How things have changed

It’s amazing to see how many 40lb carp there are up and down the country today. Biggies are getting caught on an almost daily basis. Compare that to 1994, when only one 40lb-plus carp was reported from the whole of the country during the opening week of the season! The captor was big-fish man Martin Clarke, who landed the 44¼lb mirror from a southern stillwater.

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Alex Osborn signs for Team Kodex!

Passionate big-fish angler Alex Osborn has joined Kodex’s team of expert consultants. A regular inside Carp-Talk he has had many impressive captures including a 47lb UK mirror. Alongside regular blogs and videos, Alex will be helping with product development and testing at Kodex and also taking the responsibility for the company’s new Instagram feed.

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Thirties machine!

Carp anglers have always liked to look at statistics, so here’s one from back in 2014, when former Carp Angler of the Year, Shaun Young, notched up an amazing tally of 100 thirties in two seasons! The fish which helped him to reach the milestone was Black Spot from Wellington Country Park, one of the oldest fish in the now-legendary Berkshire syndicate water.

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Invasion of the bivvy dwellers…

We’ve had hundreds, if not thousands, of competitions in Carp-Talk during the 22 years we’ve been in existence. Some of them have become household names, like the amazing Mainline Carp Angler of the Year competition, which has been running a heck of a long time. Perhaps the most memorable one that we’ve ever run, however, was this one titled Bivvy Invasion, which featured in issue 902 in January 2012. It was the brainchild of the one and only Kevin Nash and involved anglers taking pictures of their bivvies in the strangest of places.

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Winter is coming…

With winter just around the corner, we thought we’d share this feature by the one and only Julian Cundiff which appeared in issue 802, back in February 2010. Jules has been helping anglers improve their catch rate for what seems like an eternity, and he’s also one of the nicest blokes in the industry too! Who better to get 10 of the best winter tips from? So lap it up and get yourself ready for winter, as it won’t be long before it’s upon us!

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The Queen of the Manor

One of the most magnificent carp to ever grace the banks of a UK fishery has to be the mighty Annie, which used to reside in the Essex Manor. The great fish is no longer with us, but we came across this old picture of her when caught by Tommy Monk weighing a whopping 59½lb back in March 2008. We’re sure you’ll agree, it was a truly awesome fish! The Manor still contains some impressive specimens today, including carp to more than 50lb, but none have yet to surpass the legendary Annie.

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Destined for great things…

It’s always nice to look back at how some of the ‘Most Wanted’ carp in the UK have progressed to where they are now. One fish which is very much sought after in the UK at the moment is the big mirror known as the Gurm, which lives in Fryerning Fisheries, Essex. Here’s a picture of it from back in March 2006, weighing 37½lb, when caught by Luc Humphries. The fish is now a regular 50-plus! For more info on Fryerning, visit

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Laughing stock?

Big stockies always cause a few ripples amongst anglers. Recently we’ve seen the controversy caused by Captain Jack in Holme Fen’s Meadows Lake as it nears the British record. Back in April 2004 (issue 502), the talk was all about the big fish stocked into White Springs in South Wales and the subsequent Welsh record, claimed by a 40lb-plus mirror that had only been in the lake a few weeks. The lake still contains some magnificent fish, so for more details visit

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Still carping on…

We were flicking through some old mags and came across this great picture of Danny Fairbrass and Terry Hearn. It was taken at the 2004 Carpin’ On Show in Essex, and straight away we were coming up with a few amusing captions for it. Just for fun, we thought we’d ask for a few of yours, but remember to keep them clean! To find out more about Carpin’ On, visit

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Where are you now?

Here’s a name we haven’t heard for many years. James Woods from Bristol was a regular in the pages of Carp-Talk during the early years of the mag. He caught some tremendous fish from some of the toughest lakes around, including this 40lb-plus mirror and the one and only Mary, the former British record, from Wraysbury 1. If you know what he’s up to today, please get in touch!

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Hail Mary

Ladies have been involved in carp fishing for many years, and one of the first to make a name for herself thanks to her carp-catching abilities was Mary Crouch. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Mary was a regular in Carp-Talk with a string of good fish from the Linch Hill complex. We haven’t heard from her for years, so if you know where she is, or know if she’s still fishing, please let us know. To find out more about Linch Hill, visit

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