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Joe Chappell

My First Carp

Now, I caught my first carp when I was 10 but I’ve always thought I never really caught it. It was a Nash open day at local lake, and the absolute legend that is Alan Blair handed me the rod, with a carp on the other end. Before this, I had only ever caught a few tiddlers on the float at a scout camp and been sea fishing with my Dad and blanked. It’s fair to say I caught the bug that day.

So after catching the fish pictured above, I went on to catch another one. This one I actually placed the rod in the water about a foot out, and it ripped off within minutes. I went on to kiss it, with Alan saying “Good lad” and another lad saying “We’ve got a carp angler here”. Well they weren’t wrong.

So there’s the story of the first 2 carp I caught back in 2013. After a couple years of begging my parents to go freshwater fishing again, and amassing some gear from family friends, sports direct and decathlon, our old next door neighbour took us fishing. We caught a few species, lots of roach and my neighbour even managed a tench and pike.  After that, me and my dad slowly started to have more of an idea of what we were doing and after a couple of trips we started to catch small fish on the float frequently. Some of those fish we caught were carp but we didn’t realise, they were a few inches long so I don’t really class them as my first carp.

So that leads me to what I would class as my first carp. It was a few days after Christmas of 2015 and my mum, dad and I went down to a new lake called Stambridge fisheries. We set up and after catching a few silvers on the float, I set up my carp rod. Now I had some idea of what I was doing after watching hours of Carl and Alex on YouTube. I can’t remember quite how it happened, but I remember looking at my rod on the alarm, and the rod tip was bending around, and the line was moving in the water. The cheap Dunlop alarms I owned had obviously broken as it was no screaming run like I had seen on YouTube. I Lifted into the fish and it was on. It was a mirror carp, around 5lb, and the first proper carp I had caught without any help. I went on to catch 3 carp that day, and ever since then every carp has been just as magical.

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