Who is the most inspirational angler you have worked with?
Hmm tricky, there have been so many that are in the angling light that I have learnt from and introduced certain styles into my repertoire; from Terry Hearn, to Jason Hayward, but in terms of inspirational…it would have to be the guys that I’ve met with disabilities and know matter what they are faced with, they go angling! I can’t single out anyone in particular but there are the people who I admire most, people who go fishing and don’t let anything get in their way because it’s their passion.
Finally, a guy called Ken Farrant. He introduced me to carp fishing as a young buck. I remember fishing a little lake in Cambs called Rigins. It was an intimate little pool, full of crucians, mirrors and commons. I had been fishing for roach, perch and bits and bobs for a few years after learning from my old man, and Ken, and it was finally time to catch a carp.
Both of them were good friends and they decided to take me to this pond. I remember sitting there, with my hand glued to the rod as I watched the float dance and sway as carp troughed on the pellet that we had introduced into the edge. The swim was like a cauldron as carp ripped up the bottom sending plumes of bubbles to the surface. The float dipped and then buried, before I struck into my first mirror. After a battle that seemed like an eternity, I knelt down in front of the camera with fluffy blonde hair smiling like a Cheshire cat. I was hooked after that day and can’t thank Ken and my dad enough.
What is the scariest moment you have experienced on the bank?
There have been a few occasions, and they generally coincide with fishing places I am not sure I should’ve been fishing. I won’t go into that, though, as I don’t advise it.
So, I will talk about the day I came face to face with a huge stag! I was fishing Woburn Safari Park. In the grounds of this beautiful slice of countryside is a small estate lake known as The Lower Drakeloe. The lake itself is incredibly picturesque; wild deer roam the grounds, elephants come to drink and swim in the lake on hot days, parrots can be heard squawking in the distance with the odd roar from a lion. It was an amazing experience.
One night, all was silent. The rods were out and the lake was flat as a millpond. I was sparko, having had two tinnies before bed after listening to the England play Finland in the Euros (they make you sleep better haha!). At around 2am, I heard an almighty crash as all three rods were launched off the rests, the buzzers bleeping like crazy. My heart was racing and I was forced to sit like a statue as I stared in the face of a big, stag deer. His antlers gave him a huge presence and we were both silently staring at each other, almost like a stand off. I really didn’t know what to do and for a split second we were both panicking about who would make the first move…
In a blink of an eye, the stag bolted past the bivvy and ambled up the hill back into the woods. To be honest, he was more scared than I was, but at 2am in the pitch black, waking up to the silhouette of a colossal stag isn’t exactly a blissful way to rise and shine.
If you had to choose 3 ingredients for a spod mix, what would they be?
Hemp is a classic. All carp love hemp and it is a great bulk bait for a spod mix. I use it especially on weedy waters when I am trying to prime a spot and it also helps to mimic naturals on the bottom. Hemp will keep carp rooting for a long time so there’ s no need to go overboard, unless prebaiting of course!
Crushed & whole Odyssey XXX; I’ve been using this boilie for a while now and must say it’s awesome. The unique, fishy taste and smell from the Green Lipped Mussel gives it a rich appeal and the carp can’t seem to get enough of it. I know the knowledge that goes into the nutritional side of the bait too, so I am confident that the carp will return because quite simply, they know it’s good for them. I use whole and crushed XXX to give the spod mix more variation in shapes and sizes, plus the fact that the crushed baits will leak even more attraction.
I also like to cloud up the mix a little so pour a dollop of Liquid Salmon Extract over the top. This is a lovely oily, fishy aroma and compliments the XXX perfectly.
How do you boost your corkball hookbaits?
After air-drying my corkball hook baits I will place them into a sealed tub, then add some sort of oil (in the warmer months). Smoked Salmon Oil generally, and then a teaspoon or two of GLM powder. When it cools, I will swap over to something more soluble such as Feedstim XP liquid and powder.
What is your favourite capture to date?
Still the Cambs lin I would say as it was a real build up of several years angling where I went through pretty much the whole stock before the queen turned up.
How did you get into working in the angling trade?
I started working for Total Carp magazine before being headhunted by Damian Clarke at Korda. From there, I went to JAG products (which didn’t really work out for me, due to a few things and I was only there a few months, it just wasn’t me) and now at CC Moore, which I absolutely love. The products are fantastic, made by anglers with supreme bait knowledge, the business is full of genuine people and we are growing rapidly, both in terms of products and in the media. We have brand-spanking new site coming up soon too which I cannot wait to get up and running.
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