An­niver­sary Carp Clinic

Carpworld - - CONTENTS - - Ju­lian Cundiff

Jules digs deep (not into his pock­ets we has­ten to add) and comes up with an an­niver­sary Carp Clinic and an­swers some ques­tions he’s been re­cently asked on so­cial me­dia

Could it re­ally be 30 years ago that Carp­world first hit the news­stands and in many ways shaped the course of his­tory for some of us? At the time I was a fresh faced (!) 25-year old still living with mum and dad and closely work­ing with Tim Paisley as the ed­i­to­rial as­sis­tant for the Carp So­ci­ety mag­a­zine, Carp Fisher. Tim would have me gather ma­te­rial, both taped and writ­ten, and be­tween us we’d get enough con­tent for the bian­nual mag­a­zine. Hope­fully, else­where in this is­sue Tim will cover the mag­a­zine’s begin­nings as my re­flec­tions are a lit­tle con­fused as it was the era of ‘the ap­pari­tion in leather’ as Tim called her. I do re­call Tim ask­ing me for a piece on starting carp­ing for his ‘new’ carp fish­ing mag­a­zine and the rest as they say is his­tory. What I do re­call quite clearly, was the ex­cite­ment of see­ing the first is­sue in my lo­cal Ather­ton and Lunn newsagent’s shop, pick­ing it up and find­ing mine was the first ever ar­ti­cle in it. Heck, I must have been ex­cited as I bought a copy there and then, although what the ap­pari­tion thought, I for­get, although I fear she was not as im­pressed.

Over the last 30 years I have con­trib­uted hun­dreds of ar­ti­cles which equates to well over a quar­ter of a mil­lion words plus. From act­ing as joint edi­tor with Tim, to times in the wilder­ness, I have al­ways had a strong tie to the mag­a­zine in the good times and the bad for both me and the mag­a­zine. No mat­ter who else they had writ­ing for them and no mat­ter who else I wrote for, I al­ways felt the two of us were finely in­ter­twined – and even now peo­ple who haven’t read a carp mag­a­zine for years still ask me if I am in Carp­world? Thank­fully, due to Bev, Ru and the gang the an­swer is yes. From ‘Mo­tor­way Mad­ness’ to ‘Carp Thoughts’, ‘A Tale Of Two Churches’ to ‘Suc­cess Un­der Pres­sure’, I am proud of much of what I wrote but of all my writ­ings the one that still gives me the most plea­sure was the Carp Clinic se­ries that was first pub­lished in the May ’93 is­sue and ran for al­most eight years.

In my for­ma­tive years I read ev­ery fish­ing mag­a­zine I could get my hands on and one of my favourites was Coarse An­gler and in par­tic­u­lar the ques­tion and an­swer col­umns it pro­duced. I even got in the mag­a­zine in ’78 with one of my ques­tions (yes I am that old). Fast for­ward to the early 90s and carp fish­ing had ex­ploded big-style. A com­bi­na­tion of my An­gling Times col­umn, my par­ents ad­dress be­ing avail­able for peo­ple to write to me, Carp­world get­ting big­ger and big­ger, carp con­fer­ences cater­ing for the masses, etc, etc. meant a whole new army of carp an­glers with a thirst for in­for­ma­tion was out there. On av­er­age I was re­ceiv­ing 30 to 40 let­ters a week – and an­swer­ing them all – so it seemed a good idea to de­vote a col­umn each month in Carp­world to the most oft asked ques­tions. I must have been crazy as not

only did I an­swer them per­son­ally to the in­di­vid­ual but all the let­ters were placed in a large box and I’d sort them out once a month to re-an­swer them in Carp­world.

Clearly I’d edit the ques­tion down a bit and re­move the per­son’s last name but I as­sure you all those ques­tions were asked ei­ther via let­ters, on the bank, at shows, etc. So for this 30th An­niver­sary Carp­world I am go­ing to do a spe­cial Carp Clinic 2018 piece of the most of­ten ques­tions I get now via Facebook, Twit­ter, In­sta­gram and in per­son. What is ap­par­ent is that most ques­tions nowa­days are short and quite tech­ni­cal, thank good­ness, rather than the ones from the 90s which tended to be four or five hand writ­ten pages long and re­quire a sim­i­lar length of re­ply, or replies. En­joy and smile and thanks for 30 years of sup­port. Here’s to the next thirty... Ques­tion: Hi Jules, now that you have re­tired are you go­ing to start do­ing tu­to­ri­als?

