The Catch

Get to know Claudia Darga

Claudia Darga is one of the top anglers in Europe and you can compete against her in the offline events of The Catch: Carp & Coarse. Recently you will have seen her on our pages playing the game as well as providing advice for those getting started as an angler. Who is Claudia and how did she get in to fishing? Read on to find out.
How did you get into carp fishing?
My interest definitely started with the previous relationship to my boyfriend, who is a pretty successful carp angler. He took me one time with him to the bank and the first trip was amazing for me. From this day on I was infected by this amazing sport and I joined mostly all sessions that he did during the years. One day I decided not being only a visitor, instead, I decided to become an active angler. So from time to time I started to catch my first fish, made my own tactics and used my favourite baits. I would say that 90% I go for carp, because this is the style of fishing I am most addicted to 😀. For me, it is different to all other styles of fishing. I love the relaxed part of it. However, during the last two years I tried more and more other styles of fishing. So I also tried the hard to fish for predator fish such as bass, zander and catfish. But I also try to go fishing during my holidays and try out new things. However, I always come to the conclusion that carp fishing is the style of fishing I like most.
What’s your earliest fishing memory?
This was when I was a little girl, guess around 7 or 8 years old. I went fishing with my dad in Poland. We went fishing from the boat and to be totally honest I can’t remember what we were trying to catch. But I think my dad just tried to catch something no matter which kind of fish. Just remember that we had worms, maggots and corn. Back then fishing for me was really boring because my dad said I can’t talk and move cause we are fishing from the boat. If I would move I am going to scare the fish. Therefore I sat on the boat and were waiting and waiting and waiting. My dad was never a good angler and actually I can’t remember that we ever caught something. Nevertheless for my Dad it was always important to show me and my sister where the fish come from and how to kill and cook it. After our unsuccessful fishing trip we drove to a fishing farm and bought some fish and killed it by ourself. Guess this was something very important back then for me as well because my dad showed me everything, I was never disgusted.
Are you an out and out carp angler or are there any other styles you love?
Of course I have tried a lot from time to time. For example a variety of predator fish as pike, perch, zander and catfish. But also Perch and tench were my targeted fish. But also fishing for exotic species as Siamese carp or Arapaima I have done. But always coming to the conclusion that carp fishing is by far the best fishing style. Therefore, my focus is on carp. I would say that 90% I go for carp, because this is the style of fishing I am most addicted too. For me, it is different to all other styles of fishing.
What is your favourite thing about fishing?
I have tried so many different styles of fishing. And also compared to other leisure activities, this is what I like most. As it combines so many things I love! I love the nature, I love animals and I love the silence, I love to chill and hang out with friends and I really love to sleep. This is all possible when fishing for carp. For me one weekend out at the bank is almost like one week vacation. It is more than just catching big carps. It is so much that attracts me to do this fantastic hobby. But of course the best part of it is when you know your tactic worked out and you are catching a good fish. My second best moment is the sound of the bite alarm and the third is when releasing a big fish and realizing again how big and peaceful it was. It all contributes a little bit to my passion for carp fishing. All of that attracted me from the beginning and is still what I love about it.
What’s your most memorable catch/what is your personal best?
My most memorable catch happened during one of my last sessions some years ago. I have seen this fish three years swimming in my most favorite lake. It has been caught only once approx. 5 years ago. It is a stunning Koi carp called Nemo. I have observed it always during summer time in the shallow water while sunbathing. It is so unbelievably beautiful. In late summer last year I could not believe my eyes when this fish came up in front of my landing net! It was one of my best fishing moments when seeing it the first time. Because I wanted to catch it so hard! Once it was in the landing net I was just shocked about what had happened! This fish was exactly 10kg and was my most beautiful and probably one of the most unique fish I have ever seen.
At what point did you realise you could make angling your career?
This was about three years ago when I realize that I am having kinda two fulltime jobs.
The last years I have worked in the logistics and I loved it every single second. But then after some time I felt that I was extremly busy with everything around fishing. And by that I don’t mean the actual fishing I mean all the writing, organising, editing videos and pictures and so on. Then I realised with all the work around it I could make it a fulltime job.
What’s your number 1 tip you give to new anglers?
The first I always say is to be patient. Nowadays many beginners have the impression that fishing is very easy and that you can catch big fish very quickly. Last but not least the impression comes from social media. There are often the big fish presented although it is also a long way to get there. Also with me some people seem to think that when I am on the water, I am always catching fish but this is not the reality. Every angler, no matter how successful he is, has days when he catches nothing. So I think patience is really important. Don't give up as soon as you go home without catching a fish. I am not discouraged when I'm blanking, but I think about what I can improve next time, it was the wrong bait or the wrong place. There is no 100% formula for sucessful fishing, it is a mixture of patience and creativity.
What gaming experience do you have?
When I was younger, I played a lot. No matter whether it was on the PC or the PlayStation or Game Boy. I also met with friends to play with, somehow everyone was gaming. My weakness is that once I start I can't stop easily. For example, when I went shopping with my mother, I always took my Game Boy with me and couldn't let it go while shopping. And when I wasn't being good, you can guess what I got as punishment... right she took my games away :-P
The Catch
Get to know Claudia Darga