Dave Levy - The Last of the Kings Part 2
With permission to fish the reservoir, Dave’s attention now turned to hunting down the fabled uncaught carp in the reservoir. The Last of the Kings Continued Where do you start on 485 acres of long featureless concrete banks? I thought the best place to start would be the prevailing wind ward bank; this would be the south west bank. I baited a corner and a few spots along that 2 and a half mile stretch, I used mixed baited thinking if there are any carp left in here they may never have seen a boilie let alone a hook and if they had then it wouldn't have been for years, although I have no doubt before the security was increased the reservoir could have been pouched. I used a lot of tiger nuts as they don’t rot like boilies and I could spend weeks checked the baited spots, and that’s just how long they sat there in six feet of gin clear water not even the bird life knew what they were. The days were starting to get warm and I still hadn’t seen a single carp and doubts started to creep in that I was wasting my time. One day while walking round I bumped in to a guy who worked on the res, he was bird watching and he started chatting away and to be honest I wasn’t overly interested I had already covered four miles of walking and wanted to get another lap in. He asked why I was up on the reservoir and I said I was looking for carp, he laughed saying “you won’t see them up here”, I didn’t see them till June last year. What! Suddenly I was interested. I questioned him about what he’d seen. Oh yes he says, last June I saw four big carp in the far corner, big old dark shapes they were but not enough to fish for in here these days. One of the right size was enough! Well I was buzzing there was at least four carp and likely more, ok not a lot in so much water but they were here. I kept walking until I reached my baited corner. I looked in and it was all gone leaving a long line cleared out on the bottom. It could have been bird life, or it could have gone off and floated away, but It may have been carp, massive uncaught carp! My mind was buzzing and I could hardly sleep that night so when the morning came and the sun was shining I jumped in the car and drove back to the five mile pit. I had my little girl Lottie with me who loves nature so we walked the banks bird/carp watching but after a few miles Lottie had enough and I had to bribe her with the promise of MacDonald’s! I reach the baited corner and deposited half a kilo of Tiger nuts and about 500 Mainline Hybrid boilies, everything again was put fairly close in about 6ft of water, the wind was blowing in and there was a build up of floating rubbished, this was made up of all sorts strange stuff from dolls heads, plastic bottle tops, sticks and old crisp packs. I didn’t see any carp but I’d got the bait in, I then had to give Lottie a piggy back most of the way back if anything the Five mile pit was getting me fit. I’d now been changed on to shift work and this meant I could get back to fishing week days so on the Monday instead of fighting my way through Traffic on the M25 I drove the hour long trip to the Five mile pit. The sun was shining and while I drove along I was thinking what it would mean to catch a huge uncaught carp, worth ten of any other other carp to me. After parking up I started walking the banks in search of the unknown, by lunch time it had turn out to be a warm day and as I approached the baited corner I don’t know why, I got a feeling come over me, maybe a sixth sense. I said to myself, keep down low there is going something in the corner. I dropped to my knees and crawled up to the bank side and looked down the slope in to the clear water, I could hardly believe my eyes they were here! Three carp all feeding, two big mirrors and a common. I watched the biggest a mirror with a large cream belly, it was very close in. It was hard to put a weight on them but they were all looked big. I slowly backed off before standing up. I had two rods with me but the only problem was they were about a mile and a half away in my car. I took off my top and began to jog, the jog turned in to a run and before long I was looking like Mo Farah running in the Olympics. Ok, Ok, stop right there. I’m getting carried away, I looked nothing like Mo Farah, in fact by the time I reach the car I resembled someone who needed medical assistance! I pulled the gear out the car and downed some water before starting the run back. When I got within 100 yards of where I’d seen the carp I slowed down taking a moment to get my breath back Just as a Van came driving along the track and stopped. It was a mate I used to work with and he said what the hell is wrong with you? I replied “carp….seen a carp”…. He then says, so. “why you running about this place I told you you could drive round”! He’d never bloody mentioned that! He then said let me see these carp I told him to get down and we both crawled to the edge and looked over. They were gone! He laughed and said the sun is getting to you, with this he jumped in his Van and drove off. Would they be back? I wasted no more time thinking about it and lowered a snowman rig a few feet from the bank right where I’d seen the big mirror feed, I then