“Are You A Noddy Mate?”


A few years ago I joined a new carp syndicate lake that I had been trying to get onto for a few years. The  initial reaction I received was a stone-waller and I could not get past the first hurdle of Mr Arrogance (the syndicate leader). He did not know me and that was that. Eventually Mr Arrogance lost his place as head of the syndicate and was asked to leave by the lake owner. It was then that I got my opportunity to get a foot in the door to start my new season on a new lake.

It was my second visit to the lake, I was fishing days only so that I could move around and learn the lakes layout more quickly than if I had been static, bivvied up. This is a tactic that I will use when approaching a new water and you soon find the feeding areas and varying depths without interfering with the long stay anglers.

Obviously to do this I needed to travel light. On my back went a small tackle bag with my essentials, sandwiches and a flask. On one hand, a rod sling with 2 rods, banksticks, unhooking-mat scales, landing net and handle and umbrella, and in the other hand my very small light fishing chair.

The Noddy. Not a carp.

The Noddy. This is not a carp.

That morning there had been a little bit of rain about, so my 50 inch umbrella was erected and I was sitting comfortably underneath it keeping dry and warm. I had the lake to myself so I was already on my second move trying to locate a few roaming carp.

Now the umbrella that I was using was one of the lightest that I had found on the market. The only downside, so to speak, was the colour which was grey and the little bit of writing on the back of it. Ok, perhaps not little, the writing was huge and in red reading ‘Flat Backed Brolly’. The grey colour was perfect as it matched the colour of the sky, which in this country is the norm. Now why am I harping on about the umbrella you ask? Well I will try and explain.

I had been fishing for around 2 hours, no chances as yet but I felt optimistic. Out of the blue a booming voice came from the side of me, “who are you?”. I turned around to see a walking tree, totally camouflaged and someone I took to be a carp angler.

“Good morning, I’m a new member” I said.

“Are you a noddy mate, there’s some big carp in here you know” came the reply from Mr Carp Angler. “Didn’t think they were letting noddies on this lake. You know that this is a carp syndicate.”

“Yes” I replied. And so this was how the conversation went.

Now I forgot to mention that my attire may not have fit the ‘Carp Angling’ criteria. I had blue jeans on, a cream jumper and a plain green coat that I purchased from a builders yard (waterproof and breathable but with no fishing logo). I also had a pair of thigh waders on and not white trainers. So along with my grey and red umbrella maybe I did not fall into the category of a carp angler in this mans eyes… but so what. Do you think I or the fish cared? No! What is the definition of a noddy? Does he mean that I was not up to his carp fishing standards?

I caught this carp in a cream t shirt and blue jeans. What would MR Carp think about this?

I caught this carp in a cream t-shirt and blue jeans. What would Mr Carp Angler think about that?

“What is your, what do they call it, PB?” I asked

“Twenty seven and a half. I’ve had quite a few other twenties as well.” he proudly bragged.

“And why do you call me a noddy?”

“Well you obviously aren’t carp fishing. What are you after, tench or bream?”

“No, carp actually.” I couldn’t hold back any longer. “If I told you that this year alone I have landed numerous twenties, a few thirties and forties with a couple of fifties thrown in for good luck. Who is the noddy? I think you’d better leave this noddy to fish don’t you”

After a bit of a splutter and trying to withdraw his comments the walking tree wandered off with his tail between his legs. If I had have been a new angler to the scene, can you imagine what I would have thought of carp anglers?

Some carp anglers think they are a cut above the rest. Fishing is a sport and is personal. Ok some get their faces in the lime light and flaunt themselves in the magazines. This does not make them any better than any other angler that enjoys a days fishing catching carp and other species of fish. I know a lot of really good anglers that like to diversify into other types of fishing.

Live and let live is my motto and I try to pass on the little bit of knowledge and experience I’ve gained over my years of fishing to others that are willing to learn. That is the purpose of my blog writing and articles and I hope that this little tale makes you think before judging other anglers.

Paul Cooper
Fisherman

Read more from Paul Cooper here

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