ArticlesSolving The Puzzle - Jack Brown
I love everything about carp fishing, well angling in general; the thrill of the chase, the adventure, the mystery and being at one with nature. Although I love the carp themselves, there’s nothing more captivating than seeing a beautifully coloured Kingfisher darting just above the surface of the water. As I’ve grown up I’ve become accustomed to appreciating the surroundings; the atmosphere, the sunsets, sun rises, early morning wildlife choruses – that’s what it’s all about. None of this internet arguing malarky, just fishing; passion, a wonderful hobby and in my case an absolute obsession.
Targeting big carp is what truly motivates me to go. That said, I do still enjoy a day receiving no end of bites on the local canal or a spot of floater fishing, but I definitely have a bounty hunter kind of instinct within. To be honest, the most important thing is that I just love being there. Sitting here now listening to the powerful cracks of thunder crashing through the clouds above me whilst huddled under the brolly with Jimmy just gives me that buzz. I’m here and I’m enjoying every second of it. Every now and then a carp will porpoise in the ruffled, windy surface and my heart skips a beat – that’s carp fishing and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now!
I’d say my fishing has changed slightly during the last couple of years and this mainly down to my job role. I like to mix things up a bit. I manage a very busy shop and company, namely Browns, and at times I do have to cherry pick where and when I go angling. Around three years ago, I was so set on targeting just single fish quite simply because I could be there. However, I have to be realistic these days and although I still fish waters with targets in mind, they do tend to hold a good head of backup fish. Nevertheless, I do still hold a couple of golden tickets and I’m sure that my obsession for targeting single, big’guns will be revoked as my hectic work schedule slows.
The carp that I target have to look special to me. I like nothing more than those deep, dark, scaly’s; fish with character and a few tales behind them. I’m not part of the keep it real brigade, I’m not that bothered where they’re from, I target carp because they appeal to me. It’s about what makes you happy, nothing else!
Location and my style of angling
My concept and style of angling doesn’t really change. The first thing I do on any water is going for a stroll and spend as much time looking at the water as I can. This is paramount and all too often anglers will rock up and fish ‘The Car Park’ swim. I’m a bit of a tree-climbing lover and therefore shin up as many viewing trees as possible. You get such a good view.
I pay attention to weather conditions – fresh winds, sudden temperature changes and air pressures; these are all factors that tie into locating your quarry, the most important part of angling by a long way.
On busier day-ticket waters, such as Swan here at Bluebell Lakes, I do pay attention to angling pressure. If you arrive at the lake and whole bank is tied up don’t be blinkered that it’s the best area to fish. Of course, there will be times that the fish are tightly grouped, but eventually the scene of leads crashing through the surface, thrashing the water to a foam, will put the carp on guard. So much so that they’ll move out of the area. Therefore, the forward-thinking angler who has slotted himself quietly into the area with no lines will reap the rewards. One of my strengths is that I quietly go about my business and I can’t recommend this highly enough.
In terms of targeting single fish, observation and research is key. Do they favour certain areas at any given times of year? Do they slip up over big beds of bait, do they have a preference to boilies or particles? Is that mysterious big common susceptible to slipping up on a full moon? These are all factors that I apply when targeting certain fish because quite often they will have characteristics and a routine for getting caught.
Rigs are very important to me and I pay close attention to detail. However, the basis of them is pretty simple. A sharp hook is imperative and since sharpening my hook points my catch rates have definitely improved. I’m positive that pick-ups have resulted into more takes as that pin-sharp hook point has pushed home, more so than a standard, off the shelf job. The other important factor of my rigs is that they need to reset. It’s no good having a rig that once picked up and potentially ejected then goes on to tangle. Quite often, no matter how effective or sharp the hook is, a cunning, wise, old girl will pick up the rig several times before finally slipping up. A rig must be able to re-cock itself. Observation, location and a tried and tested rig – the three most important factors in catching carp consistently!
Strengths and weaknesses
One of my strengths as an angler is that I’m very adaptable. By that, I’m no one-trick pony in that I will only use choddies, or pop-ups. Of course, I will happily sit behind such rigs and presentations, but if the cruising in the upper layers or on the surface, I will tailor my approach to give me the best possible opportunity of catching. In fact, some of my favourite styles of angling see me with one rod, keeping on the move whether that be floater fishing or stalking at close quarters. The key to a good all rounder is to not become pigeon-holed into certain styles, keep an open mind because the carp’s behavior varies from water to water. I’m a fidgety person and although that can be an advantage, it can also be my weakness. At times, I may move at the wrong time when really I should’ve waited for the carp to come to me. That said, I haven’t got the time to wait, plus it’s not as exciting.
As for a weakness, I’m pretty poor when it comes to fishing at distance. I was fishing over at Christchurch a few years back, placing three rods on a sixpence, which I grasped easily at medium sort of ranges. Ask me to go at distance, though, and I find it far trickier. Not in terms of accuracy, but in terms of distance.
For me, I just hope the future holds enjoyment and that my love for the sport never dwindles. I want it to continue to be excitable and that every time I step foot on the banks I put 100% effort into everything that I do. To be honest, unless something drastic happens, that will never change. Carp fishing is an obsession and a way of life!