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Gazlaaar

Fishing Comparison

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We've all heard how difficult it was to fish back in the day, when ever that was and it does beg the question.

Was it really harder compared to now?

I'm a little sceptical

Fewer fish, fewer anglers meant fewer fish getting caught. True today we have an abundance of fish, venues and gear to combat the many challenges we face, but I'm willing to bet, it wasn't anymore difficult than it is today, just different.

Now before anyone accuses me of stirring an argument up, that's not my intention at all, in fact I'd like to see both sides of the coin and hear both from the older anglers and the younger amongst us :)

Edited by Gazlaaar

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1 hour ago, Gazlaaar said:

Fewer fish, fewer anglers meant fewer fish getting caught.

why were there fewer anglers? because there were fewer fish to target and information on where they were was not readily available. It was all hush hush. Tackle and bait were nowhere near as advanced making it harder straight off the bat. Not only to hook but also to land a carp. I know a few places which are relatively untouched, you could catch on tinned potatoes and a split cane I reckon. Dont fancy using the tackle from the 80s trying to catch 100yds + on a weedy gravel pit tbh. 

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So would you not agree after decades of being caught, our fish have become accustomed to being caught and their habits have changed.

I'm not arguing the fact it wasn't difficult back in the day, what I am asking is whether you believe the fish are more tricky to catch now.

No there wasn't the tackle advancements then, the information wasn't available, in fact next to nothing was known. 

We now have a wealth of knowledge, and near enough everything at our disposal but I think, fish behaviour has also changed, making fish trickier to outwit.

 

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36 minutes ago, Gazlaaar said:

No there wasn't the tackle advancements then, the information wasn't available, in fact next to nothing was known. 

We now have a wealth of knowledge, and near enough everything at our disposal but I think, fish behaviour has also changed, making fish trickier to outwit.

It's an interesting point. There's loads of variables I guess. I think to catch a carp is relatively easy, they're everywhere. To catch big British carp is harder as the fish and venues are harder to come by. To catch specific big British carp is harder still and provides a unique challenge in accordance with the given water.

I guess nowadays it's as hard as you want to make it whereas back in the day it was hard full-stop.

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46 minutes ago, Gazlaaar said:

So would you not agree after decades of being caught, our fish have become accustomed to being caught and their habits have changed.

I'm not arguing the fact it wasn't difficult back in the day, what I am asking is whether you believe the fish are more tricky to catch now.

No there wasn't the tackle advancements then, the information wasn't available, in fact next to nothing was known. 

We now have a wealth of knowledge, and near enough everything at our disposal but I think, fish behaviour has also changed, making fish trickier to outwit.

 

can see what your getting at .... but it's very venue dependent & generalising is tricky . no doubt anyone who has had the privilege of fishing for uncaught fish or very rarely fished lakes will tell you how easy they are to catch at first , But it doesn't take long for the fish to change & become  aware there being hunted for . 

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Yes I guess if you wanted to analyse it properly it is very venue specific.

Like I've mentioned, I'm not saying I wasn't difficult back in the 60's 70's and 80's.

Personally I think the peak of fishing was the late nineties early noughties. Lots of fish being caught, there were major bait and tackle advancements, but I think for a lot of the older venue's we have reached an equilibrium.

Imagine yourself knowing what you know now, having the gear you have now and fishing for fish that haven't experienced decades of pressure.

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7 minutes ago, Gazlaaar said:

Imagine yourself knowing what you know now, having the gear you have now and fishing for fish that haven't experienced decades of pressure.

Sounds bloomin' awesome lol.... but, ultimately, I think we like carp angling to be hard... I know I do, otherwise I'd be fishing for something else. We set our own challenges, bigger, older or better looking carp from harder, bigger or lower stocked waters..... it's a personal journey innit.

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4 minutes ago, Gazlaaar said:

 

Imagine yourself knowing what you know now, having the gear you have now and fishing for fish that haven't experienced decades of pressure.

I have done mate & still can & some of the lakes are very low stock too . still plenty of blanks are involved but your definitely  fishing knowing that everything is in place & it's just a matter of time until you trip one up , especially when prebaiting. 

higher stock venues with the same parameters would be like taking candy from a baby for any experienced angler .

 

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I'll wade right in and say that for me It's harder than its ever been surley, not that I was fishing in the 60's coz I wasn't born.

Just looking at angling pressure alone the fish are trickier to catch because they have seen it all before and everyone has access to the latest rig materials and wonder baits so the only edge left is skill, knowledge and determination.

I've fished for un-pressured fish in a quarry and found them to be the easiest fish I've caught to date.

Maybe something that made it seem more difficult back then was the useless tackle and poor bait - like spuds!  Thank god it moved forward, you can stick your old kit where it belongs - on the wall or in the bin.

