Quick Questions With… Mark Holmes

This time the often-controversial ex-editor of Advanced Carp Fishing Mark Holmes lets us have his answers.

Three words to describe yourself?
Beligerent, studious, kind.

Who have been your biggest influences in carp fishing?
Historically it would be Richard Walker, but then Kevin Clifford and David Moore.

Scariest moment on the bank?
I fell into a flooded river in a thermal suit and waders. I realised I would need to bounce back up to the surface or I would drown. Luckily I managed to do so and caught hold of a branch to lift myself from the river.

How long have you been carp fishing?
Since 1975, so 45 years.

How did you start carp fishing?
I started on a farmer’s pond at the age of 13 at Cheveley, near Newmarket. I was pleasure fishing and I caught a 3lb wildie and that was it. From then on I just wanted to catch carp.

Other sporting interests?
Rugby league.

One day left to go fishing, where would you go?
Queen Mary’s ponds in Ripon, North Yorkshire.

Worst fishing-related injury?
I dislocated my shoulder trying to cast a distance at a gravel pit in North Yorkshire, and I couldn’t get it back in. I was then on the bank for another 24 hours.

Best three anglers you’ve ever worked/fished with?
Jim Shelley, David Moore, Len Gurd.

Your favourite moment in your carp angling career?
Probably catching a very rare fish called the Cambridge Black Forty, and was then very fortunate to go on and catch the Caravan Park Linear the following week… twice.

Three tMings you’d never go fishing without?
Ridgemonkey frying pan, a headtorch and a bucket (to be able to hold lake water as part of my baiting approach while fishing).

Any regrets?
Not fishing Wingham when I had the opportunity.

Biggest character you have met through fishing?
John Bannister.

What are your favourite bits about carping?
Solitude, challenge and ultimate success.

Your least favourite bits?
The eliteness that some try to thrust upon carp anglers. I also don’t like size-ism or unkind comments

Tell us a secret?
In modern carp fishing, having the least amount of line in the water is a secret.

Tea or coffee?
Yorkshire tea.

Favourite biscuit?
I would have to say malted milk due to the low sugar content (looking after my health).

Favourite take-away?

Funniest moment on the bank?
There was a well-known carp angler fishing a water I was on and his friend moved his distance sticks slightly. The language he used the next day while struggling to find his spots had to be heard to be believed!

One fish you would have loved to have caught – past or present?
The Big Common from the Deepings syndicate – unfortunately it died before I could catch it.