Carp fishing, back in 1974

In search of the legendary big carp!
The one that haunts our bodies of water, the one no one has managed to get out, the one that lengthens our hooks and cuts the line with its dorsal edge.
By dint of stalling or breaking, our tongue and arm wasn't long enough to describe the size of the monster that had just pulled our line.
We were already dreaming of record carp, but nobody had already seen it and we were preparing ourselves with the big gear of the time.

In those days, we fished with fiberglass rods and big sea reels (Mitchell, Ru-Mer, Bam...) filled with 40/100ths!
The mounts consisted of a 40 gram sliding lead, a staple swivel and a 40/60 cm nylon sock of 30/100ths.
The main bait consisted of corn, potatoes, earthworms or Drachkowitch pasta on single or triple hooks.

Vintage corn mounting 1980's

Vintage 1980's earthworm assembly

Vintage potato montage from the 1980s

No key detectors, only the rattling of the brakes released warned us of a departure or of bells pinched on the scions at the time of rare night fishing organized by certain communal fishing companies.
The "NO-KILL" did not exist and the few pictures were taken at the "Fisherman's Cafe" because the camera was not part of the fishing box at that time.
Being originally from Pas de Calais, I fished in the Lensois, in Wingles precisely at the "Marais à Tanches" and the "Marais de l'Ile".
Yes, that's me on the picture, I was 15 years old and I was proudly posing with my first carp record (on September 26th 1976 at 20H30 on a bait post with potatoes and boiled chestnuts at 15 meters from the bank at the level of the water lilies).

Record carp 1976 14kg Wingles

In 1981, I was already making my first tests with a montage discovered in an English fishing magazine: mounting at hair!
Hair mounting is said to have been invented and used by the British since the 1970s.
Two great men claimed to be behind this montage: Kevin Maddocks and Lennie Middelton.
A unique and revolutionary assembly with a grain of sweet corn which was not pricked on the hook but attached to it at the bend by a "hair" of 1 to 2cm.
For a question of practice, I attached a 2 cm sock with an 18 hook to the bend of my 8 hook to prick a grain of sweet corn.
I must confess that I hesitated more than once to change my leaders before trying the "hair mounting" because I was very sceptical, we who were doing everything on the contrary to hide our hooks at the sight of the carps!

The results were amazing, start after start, carp after carp, never seen before at that time.

The first hair mounting in 1981 with sweet corn

In France, the first article published on hair-mounting and the boilie in "Fishing and Fish" would change the course of carp fishing history for many carpanglers.
At that time I understood immediately that the described technique was going to change the way of fishing the carp and it is then that I began to fish in "no-kill"!

With the advent of modern technology, The carp fishery has been the subject of a spectacular craze that continues to grow.
The modern techniques of carp fishing came mainly from Great Britain where carpanglers were numerous.
The carp fishing knew a great development in France from the years 85 with the assembly with the hair and the evolution of the material of fishing for the carp.
Carp Reel Daïwa PM 2600 H   Carp rod Garbolino Wildie Dominique Audigué   Electronic key sensor Optonic Sensor

The carpanglers also played an important role in the evolution of the material : largely thanks to a great man, Jean Louis Bunel who knew how to import in our country the evolution of the carp fishing coming from England.
Fishing carp also meant a new state of mind and also a new mentality based on the respect of the fish which made us smile at its beginnings by the absolute necessity to release its catches.

During this period, articles appeared in the magazines of fishing to put in the headlines the miraculous fishing in the big lakes as in St Cassien, the lake of Der, the lakes of the forest of Orient, Salagou etc... and videos memorizing these new techniques of fishing or these sessions of carp fishing which make discover our "mentors" valuing the last novelties, begin to invade the magazines.

The Mahin brothers, the carp fishery       Kevin Maddocks Carpe Fever       Léon Hogendijk Carpe Révélations       Rod Hutchinson Carpe Now and Then       Georges Cortay et Didier Cottin: Adrénaline

There are fishermen who have marked the history of our passion, such as Marcel Rouvière and his 37 kg mirror carp in 1980 or Didier Cottin with Moby-Dick in 1988 in Saint Cassien and also Léon Hoogendijk with Bulldozer in 1993 at the Lac de la forêt d'Orient.

The "mentors" who inspired me to carp fishing

Didier Cottin and Georges Cortay, the Van Den Hooven brothers, Rod Hutchinson, Claude Silano, Christian Abgrall, the Mahin brothers, Dominique Audigué, Philippe Laggabe, Frank Hiribarne, Léon Hoogendijk, Didier Moine, Jean Louis Bunel, Kevin Maddocks, Bernard Rivaux, Hubert Lachize and so many others, became "mentors" for me and generations of carpanglers...

Roll your mouse over the film to enlarge the thumbnails.

In 1988, in the Loire department, Fans of modern carp fishing are following in the footsteps of Jean-Louis Bunel, carpist of the first hour, by organizing the first Andrézieux-Bouthéon marathon.
This year (2023), the club carpiste 42 d'Andrézieux-Bouthéon organizes their 35rd enduro(cancelled in 2022)
From there, the Carp enduros were multiplying and were going to become an unavoidable gathering of carpanglers sharing moods and conviviality all over France.

1st enduro carp by Andrezieux Bouthéon

The fishing magazines specialising in Carp fishing played a great role with the young fishermen who in turn embarked on the adventure.
The evolution of the carp fishing was growing with the creation of Carpist Clubs and groups of fishermen who asked to the authorities that the night fishing be generalized in France.

The FFPC Carp Section (Fédération Française de pêche au coup) which has now become the FFPS Commission Carpe (Fédération Française des pêches sportives).
- 1994, the year when I became affiliated with the FFPC and which allowed me with our Club to participate in many friendly sessions all over France.
In 1995, me and my teammate participated in the 1st International Carp Fishing Marathon in Miribel Jonage near Lyon.
Alas, I can't find any more photos at home or articles on the net about this event where many "mentors" participated.

My licence FFPC Carpe France 1994             Our FFPC Carp France crest Champagne Ardennes region             Medal of participation in the 1st International Carp Fishing Marathon at Miribel Jonage
Tonisno au 1er Marathon International de Pêche à la Carpe à Miribel Jonage

Today is 2023 and I am not going to describe to you with precision 49 years of carp fishing as well in the field of the evolution of the fishing equipment, the rigs, the boilies that the multiplication of private fishing spots which in a sense are beneficial to local tourism with the arrival of foreign carpanglers eager for strong sensations.
The modern carp angler's equipment is becoming more and more sophisticated, with a wide range of fixtures and fittings available to cope with all fishing situations.
High-tech boilies, additives, boosts and dipping liquids from laboratories only confirm a worrying development for the future of our fishing and for the health of our fish.
We are in 2023 and the use of new means of tracking (water cameras, echo sounders, drones...) is beginning to invade the minds of some carp anglers who swear by these means.
When will "connected" rods and "A.I." (Artificial Intelligence) assisted reels be available?
I personally think that it's time to put a stop to this evolution and to think about going back because I have a doubt about the future dedicated to our passion and especially to the one of the carps.
Carp fishing must remain a pleasure which must fill us with feelings and dreams while leaving aside this race to the records which risk to make us lose our reason and to empty our wallet.

Rod Hutchinson   "A good line placed on the right spot is worth 100 times more than 1,000 lines placed on all the bad spots."
- R. Hutchinson

Articles updated on: 28/10/2022

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Carp fishing, a dream or an obsession...