I know there are exceptions to this but its just my generalisation.

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22 minutes ago, kevtaylor said:

I've fished for un-pressured fish in a quarry and found them to be the easiest fish I've caught to date

Similar experiences on a pit that was only ever fished by a farmer and his two mates (like once or twice a year). Stick a bait where they were and you'd catch. In fact they'd investigate what you were doing. I was using a marker as we had struggled to find them that afternoon so I could put bait out and sit on it. A 30+ common followed it in to where I was stood in the water. Literally brushed my legs and swam off. Wouldnt get that on a pressured venue would you.

It was hard back then because the fish were few and far between, simple as that. couple that with inadequate gear for the job and poor bait quality and it made it worse. Different reasons for it being hard nowadays, the abundance of big fish, more anglers, more technology, lots of good baits. 

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Years ago I used to guest a little un-fished pit on a farm with my brother. It had really shallow margins, surrounded by reeds. We'd set little traps, handful of corn with two pcs on a hair, rod tips just poking through the reeds. We'd set 3 of these traps up along a bank then get to higher ground to watch. It was so shallow you'd see the carp approaching. As soon as you saw one you'd have to make your way to that rod as you knew you'd be getting a take in the next minute or so. Probably the easiest fishing I've done, nowt big in there but what a laugh we had, we were only young.

Pressure defo makes a massive difference.

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That is exactly my point fellas, we have been told many times that we wouldn't stand a chance back in the day and that we have it easy now.

Not so

Yes we have more choice, yes there are waters that are stocked to the brim of hungry fish the rely on anglers baits, yet angling pressure levels out this thinking. Fish are harder to catch because they have learned after decades of pressure we are hunters and regard us as a danger. Back in the day fish were oblivious to this and we'e easier to catch, now those same fish will be a completely different animal.

Neither era is harder than the other, just different.

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2 minutes ago, Gazlaaar said:

Neither era is harder than the other, just different.

exactly. 

although if you transport carpers now to back then is that the lakes with carp in would have queues at the gates as there just wasnt as many... although that would mean plenty stopped going. what many consider instant carpers, etc. wouldnt bother if they didnt have their 100x fish in an acre or their stocked @ 40s, etc. 

One thing that they didnt have back then as a massive issue was predation...

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It does beg the question if, back in the day, you'd had Tel, Laney, Oz and Pecky hitting Redmire with fishmeals and hinge-rigs instead of your Walkers, Hiltons, Quinlans and Mintrams with size 12's buried in spuds, would the King and Queen have been landed as well as the Bishop?? IMO..... absolutely, without doubt.

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2 hours ago, kevtaylor said:

you can stick your old kit where it belongs - on the wall or in the bin.

That's a pretty poor attitude fellah.... I still fish with "Old Kit" I still catch with it... and just to clarify... to catch a fish, only the last 3 feet of your end game matters... not the rod or the reel... all you really need is a sharp hook, a bait they want, and put it in the right place.... the limitations on old gear, compared to modern kit is how far  you could cast it.... and even then a MKIV and a Mitchell 300 will still perform as well as any other rod/reel combo up to about 50 yards...

 

I think modern carping is far easier.... there are more dedicated carp puddles for instance.... given the huge business that carping has become over the years, I'd say it's become far easier to catch a 20 or 30lber now that it ever was in the 50's - 60's - or even 70's or 80's you have to applaud the skills and innovation of the older guys like Walker, Yates, Mintram, Hilton, Arbery, Taylor etc... they were pioneers of modern carp angling and given that the technology that we take for granted wasn't even thought of in Walkers day when Clarissa (Ravioli) came out of Redmire... they made up for it in skill, ingenuity and watercraft.... something that no amount of technology and youtube video's can ever make up for

 

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4 minutes ago, bluelabel said:

I think modern carping is far easier.... there are more dedicated carp puddles for instance.... given the huge business that carping has become over the years, I'd say it's become far easier to catch a 20 or 30lber now that it ever was in the 50's - 60's - or even 70's or 80's

That is undoubtedly true.

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55 minutes ago, yonny said:

Walkers, Hiltons, Quinlans and Mintrams with size 12's buried in spuds,

Atcherlee dear chap it was size 2 - 4 or 6's and on one memorable occasion, some trebles, as the spuds got boiled too long and went soft.and wouldn't stay on a single hook to cast.. Have a read of "Favourite Swims" By Fred J Taylor... it's documented therein8)

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26 minutes ago, bluelabel said:

That's a pretty poor attitude fellah.... I still fish with "Old Kit" I still catch with it... and just to clarify... to catch a fish, only the last 3 feet of your end game matters... not the rod or the reel... all you really need is a sharp hook, a bait they want, and put it in the right place.... the limitations on old gear, compared to modern kit is how far  you could cast it.... and even then a MKIV and a Mitchell 300 will still perform as well as any other rod/reel combo up to about 50 yards...

what if the fish are at 100yards?

