Angler’s Mail magazine news editor Thomas Petch blogs this week for Mail HQ, looking at instant carp anglers – and more!





EDITING Colin Davidson’s Carp World column for the next issue of the printed magazine out next Tuesday brought back a few memories as he’s talking about fashion trends and using big chunky plastic monkey climbers when he started out.

Blog ThomasI was like Colin, starting carp fishing in the 1980s after a childhood of catching smaller species like roach, rudd and perch before progressing to tench and bream.

I remember the poor kit, rubbish monkey climbers, and was absolutely devastated when I couldn’t buy a second Mitchell 300S ‘churner’ reel as they had been discontinued.

The carp scene has changed so much since I started out it is untrue. The biggest change of all is just how much better the tackle and bait has got and you can get absolutely everything you’d ever need now.

I suppose it is the best and worst aspect as well, as now instant carp anglers pop-up and just don’t have the experience to handle big fish.

But it is the only thing keeping many tackle shops open and easy access is a great thing.

But I’m sure more instant carp anglers would stay in the sport longer if they served even a small apprenticeship fishing for the smaller species.

How many of the new instant generation have ever caught a dace? Or cast out a feeder? Or tied on a size 20 hook?

And it not even the case there isn’t anywhere to go and catch a  few fish on the float nowadays as there’s just so many commercial fisheries bursting with fish.

I love catching carp, but like most aspects of Uk fishing like nabbing this lovely ballan wrasse on a feeder rod.

Mail man Thomas Petch loves catching carp, but also likes most aspects of UK fishing such as nabbing this lovely ballan wrasse on a feeder rod..

I’d say within a 30 minute drive for most people there will be a stillwater full of fish that will give you almost a bite-a-chuck on the waggler.

And many of these have loads of smaller 1-6 lb carp in them too so novice anglers can start handling slightly bigger fish straight away.

I do think all the great carp tackle and bait is such a good thing, but I wish a few more novices did start with a few tiddlers first.

And I do worry many of the ‘first fish is a 20 lb carp’ brigade just won’t keep at the sport for decades to come as they’ll do almost everything they want to within a few years of carping – and then where will they be?

Will they then go and trot for grayling? Or aim to get a new personal best perch one season? Or head to the beach in the summer and try and get a double-figure smoothhound on a carp rod?

I think some might, but a huge majority will give up once they have their fill of 20 and 30 lb carp and that is a real shame as there’s just so much fishing to sample in the UK but how much will be done in 100 years time?


ENGLAND have won their first gold of the summer with a top place individual in the World Youth Shore Championships in Portugal with a good win for Lancashire lad Ben Harrison. Lets hope there’s plenty more to come!



ONLINE trolls. I totally agree with our ace columnist Steve Collett in the current issue of Angler’s Mail magazine that is in the shops until Monday evening. In a My Say he explains the amount of online abuse or ‘trolling’ he got for daring to catch a barbel from a stillwater. I’ve now caught a few stillwater beards and they were in fine fettle, and can’t see anything wrong with it. Until the Environment Agency  has some scientific evidence and puts in a ban, I just don’t see what the problem is and anglers should just get on with their own fishing.


For the lowdown on all that matters in coarse angling, be sure to read the latest issue!


Fox International – sponsors of the Angler’s Mail Carp Cup – have just revealed some nifty new ready-made leaders. Steve Spurgeon explains on this video…






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Email us to: – share your Angler’s Mail memory and highlights with us!