For the love of all that is holy, carp.

Deejay8

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When the carp were big elusive fish that required great knowledge, skill and being in the right location to catch them, there was a real sense of romance about fishing for them. But the sudden popularity of fishing for them soon put paid to that, as lakes were stocked to provide carp fishing for the masses. Then the match and commercial fraternity discovered the joys of small carp, and suddenly it seemed like the be all and end all of coarse fishing. So carp have taken over. But it can't be denied that there are thousands of anglers who are happy about that. But I would get very bored, very quickly if carp were the only game in town. I did sometimes enjoy fishing for a bag of small carp on fast and furious methods like pellet wag and wag and mag. It's a fun and exciting way to fish. But it soon gets boring catching like that day after day. Match fishing is different, because it has that element of competition and trying to outthink your opponents, as well as the fish. But to catch the same fish day in, day out as a pleasure angler would become boring for me. I used to be in a club that had a number of natural lakes and some stretches of river. Every water was different. Some easier than others. Some with bigger specimens to catch. Some more mixed. Others more big carp. There was plenty of variety. We had one lake, Kings near Romsey, that was stocked with lots of small carp, and even some goldfish. It was easy to catch a carp of half a pound up to about 6lbs, a chuck. It was always an enjoyable day out fishing there, now and then. But it was now and then. It soon became very boring once the novelty wore off. It was a relief to get back to having to work to get bites, and not to be guaranteed a carp a cast. But somehow we seem to have become a society that needs instant and easy results.
 

PAB

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I find that the mass introduction of carp has really spoiled my fishing there is not a venue near me that is open during the closed season that is not filled with small carp so as to give match anglers something easy to catch roll on the 16th so i can get away from all the hordes of boy scout carpers my news feed is full of look what i caught a 12lb carp after spending 11 days and nights on a water. don't get me wrong seeing someone get a brace of 30lb carp from a huge reservoir is worth a mention after a lot of work.
 

Deejay8

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It's interesting to read in the Anglers Times, that matches on rivers are suddenly getting fully booked, as there seems to be a turn away from the commercials. Maybe the commercial bubble is beginning to burst.
 

MarkW

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My observation locally is that with so much more money to be made from overnight 3-rod carping than pleasure/match fishing there has been a tendency to convert some former general ponds to carp-only waters as they make more money so that there is possibly going to be less room for the match anglers.
 

Beck Hill

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Been away fishing for a week at multiple venues. Weather has been mixed but mostly fishable, even if I was a little too cocksure with the margin pole in 15mph wind. Almost broke it, but no, my pole is perfectly in tact despite the rough handling.

I'm just so tired of catching carp. I made a thread last year asking how to avoid it. Not because I don't like the species or the amazing fight, but just because I like variety. I get specialist carp fishing, I do. I get the careful long term pursuit of a 40lb monster. I get the endless weekends, the hasty justifications to the husband or wife, the sacrifices made to bag the ultimate beast. I really do and I never understood why anyone would dislike a particular species of fish for any reason.

This week though, one day in particular, my catches were, 3oz perch, 1/2lb skimmer, carp, carp, carp, carp, carp, bacon sandwich, carp, 10lb+ carp, carp, carp, carp, carp, carp, carp, 2lb bream. Most of the others were similar days. It's just carp after carp. Aside from a matchman, does ANYONE want such a catch on a given day? Neither specimens, nor variety. By the end of it, I wanted to throw myself in and hope for a Great White shark.

To me, that isn't an enjoyable days fishing really. I'm not trying to get match weights, I just want to catch fish. In the 30 years before I restarted, I don't ever, ever, remember this sort of thing happening. It was more like perch, perch, perch, perch, perch, roach, perch, tench, perch, rudd, roach, perch perch, skimmer, perch, skimmer.

I've tried a multitude of different baits over the week. Even double red maggot resulted in....you guessed it, carp. Thats in 2ft of water and it took 2 minutes. Wasn't even a bad fish! Fisheries need to sort out their priorities. Either they are match fisheries, specimen fisheries, or pleasure fisheries. You can't be all things to all people, all of the time.

Forgetting my personal preferences, this can't be good from an ecological perspective, can it?

If I cannot catch a roach 1ft from the surface on caster, but instead catch a carp, thats messed up, imo.

Catch a double figure carp on relatively light tackle is great fun, I don't deny that. It's just that if your entire expectancy consists of carp, to me it feels like you're no longer fishing. My friends in the US absolutely hate them, which I never understood, since most of their fishing is generally one or two species in fresh water.