And 3ft is all that matters? that is a poor attitude that disregards snags and fish safety completely! Its actually unsafe fishing that could lead to fish trailing line and hooks in their mouths. Back in those decades using a 15/18lb line wasnt an option without it probably being like rope (I wasnt born until 91 so I dont have first hand experience) but I'd like to see the quality of line back then at 6/8lb stand up to a mussel bed on a gravel bar.  

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8 minutes ago, greekskii said:

what if the fish are at 100yards?

37 minutes ago, bluelabel said:

the limitations on old gear, compared to modern kit is how far  you could cast it....

Read what I said dear chap.....:D

 

back in those days Dacron/braid were  widely used hooklengths and mainlines were usually 9/10lb Platil... as you say you're a child of the 90's... try reading some of the literature of the day it's certainly an eye opener... back in those days though fish care wasn't as high on the agenda as it is now... this is where carping has really cleaned up it's act... Istill use old gear occasionally still but I employ modern methods.... lets face it.... what's the point on fishing half a spud nowadays when fish are switched onto HNV baits... mind you they still take a big lobworm or a couple of grains of corn8)

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3 minutes ago, bluelabel said:

Read what I said dear chap.....:D

 

50 minutes ago, bluelabel said:

and even then a MKIV and a Mitchell 300 will still perform as well as any other rod/reel combo up to about 50 yards

That's not true though is it. the new technology of blank materials is far superior nowadays... telling me a Hi S rod and a basair is on a par with the old rods and reels and would perform the same? 

 

7 minutes ago, bluelabel said:

as you say you're a child of the 90's... try reading some of the literature of the day it's certainly an eye opener...

have, I also talk to a lot of anglers older than me who tell me how it was back then. A lot of them serious carpers back then. 

 

you also didnt answer about the 3ft is all that matters to land a fish question I posed...

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5 minutes ago, greekskii said:

you also didnt answer about the 3ft is all that matters to land a fish question I posed...

It's a generalisation.... the last 3 feet has your end rig on it.... that's the bit that catches you the fish, not the rod or reel, and not whether you can chuck it a hundred yards.   You could be putting out a pants rig with a pants bait.. like I said, the last 3 feet of your line is the bit that catches the fish

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3 minutes ago, bluelabel said:

It's a generalisation.... the last 3 feet has your end rig on it.... that's the bit that catches you the fish, not the rod or reel, and not whether you can chuck it a hundred yards.   You could be putting out a pants rig with a pants bait.. like I said, the last 3 feet of your line is the bit that catches the fish

I get what you're saying but to discount everything in between your hook and your rod tip is a bit short sighted. Weed, gravel features, snags all can lose you fish. the last 3-6ft will hook you fish but the rod, reel, line will land it for you. 

Overall everything from your hook to your reel will catch you a fish. 

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44 minutes ago, bluelabel said:

That's a pretty poor attitude fellah.... I still fish with "Old Kit" I still catch with it... and just to clarify... to catch a fish, only the last 3 feet of your end game matters... not the rod or the reel... all you really need is a sharp hook, a bait they want, and put it in the right place.... the limitations on old gear, compared to modern kit is how far  you could cast it.... and even then a MKIV and a Mitchell 300 will still perform as well as any other rod/reel combo up to about 50 yards...

 

I think modern carping is far easier.... there are more dedicated carp puddles for instance.... given the huge business that carping has become over the years, I'd say it's become far easier to catch a 20 or 30lber now that it ever was in the 50's - 60's - or even 70's or 80's you have to applaud the skills and innovation of the older guys like Walker, Yates, Mintram, Hilton, Arbery, Taylor etc... they were pioneers of modern carp angling and given that the technology that we take for granted wasn't even thought of in Walkers day when Clarissa (Ravioli) came out of Redmire... they made up for it in skill, ingenuity and watercraft.... something that no amount of technology and youtube video's can ever make up for

 

Each to their own dude, keep your old kit - its great that you love it.  Me I would put it on the wall as a momento of times gone by.

With cane rods and old reels I would be hopelessly undergunned for the fishing that I and the majority of people do nowdays.

50 yards is nothing on most gravel pits, laughable nowdays.  Modern carping might be easier if your a beginner on a commercially overstocked puddle, however get yourself on a proper water that sees incredible pressure and you will see that the easy description is way off the mark.

 

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2 minutes ago, kevtaylor said:

Modern carping might be easier if your a beginner on a commercially overstocked puddle, however get yourself on a proper water that sees incredible pressure and you will see that the easy description is way off the mark.

That. I think my post earlier sums it up well:

4 hours ago, yonny said:

I guess nowadays it's as hard as you want to make it whereas back in the day it was hard full-stop.

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