laid the rod on the floor undoing the clutch and walked the other rod 20 yards to the left lowering it in then chucking a hand full of baits over the top. I laid down on the grass listening to the waves hit the banks, it had been about 25 minutes when I spotted a bow wave on the surface about 60 yards away, I grabbed the left hand rod and quickly moved to where the carp was heading, it came in I could see it was the common from the three earlier carp. Then the other mirror was just behind it, I could clearly see the mirror had no pelvic fins! they weren't feeding but were just picking at the green slime weed growing up the slope. I needed to get the other rod so looked over to where it was laying on the floor, I couldn’t believe what I saw. The rod was dragging along the margin and the spool was a blur, a carp had been hooked! I sprinted over to the rod and lifted in to it, the carp was heading out in to the obsess and stripping line from the spool at a ridiculous rate, I put my finger on the spool and slowed it down, gradually the line began to lift in the water until at about 60 yards out a big mirror rolled over. I can tell you now my heart was pounding big time! I hadn’t hooked a carp in three months so I wanted it in the net. I kept it coming slowly not putting too much of a rend in the rod, It looked a good 20 another few rod lengths closer and I’m thinking this could be a bit bigger than I first thought and imagined an uncaught 30! When it cursed under the rod tip it bolted down deep but I could see in to the tap clear water watching, and praying he’d stay on. Coming back up the slope it twisted and turned in a last bid for freedom before breaking the surface ten feet out, I pushed the net out and in he went. I looked in the net trying to gage its size as it was a lot wider then I first noticed it had to be an easy 30. I couldn’t believe it. I lifted the carp out and laid it on the mat. It was a male fish with rough skin but dark across the back with small pin scales nestled among the plated scales along the flanks. I had sorted the scaled while waiting for my mate Paul and we lifted the scales I was thinking it must be over 35lb but when the needle kept going passed 40 I could hardly believe my eyes, settling on 41lb 4oz. not just any forty the uncaught 40 we all dream of! After the photos I lowered my mat to the waters edge and slowly let him slide off, he righted himself in the margin before slowly swimming away, It was an awesome site and I wondered if he would ever be caught again. We’ll be bringing you the full chapter on Dave’s hunt for the elusive carp in the coming weeks. If you want to hear more about his angling adventures check out his book Fallen Kings which is available now []
4 days ago
Dave Levy - The Last of the Kings Part 1
RidgeMonkey’s Dave Levy knows what it means to hunt for the fish of your dreams. We’ll be bringing you his story of the hunt for massive carp in a reservoir that was believed to be empty from his fantastic book ‘Fallen Kings’ The last of the Kings *“The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before.” * -Albert Einstein They say sometimes after catching the carp you’ve been dreaming of there can be an anti-climax. I never seem to suffer with this and find myself excited for the next step on my journey. I hadn’t really thought beyond that last carp and I spent the next few weeks wondering where best to go, the natural move would be from the Mere to the Top Lake at Cleverley. The top lake contains some of the nicest carp I’ve ever seen but they seem to go unnoticed. I won’t go in to much detail at this point about the Top Lake other than telling you I fished the five acre lake from the October to the May and in that time I landed 34 carp including two different 36lb mirrors. The biggest carp in the lake; a mirror carp badly named Geezers was caught once in that time at around the 43 mark. I’d looked at photos of that carp and it was in a different league resembling a Leney strain, a long bronze coloured mirror carp with a dip in its back. Although I caught well in the colder months the big “G” as I now called it kept a low profile, come spring the warm weather brought out the fair weather anglers and with the lake only having 9 swims it became very busy and I retreated looking for some space but promised a return the following winter. Things had gone from bad to worse in the Oil refinery where I worked and BP oil had sold the place and to cut a long story short a lot of people got made redundant and lost their jobs me included. I’m a big believer in everything happens for a reason so just rolled with it. I was soon again employed. That may seem a little lax but work has always been a way of giving my family what the need and that’s where it ends. The new Job was working for a water company and I was running water treatment plants which by Refinery standards were very simple. You’re wondering what the hell this has got to do with carp fishing, read on.. Water treatment plants mostly get their water source from rivers and big reservoirs, the one I was stationed at was next to three huge reservoirs. I will keep the location a secret but a lot of anglers will know them. I’d been with the company a