For the love of all that is holy, carp.

Sam Vimes

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I'm still waiting to see what people propose to do about this. It seems that more than a few are just going to continue fishing at the same carp dominated venues and then complain about catching carp. At the very least, folks could actually try to find more "natural" venues with no/fewer carp. Many clubs have yet to go down the skips full of carp stocking route. They often have relatively unloved ponds that are mostly ignored partly because they aren't full of carp. I'm fairly certain that, in many cases, they'd appreciate some extra income.

At the extreme, folks could look towards buying/renting their own waters. If they aren't that well heeled, then they might gather some like minded friends and acquaintances and form their own club or syndicate. The one thing that's unlikely to be successful is moaning on the internet whilst hoping that successful profit making fisheries suddenly decide to net out the very fish that has contributed to their success.
 

RedhillPhil

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And now I read in the current A.T. that the committee at Butterley reservoir are currently engaged in removing the shoal fish - mostly Bream - to turn it into a Carp fishery. This is what happened and why I left the freshwater club that I belonged to in Cornwall. The lovely little mixed lake was overstocked - at their expense - with Carp by the match anglers.
I've asked it before and I'll ask it again, why can't these multi lakes fisheries have just one non Carp lake?
 

Beck Hill

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River fishing is something I've only ever tried a handful of times. I don't have the knowledge to do it really. The extent of my technique on rivers would be fishing a bomb and letting it roll along the bottom with a bit bunch of maggots on a size 12. Thats because I think I remember John Wilson doing it.
Never mind how John Wilson did it, he is no longer with us, however, there are enough instructional videos on YouTube to help you become a proficient river angler. Yes, the bags will be a lot smaller than commercials but not always,100lb bags of bream are quite common on some rivers, a 20lb bag of roach or chub is a grand achievement. Join a club with some good barbel fishing, drop your bunch of maggots in on a size 12 and eventually, you will catch barbel. Yes it can be as simple as that or as complicated as you wish to make it. I have nothing against carp fishing or commercials, if that's what someone's preference is, fine, someone on here has an opinion only real men fish rivers, perhaps he's right but maybe it should be only real fishermen fish rivers.
 

davej1981

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Sounds like im very lucky in sussex. I have a choice of commercial fisheries and naturals. I have 9 miles of river within 5 minutes of me club run that has everything from small roach to double figure barbel. Theres a large reservoir just down the road that although contains a few large carp, they are hrd to catch and and most people target the roach and skimmere or pike. Likewise im a member of a syndicate that is predominantly carp and another day ticket water that has a speci lake for carp and cats and 2 match lakes.
 

Dave Spence

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Since the advent of the 'commercial' fishery we have definitely bred a new generation of anglers. In the past, if asked how we had done the reply would be along the lines of "had some lovely roach" or "a few nice tench" etc. Nowadays, when asked the same question, the response would be "had 5" or "had 6" etc. the species they had caught would be taken for granted. We cannot knock this, that is what they want to do and they have a right to do it without being abused. There has always been 'knocking' between speci boys and matchmen but now it would appear that it is commie boys against everyone else and this cannot be good for the sport. You can't blame the fishery owners, they have merely latched on to a lucrative business idea and are prepared to invest time and money to give their customers what they want. If you do not like the product they are offering then don't buy it, it is that simple. 4 mile away from where I am sitting is Attenborough Gravel Pits, huge shoals of bream, specimen roach, tench and pike. But, if I were to take a wander over there I would find less than half a dozen people fishing, despite it being several hundred acres in size. The reason, it is a difficult place to fish and you need all of your watercraft just to locate the fish. It is a fishery where time and effort are rewarded, you will not get the instant gratification that a lot of today's anglers crave.

If you want this instant gratification, use the commercials. If you want a variety then hone your watercraft and put some time in finding alternative venues. what we shouldn't be doing is knocking other anglers for their enjoyment of a particular branch of the sport.
 

Peter

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Since the advent of the 'commercial' fishery we have definitely bred a new generation of anglers. In the past, if asked how we had done the reply would be along the lines of "had some lovely roach" or "a few nice tench" etc. Nowadays, when asked the same question, the response would be "had 5" or "had 6" etc. the species they had caught would be taken for granted. We cannot knock this, that is what they want to do and they have a right to do it without being abused. There has always been 'knocking' between speci boys and matchmen but now it would appear that it is commie boys against everyone else and this cannot be good for the sport. You can't blame the fishery owners, they have merely latched on to a lucrative business idea and are prepared to invest time and money to give their customers what they want. If you do not like the product they are offering then don't buy it, it is that simple. 4 mile away from where I am sitting is Attenborough Gravel Pits, huge shoals of bream, specimen roach, tench and pike. But, if I were to take a wander over there I would find less than half a dozen people fishing, despite it being several hundred acres in size. The reason, it is a difficult place to fish and you need all of your watercraft just to locate the fish. It is a fishery where time and effort are rewarded, you will not get the instant gratification that a lot of today's anglers crave.

