the guesswork.’

 

7. ‘Old Father Thames’

Simon Hartop and John Gard

‘I got down there one afternoon and Adam wasn’t at home on the boat, but I figured it would be okay, so I plotted up on the bow and put in a tin of chickpeas, corn and a few Tuttis. After a few minutes, the rod banged violently and then, a little while later, it hooped over and it was away. I’d worked out by this point that you had a few seconds to get them away from the boats – they were often confused before they panicked – if you didn’t, then you were fucked. So, I ran down the side of the boat, and with some heavy side strain it was away from danger and out into the river. They all fight so hard in the Thames. You just never know what you’ve hooked. After a while it came up broadside mid-river and I could see it was a big fish, this great big flank of common scales rolling in the flow’

 

8. ‘Noddoil is for Noddies’

Geoff Bowers

‘I didn’t want to start selling kilo bags of boilies into shops, and the customer end up paying extortionate prices because of trade mark-ups and all that. The customer who buys a kilo bag off the shelf is a completely different angler to the one who buys 100 kilos of freezer bait a year. I still wanted to research new ingredients, and move things forward and the way things looked like they were heading wouldn’t have left room for that. I didn’t want to become a shopkeeper’

 

9.‘Seeds and Oaks’

Ross Jelfs

‘It goes much, much deeper than the superficial problems associated with dropping huge European carp into our waters just because someone wants to catch a personal best. That is just the tip of the iceberg’

 

10. ‘The Silent Sanctuary’

Bart Spruijt

‘The view and atmosphere of the sanctuary made a deep impression on me, and the area exuded the aura of a jungle, and everywhere I looked there were different types of tree; oak, birch and even pine alternated and vied for space in the canopy overhead. These old trees, surrounded by skeletons of dead wood and carcasses of bark, felt like they had been here for eternity and the vast stretches of time that this place had lain untouched became apparent. I felt alone in this place.’

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