Forces Carp June 2016

“Forces CARP” is a programme designed to introduce injured service men and women to the sport of carp fishing, by giving them a series of basic coaching sessions. Last year, Brian Skoyles attended his first “Forces CARP” event and, as he was attending it again this year, he decided to write up the following article.

I can see the “Forces CARP” programme becoming really popular in the future, Simon deserves a lot of credit for what he is doing with this programme and I will certainly be happy to attend more sessions. 

So when organiser Simon Bangert got in touch with this year’s dates I was happy to put them in my planner.

I arrived at Pool Bridge Farm near York and made my way into the café, “bacon butties and a large tea for me” please Simon, and met the other helpers. We had reserved swims on Q-Lake but my task for the day was a roving one. With the sun shining and just a light breeze my job was to team up with some of the participants on a one to one basis and catch some carp off the top.

Over the course of the day I met up with all the anglers and in some case their sons and daughters and we caught carp. Some of the action was routine controller fishing but some was really exciting hit and hold stalking. In one case literally no more than a foot from the bank. It was great to see the sheer enjoyment on faces that in most cases had not seen surface action at such close range before.

I must admit I was getting a bit tired, old age and all that, but John and Claire had been waiting patiently for their opportunity and I was on a roll, everyone had had a carp off the top so despite the light starting to fade, once again we topped up the swim with floaters and waited for the carp to get back on them. It didn’t take long and after a short while John was playing a lively common. Just Claire to have her turn, shouldn’t be a problem I thought, but sometimes the fish can think otherwise and so it proved. The last fish of the day proved the hardest and I lost count of the number of “almost but not quite” looks and swirls we had. If I’m honest I resigned myself to not making it a full house, as the sun sank below the far treeline, but just as we had the 10th “last cast” the controller slid away and a fish was on … The perfect end to a perfect day.

A big thank you to Kevin, Daz and Richard for the constant supply of tea and the barbi and a special well done to Simon and his team of helpers, brilliant organisation, superb event.

Brian Skoyles (June 16)

For more details contact Simon Bangert on or visit