Quick Questions With… Matt Townend

Three words to describe yourself?
Technical, creative and tired.

Who have been your biggest influences in carp fishing?
Lots of people; fishing in general it would be my dad, but most of my carp fishing was self-taught and through reading carp magazines! James Turner’s articles ultimately influenced the direction my carp fishing took as it led me to Tolpits and down the route of targeting individual fish. James was to become a very good friend in my closer group of angling mates, all of whom have influenced my fishing. Getting out on the bank with many of the names that I used to read about has no doubt influenced my approach no end.

Scariest moment on the bank?
Waking up in the night to someone stealing my rod from the side of my brolly. Filled with adrenalin I grabbed a water butt (empty) to use as a weapon and began to chase the mystery figure through the bushes, but they were gone. When I woke the next morning I realised that I had been asleep and it had been one of my ‘night terrors’, which involve extreme sleepwalking. I was actually fishing on a small island and the only other person was my mate… safe to say he keeps his wits about him whenever we have a social these days!

How long have you been carp fishing?
About 15 years.

How did you start carp fishing?
The real turning point was when I used to fish the River Lea with my dad. The river was stuffed full of barbel, but there were also a number of elusive river carp that I always used to try and catch. I became a dab hand at stalking them from the river and from that point I really became hooked on carping.

Other sporting interests?
I try to go to the gym to keep fit and strong. However, it’s not the best hobby to combine with carp fishing as they both require time and consistency. Strength training benefits from good quality sleep, which tends not to happen when I have rods out!

One day left to go fishing, where would you go?
Anywhere with my mates.

Worst fishing-related injury?
Not really had many proper injuries related to fishing. However, while out on the island with my mate we were both violently sick; probably due to the excessive levels of cormorant sh*t that covered the place!

Best three anglers you’ve ever worked with?
Ian Russell for being able get bites wherever he goes; Jim Shelley is constantly on it to another level; Terry Edmonds is without a doubt the best caster I’ve ever seen.

Your favourite moment in your carp angling career?
Helping coach an angler to stalk a new PB at over 30lb – definitely one of my favourites.

Favourite capture?
Not actually one of my own… a mate of mine had been campaigning for a particular uncaught common for four years. The lake was seriously testing and could have driven him to destraction, so when I finally got the call that it went in the net I couldn’t have been happier.

Three things you’d never go fishing without?
Polarised sunglasses, Chod hooks, hook file.

Any regrets?
Not catching a certain fish before it died in an oxygen crash – eight years of fishing that lake was near enough wasted. It was both the best and worst time on the bank I’ve ever had.

What are your favourite bits about carping?
Friendship – carp fishing brings together all sorts of people from all walks of life. I also just love watching them in the water, trying to figure out how I’ll catch them.

Your least favourite bits?
Cliques and b*tchiness – some people just want to fish for their own pleasure, so let them!

Who do you most admire in carp fishing?
People who are successful in carp fishing and also have a life outside of fishing – it’s a hard balance to get right!

Tell us a secret?
You don’t have to put everything on Instagram.

Tea or coffee?

Favourite biscuit?
Chocolate Viennese.

Favourite take-away?
An Indian, but only if it’s a good one – the one that delivers to Willow Park fishery is very nice!

Funniest moment on the bank?
Probably on the same session as my (not-so) scary moment. I had tried to climb a tree using a rope for leverage. As I stepped up the rope it spun me a full 180 degrees and I ended up spinning around upside-down six inches from the floor. Both my mate and I were in fits of laughter.

One fish you would have loved to have caught – past or present?
The one that died in the oxygen crash – it had been uncaught for over 15 years.