Quick Questions with... Dan Hawkes

This time RidgeMonkey’s UK sales manager and Euro adventurer Dan Hawkes has the answers.

Three words to describe yourself?
Energetic, funny, hyperactive.

Who have been your biggest influences in carp fishing?
My grandad and my old boss Andy Reynolds when I was a tackle shop manager.

Scariest moment on the bank?
Fishing Parco del Brenta in Italy and a huge storm rolled with the most ridiculously loud thunder and a dozen lighting strikes a second going off everywhere; when you’re praying you don’t want to get a take, the middle rod fishing to a plateau was away. The whole fight I was sh*tt*ng myself trying keep the tip as low as possible, trying not to get struck by lightning. It turned out to be a 57lb mirror.

How long have you been carp fishing?
Over 17 years.

How did you start carp fishing?
I started fishing at a very young age on a local canal then stopped to concentrate on football. At 14 I was given a carp setup for Christmas and I remember going on a park pond catching small carp, then moved on to an old brick yard catching them off the top on crust, and I just loved it. As I got older I would be dropped off by my parents at different ponds that held carp, trying to catch the biggest.

The bug has always been there, juggling fishing, football and a working life as I went through my teenage years and early twenties, then at 24 I became a tackle shop manager and it just took over my life and has done to this day. I am very fortunate to do what I do as a job and be employed by one of the biggest brands in carp fishing but you can’t do this alone, you need a supportive family and I have an amazing wife who wants me to succeed and make dreams become reality.

Carp fishing hasn’t just been a hobby, it’s become my job and it’s a huge part of who I am.

Other sporting interests?
Football, darts, boxing.

Worst fishing-related injury?
A sprained ankle – when I was baiting up on a water I wasn’t supposed to be on I rolled my ankle trying to make a getaway.

Best three anglers you’ve ever worked with?
Dave Levy, Frank Warwick, Darrell Peck.

Your favourite moment in your carp angling career?
For me carp fishing is about your own and your close friends’ captures and their achievements. When we filmed the first ‘Dream, Believe, Achieve’ programme we started at the huge Bayensenye lake in Hungary and I caught a huge 66lb mirror, the first English angler to achieve a 30kg fish from this venue.

The following week we moved on to Sumbar in Croatia and Dave Levy had a mirror at 88lb 2oz. When I netted it I saw the lump on its cheek and recognised it as one we were looking at the week before; it was the big ’un and I was just in shock, disbelief and pure joy for my mate’s capture – a two-week trip I will never forget.

Favourite capture?
It has to be the 78lb 6oz mirror I caught while filming The Great Escape; to catch any fish in front for a film is great and when it’s a carp that absolutely smashes your PB and you are sharing the moment with work colleagues and friends is incredible. I was lost for words for once in my life.

Three things you’d never go fishing without?
Glass lens sunglasses, a tub of my special hook baits, C-Smart Powerpack.

Any regrets?
Life is too short to have any regrets; live the best life possible and enjoy every day.

Biggest character you have met through fishing?
Del ‘The Don’ Ritchie.

What are your favourite bits about carping?
Sharing captures with like-minded anglers. Enjoying the peace and quiet of the great outdoors. When you land a target fish after a quest of trying to outwit the special one you were after.

Your least favourite bits?
Keyboard warriors, the bankside bitching, fishing politics.

Who do you most admire in carp fishing?
There are lots of very good anglers out there who we can all learn things from and I have been very fortunate to fish with some of the very best out there, and each of these people helped me in their own way. For me it’s Dave Levy, Darrell Peck, Oz Holness and Paul Forward.

Tell us a secret?
Keeping secrets is bad news and will get you in trouble! Be open and honest and live your best life.

Tea or coffee?
Tea with one sugar.

Favourite biscuit?
Malted Milk.

Favourite take-away?
Indian – I like a hot curry.

Funniest moment on the bank?
Dave Levy wiping his sweaty arse at Abbey Lakes on all the crew’s pillows – it was filmed watching John, one of the cameramen’s reaction when I showed him what Dave had done, then realising it was his pillow.

One fish you would have loved to have caught – past or present?
The Black Mirror.