I am not anti carp or anti carp angler, even slightly. I just don't get the obsession with chucking carp in every tiny puddle someone might fish. It makes for a very bland day out.

I did notice in a search that some lakes do not stock carp, but it's few and far between. I guess I just want a normal days coarse fishing. Is it too much to ask?
I can appreciate how you feel and why you feel like it, basically, familiarity breeds contempt, lots of a good thing is OK until one gets fed up with it.
In France, in the apple-growing Limousin, most orchards have an irrigation lake, sometimes of many acres and filled with carp. Many years ago whilst on holiday there I was invited to fish one. It meant a trip to the local supermarket and buying a 5m pole several prepared winders and a large tin of sweetcorn all for the princely sum of 10 euros.
Once set up it became a fish a chuck, not massive fish but good sport on relatively light tackle, there was the occasional submarine that needed walking up and down the bank until it decided the middle of the lake was where it wanted to be. To be honest, once the novelty had worn off it became boring. and catching a mixed bag of roach, rudd, bream, chub and perch on my local river seemed much more preferable to catching loads of carp. There are carp in my local river but are rarely caught just as are barbel and tench. I have had my mid close season session at a fishery to get it out of my system and now with a few days to go until the 16th anticipation is growing.
 

MartinWY

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I can appreciate how you feel and why you feel like it, basically, familiarity breeds contempt, lots of a good thing is OK until one gets fed up with it.
In France, in the apple-growing Limousin, most orchards have an irrigation lake, sometimes of many acres and filled with carp. Many years ago whilst on holiday there I was invited to fish one. It meant a trip to the local supermarket and buying a 5m pole several prepared winders and a large tin of sweetcorn all for the princely sum of 10 euros.
Once set up it became a fish a chuck, not massive fish but good sport on relatively light tackle, there was the occasional submarine that needed walking up and down the bank until it decided the middle of the lake was where it wanted to be. To be honest, once the novelty had worn off it became boring. and catching a mixed bag of roach, rudd, bream, chub and perch on my local river seemed much more preferable to catching loads of carp. There are carp in my local river but are rarely caught just as are barbel and tench. I have had my mid close season session at a fishery to get it out of my system and now with a few days to go until the 16th anticipation is growing.
Limousin also has some very very muscular cows iirc? I stumbled upon Limousin beef a couple of years ago whilst skiing (not literally) and my goodness did it make the tastiest boeuf bourguignon. I've never topped it.

You're right, its just over familiarity. I have a short attention span too, which doesn't help.
 

Neil ofthe nene

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When the carp were big elusive fish that required great knowledge, skill and being in the right location to catch them, there was a real sense of romance about fishing for them. But the sudden popularity of fishing for them soon put paid to that, as lakes were stocked to provide carp fishing for the masses. Then the match and commercial fraternity discovered the joys of small carp, and suddenly it seemed like the be all and end all of coarse fishing. So carp have taken over. But it can't be denied that there are thousands of anglers who are happy about that. But I would get very bored, very quickly if carp were the only game in town. I did sometimes enjoy fishing for a bag of small carp on fast and furious methods like pellet wag and wag and mag. It's a fun and exciting way to fish. But it soon gets boring catching like that day after day. Match fishing is different, because it has that element of competition and trying to outthink your opponents, as well as the fish. But to catch the same fish day in, day out as a pleasure angler would become boring for me. I used to be in a club that had a number of natural lakes and some stretches of river. Every water was different. Some easier than others. Some with bigger specimens to catch. Some more mixed. Others more big carp. There was plenty of variety. We had one lake, Kings near Romsey, that was stocked with lots of small carp, and even some goldfish. It was easy to catch a carp of half a pound up to about 6lbs, a chuck. It was always an enjoyable day out fishing there, now and then. But it was now and then. It soon became very boring once the novelty wore off. It was a relief to get back to having to work to get bites, and not to be guaranteed a carp a cast. But somehow we seem to have become a society that needs instant and easy results.
I understand the boredom some say they feel catching carp. But have never understood why that is different to catching roach after roach.
 

Neil ofthe nene

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What nonsense. Waters are filled with carp because they are cheap, hardy and long lived. I would have loved for you to come and give some advice this week on a commercial where I had two carp in a match, I wish they were easy to catch.
It always seems strange to me that these wonderful anglers who catch hundreds of carp every time they fish a commercial never take advantage of their skills and clean up on the commercial fishery match circuit.
 

