Quick Questions With… Gaz Fareham

Three words to describe yourself?
Driven, motivated, inquisitive.


Who have been your biggest influences in carp fishing?
Tim Paisley – for the early days on the northern meres, and his approach to tactics, baiting and rigs.
Frank Warwick – for his revolutionary approach to single hook bait fishing and experimentation, and the range fishing.
Rob Gillespie – for his attitude, honesty and sheer determination.
Terry Hearn – ‘In Pursuit’ shaped me just as much as many in my generation.
Samir Arebi – for giving me the push and belief to follow my heart and start doing more in Europe on the big waters.

Scariest moment on the bank?
Probably the bullets from French rangers ricocheting through the trees above us as they shot at wild boar from a distant ridge, unaware we were there. The one they caught, clipping the back of its head, fell into the river and we had to jump in the boat to herd it away from our rods, blood pouring from its wound as it struggled to swim in the heavy current!

How long have you been carp fishing?
Unbelievably, 32 years now. I started in 1989 with my dad.

How did you start carp fishing?
I had the usual angling progression – fishing for silvers on local ponds and canals, then float and tip fishing for bream and tench, and then one day we went carp fishing with a friend of my dad’s who was already well versed in it – swingtipping for bream suddenly didn’t seem that exciting!

Other sporting interests?
Lots! I run, surf and ride regularly, probably more regularly than I go fishing as I find them far easier to squeeze into my busy life. I’ve surfed all over the world and done a few Downhill MTB races over the years.

One day left to go fishing, where would you go?
Probably a river, maybe the Test, on a crisp winter’s day – one day to go carp fishing isn’t really enough. Either than or a day on a big wild European lake where I could just lose myself, maybe Cassien as that’s days only anyway!

Worst fishing-related injury?
None really – just a size 4 Drennan Conti through my finger one day, and some chronic stomach issues back in the day from poor angling related diet and habits – caffeine, smoking and bad food catches up with everyone eventually! 

Best three anglers you’ve ever worked with?
Rob Gillespie – phenomenal work ethic and watercraft.
Scott Karabowicz – incredibly astute technically and tactically, and a mega writer.
Samir Arebi – brute determination to succeed in the harshest of environments. 

Your favourite moment in your carp angling career?
Either the early days, when I was naïve and everything was new and exciting, or more recently my first big trip to the wilds of the south of France when everything became new and exciting once again.

Favourite capture?
Probably the big common I had second night on that first big trip down south. I’d wanted to catch a carp in that sort of environment since I was a kid, and finally achieved it in the most beautiful of surroundings.

Three things you’d never go fishing without?
Water, coffee, milk.

Any regrets?
Not really. Probably that I didn’t start fishing in Europe sooner and struggled away trying to make it work for me on waters over here that I didn’t really have the time or motivation for any longer. 

Biggest character you have met through fishing?
Hard to say, carp fishing breeds them so there have been too many over the years! But probably Dave Slowen – absolute legend.

What are your favourite bits about carping?
The escape, getting away from clock time. Having adventures and new experiences in amazing places are definitely my favourite bits – the carp are almost just an excuse to engage in that.

Your least favourite bits?
Egos and the politics of it, I can’t stand that side of carp fishing.

Who do you most admire in carp fishing?
The nine to five working lads and weekenders, the ones that turn up to busy lakes every Friday after work week after week and keep at it – and anyone that does it purely for love and the right reasons

Tell us a secret?
Carp fishing often frustrates me as much as it excites me.

Tea or coffee?

Favourite biscuit?
Dutch Stroopwafel, warmed over a fresh coffee first thing in the morning. I’d say unbeatable! 

Favourite take-away?
Indian, as long as it’s a good one.

Funniest moment on the bank?
Watching Beadle tie up the most elaborate PVA bag I’ve ever seen at 3am, a six or seven layer job, that took about 20 minutes, completely drunk after a European slide show night, by the light of a half dead Petzl… then walloping it out into the darkness with a loud “bashhhhuuunng!’ cry. Only to wind it in with a hellish hangover four hours later for the drive back to the UK.

One fish you would have loved to have caught – past or present?
Possibly Bazil, just because of how indelibly that carp and the Yateley lakes shaped my thinking about carp fishing in the early days.