If you want this instant gratification, use the commercials. If you want a variety then hone your watercraft and put some time in finding alternative venues. what we shouldn't be doing is knocking other anglers for their enjoyment of a particular branch of the sport.
Well said Dave,
The last 40 years has seen me for the most part match fishing both on a team and individual basis at various levels across a variety of venues and when I started 1 keepnet was all that was needed be it river, lake or canal. 25lbs in a match would see you taking home a brown envelope for a main frame finish or section more often than not. Carp in general weren't a target but a definite bonus due to their scarcity in the venues we fished.
The advent of the commercials changed all that with the stocking of carp in large quantities. To a degree it even changed some river and canal venues where floods saw fish escape from new commercials into them. Now Carp are old hat in terms of desirability. For many commercials F1's are now the go to species to stock as they're relatively cheap, will happily exist on a diet of pellets and not outgrow their habitat............................Progress?..........Probably as there is an obvious demand.

Thankfully there are still sufficient venues where this is not the case, even if a bit of homework is required to find them and long may that prove to be the case.

Don't however knock the commercials, they are businesses designed to produce an income and profit for the owners. They will only do that by meeting the demands of their customers and while that demand exists they aren't going to change their business models any time soon. ;)
 

badgerale

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I think everyone is more or less in agreement about commercial fisheries - if you don't like them don't fish them. Even if some of us, myself included, enjoy a moan about them, we are generally happy to live and let live.

The problem is that the culture of commercials - heavily (over) stocked lakes with carp that provide a lot of action but little variety - is not limited to commercials. Club lakes are becoming mirrors of these places with endless carp stocked.

Even rivers are becoming infested with carp, and if you think that carp can't do well in rivers then look at the continent. They were originally bred from a river fish and are still quite at home there. 'River carping' is a thing.

I agree that there are still a few places I can fish, mostly rivers, and (somewhat) avoid carp but they are getting fewer by the year. Anglers like me are becoming more and more marginalised. That is why I moan.

Not that moaning achieves much - the direction of travel is moving further away from people enjoying natural waters, catching native species, and more towards artificial lakes and fish.

Catfish are the next one of course, coming soon to a river near you. I actually like them better than carp - at least they're a real fish not a selectively bred bloated monstrosity. But I can see our lakes and rivers eventually becoming carp and catfish and little else.
 

G0zzer2

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I wish I could catch carp, carp, carp, in this hot weather. The last few weeks have seen very limited numbers of carp caught on the carp-dominated waters I match fish. Six fish in six hours is good going. and with the temperatures forecast for tomorrow I can see some ending with none!
 

OldTaff

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Spoke to three lads yesterday fishing 2 adjacent swims on my local - I fished one of those swims 5:30am - 7am and caught 5 carp (on pole and pellet) within 8m of the bank - they had been fishing from 9am until I rocked up at 5pm on my way home and had 1 bite off 6 rods with no fish landed (boilies and alarms at long distance).

I know it’s not a true comparison because of the differing fishing styles but they were complaining bitterly about the lack of fish / all the fish removed / Eastern Europeans / excessive weed growth (not that I’ve seen) / yadda yadda yadda whilst sticking rigidly to a single line of attack - oh well their choice.

Having caught a mahoosive amount of carp in the last few months on several methods I have to say I’ll never get tired of catching them. They can be finicky and frustrating at times and downright insane fighters at others and I love them.
 

Deejay8

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It was interesting to read in the Angling Times that there is a bit of a growing backlash against small carp commercials, and anglers are beginning to want more variety and waters where silvers and tench or crucians dominate catches. And a lot of commercials are now starting to provide lakes that cater to this market. Hopefully a greater variety of fishing will be available at commercials in future.
 

Spiro

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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?
 