MartinWY

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I don't want this thread to descend into some kind of argument. Everyone enjoys their own variety of fishing for their own reasons and rightly so.

I based my original post on my own experiences of fishing waters that I was both aware of and that were local to me. I've never caught hundreds of carp in a day, more like 10, tops. I'm not a match fisherman, never was and never will be. All I wanted to do was pleasure fish. It just so happens that I, personally, find more pleasure in catching multiple species rather than one. Other people may find pleasure in the hard fighting carp and be perfectly happy with what I experienced. Its just perspective.

There is no denying that fishery owners are increasingly stocking carp, for whatever reason. Fast growing, disease resistant, I don't understand all the technical details.

I just got bored of catching carp repeatedly every single session and it seems I'm not entirely alone. I had the occasional other species, but no matter what the circumstances, most fish were carp. Maybe it's the waters themselves, maybe its the weather, maybe the bait or tactics. All I know is that I fished from the age of 7 until my mid 20's and never caught a single carp, not one. Now, since returning, its all I seem able to catch, with the odd exception. My tactics aren't so much different to when I was a kid even if they probably should be.

A lot of you have the benefit of the experience of intervening years. You've seen things develop so you obviously know more than me. Maybe you also have different goals and want to bag up for match weights, or perhaps you enjoy catching carp exclusively. All such motivations are equally valid. Each to their own in pursuit of sport. We shouldn't forget that.

For me, since I'm not looking to put together a match weight or hunt specimens, part of the joy of fishing is the unpredictability of what is pulling the float under or the rod tip around. The only exception to that was when I used to go predator fishing and sought out pike, but thats not really the same thing, although the odd decent perch was a very welcome bonus.

@Maesknoll are carp actually a cheap fish? I'd always thought they would be rather expensive. Again, I learned something.
 

Maesknoll

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I don't want this thread to descend into some kind of argument. Everyone enjoys their own variety of fishing for their own reasons and rightly so.

I based my original post on my own experiences of fishing waters that I was both aware of and that were local to me. I've never caught hundreds of carp in a day, more like 10, tops. I'm not a match fisherman, never was and never will be. All I wanted to do was pleasure fish. It just so happens that I, personally, find more pleasure in catching multiple species rather than one. Other people may find pleasure in the hard fighting carp and be perfectly happy with what I experienced. Its just perspective.

There is no denying that fishery owners are increasingly stocking carp, for whatever reason. Fast growing, disease resistant, I don't understand all the technical details.

I just got bored of catching carp repeatedly every single session and it seems I'm not entirely alone. I had the occasional other species, but no matter what the circumstances, most fish were carp. Maybe it's the waters themselves, maybe its the weather, maybe the bait or tactics. All I know is that I fished from the age of 7 until my mid 20's and never caught a single carp, not one. Now, since returning, its all I seem able to catch, with the odd exception. My tactics aren't so much different to when I was a kid even if they probably should be.

A lot of you have the benefit of the experience of intervening years. You've seen things develop so you obviously know more than me. Maybe you also have different goals and want to bag up for match weights, or perhaps you enjoy catching carp exclusively. All such motivations are equally valid. Each to their own in pursuit of sport. We shouldn't forget that.

For me, since I'm not looking to put together a match weight or hunt specimens, part of the joy of fishing is the unpredictability of what is pulling the float under or the rod tip around. The only exception to that was when I used to go predator fishing and sought out pike, but thats not really the same thing, although the odd decent perch was a very welcome bonus.

@Maesknoll are carp actually a cheap fish? I'd always thought they would be rather expensive. Again, I learned something.

Carp are about the cheapest fish to buy and the hardiest and live the longest- perfect commercial sense, if running a business.


Some match anglers do like to catch big weights, personally, if it takes 5lb to win a match, then I’m happy to win a match with 5lb, it’s the competition and the aim of winning which counts. I tend to avoid ‘fish race’ venues.
 

The Bongo

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I haven't caught a carp for four or so years. I do enjoy landing the odd one on holidays away, but they are not my cup of tea at all.

I only fish local club waters with at most a handful of carp in them, or carp free lakes. Two lakes I found online via Facebook, as local clubs often have an FB page for the members if not an actual website, one via a local residents chat forum.

The nearest farm pit I found by chatting to a fellow dog walker.

Funny thing is, I was walking said mutt one day when a van pulled up and a chap asked me if I fished much. I answered that I fished for tench and he explained that he had just moved to the area and needed to know the local pits. We chatted for a few minutes and I have seen him since both in town and on the bank.

