Thursday is our Big Fish Blog and it’s the turn of Marukyu, the Japan-based bait innovators with products specially designed to catch UK fish.
The words below come to us from their man Nick Marlow (pictured right), the well-travelled former editor of Tackle Trade World.
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SO WHAT WOULD IVAN MARKS DO?
HELP! I keep seeing all of these newfangled carp rigs on websites and in the angling press – and I have to say – I am a tad confused about where carp fishing is going these days.
Please forgive me for being a little cynical here – but aren’t all these new rigs just devised to help companies sell more kit?
As some of you will know, I’m a bit of a match angler at heart. I was lucky enough to grow up with possibly the two best fishing teachers in the world – my father, Roy Marlow, and Ivan Marks. In fact it’s only more recently that I have drifted away from the match scene and started targeting bigger fish.
One of the many things that Ivan told me – that has stuck with me pretty much forever, is this: “You’ve got to hook the fish before you can lose it…” Sounds pretty obvious doesn’t it? Yet how many of you actually think like that?
This brings me neatly back to rigs. Let’s take Ivan’s “You’ve got to hook the fish before you can lose it principal”…
We all keep reading about this ‘single bleep’ don’t we? Beep – that’s a fish ‘getting away with it’ – they say. A fish getting away with it? So what you are saying is that the fish wanted to eat your bait, ate your bait, felt five tons of metal work in its gob – and ejected the bait? Is that it? Is that what you are saying to me? A fish getting away with it… it beggars belief!
Let’s go back to some match fishing principals here and see if we can learn something…
A match angler is getting indications that there are fish in his swim. He (or she) has two choices… sit around doing the same thing and hope for a bite… or… change the way of fishing and see what happens. If that doesn’t work… change again… and again… until you find out what works. None of this ‘time served’ rubbish… you work at it! You change your hook, you change your line, alter a shotting pattern, change your bait, but you most definitely change – until you get the results you require. I believe that they call this ‘fishing’ or ‘angling’… it’s where you locate fish, and then go through the motions until you learn how to catch them.
Now let’s apply this logic to specimen fishing. Not just carp… maybe you are targeting big barbel, bream or tench. So… you know there are fish in front of you… what do you do? Sit there waiting for your single bleep to tell you that they have ‘got away with it’ again? Maybe add a few more bits to your rig to make it a bit heavier and a bit more jinglyjangly? Yes… that’s what you should do… add more bits and bobs to the rig…
But wait… what did Ivan say to me? “You’ve got to hook it before you can lose it…”. What would he do… hmmm… fish in front of me… feeding… I’m getting indications but no bites… hmmm…. Why? Well unfortunately Ivan’s not with us any more, but I can definitely tell you what his first action would have been… scale down your terminal tackle! Put a lighter hooklink on. Put a smaller hook on… or one of a lighter gauge… remove the resistance that’s causing the fish to pick up your bait and drop it. That is what he would have done for a fact!
“But he was a match angler,” I hear specimen anglers cry around the country. “That’s different fishing!”
But really… is it any different?
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a rant here and I’m not against any rig at all… 10% of the time – when fish are ‘having it’ – most rigs work brilliantly. But 90% of the time, when the fish are not really having a go… you need to think about what you do… If I’m not catching and I know there are fish there, I’ll go lighter. I’ll change my bait. I’ll do something. I don’t go camping with rods. I refuse to subscribe to the ‘time served’ theory – and I most certainly don’t ‘set my traps’. I go fishing – and I damn well enjoy it!
So next time you are sat there… think about this… If its not snaggy and you can get away with, try lighter line, try smaller hooks, lengthen your hooklink, change your bait, change the bait size – but do something! Don’t rely on tackle companies to sell you more stuff – think about it for yourself!
They say “Better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.” I say “Better to have hooked one and lost it – than to have sat there for 24 hours wondering ‘what if’”…
Click below to watch a bait demonstration by Marukyu’s Wendy Perry
THE NEXT BIG FISH BLOG WILL APPEAR ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27.
MONDAY: Carp crews on rotation – Korda, Fox, Nash and ACE.
TUESDAY: Steve Collett, Mail contributor and ultimate all-rounder.
WEDNESDAY: Angler’s Mail HQ – yes, us!
THURSDAY: Specialists from Pike Anglers Club, Korum, Pallatrax and Marukyu, on rotation.
FRIDAY: Carl & Alex, Angler’s Mail juniors and video diary makers.
SATURDAY: The Angling Trust – guys at the governing body.
SUNDAY: Colin Mitchell, veteran coarse angler and top journalist