Finding the Time to Cast – Review by Kevin Winter

The fabric of carp angling is constructed from threads of vastly different lives – factory workers, builders, teachers, musicians, roofers, graphic designers, gardeners, scientists…everyone with their own time frames, and everyone with their own commitments. Finding the Time to Cast tells a host of different tales, all with the shared focus of angling for big UK carp, but with the difference being that they are all on a budget – that of the ever pressing constraints of time. Review by Kevin ‘Hippy’ Winter, video review courtesy of Joe Morgan and Simon Scott and Carp Tv


Finding the Time to Cast

All my life I’ve been a bit of a bookworm, devouring dozens over the course of each year. Obviously, as I was drawn into fishing, then fishing books became a huge source of inspiration and information. When the carp bug bit hard, the books were a big part of that. Sat in pride of place of my groaning bookshelves are Obsession, In Pursuit and the daddy of them all – ‘The Carp Strikes Back’. All with tattered covers, and dead mosquitoes amongst the pages…

Since those days, I’ve expanded the collection dramatically and even been lucky enough to contribute to books on some of my favourite venues. Each year, two or three more books find their way onto the shelves; and therein lies the problem…

These days, so many books come out each autumn/winter that it has simply become impossible to keep adding every one of them…  nowadays, I often wait until the reviews come through and pick and choose. There are some so-so books doing the rounds, thrown together by a ghost writer and full of stories that have been hawked around every other media outlet so often that you often find yourself recognising every stage of the build up to the captures listed as you read through. At an average thirty pound a throw, that can lead to some expensive disappointments.

‘Finding the Time to Cast’ slipped under my radar a little – but a nice buzz on the forums and Facebook meant that I decided to pick up a copy – and I’m glad I took the trouble! Composed mostly of stories and material that has never been in the public domain, it was a cracking read where, for once, I didn’t know the end result until I actually read it. The angle of guys with limited time also appealed – at times in my life, I have been a total bank tramp, fishing well over a hundred nights a year, but the need to actually earn money and put a roof over my head has seen that crash down to about thirty nights a year at best. This meant that a lot of the stories in the book were much more relatable to the average angler, and I found myself willing them to success as I read.

Two chapters stood out for me. James Parry’s chapter on the Castle’s water was fascinating. Over on the CEMEX forum, he has dropped the odd hint and shown the occasional picture of the place – the chance to read the full story of fishing against the odds really appealed to me, as did the gradual move onto other venues. Inspiring stuff, and probably my favourite chapter. John Bird’s piece on the Mere also grabbed me – I fished for several years a short distance down the road, but never dared to venture round there for fear that the obsession that might strike me as I knew how deeply it had inflicted others. John’s chapter was a pretty good substitute, and was read straight through in one sitting.

To sum up, this is a little gem of a book, with a number of stories you simply haven’t read before and can relate directly to. No egos, no product shots (or sponsors chapter!), just some good carpy stories that will have you wanting to get the rods out. Whilst a few of the ‘paint by numbers’ cash-ins have been bought, read and then sold to fund a new book, this one will be staying in a permanent slot on my bookshelf!

Kevin ‘Hippy’ Winter

Finding the Time to Cast is available through Mpress Publications here

Video Review by Simon Scott

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