An­swer: Hi mate, the an­swer to that is ‘al­most’ cer­tainly a no. There are some ex­cel­lent tu­tors out there al­ready: Rus­sell, Penning, Maker, Turn­bull, Pitch­ers and co – who make their liv­ings, in part, from it and no mat­ter how you dress it up, if you do it prop­erly it is work, a job. Hav­ing just re­tired af­ter al­most 38 years of work an­other job is not high on my list of pri­or­i­ties, be­lieve me. How­ever, there are two av­enues you may be in­ter­ested in. Firstly, I do four to six char­ity tu­to­ri­als each year where an­glers bid to fish with me in aid of a char­ity. From Jan Porter’s, to those for Macmil­lan Cancer Re­lief and the like, these are al­ways ad­ver­tised on my so­cial me­dia sites so check the feeds out for them. Se­condly, I will be run­ning some Carp Schools later this year where 6-8 an­glers can join me at a venue for a nom­i­nal fee, to get six to eight hours of di­rect help from me. From lo­ca­tion to swim map­ping, end tackle to pre­sen­ta­tions, ac­cu­rate bait­ing, to sur­face fish­ing, you will get the lot. If that in­ter­ests you then once again keep a look­out on my so­cial me­dia feeds. There is more about this on a re­cent Youtube in­ter­view I filmed so look for ‘From Rigs To Re­tire­ment’ on Youtube and it’s all on there.

Q: Hi Jules, af­ter do­ing well on (X) bait in 2018 I am think­ing of us­ing (Y) bait for 2019 as it seems the busi­ness. What do you reckon?

A: Hi mate, the an­swer is pretty sim­i­lar to the one I’d have given you in 1993... “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” A good bait is a good bait and, in all hon­esty, in 2018 if you buy it from a rep­utable com­pany it will prob­a­bly catch and keep catch­ing in 2019 and be­yond. That said you should not ig­nore the ob­vi­ous, and if oth­ers who have been on the same wa­ter for a sim­i­lar amount of time to you are clearly out-fish­ing you on a new bait, then it may be worth look­ing at some­thing new. I did this with Nash’s The Key some years ago and never looked back. The Key was cer­tainly catch­ing more than the 4G Squid so the change was made. How­ever for most an­glers, if you’ve had a great year on one bait and it didn’t tail off, my ad­vice is not to change baits and undo the good work you’ve al­ready put in. Re­mem­ber those carp have prob­a­bly had lots more of your free­bies than hooks stuck in them. Stick to your guns, but be open-minded and aware of oth­ers and their suc­cesses.

Q: Hi Jules, it may sound daft but why the hell do you wear a beanie hat in the sum­mer?

A: No, it’s a good point but, if you fished with me, you’d know I don’t... Well, not un­less I am hold­ing a carp! Not sure about you but when it comes to my fish­ing it’s all about con­fi­dence – be it bait, rig or item of cloth­ing. If it ain’t broke, I tend not to fix it. A crea­ture of habit (that’s me), I tend to wear the same (lucky) cloth­ing all sea­son long – ob­vi­ously wash­ing them as and when my carp room stinks too much. With re­gards to the hat, in the early noughties I had a bit of a lean spell in both my pri­vate and fish­ing life but when I joined Mess­ing­ham Sands for a year, things did start to turn round, and touch wood, are still good now! That co­in­cided with me get­ting the hat and it is now all of 12-years old and still go­ing strong. Bear­ing my ECHO, Slash and BCSG badges, it just feels sort of lucky, so for the ma­jor­ity of tro­phy shots I wear it sum­mer and win­ter alike. Other than that it stays in the cam­era bag... So now you know.