Similar happened one evening in Morrison's when a bloke spotted my angling magazine on the checkout. He was in even better luck as I rarely fish rivers but the lass on the checkouts Dad did, which is what he was mainly after.

Obviously they could have stopped dozens of people before landing up with me (and the young lady) for all I know, but I would have thought that you were fairly soon to find someone who fished locally asking on a working class estate on the very edge of most towns or villages.
 

Silverfisher

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I understand the boredom some say they feel catching carp. But have never understood why that is different to catching roach after roach.
I think that’s quite a simple one for me on a personal level. When catching lots of any non carp species from a river, canal, sea or natural or naturalised lake you are catching fish that have always been there in the numbers that nature has intended so its a genuine competition against nature. Plus you don’t catch loads from such places almost every time so it feels like an achievement when you do. By comparison when you’re catching lots of carp from a commercial most times you go you are catching a species in such numbers that you would never occur in nature so I feel it’s not a very real experience hence to me it’s not as fun. Tbh that applies to any species in a commercial to an extent but it’s not so bad with most other species as least with them it is mirroring what you can do in the real world.

It always seems strange to me that these wonderful anglers who catch hundreds of carp every time they fish a commercial never take advantage of their skills and clean up on the commercial fishery match circuit.
I don’t think anyone’s said they catch hundreds of carp every time. But catching lots of fish of multiple pounds which you can do pleasure fishing a lot of commercials (of course not all before anyone gets excited) isn’t something you can do in the real world with the regularity that you can with commercial carp. There’s no point pretending that places don’t exist where you can catch anything from a dozen to couple dozen carp as bycatch when fishing for other species because such places are not uncommon. Not saying you’re saying they don’t exist but some people do talk like they don’t.
 

Neil ofthe nene

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I think that’s quite a simple one for me on a personal level. When catching lots of any non carp species from a river, canal, sea or natural or naturalised lake you are catching fish that have always been there in the numbers that nature has intended so its a genuine competition against nature. Plus you don’t catch loads from such places almost every time so it feels like an achievement when you do. By comparison when you’re catching lots of carp from a commercial most times you go you are catching a species in such numbers that you would never occur in nature so I feel it’s not a very real experience hence to me it’s not as fun. Tbh that applies to any species in a commercial to an extent but it’s not so bad with most other species as least with them it is mirroring what you can do in the real world.


I don’t think anyone’s said they catch hundreds of carp every time. But catching lots of fish of multiple pounds which you can do pleasure fishing a lot of commercials (of course not all before anyone gets excited) isn’t something you can do in the real world with the regularity that you can with commercial carp. There’s no point pretending that places don’t exist where you can catch anything from a dozen to couple dozen carp as bycatch when fishing for other species because such places are not uncommon. Not saying you’re saying they don’t exist but some people do talk like they don’t.
You seem to be totally unaware or unwilling to acknowledge that many non commercial waters have been stocked with fish that did not breed there.

The Environment Agency have a fish farm for this purpose and regularly move fish from threatened locations.

Still no one has answered, to my satisfaction, my question why catching 100 roach from a canal, which I can do midwinter, is harder, more enjoyable and "proper" while catching 25 carp from a commercial is easy, not enjoyable and artificial.

Fishing is fishing, fish are fish. I don't care what I catch or where from. I'm just as happy on the canal or river as I am on a commercial. It's a shame others are so blinkered.
 

Silverfisher

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You seem to be totally unaware or unwilling to acknowledge that many non commercial waters have been stocked with fish that did not breed there.

The Environment Agency have a fish farm for this purpose and regularly move fish from threatened locations.

Still no one has answered, to my satisfaction, my question why catching 100 roach from a canal, which I can do midwinter, is harder, more enjoyable and "proper" while catching 25 carp from a commercial is easy, not enjoyable and artificial.

Fishing is fishing, fish are fish. I don't care what I catch or where from. I'm just as happy on the canal or river as I am on a commercial. It's a shame others are so blinkered.
Non commercial waters are restocked which is a bit different to being heavily stocked from the start plus it’s not something that is done all that regularly. At least locally the only natural venue that is often restocked is the Ouse and that’s to replace fish lost to pollution. The other rivers and canals are largely left to their own devices and more or less natural stock Stillwaters have their carp and sometimes other big fish stock managed but the silvers are left to their own devices.

