I am pleased to announce that Iain Sorrell has joined the Big Carp News contribution team. Iain runs Saxon tackle, importing Delkim, SPOMB & PB products in addition to developing the amazing Hexalite carp rods. His North American captures include 40lb+ commons, a 46lb Mirror and grass carp to 60+. As an all round angler he has a wealth of knowledge and experience in carp, coarse, game and sea angling. He is currently working closely with the fisheries department to develop carp angling across Connecticut & beyond, where he is making great strides in maximizing the resources on offer. Welcome to the team Iain! (Craig- Editor)
Meet the contributor!
My home town is Chesham, Bucks in dear old Blighty but I’ve been living near Hartford, CT since 1994. It is now (sadly) over 50 years since I began fishing at the age of 4 along the Grand Union Canal… Over the years I have been lucky to chase a wide range of species from different parts of the World. In addition to owning and operating Saxon Tackle as the exclusive distributor for Delkim and Spomb I’ve also been involved in the fly fishing industry. Somehow this all fits in with a long time business career in life science laboratory and research products.
I’ve never really considered myself anything other than an all round angler. Carp have certainly been a big part of my angling pursuits but then I’m equally at home chasing any number of fresh or saltwater species with a fly rod or spinning rod. I was lucky to have fished many of the Colne Valley waters before they really hit the headlines for their big carp. In 1978 I met Mike Wilson (of pyramid baiting fame) and was invited to join Ruslip AC which then had the sole fishing rights on Savay. This was shortly before the first syndicate and the attendant who’s who of carping appeared on the banks. It was an extraordinary apprenticeship which saw the dawn of modern carping techniques including the arrival of the hair rig. When I came to the US and bumped into the likes of early CAG members including Nigel Griffin, Pat Kerwin, Fran Slasinski and Steve Clow I soon discovered the extent of the incredible carp fishing opportunities over here and knew it would likely dominate my fishing life as a result!
Articles, publications, records, sponsors etc.
My first ‘appearance’ was aged 16 in the Angling Times for the capture of several big Pollack and my first article was back in 1978 on the risks posed by lead shot to wildfowl. Some of my more recent articles have appeared in the Carp Fisher (now Carp World), Carp Tackle Trade, Big Carp News, and the North American Carp Angler & several books including the Savay Chronicles and a chapter in Frank Warwick’s debut book “Every Bit of Blue. I’ve also contributed articles to fly fishing for magazines including Fly Fishing in Saltwaters & recently filmed a program with On The Water TV highlighting carp fishing on the CT River which will air in early 2016.
1. Why carp fishing?
What other fish is there in freshwater that fights as hard, grows as big or looks so stunning?
2. Most obsessive thing you have done to catch a carp?
I intentionally caught measles so I could get two weeks off work to go fishing.
3. Angler(s) you most respect?
The articles written by the likes of Richard Walker, Fred J. Taylor, Jack Hilton etc all had a massive influence on me as I grew up. I’m lucky to know many of the great anglers from the carp world but if I had to single out just a couple it would be friends like Mike Wilson and Frank Warwick.
4. Favorite bit of kit?
There are so many choices and I know I’m biased because I represent them here in North America, but it has to be my Delkim alarms. There is simply no other alarm that can truly help you understand what is happening at the ‘sharp’ end. No other alarm can put more fish on the bank. Period.
5. Worst tackle purchase ever?
Anything that screams “buy me” and then sits unused in my tackle box… bought tons of sh*t like that over the years!
6. Favorite baits?
A tough choice. I fish a lot of boilies because if used properly they sort the bigger fish. If it came down to just two then Wonder Bread & Sweetcorn would catch me almost any carp that swims!
7. Favorite venue? Ssssh – it’s still a secret!
8. What was your best ever session?
Anytime I come away with a result and that does not always mean a fish in the net. I simply love being on or by the water. There have been many blanks that have taught me something and I’ve always enjoyed sharing the time on the bank with friends.
9. Favorite catch?
The capture of the now famous Sally from Savay at 24lb is certainly one of the more memorable. It was the culmination of a lot of hard work (and at least as many blanks…) together with some careful observation. Since I rolled my own baits I could not compete with the quantities being used by some of the syndicate members. I’d discovered Belachan, a dried shrimp material, in a local Chinese supermarket a couple of years earlier and it seemed like the ideal ‘natural’ flavor. However it stunk the house out so I was forced to make baits bankside . I’d decided to move swims and to fish the ‘Narrows’ which meant I could put out a line of baits to intercept fish moving through the area. Around 4pm I saw a fish roll a couple of times as it moved towards the baited area Then before I knew it the right hand Optonic screamed into action and I was hooked into a fish that seemed determined to kite around the end of the island. It seemed like forever before it finally rolled into the net and showed itself to be one of Savay’s rare commons. I was simply stunned to say the least and kept hoping I wasn’t dreaming. It was only years later when reading John Harry’s book on Savay that I realized the significance of the tail damage and that ‘Sally’ had become such a revered fish in later years.
10. Top tips?
Study the water you plan to fish as everything (choice of swim, rigs, baits etc) will follow on from what you learn as a result.
11. Favorite rig?
I have two… Frank Warwick’s long shank hook rig and Mike Kavanagh’s Multi-Rig. Both are easy to tie and devastatingly effective with a variety of baits.
12. Worst ever session?
Playing what I’m convinced was a truly massive fish for almost 20 minutes and just when I thought the battle might be going my way the hook pulled. I only got a shadowy glimpse of this fish but it simply dwarfed two mid thirties I’d caught earlier. I knew immediately on seeing the bent hook point it was because I’d failed to check the rig properly. Totally gutted.