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Mark Gray

Number of Years Fishing: 42 (32 for carp). UK P.B : 22lbs, caught in the eighties. Foreign P.B: 49lb Other Sponsors: Free Spirit Germany, Castaway PVA Germany. Favourite Venue : Big natural lakes in Mecklenburg Vorpommern north Germany. There are over 900 waters, big and small, and many have hard fighting fish. It’s a stunning

Most memorable catch: My first double many years ago. I had been catching some good fish and had increased my PB to 9.5lbs (for north England at that time, was a good fish) but the double was still avoiding me. I had just come out of my bivvie one morning, feeling happy with myself as I had caught a couple of carp in the night, when I noticed some fish movement in the far corner of the lake. This area of the lake was very flat, with a depth of around 30cm; it’s where the cows went to drink. I could see that the carp where in there feeding, you could see their backs breaking the water surface, or a tail would come out as they went nose down. I quickly pulled my rods in, and made one rod up just with a hook tied directly onto the main line, and then tied a hair onto the hook (we didn’t know about the knotless knot then haha) which I baited up with a small 15mm homemade boilie. As I approached the area I was worried that the carp would see me, so like an army commando I went down on my belly and started to worm my way forward with the rod cradled in my arms. I came to a point where I had to stop as I feared if I went further I would spook the carp. Keeping the rod as low as I could I flicked the boilie out about 6m in front of me and laid the rod down in the grass. There where around 7 carp in the swim, and all had their heads down feeding, and the big one was among them. My heart started to race as he started to move towards my boilie leaving a trail off bubbles like an old steam train, and then it happened, the rod tip whipped round and I was into the big one. He weighed in at 16lbs, a lovely mirror, and I was over the moon (I had just caught my first carp by stalking, but I didn’t know that then) my first double was caught, a new PB and a new club record. Over the years I have caught many fish, big and small, but this catch was my most memorable.


Funniest moment on the bank: I had taken to one swim in particular on the lake I was fishing. It was in a nice little bay where I had taken a few smaller fish, but had spotted the bigger ones there on more than one occasion. The bank was lined with reeds, and to one side was a strip off low bushes. I had decided to do a day session and got to the swim just as the sun was coming up. After a short time I had the rods out and was sitting in my chair watching the water for those tell tail signs of carp. I was feeling good, the sun was shining the birds where singing, the fish where topping. I had just poured myself a coffee when I noticed a movement out off the corner of my eye in the bushes. As I turned to look, two off the bushes stood up! And started walking towards me! I have to be honest, I was screaming like a baby as my chair toppled backwards and my coffee flew into the air. As I laid on my back looking up into the sky, watching the coffee falling down in slow motion to cover me (it’s amazing what detail you see when you think you are going to ravaged by walking bushes) a shadow fell over me, looking down at me where two faces enclosed in a mass off twigs and leafs, the faces where covered in camouflage paint. “You ok mate” said bush one. “We didn’t mean to scare you” said bush two with as we all started to laugh. My two walking bushes turned out to be two Territorial Army guys. Believe me; I now always check the bushes where I fish!


About me and my favourite style of fishing: Original I come from a small town in Cumbria, Dalton-in-Furness, but I have been living in north Germany for many years now. I started fishing at very early age. I started of like many of us catching roach and perch and progressed onto tench. I then had a fling with pike, and one day one of the lads said let’s try carp, and I have been a carper ever since. My favourite style of fishing! I have had a few over the years, method fishing, surface fishing etc. But what I am really into at the moment is zig, and when the conditions are right I’ll always have one rod zigging away.