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Carpworld - - IVAN CARSON -

ou’re at a party and the host says, “Have you met Bill (or what­ever his name is)?

fishes.” And you think to your­self: thank heav­ens for that, the chap talk­ing to me was chew­ing my ear off! “Talk later” you say, (but you prob­a­bly won’t), “I’m just go­ing have a quick chat with Wil­liam”.

Three and a half hours later (he fishes for the same species as you do), you and your new best mate are into the heart of fish­ing: the sneaki­est tweaks, the finest rigs, se­cret baits – the Cam­pari and so­das have re­ally been flow­ing. We’ve all been there, and it’s great when that hap­pens, but when he was at­tribut­ing his suc­cesses to ‘Fire Pat­tern The­ory’, you thought - Qué?

We know that the most ar­dent an­glers are sorted in terms of their tackle, tac­tics, tech­niques, baits, venues, rigs, not to men­tion ap­proaches but there’s some­thing miss­ing from this list that isn’t tuned to the same de­gree: the game, think like a fish. We do pon­der this, lose sleep over it even, but typ­i­cally we are an­thro­po­mor­phis­ing – that is to say hu­man­is­ing the sit­u­a­tion: we like to think what we would do if we were the fish, which can only get us so far. What if you knew how a fish pro­cessed in­for­ma­tion on top of this in­stinct... what could that do for your fish­ing?

Mount Ever­est is 29,029ft high, and I reckon spe­cial­ist carp an­gling has come 29,000 of those feet but there’s still 29 feet to go – and that level takes us to the cat­e­gory of the su­per-spe­cial­ist! This is opin­ion ad­mit­tedly, and Clint East­wood, as Cal­laghan, said of opin­ions, “They’re like ar*eholes. Ev­ery­one’s got one!” How­ever, I be­lieve this ‘push for the sum­mit’ is worth ex­plor­ing.

If you pur­sue the most pres­sured, big­gest, old­est, wis­est fish, and you con­sider that fish in­tel­li­gence can and does have a bear­ing on fish­ing, then this ar­ti­cle’s for you. If not, in the nicest pos­si­ble way, have you seen Dirty Harry?

Don’t look for of­fer­ings that will do for your fish­ing what wood to car­bon did for rods, or catgut to monofil­a­ment did for lines? Those leaps are done. As we’ve got bet­ter and bet­ter at what we do, im­prove­ments have got­ten harder and harder to come by (a bit like a sprinter try­ing to knock a hun­dredth of a se­cond off his 100m PB), but whilst these ad­vances grow ever slim­mer, they ar­guably in­crease in their sig­nif­i­cance?

The ques­tion is does know­ing some­thing about how a fish pro­cesses in­for­ma­tion help us when pur­su­ing pres­sured, old and wise leviathans?

This ex­tends to con­sid­er­ing an an­gler’s in­ten­tion to catch the main mem­bers of an apex pod and asks if it comes down to some­thing more than just luck: more than a mat­ter of max­imis­ing the ‘dos’ and min­imis­ing the ‘don’ts’.

You may al­ready fish in a way that out­wits the fish’s pro­cess­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties, with­out know­ing it – not im­plau­si­ble, al­beit that you might not be

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