Q: Jules I see from your writ­ings, both in print and on so­cial me­dia, that you tend to use a lot of bait? Is that nec­es­sary, as I sim­ply don’t have the funds to do that, mate?

A: Hi mate, I guess it’s down to what is re­garded as a lot of bait? Re­mem­ber most of my fish­ing is short ses­sions of 4-18 hours and I tend to tar­get wa­ters which can be pro­duc­tive – when you get it

all right. Typ­i­cally, I take 2-4kg of bait and any I don’t use gets put in when I leave. Oc­ca­sion­ally, on red let­ter days I will need more bait and then I use the sta­bilised bait which I keep in the Jeep. Per­son­ally, I don’t think you need lots of bait to get a bite, in­deed that can work against you. How­ever, be­cause I am af­ter mul­ti­ple hits (see July and Au­gust’s Carp­world for the in­side story on that), I like to have/use plenty of bait for that. Although it is pos­si­ble to have big hits on sin­gles/lim­ited bait, I find that to be less ef­fec­tive. So in all hon­esty, con­cen­trate on get­ting on them and get­ting a bite first. Bait, good bait, is very af­ford­able these days and whilst I may use Nash­bait Key and Scopex Squid, the far more af­ford­able Candy Nut Crush is bloody good too.

Q: Hi Jules, now that you are not work­ing at court are you go­ing to be a full-time an­gler buddy?

A: Crikey, if you mean full-time as in spend­ing most of my time on the bank fish­ing, then the an­swer is def­i­nitely a big, fat no. I love my carp fish­ing and al­ways have since the early to mid-80s but have al­ways had, and had the need for, a life out­side of it. Back in the day it was girls, mopeds and con­certs. Now it’s a girl, push­bikes and con­certs – never mind fam­ily, health etc. What re­tire­ment has given me is the time to pick and choose when I want to put my hours in. That is a huge ad­van­tage, as I tend to tar­get the best feed­ing spell times and do other things ei­ther side of them. Of course I am fish­ing more hours and catch­ing lots more carp than ever be­fore but be­ing clever with my time is the key, not just time on its own.

Q: Jules, I no­tice you use shrink tub­ing on your multi rigs which I guess means they can’t be reused. Wouldn’t it be more sen­si­ble to use soft tub­ing so you could slide it back into po­si­tion af­ter a fish?

A: It cer­tainly would be more sen­si­ble if I used a hook, or pre­sen­ta­tion, twice, but as I don’t, I pre­fer to con­cen­trate on the me­chan­ics of the pre­sen­ta­tion and not its longevity, if that makes sense? Since the late 80s I have al­ways tied my rigs up in ad­vance and, by and large, never use a rig twice. In the net, snip it off near the hook, get a new pre­sen­ta­tion looped onto the end tackle and back on the spot. Then un­hook the carp and so on. The shrink tube I use is the Nash Dif­fu­sion 1mm which cre­ates a very stiff an­gled kicker and re­sults seem to in­di­cate it works, and works well. Would soft sil­i­cone tub­ing work as well? Maybe? Maybe not? Per­son­ally I will keep do­ing what I am do­ing but if you are one of the many an­glers who do change hooks when us­ing the multi rig it’s worth a try.

Q: Hook sharp­en­ing seems to be a big deal nowa­days. Is it that much of an ad­van­tage and do you al­ways use sharp­ened hooks?

A: A sharp hook is a big part of my ‘musts’ my friend but I don’t al­ways have them ad­di­tion­ally sharp­ened for the rea­sons I am about to de­scribe. Once ad­di­tion­ally sharp­ened the points in­evitably be­come finer and are more li­able to turn over un­less the first thing they come into con­tact with is a carp’s mouth. They will get you more bites but, they take some look­ing af­ter. Where the hook point is touch­ing the bot­tom (bot­tom baits and wafters), I don’t ad­di­tion­ally sharpen them and use them straight out of the packet. Clearly, I in­spect the points with an eye­piece be­fore I cast them out. I do use them for vir­tu­ally all my popup pre­sen­ta­tions how­ever, as the hook point is off the bot­tom and less likely to turn over. Hook-wise I use the Nash Pin­point range which are as sharp as they come but if I want the point thin­ner/finer, then I get Rig-it Tackle to do that for me. I sim­ply

Since the late 80s I have al­ways tied my rigs up in ad­vance and, by and large, never use a rig twice

can­not thin a point like they can, and that’s the bot­tom line. In a nut­shell, in­vest in good qual­ity hooks, check the points with an eye­piece and if you are us­ing a pop-up pre­sen­ta­tion then try the ad­di­tion­ally sharp­ened ones. They will only do you one bite but you need to look at cost, im­por­tance, na­ture of your wa­ter and so on.