few months when I asked about fishing the reservoirs, I was told under no terms could anyone fish them. The one I was interested in fishing had once contained carp but a string of disasters in the shape of a massive fish kill then a netting for any remaining fish saw the end of that, even after all this it again suffered an bad summer of agley and a crash in oxygen turn up what seem to be the last of what carp and other silver fish that were left. I was told nothing lived in the reservoir any more or had done for five years. Let me tell you a bit about this place dug by hand in 1900’s it was then made deeper after the first world war when they employed ex-servicemen to lay bricks by hand increasing the volume of water. To walk the perimeter round the Reservoir was five miles and it was a colossal 485 acres and deep, a monster. I walked its banks a few times looking across the waves thinking this is more like a sea front than a lake. My mind wonder of what may live beneath the surface, what secrets did it hold there could possibly be anything it was so vast who would really know. Over the next few months I walked the Five mile pit as I called it another six time and even though I didn’t see a carp but I did see Cormorants coming up with silver fish and I started to think, if roach are here then there may be some carp did survive. I asked again about fishing the reservoir and was told there was rumours of Terrorist threats around the Olympics and now all drinking water Reservoirs are patrolled twice a day and used as police helicopter training grounds at night so anyone within the fence who wasn’t there with permission would be arrested! After some badgering and a few phone calls I was told I could fish but I must wear a life jacket and high visibility vest as the bank could become dangerous when water levels dropped. So I now had accesses and permission. I started to bait a few spots. We’ll be bringing you the full chapter on Dave’s hunt for the elusive carp in the coming weeks. If you want to hear more about his angling adventures check out his book Fallen Kings which is available now [].
11 days ago
Get to know Marc Voosen
Marc Voosen is one of the leading carp anglers in Germany and will be an angler for you to pit your wits against when competing in single player events in The Catch: Carp & Coarse but who is Marc and how did he get into fishing and end up having a career at one of the biggest manufacturers in the carp fishing industry? Marc tells us all: How did you get into carp fishing? I was introduced to fishing through my Dad. He was a good all-round angler and we would go out occasionally to fish for whatever he had in mind. By doing this, I learned some of the basics for various different styles of fishing whether that be fishing for barbel through to carp, trout or pike. That being said, my dad was far from a specimen hunter, he just enjoyed being out there doing it. However, he lit a spark in me that made me surpass his drive to fish by a landslide pretty quickly. How did you get to work into the industry and be working for such a huge company like Nash (Marc is the area brand manager for Nash)? Looking back, I stumbled into it. I was working in a courtyard and in typical fashion working for the state, which meant I had a lot of free time even during my official working hours. Due to my own interest in the topic and out of boredom, I started a company called pinpoint hooks and started selling hand sharpened hooks and sharpening equipment to carp, catfish and predator anglers. Some of these hooks found their way into the hands of Alan Blair and the rest as they say is history! After a meeting with Alan Blair and Kevin Nash, I found myself in the role of the Area Brand Manager of Nash Germany/Austria. Your Instagram account has loads of stunning / big fish captures – how did your fishing evolve from the early days to catching these fish? Personally, I feel that I underwent a pretty standard progression, in that at first I was fishing for whatever. We only lived minutes away from the river Rhine (Europe's biggest stream!), so from an early age, every day after I finished my homework, I was allowed to fish there - completely on my own, no license, no mobile etc. That was in the early 90´s. When I was old enough to get a license, I joined my first club on a local park lake and a whole new world opened up to me - a world that included carp! From there on, there was no stopping and I explored every lake in my area. With my first car, my horizons grew and soon enough I visited several countries all over Europe and finally Africa. Tell us about the German fishing scene – how does it differ to other countries (are there specific rules, for example, catch and release that you have to observe)? Germany is a bit special (not only when it comes to fishing)! First of all, you have to pass a real test to get your license. You can compare it to your driving license. There is a multiple choice questionnaire as well as a practical part, where you have to put together a set up for a certain species. When it comes to catch and release, there are a lot of misunderstandings. One of the first paragraphs in the German constitution is that “you are not allowed to