Brian Skoyles

  • Age:
    A very very young 60, well I think so anyway!

    East Yorkshire


    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.

Angling Achievements

I've had "specimen fish" of most of the course species including Roach over two pounds, Pike over twenty and Perch over three. I'm not going to go through all the species but the two PB's that stand for me are Carp 56lbs 3oz, and Catfish 113lbs. My angling achievements mostly involve being involved. Over the years I've ran syndicates, organised many angling club meetings (been a Regional Organiser and Governor for the Carp Society). Edited the Junior Section of Carp Fisher magazine for several years, and organised many junior fishing and coaching events. I've written for many angling magazines and been involved in TV programmes for Sky Sports and Discovery.

Memorable trip

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.

Angling hopes

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.

Equipment used

  • Rods:
    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.
    I like the Basia's for their smooth clutch and lightness.

    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!


Two really.
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 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!


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04 March 2020
I love my winter perch fishing, although I will admit that this year, I’m getting a bit fed up with the seemingly never-ending wet weather and mud. Tactics are relatively simple either float fished or running legered using raw prawn or worm as bait. Perch seem to have a greedy streak and once found, can normally be tempted into making a mistake. So, to my mind, location is the key to consistent success.
19 December 2019
It’s 6:30am and I’m driving through the quiet East Yorkshire countryside heading for Withernsea. It’s early December 2019 and time once again for the annual Daiwa Open, writes Daiwa Consultant Brian Skoyles.
04 October 2019
Most of my lure fishing takes place of small still waters, local rivers or canals, so it’s fair to say that the next two days will be taking us out of our comfort zone as along with my son Martyn we’re fishing the Haringvliet in Southern Holland. The Haringvliet is a very special water, huge in size, huge in potential. We’d travelled through the day to get here, and we were both tired, but as we stood looking out over a vast stretch of water, I knew we wouldn’t get much sleep, we wanted to get started.
29 May 2019
I’m very proud to be a Patron for the Forces Carp Project which is organized by Simon Bangert. Through the therapy of carp angling its aim is to assist the rehabilitation of wounded, sick and injured service men and women.
28 May 2019
Every summer Hull and District AA organise a series of junior Carp Academies, they are brilliantly organised and extremely popular. The Hull and District team of coaches deserve a lot of credit. They arrive early on the Saturday morning and by lunchtime have set up bivvies, catering facilities and tackle ready for the arrival of the juniors. From then till midday the following day they do everything possible to make sure the juniors have a great time and experience the thrill of catching the hard fighting Grebe carp.