Tuesday 5 March 2024

The Carp Haven't Changed, The Marketing Has

Having taken a 5 year break away from the water, separating myself from the bullshit involved in carp fishing was such a refreshing feeling. This will be a theme that I'm going to continue to follow, I have zero interested in anything carp fishing related other than when I'm physically on the bank fishing myself. Having started angling in 1990 my frame of reference in regards to catching carp came from practical experiences which involved actually being by the water. You learn by doing, you don't learn fuck all reading forums and watching bullshit videos uploaded by tackle companies and self-appointed heroes. 

The above statement might sound strange but let me explain, forums and videos on all subjects are full of people parroting and repeating what they've heard elsewhere. Original thought is a dying art, I look forward so much to the day that I can have a conversation with someone that actually has their own opinion and ideas as oppose to ones that have been implanted in their head by 'Team Korda" and all the other wankers that claim to be masters of the pastime. These people are salesman that fish and nearly everything they come out with is designed to remove your hard-earned cash from your ever decreasing wallet. 

Let us remember that marketing is perception control and over the last decade the 'marketing machine' within carp fishing has gone into overdrive, led by a bunch of clowns that started to fill the heads of the easily led with overcomplicated horse-shit that catches the angler more than it does the fish. Let us also remember that the carp haven't changed, it's the carp fishing industry that has, it's this that creates the illusion that the carp are the ones that have advanced beyond comprehension. Shortly before walking away from fishing I saw just how effective the marketing and mind control around carp fishing had become.

When the whole country was on Furlough/hush money, my new waters were overrun with guys all fishing exactly the same as each other. I'd sit there surrounded by leads and spods flying all over the place, everyone would turn up to their swims, cast a lead about looking for a "hard spot" and then proceed to spod kilos and kilos of bait over the apparent hard spot. The moment someone would vacate the swim the next guy would turn up and do exactly the same thing. It was a this point I decided I just couldn't be around such nonthinking bullshit so I walked away from my fishing until the cosmic indicated to me that it was time to start again. 

It isn't by coincidence that everyone was fishing the same, it's because they're all consuming the same information which in turn controls their perceptions on how to catch carp. The same can be said for all these new rigs that are being pushed, there appears to be this belief that if you haven't got 72 pieces of end tackle incorporated into your rig then you ain't catching. Let us remember that the more you have on the end of your line, the more there is to go wrong. But the more you have on the end of your line, the more tackle firms make selling you shit you don't need. The simple rigs from the 80' and 90's are still going to catch you pretty much every carp that swims and I've proven this time and time again in this very blog. The carp haven't changed, they're still the same creatures that they've always been and the tried and tested methods will always work.

The Shocker Rig

Their behaviour might change due to the pressure that they now receive, it's common sense that the more people fishing puts pressure on the fish and over time this can make them change their behaviour. But this is usually due to the amount of bait going in the waters, I believe if a lake limits the bait that's allowed to go in, then it doesn't matter how pressured the fish are. If they don't have an overabundant supply of bait being thrown in all the time it means you'd stand a far greater chance at catching them. It's anglers and their over-baiting that makes waters so much harder. BUT ... this isn't pointed out by all the companies out there because the more bait you chuck in the more money they're going to make. The same can be said for those who promote dropping the lead on every take, of course tackle firms and the sell out anglers that shill for them are going to be telling you to drop the lead because it's another constant revenue stream. 

Another observation I've seen in "modern carp fishing" is the focus on distance rather than the margins, the margins are the biggest feature on every lake. I grew up with a firm understanding of this, carp love the margins BUT .. it seems distance fishing is where it's at nowadays. Why Is This? because if you convince everyone they have to be fishing at 120 yards then you can sell them really expensive distance rods, spod rods, distance line and stupidly priced reels. Promoting fishing the margins or under the rods tips isn't going to benefit the leading manufactures because you don't need "specialised" tackle to fish this way. All in all there's a huge amount of horse shit in regards to how carp fishing is marketed in this day and age and those that have been at it along time can see it as clear as day.

Dropping The Lead Is Great For The Manufactures

To sum up, carp fishing can be as easy or as complicated as you want to make it and it can be as cheap or as expensive as well. It's important to understand that a lot of what you're told and sold is a load of bollocks and it's designed to make the leading manufactures as much money as possible. I actually find it's best to look back into carp fishing history to find inspiration as opposed to the "modern" way of doing things. Don't get me wrong, there's been some useful advancements and some of the latest tech products certainly help to make you fish more efficiently. Just don't believe everything you read and watch regarding how you "should" go about catching carp, let us remember that's there's many different ways to do this and it might just work in your favour to steer away from the popular approaches and try something completely different.