We ask a broad spectrum of anglers which fish inspired them to target big carp.
Clarissa, caught by Dick Walker, proved that carp could be caught by design
Former record holder and first angler to catch Two Tone at over 60lb.
Richard Walker’s 44lb record carp is the most iconic record in my mind. This was when there was so much mystery regarding the size of carp and I’m sure this one capture inspired lots of anglers to turn to carp fishing.
Chris Yates’ 51lb record was again a massive leap forward. Yes, I then caught the first sixty, which I am so grateful for, but we’ve grown to expect such fish now and although every big fish is special, none are as special to me as Richard Walker’s record.
Well-known face of carpy social media and general carp aficionado.
Which fish had the biggest impact on me as an angler? Well firstly, and most obviously, it is the UK carp record and I will be honest and say that given the fact that it has been creeping up slowly, it has probably been the actual carp, and to a degree the captor, rather than the weight.
In recent times, if I had to pick one then it would be Terry Hearn’s capture of Mary from Wraysbury. If there was an unknown 70lb carp caught that was stunningly proportioned and landed by an unknown angler, then we would all be blown away, and rightly so. Records captures are just that, the biggest of a species landed on rod and line.
There are though captures that make a bigger impact on me personally due to circumstances, waters and, of course, iconic photos. Ritchie MacDonald with Bazil, Sir Pete Springate with the Wraysbury brace, every capture of Heather and more recently the Spitfire Common with Joe Morgan – now that was a photo! I’d take any of those over Roddy Porter’s gutbucket record from mid-Northants.
The bottom line is, if the capture matters to the captor then it matters to me!
A hugely accomplished young angler who spent two seasons chasing the mighty Two Tone.
In terms of the relevance to carp angling, I feel that Terry Hearn’s capture inspired a generation of anglers like myself to target specific carp. It has moulded the way that we fish today.
From a personal viewpoint, the pursuit of Two Tone made it a big part of my carp angling life. For me, it was the lake that made the carp so special. The solitude as you focus on catching the ultimate prize was mixed with brilliant socials. The atmosphere was electric and everyone who fished the lake says it’s been hard to find a feeling like it since. That’s why Two Tone was always a special fish to me.
One of the best carp anglers of our time
The record when I was younger was Chris Yates’ capture of that lovely old Leney linear from Redmire, and that super picture of it laying on the mat with the boat in shot, and Chris smiling from ear to ear is about as inspiring as it gets. Saying that, as a youngster I never imagined that I’d end up fishing for carp of that size myself, that was something that seemed way out of reach, so my inspiration to fish for big carp came more from the writings of well-known carp anglers of that era – Rod Hutchinson, Rob Maylin and Ritchie Macdonald in particular.
When I fished for Wraysbury’s Mary I never imagined that it would be a new record. The fact that it was already known as the biggest carp in the country was already prize enough. You know, to catch a carp as prestigious as that is already as good as it gets, it’s already the cake complete with cherry on top, but if you’re lucky enough to catch it at the right time and at its best ever weight, well, then it’s like having two cherries on top instead!
Circuit water maestro and weekend carper.
For me, it would have to be Terry Hearn’s capture of Mary in 1996 from the mighty Wraysbury One. Fresh faced and hot on the scene, he inspired a generation of anglers. He proved for, me that dreams can come true and to pursue the biggest along with the best-looking carp. Mary was such a clean and iconic fish.
Carp-bait expert and old-school carper
For me, it would have to be The Bishop from Redmire, caught by Chris Yates. Chris’ approach to carp angling was that of a purist. It relied on watercraft rather than technology and that’s why it couldn’t fail to buoy me up. From there on I set out to target carp by design rather than by accident when coarse fishing. As a young lad, it made me all the keener to go out and emulate his success.
With the capture of the new record, it has hopefully gone some way to inspiring a new generation of anglers. Dean Fletcher’s capture of The Parrot at such a high weight will surely spark the possibility that in the very near future we could be looking at the first British record over 70lb. It sure says a lot about the progression of our sport since Dick Walker’s 44lb record.
What all of these captures have in common are the pushing of boundaries of our sport over several decades, and each has given a generation of anglers something to aspire to, whether it be Dick Walker proving that carp can be caught by design or Dean Fletcher proving that with just one night a week we can catch our dream fish.