Q: Jules you’ve been carp fish­ing a long time you old bugger do you ever get bored of it?

A: In all hon­esty mate, no. Firstly it’s never been a job so I haven’t had to go; I tended to go when I could but hav­ing edited mag­a­zines and as a pro­lific writer I need to go to have some­thing valid to write about. Thank god I have al­ways loved go­ing, full stop. Of course, there are oc­ca­sions when it feels like flip­ping hard work but that’s nat­u­ral in any sport, hobby or pas­time. Rain, snow, ice, mos­qui­toes, dropped fish, busy venues, etc. have all tested my pa­tience but hav­ing a life out­side of fish­ing means I can put it into con­text. In­ter­nally, I know when I need to take my foot off the pedal fish­ing-wise, just as I know when to give it more ef­fort. Hope­fully, that an­swers your ques­tion?

Q: Any new books planned buddy?

A: Not that are im­mi­nent mate. My last book Short Ses­sion Suc­cess came out in 2010 and was just what I wanted it to be. Since then the world, par­tic­u­larly carp fish­ing, has changed big-style. A num­ber of carp fish­ing mag­a­zines have gone, DVDS are dead in the wa­ter and it seems that the an­glers of to­day want it on Youtube and not in print. Far too many books have been re­leased to gather dust and

this has, in all hon­esty, killed the de­mand. Un­less you self-pub­lish the book your­self, you won’t get rich from sales and self-pub­lish­ing is hard work and, as I said ear­lier, I didn’t leave work to work. Per­haps in the not too dis­tant fu­ture I will be able to set aside time for such a project, as I have plenty writ­ten al­ready for a po­ten­tial au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal/ tech­ni­cal book. That would ex­cite me enough to set time aside to do it prop­erly, as these things do take time and as I don’t write on the bank, I’d have to sit at home and grind one out. You never know buddy, once my life set­tles down I may feel that urge.

Q: Hi mate, I’d love to join that syndicate you fish. Any chance?

A: Well never say never I guess. The last 10 to 15 syndicate/club wa­ters I have fished have not been to­tally closed shop and with in­ves­ti­ga­tion and pa­tience you could get into most. Re­mem­ber, we are all dif­fer­ent and what ap­peals and works for me may not work for you. With the great­est of re­spect to my wa­ters there are equally good wa­ters all around the coun­try, so don’t let so­cial me­dia and print mis­lead you when it comes to de­sir­abil­ity. De­cide what you want from a wa­ter and I bet there are good, if not bet­ter, ones closer to you.

Of­ten the act of feed­ing cre­ates a lot of wa­ter move­ment around the hook­bait. I have seen bal­anced baits lit­er­ally bob away from the carp’s mouth

Q: Hope­fully, this does not sound daft but what is the point in over-weight­ing pop-ups?

A: No mate, it’s not a daft ques­tion at all. I have watched carp feed­ing at close range both with my own eyes and via film. It is clear, as it is from watch­ing them take sur­face baits, that of­ten the act of feed­ing cre­ates a lot of wa­ter move­ment around the hook­bait. I have seen bal­anced baits lit­er­ally bob away from the carp’s mouth, which was quite scary. Per­son­ally, I pre­fer the pop-up to be nailed down, with the hook al­most like a claw ready to grab hold. Carp can suck in stones, never mind shot, so don’t let that phase you. For most of mine I use more weight than is nec­es­sary – over­weight­ing – as I am con­vinced that this works. The bait can’t flut­ter away and as soon as the hook­length straight­ens, the hook jars back and the shot helps the hook find an ini­tial hold. A num­ber of an­glers are do­ing sim­i­lar things with bot­tom baits as they be­lieve that the shot/putty near the hook­bait aids in self-hook­ing. And for all those that want to ask, mine are Dins­more’s Green AB shot.