Spiro

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Hi,I’m new by to this site,just joined literally 10mins ago ,so hi anyhow,I was just checking different forum pages and came across your dilemma,lol,it was nice to think I’m normal I think 🤔,as I’ve just moved into north York’s,lots of great fishing,river canals ponds,.As I’ve been searching different locations,I’m gobsmacked at the overwhelming lads and lasses fishing,and they all want to talk ,catch specimen fish,im like you and your comments ,apart from match fishing ,it seems pleasure angling has changed views,and 20lb + carp,an spike nd sturgens,seem today’s fancy,maybe I’m an middle aged person nd times have changed,I like you just pleasure fish for mainly silvers,and it doesn’t matter what baits and tactics I use,I can’t get away from carp,casters maggots worms ,carp carp ,just as you say ,where have bream tench perch even little battling Criustian carp seem rare,,im not knocking any style of fishing,but am I wrong about specimen obsession,tight line to all,
 

Sam Vimes

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Hi,I’m new by to this site,just joined literally 10mins ago ,so hi anyhow,I was just checking different forum pages and came across your dilemma,lol,it was nice to think I’m normal I think 🤔,as I’ve just moved into north York’s,lots of great fishing,river canals ponds,.As I’ve been searching different locations,I’m gobsmacked at the overwhelming lads and lasses fishing,and they all want to talk ,catch specimen fish,im like you and your comments ,apart from match fishing ,it seems pleasure angling has changed views,and 20lb + carp,an spike nd sturgens,seem today’s fancy,maybe I’m an middle aged person nd times have changed,I like you just pleasure fish for mainly silvers,and it doesn’t matter what baits and tactics I use,I can’t get away from carp,casters maggots worms ,carp carp ,just as you say ,where have bream tench perch even little battling Criustian carp seem rare,,im not knocking any style of fishing,but am I wrong about specimen obsession,tight line to all,
Crucians have always been a bit of a rarity in North Yorkshire and the wider North East. Although I knew of a local venue that held them when I was a kid, I couldn't fish it. I suspect that I was approaching thirty before I caught my first North Yorkshire Crucian. I doubt I've had more than a handful in the twenty years since.

If you really want to avoid carp, the best bet are the rivers. Whilst there are limited numbers of them in certain spots, you could fish the Swale or Ure for a lifetime and never catch one. The only North Yorkshire river I'd actually fancy my chances of getting a carp deliberately would be the Ouse from York downstream.
 

Simon R

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Crucians have always been a bit of a rarity in North Yorkshire and the wider North East. Although I knew of a local venue that held them when I was a kid, I couldn't fish it. I suspect that I was approaching thirty before I caught my first North Yorkshire Crucian. I doubt I've had more than a handful in the twenty years since.

If you really want to avoid carp, the best bet are the rivers. Whilst there are limited numbers of them in certain spots, you could fish the Swale or Ure for a lifetime and never catch one. The only North Yorkshire river I'd actually fancy my chances of getting a carp deliberately would be the Ouse from York downstream.
Or the Tees - which is kind of in North Yorkshire (well one bank generally is :p ) - there's odd carp get caught in Stockton town centre every year, especially in the canals out the back of the old Churchill insurance building.

The only reasonably prolific crucian venue that I've fished recently is Rising Sun and that can be very hit and miss.
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Strangely when I started fishing (1978ish) crucians were quite common locally - both of my regularly fished park lakes had quite a good head of them - they were generally small, stunted versions in Albert Park Lake - rarely over 8oz - and then in later years at Hemlington Lake the crucians grew to a pound plus quite quickly - my PB for many. many years was a fish of 1lb 6oz that I caught from there in 1984.
My fishing diary entry for 6th August 1979 relating to a session at Albert Park informs me that I caught 5 roach, 3 crucians and a tench for a total of 1lb 3oz, using a 2BB Drennan Slim Sarkanda Zoomer and a size 16 Mustad hook with maggot as bait.

Simon
 

Arry

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Back when I was on the match circuit, our home venue for Essex club league matches was Hunton Bridge on the Grand Union... the main approach was Gudgeon at 3mm on the inside, Roach and Skimmers down the track and Dog Roach and Chub up the far shelf... now its a bomb and pellet for carp from the off... no variety any more... skills lost and carp carp carp... now I love fishing for them, but when I'm on a canal I don't wanna see one, same as on a club lake... you're enjoying a days Roaching on fine tackle and the bloody mud pigs move in... bloody infuriates me so it does
 

Alantherose

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Funnily enough, I’ve spent my last two sessions seeking a bigger (i.e. not “match sized”) carp and have gloriously blanked!

“Match sized” carp.
Bit like “fun sized” Mars bars.
No fun at all if you want a proper Mars bar 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

smiffy

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My favourite summer water has very few Carp in. So few that some anglers go weeks between fish. Not exactly brimming with other species either, thinking about it😂.
But, the days when all the hard work pays off are days you’ll remember for a long time.
It is possible to get away from Carp if you really want to. Look for the bigger waters that are too expensive to fill with stockies. It’s normally the little, intimate waters that get filled with them👍.
 
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