harm any human or animal for your personal pleasure.” For a long time, that was interpreted as “if you catch a fish over a certain size (varying from species to species) you should put it to a meaningful purpose (eat it).” To catch fish just for your own pleasure was seen as animal cruelty. Now that never meant that German anglers killed every fish, because we learned a long time ago that this is not what you do as a sportsman but at least in theory you could get in trouble if somebody recorded you putting back a fish that was an edible size. How does that effect your fishing or where you choose to fish? It does not by any means effect my fishing in Germany. However, it effects the way we shoot our videos over here. You will struggle to find a video where somebody says on record that he is in Germany and then releases a fish. Normally it cuts out after you present the fish. Are you an out and out carp angler or any other styles you love? I tend to fall in love with other species from time to time. I had my catfish period where I went to Spain a lot, I love some pike fishing in the winter time or to just let a float drift in a small stream at times to fish for whatever. I enjoy the steep learning curve you have when doing a style of fishing you don´t know too much about. It makes me feel like a kid again, learning a new style of fishing where every day feels like one big adventure and every capture is special. What kind of fishing are you doing at the moment – are you targeting a specific venue or specific fish or are you trying to catch as many big fish from varied venues? My personal fishing is a mix of fishing I do for the company, which usually means shooting videos or doing some underwater filming etc. This can be frustrating at times but in general I love it because it puts me out of my comfort zone a lot and makes me learn new stuff, that I can than integrate into my own fishing. My personal fishing on the other hand is dominated by target fishing for a certain big fish that caught my attention. It just so happened that I ticked one of those off of my list, a huge mirror carp named “Stallone”, which funny enough made me revisit the park lake I mentioned earlier. Over 25 years later, I found myself back at the banks of the first lake I ever fished for carp. What gaming experience do you have / why feature in the game? I have got the fondest memories of weekends spend at a friend´s house - every single weekend, we met there and played Doom all night long. Back in the days you needed two big TV’s, two PlayStations and a special cable to link them together. This way we could chase each other through the pixelated labyrinth until the sun rose. We would fall asleep when others got up but by midday there always was a huge bag of fresh buns and a jar of Nutella in the middle of the room that my friends mum had placed there. After a quick and “healthy” breakfast it all started over again…best memories ever! Now, I am able to feature in a fishing game which combines two of the biggest things that have been in my life!
18 days ago
Hunting for Monsters
Of the 125 boss fish in The Catch: Carp & Coarse, it is the 11 Monster Boss Fish that will represent the biggest challenge that you will face. These rarely caught beasts are the catch of a lifetime for any angler skilled enough to land them. Being highly sought-after, they will be wary of your tactics so you will need to apply everything you learn to bring them into your net. You will find the Monster Boss fish spread across our 5 locations. At Oxlease you will be tracking down The Big Common and Alice. Many anglers have lost the battle of wits against these two huge carp. Known for their distinctive scales and the incredible fight when they are on the line, you will know when you have hooked into one of them. Pearl Lake is home to Akela, a giant wolf fish, and Ornstein who is the biggest arapaima in the lake weighing in at a frightening 488lbs 6oz. They have been known to put up a ferocious fight so be prepared for an intense battle. The famous River Ebro is a dream fishing destination for anglers and the Monster Boss Fish are part of the reason why. The Bull and Matador are two gargantuan catfish who will devour anything in their territory that they consider to be food. They’ve been known to catch unsuspecting anglers unaware and go on long runs with their bait. In Rotterdam, the pike and zander run the streets. Doom is a massive 55lb pike with a name fitting of his reputation. Lurking in the shadows he has been known to ambush his prey putting those razor sharp teeth to use. Long shunned by its fellow zander, Outlaw is a loner that will consume most things that happen to enter its waters. Loch Mickle is home to many personal best pike, salmon and trout but the kings here are Morag, Stoorworm and Burns. Morag and Stoorworm are two pike whose mythical names accurately portray their legendary status. A brown trout that always seems to be hungry, don’t let the size of Burns give you a false sense of security. He is still an agile beast who will make you earn your catch. To find out more you’ll have to catch them when The Catch: Carp & Coarse releases this summer. Will you be the first angler to catch them all?
