As a kid in London I cut my teeth on the inner-city park lakes, learning to fish alongside a colourful mix of unlikely characters; pleasure anglers, dedicated die-hard Carp anglers and some not so dedicated carpers too....My experiences were peppered with ‘crack'eds', nutters, religious cults, hyped up dog walkers and whoever else frequented the parks by day and night. A rich tapestry of London life for a young lad to observe and learn from.
The very nature of fishing these busy park lakes meant I either followed the crowds by competing for pressured fish, or adapted my approach to one allowing me to do things a little differently and my own way.
I soon formed a near obsession, to escape the crowded banks and follow my growing passion to locate search and hunt for wild and largely uncaught Carp, both back home in London but mostly abroad, often as far and remote as I could find. This zest for the far flung and untapped has shaped the path for much of my Carp fishing for the last 30 years.
In London I Focused mainly on the many miles of East London waterways and the largely un-fished reservoirs and a myriad of under-the-radar locations. This journey saw me take on some memorable adventure. I experienced some mad highs and deep lows with many failures and triumphs which was all part and parcel of this style of urban Carping.
As it became harder to escape the emerging urban Carp crowds, I started to look further afield. Massively inspired as a kid by tales of Cassien, Orient, Raduta etc., and keeping the dream of thoughts of wild uncaught carp as the driving force to travel. And so, 15 years ago I following a snippet from a foreign Carp magazine I’d found, and set off to explore a lake deep in the Moroccan Atlas mountains called Bin El Ouidane, a trip that saw me explore much of Africa.
This immense lake had at the time only been fished by 2 other Carp anglers. It was everything I’d ever dreamt of, an inland sea of 15.000 acres, beautifully peaceful but also so harsh & cruel, better still completely untouched & wild and with a sense of mystery surrounding it's stocks. I knew it had potential for something very big turning up and I'd finally found what I felt my Carping was all about.
Since then I’ve gone on to organising fishing trips to both Bin El Ouidane and in more recent years Orellana in Spain, both absolutely unique in their own ways, as wild as you can find, ridiculously massive in size and with the chance of that elusive dream, an ‘uncaught world record, which is out there!’ Orellana in particular in my opinion is the Mecca of today's big water Carping and where I'll personally be based for the foreseeable. This obsession to fish the wild foreign waters grows in me each year and along the way I'll continue to encourage others to also take the plunge into new adventures on these wonderful untapped waters.
The world is still a wonderful place and as Carp anglers, we still have so much still to hunt and discover out there! In many ways, we're only just scratching the surface.
To be continued…...