My first carp was a mirror of 7lbs from the Roman lakes in Cheshire when I was ten years old. This fish was the result of months of effort, all my pocket money and many bus trips to the venue. I then managed a 12lber from a local club water and as far as I was concerned I was a fully fledged carper!
Since those early days I have gained much experience on Warwickshire reservoirs, Oxfordshire gravel pits and various canals. On one occasion, a friend of mine found some carp living in an old flooded quarry so three of us abseiled 70ft down to the water and fished for them. We managed to catch a 17lb mirror and this trip inspired me to write my 1st article. Simon Crow was editor of Carpworld at the time and was kind enough to publish the piece. Since then I have been a regular contributor and have detailed my own approach to tackling big wild waters in search of carp.
After many years of UK carping, the desire for greater adventure overseas took hold of me; I set off to take on mighty French waters such as Salagou, Cassien, Foret de Orient and my favourite of them all, the River Rhone. I fished for ‘Team England’ in the World Carp Classic with Roman Buczynski and then with Andy Chambers in the French Masters event on Salagou where we came 7th. My adventures have also taken me to Holland and Spain in pursuit of unknown monsters and there are still many other places on the ‘to fish’ list.
These prolonged trips were made possible due to working as a security consultant in some very challenging environments including Iraq, Afghanistan, Mexico, Africa and even anti-piracy off Somalia. This work allowed me to earn enough money to pay the bills and then go off on my fishing quests where I could concentrate on tracking down big fish.
Fishing the big foreign waters can be tough on the body and mind, not to mention the pocket! It requires a level of commitment and seriousness that the initiated will understand. Just the logistics of getting to a suitable swim with all your gear and then hoping for favourable conditions can take days of hard work and investment. Having good reliable bait with me is a must if I am to succeed in challenging circumstances. I have used a huge amount of bait over the 31 years I have been targeting carp including my own home made boilies and lots of nuts & particles. I first used Alan’s remedy and crab and crawfish pop ups on UK waters and then the Rosehip Isotonic range in France and Spain. Places like these really put a bait through its paces and I can honestly say that I have absolute faith in Mistral products to get results time and time again.
I now live in the Colne valley and whether I am fishing close to home or nipping across the channel I am pleased to be doing so safe in the knowledge that my bait won’t let me down.
Keep the faith and get out there carping, Sam Robb