Age:Location:A very very young 60, well I think so anyway!
Retired senior teacher, freelance angling writer and tackle consultant.
Daiwa, Nutrabaits, Korda
Willing to travel far for awesome fishing Brian has excellent knowledge of challenging English carp and the high impact action of whackers in France. Surface based action in the summer also gets him focused and he has innovated many ways to fool them when sight fishing.
How lucky can you be, I've had so many memorable moments, I'm having trouble deciding. August 2007 and a trip to Etang Meunier near Limoges takes some beating. I had 42 fish, with 15 of them over the 40lb mark and two over fifty. Going back in time a bit I can remember Martyn and I having a fabulous trip to Etang de la Horre in central France where we both had Pbs, in the same session, or a stunning mid twenty pike from a Yorkshire gravel pit, on a still, frosty, winters morning comes to mind. A large perch from Lincolnshire, caught as the sun was setting, or the near fifty pound carp caught for the Discovery TV cameras when filming an episode of Carp Crew 2.
I was very lucky to be fishing the Norfolk Broads during the 60s. Some of the Bream and Pike fishing on the Broads was out of this world, as was the Cod fishing from Caister and Great Yarmouth North Beach.
Strange as it might seem, the fish I would probably nominate as my most memorable is far from being the biggest I have ever caught. I always wanted to catch a carp in the snow, and my chance came about four years ago. I managed to get to the lake, Messingham Sands, very slowly and carefully. I was the only one there, and half the lake was frozen over. Having made the trip I decided to stay and fish. As the day wore on it got colder and the rest of the lake started to freeze over. I sat there knowing it was a race against time. Would I get a take before my lines were frozen in. With about an hour to go I got my take. It shot off under the ice, sending ripples all over the lake, my net was frozen to the ground, it was total panic.
I really wanted that fish. I stood in the margins, frantically trying to play the fish back into open water and free my net at the same time. It all came good and I had my carp in the snow, a nice double. In minus temperatures, I was damp with sweat, but as the camera clicked it was a real magic, never to be forgotten, moment.
These days I haven't got any real ambitions. I've been fishing for 50 years, and I'm as keen now as I was as a young lad walking the 50 yards from my home to the River Yare in Norfolk to catch bootlace eels on my cane rod and worms dug up from my dad's garden. I still love my fishing, and I'm really enjoying some of the tackle development work and coaching that I'm doing.
Since I have retired from my main job, I'm really enjoying having the time to widen my horizons and fish new waters, for species I have neglected in the past, for example I've had some great fun fishing for the Chub and Barbel on the Trent, and for big Perch on a local still water.
My rod choice is the Infinity Magnum 2.75 tc, I don't usually go for the heavier test curve rods, finding the responsiveness of the 2.75 tc suits me better than the heavier models.Reels:I like the Basia's for their smooth clutch and lightness.Accessories:
My main luggage is a mix of the Infinity Carryall and the Mission Rucksack. Sensor line is on the majority of my spools. The 12lb and 15lb are my usual carp lines. I cannot remember one occasion over many years when they have let me down.
My top tip
Don't be afraid to be your own person and experiment. Fish cannot read, so they don't always do as the books and magazines say they should. It's often the angler that tries something different that bags up. In fishing it is better to set trends, rather than follow them.
Daiwa probably won't like me saying this, but if cash is short, save on tackle not on bait. I'm amazed at how many anglers I see with all the latest top of the range gear presenting old, stale, poorly prepared bait. I'm convinced that fish will respond better to quality food. Give them what they want and you will catch what you want!
1) I love carp fishing on the surface (Floater fishing). The chance to see fish responding to my baiting tactics, often very close up, and then presenting a bait without spooking them is a great way to fish. I've had some really exciting session fishing on the surface. Not always for the biggest fish in the world, it's much more about peace and quiet, and being at one with the countryside. That moment when you watch the carp move to your bait, the slurp as it goes in, and the explosive swirl of spray as the fish realizes it has made a mistake and bolts for freedom never fails to get the adrenaline going.
2) At the other end of the scale I also love long session fishing abroad, particularly France. This gives me the opportunity to plan a baiting strategy, and build the swim up. It's particularly rewarding when you know you are getting it right, the fishing comes good, and you have several days in front of you.
Away from fishing
I like listening to various types of music, and going to music concerts. From the Who to Bon Jovi to Status Quo. I also enjoy watching TV, I am a fan of Coronation Street and Star Trek.
I BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW
I have become a real exercise freak. These days I can often be found pounding the Treadmill, or getting hot and bothered on the Cross Trainer. I reckon that if I really work at it, I might end up getting to the rods from the bivvy without getting out of breath!