Q: Hi Jules, I know you are a cat­a­pult fan. Which one should I buy?

A: Hi mate, it is fair to say that cat­a­pults have got bet­ter but, in all hon­esty, I have yet to find one ‘off the shelf’ that is as good as the one I have put to­gether. When I am cat­a­pult­ing boilies, whether they be 10-20mm, I want them to go ex­actly where the hook­bait is go­ing. Sure, I may fish the hook­bait to the side or back of it but I see no point in spread­ing free of­fer­ings all over the place when I am fish­ing to them. Up to 70-80 yards I al­ways use my cat­a­pult and any­thing more will in­volve a Spomb. Hav­ing watched quite lit­er­ally hun­dreds of an­glers bait up, most are not very good at all, and it is of­ten down to the naff cat­a­pults they use. Mine is made up of three sep­a­rate items. The frame is metal, a Trev Tom­lin ground­bait cat­a­pult frame which you can get from any good fish­ing shop. Al­ter­na­tively a Dren­nan Whop­per Drop­per frame is good too. The elas­tic is Dren­nan long range la­tex ground­bait elas­tic, again avail­able from good fish­ing shops. The pouches are ‘Scruffy Bob’ ones, which are only avail­able from The Tackle Box in Kent. I use the ex­tra large for the 10-15 mm baits and the large pouch for the 18-20 mm baits. With these I can ac­cu­rately bait up to 80 yards, ex­actly where I want the bait to go. I al­ways have two cat­a­pults with me and reg­u­larly change the elas­tics. I would reckon to get two months out of a set of elas­tics but I do use a lot of bait. One tip to get the elas­tic over the frame is to dip the frame tips in hot wa­ter first then the elas­tic just slides over it – sim­ples!

TOP From the early nineties I have al­ways tried to help one way or an­other ABOVE MAY 1993 AND THE FIRST EVER CARP CLINIC IN CARP­WORLD

RIGHT TOP I don’t do tu­to­ri­als as such but I’m al­ways happy to sup­port events like this Carp Cast one

RIGHT BOT­TOM Al­ways happy to do char­ity tu­to­ri­als in aid of lost friends

RIGHT MID­DLE Yep, that was me be­fore I stepped off the tread­mill

LEFT Time is al­ways against you when you work

TOP Be­fore the ad­vent of The Key, I was happy with the Squid bait

MID­DLE 2007 and the ‘lucky hat’ is chris­tened

BOT­TOM Hon­estly, it’s only used for tro­phy shots

LOWER RIGHT I guess you could call me a ‘full timer’ now I have re­tired – full time smil­ing that is...

MID­DLE RIGHT Caught as part of a big hit when I used 5kg of bait in a day

RIGHT My pre­ferred multi-rig setup, in­cor­po­rat­ing 1mm shrink tube

TOP RIGHT I don’t use a lot of bait com­pared to some an­glers but I like to be pre­pared

ABOVE Proof of the pud­ding that the shrink tube multi-rig works

TOP This wa­ter fished best on double bot­tom baits so hooks were straight out the packet

MID­DLE I sim­ply can’t do them as good

RIGHT Sharp­ened or straight out the packet – you de­cide

BOT­TOM My last book launch, Short Ses­sion Suc­cess in 2010

BE­LOW Bored, no... Pa­tience be­ing tested, yes...

RIGHT Hav­ing writ­ten six books al­ready I’d re­ally need to be ex­cited about a new one to do a sev­enth

TOP LEFT Some syn­di­cates re­ally do look af­ter the mem­bers LEFT Not all my wa­ters are syn­di­cates, this was from a day-ticket venue BE­LOW On this wa­ter you had to be su­per-ac­cu­rate when bait­ing up

RIGHT Putting the right cat­a­pult to­gether re­quired plenty of ex­per­i­men­ta­tion

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