One Man’s Passion for Carp!

North East Carp
Billy’s Fishing Tackle
Gary from Billy’s Fishing Tackle

Name: Gary
Age: 42
Profession: Working in Billy’s Fishing Tackle

Member of following clubs:
Chairman of TTA
On committee board for WACAC
Secretary for Seaton Burn and Longbenton

Personal Best: 37lbs 12oz common carp / Farlows Lake, Ivar
Queen Elizabeth II personal best: 15lb 4oz common carp

Best sea fishing session: 66 Whitening and 2 dabs – combined weight of 46lbs 6oz

Most fish caught in one session: 60 carp + 6 catfish – combined weight of 500lbs

Favourite fishing venues: Queen Elizabeth II Lake and Tynemouth Pier

After reading some of Gary’s post I noticed he was a very dedicated Carp fisherman braving all weathers to catch a record-breaking Carp. After realising his passion for the sport was similar to my own I decided it was time to meet him. We arranged to meet at Billy’s Fishing Tackle Shop in North Shields to ask him some important questions!

Fishing Tackle Shop in North Shields
Fishing Tackle Shop in North Shields

I arrived at the shop at 8:30 on Saturday the 5th of March only to find Gary encouraging a customer to visit much to my delight! We began to talk about Gary’s introduction to fishing. As with most of us Gary was introduced to fishing by his parents at the age of four however, it was not until he was 15 that his passion for Carp really took off. It was at this point that he caught his first 12lb Common Carp following a fight that took 25 minutes to land. It was this fight that attracted Gary to the world of Carp.

Gary told me that he started experimenting in making his own rigs, as at this time you were unable to buy ready-made rigs. With a limited supply of components Gary decided to experiment with his partners jewellery. He would take apart a bracelet and use each part to make free running rigs. From this Gary decided to try and create a perfect carp rig for all occasions.

Gary’s experiments took an unusual turn when he began to test his rigs by pretending to be a carp!!! He told me how he used to test his rigs by laying in the bath and sucking and blowing in the rigs just like a carp would just to see how they worked on ejection of the bait. From this experiment he created the following rigs. These rigs can now be purchased from many tackle suppliers as ready made:

Bottom Carp Rig

Bottom Carp Rig

Carp Pop Up Rig
Carp Pop Up Rig

As the years went on, Gary perfected his rigs and with that he achieved his personal best of 37lb Carp from Farlows Lake in Iver. Funnily enough the run occurred whilst he was having a wee in the bushes, luckily he realised in time and managed to get the carp hooked on his own perfected rig. It took Gary 25 minutes to land this beautiful specimen carp that got attracted to his Richworth Banana Ester Pop-up bait.

It was not long after this that Gary fell for a Geordie lass whilst drinking in his local. They soon fell in love and that’s when Gary decided to leave his busy life down south and move up North. It has now been 7 years since he moved in which time he has become a valuable member of our fishing community.

Gary’s Tips:

‘During the winter months use small PVA bags filled with small pellets mixed with broken boilies and the matching bait glugg or dip to catch Carp’, Small baits work best in the winter and he usually uses 10 mm ones.

‘During the summer months use spod mixed and the little and often approach to create competition for food.

‘Always use a marker float to ensure your bait is in location where the carp will feed, next to weed, on a gravel bar or in silt depending on the conditions and temperature.

QE II carp common 15 lb 4 oz
QE II carp common 15 lb 4 oz

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