If it’s not to your satisfaction that’s your prerogative but one is fishing (largely) against nature and one is fishing a set up scenario which is why I find one more fun than the other. It’s nothing to do with being blinkered instead people simply fish for different reasons and what is boring to some of us is fun to others 👍🏻

For what it’s worth though 100 tiny roach (from some of your reports) from a canal is no more fun than commercial carp that’s for sure it’s worse for me. If you can do 100 proper roach easily then that is very impressive!
 

badgerale

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I understand the boredom some say they feel catching carp. But have never understood why that is different to catching roach after roach.
For me, I wouldn't catch 100s of roach.

If the place is stuffed with tiddlers I switch to bigger bait - worms, sweetcorn, meat - to target the bigger fish and get some variety.
 

Keith1954

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Been away fishing for a week at multiple venues. Weather has been mixed but mostly fishable, even if I was a little too cocksure with the margin pole in 15mph wind. Almost broke it, but no, my pole is perfectly in tact despite the rough handling.

I'm just so tired of catching carp. I made a thread last year asking how to avoid it. Not because I don't like the species or the amazing fight, but just because I like variety. I get specialist carp fishing, I do. I get the careful long term pursuit of a 40lb monster. I get the endless weekends, the hasty justifications to the husband or wife, the sacrifices made to bag the ultimate beast. I really do and I never understood why anyone would dislike a particular species of fish for any reason.

This week though, one day in particular, my catches were, 3oz perch, 1/2lb skimmer, carp, carp, carp, carp, carp, bacon sandwich, carp, 10lb+ carp, carp, carp, carp, carp, carp, carp, 2lb bream. Most of the others were similar days. It's just carp after carp. Aside from a matchman, does ANYONE want such a catch on a given day? Neither specimens, nor variety. By the end of it, I wanted to throw myself in and hope for a Great White shark.

To me, that isn't an enjoyable days fishing really. I'm not trying to get match weights, I just want to catch fish. In the 30 years before I restarted, I don't ever, ever, remember this sort of thing happening. It was more like perch, perch, perch, perch, perch, roach, perch, tench, perch, rudd, roach, perch perch, skimmer, perch, skimmer.

I've tried a multitude of different baits over the week. Even double red maggot resulted in....you guessed it, carp. Thats in 2ft of water and it took 2 minutes. Wasn't even a bad fish! Fisheries need to sort out their priorities. Either they are match fisheries, specimen fisheries, or pleasure fisheries. You can't be all things to all people, all of the time.

Forgetting my personal preferences, this can't be good from an ecological perspective, can it?

If I cannot catch a roach 1ft from the surface on caster, but instead catch a carp, thats messed up, imo.

Catch a double figure carp on relatively light tackle is great fun, I don't deny that. It's just that if your entire expectancy consists of carp, to me it feels like you're no longer fishing. My friends in the US absolutely hate them, which I never understood, since most of their fishing is generally one or two species in fresh water.

I am not anti carp or anti carp angler, even slightly. I just don't get the obsession with chucking carp in every tiny puddle someone might fish. It makes for a very bland day out.

I did notice in a search that some lakes do not stock carp, but it's few and far between. I guess I just want a normal days coarse fishing. Is it too much to ask?
I know exactly what you mean.
The variety of fish in most waters I fish has dwindled over the years. Carp and the dreaded F1s seem to dominate.
I tried to book a fishing/camping holiday in Devon last week and all bar one location was a dedicated Carp fishery. ☹️
I started fishing 55 years ago and you never knew what you were going to catch when you sat on the bank.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a scrap with a decent sized fish, carp or otherwise, but I don't want to catch carp all day.
All down to personal preference of course. 😁
 

Zerkalo

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Chatting to a bloke on the bank down here in Somerset he said “you’re not from round here from your accent?”. I told him “no, the West Midlands “. He said “there’s not many natural venues like this round by you is there?”. I told him “there are a few you just have to put the work into finding them.” I only fish for carp to get my fishing fix in winter and usually catch a few big perch while I’m at it too.
 

mickthechippy

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My observation locally is that with so much more money to be made from overnight 3-rod carping than pleasure/match fishing there has been a tendency to convert some former general ponds to carp-only waters as they make more money so that there is possibly going to be less room for the match anglers.
a fair few of our local venues, now have pay by the hour carp ponds, with a minimum price too
 

Total

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a fair few of our local venues, now have pay by the hour carp ponds, with a minimum price too
Really?:unsure:....Are you meaning an afternoon/evening ticket price?......Have not heard of a literally 'pay by the hour car ponds' in our areas....(y)
 
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