24 days ago
Venues of The Catch: Carp & Coarse
The Catch: Carp & Coarse features 5 unique venues that will all be presenting you with their own set of challenges. You’ll be targeting specimen carp at Oxlease on the Linear Fisheries Complex, looking to hook into huge catfish on the River Ebro and chasing exotic monsters at Pearl Lake in Malaysia. The Rotterdam canals make for the perfect urban street fishing location to track down predators such as pike and zander, or you can go on the hunt for them in the openness of Loch Mickle. Oxlease A quintessentially English lake, surrounded by leafy woodlands and green fields with plenty of purpose built fishing pegs, 26 acre Oxlease is one of the jewels in the crown of the famed Linear complex. In summer, the main quarry are carp, huge dark backed fish including ‘Alice’ who can reach over 45lbs (20kg), and the bullish ‘Oxen’, a surly brute touching 40lbs (18kg). In winter, Oxlease is also a renowned pike venue, packed with toothy predators to over 20lbs (9kg)! Can you find ‘The Prime Pike’ or one of the amazing double figure tench during your visit? Pearl Lake Emerald waters and tumbling waterfalls are surrounded by high limestone cliffs and glossy palm trees which sway gently in the warm sea breeze as anglers shelter from the heat of the tropical sun. Massive Arapaima, Giant Wolf Fish and exotic Redtail Catfish will all pull your string here, so your tackle needs to be strong enough to cope with fish that run to over 450lbs (204kg)! After a tiring day by the water however, this resort comes alive at night with cocktails and partying amongst the bamboo chalets and restaurants as the mist settles over the lake… are you up for it? River Ebro At the foot of the Catalonian mountains near Fayon, the River Ebro clefts the Spanish countryside with a glittering blue scar of fish filled water. This big river is home to some seriously big fish, and you can expect to find catfish to almost 250lbs (113kg), hundreds of carp approaching 80lbs (36kg), with barbel, perch, roach, eels and more of sizes not found anywhere else on earth! It’s an angler’s dream venue! Will you fish from the rocky shoreline or opt for a boat, drifting over the azure surface under a hot Spanish sun? If you are stuck for divine inspiration, head for the sunken church, the spire of which pokes from the depths of the river. Rotterdam With so many likely spots to choose from, where will you head for first? You could target the wandering shoals of big bream and carp which inhabit the open water wides of mid-river, or maybe seek out the cover and shelter of moored boats and the shadows beneath the bridges in search of predatory perch, pike and monster catfish which run to 150lbs (68kg)? How about grabbing the lure rod to indulge in some street fishing, or fish delicately presented natural baits for a huge variety of other species? Flowing through the heart of uber cool Rotterdam, the Nieuwe Maas has plenty of options! Loch Mickle Cold, deep and mysterious, Loch Mickle should be on your bucket list for the variety of rarely caught species within. Often battered by winds, slashing rain and snow, this forbidding inland sea can be fished from shore or boat, or even the dedicated fishing pier, but wrap up warm if you brave this venue! Char, salmon and trout provide the main sport, but carp, pike and eels can also be caught. Remember to keep watch for unexpected monsters… it can’t be the only Scottish loch with a legend attached can it?
24 days ago
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