IFD: Tom Maker is one of the UK’s most tuned in carp anglers. Sponsored by Fox and Sticky Baits, Tom catches while many others blank by his attention to detail of watercraft. With some extraordinary catches under his belt we now talk to Tom for his interview…
What was your introduction to fishing originally?
My dad first introduced me into fishing in 1999, whilst he was carp fishing I was sat beside him fishing for small Rudd and roach on the float, eventually he bought me a small carp set up and I eventually landed my first carp on the 1st April 2000 which weighed 7lb 10oz, a day I will never forget.
How did your interest in carp fishing begin, and where did you fish in those early days?
Just by watching my Dad really, catching small Rudd and roach soon got boring and when I started sensing big carp I just wanted to catch one for myself.
My carp fishing started on a small water called the “British euro lite” lake, a small day ticket near my parents home in Kent, from there I went onto fish Walthamstow ressies in London before moving onto mid Kent fisheries.
From a young age you came to prominence as a top carp angler, what were you doing different to the other guys around the lake?
I honestly don’t know, I had a huge advantage that my dad was a keen carp angler who also become british champion in 2004, so as you can imagine fishing with him all the time I was always learning from one of the best, but now he’s getting on so he’s just a has been now haha sorry dad 😉
You are well known for your zig fishing, what would be your top tops for fishing zigs?
Firstly is don’t be afraid to try one, if it isn’t happening on the bottom then put 2 or 3 out, don’t give it half hour on one rod and think that just because it hasn’t happened that zigs don’t work, believe me they do, you just need to persevere with them.
Always start one at mid depth with the others just under and just over, chop and change colours and depth every few hours till you start to reap the rewards.
Can you give us your advice for fishing the margins or saggy swims?
Snag fishing is a style I love, good strong tackle and a drum tight clutch will see you land all of your fish.
I refuse to use a bait boat so if it takes me 30 casts to get it tight into some snags then that’s what it takes, carp feel safe in snags so pressure from a lead will not move them out, once the bait falls in the right spot it’s only a matter of time!
Could you tell us about the session where you caught your UK PB?
It was quite mad really, It was back in the April of 2008 and over here in England we had bad snow, my dad was off work and I was off college so we decided foolishly to try and go fishing to a local park lake that is renowned for fishing well in the cold, anyway after several failed attempts and 5 hours later we eventually got their, narrowed our gear round a rather white lake and set up where surprisingly we had seen 3 fish show, rigging 3 white milky toffee pop ups on I fired 2 into open water and the other up near an island, with snow on the ground and the prospect of a “snowman” shot next to the rods I set about building one, to my amazement mid build I had a ripper on the island rod, and again to my amazement half hour later I had my UK PB mirror in the net at a colossal 44lb 8oz!!!
What session would you like to relive?
Probably the session in April last year where I caught my target fish from Hardwick lake on the Linear complex, it’s the only real fish I have ever set out to target, it only took me 3 sessions which I’m not moaning about as it was a true English brute, at 39lb 2oz it rounded of a 26 fish session rather nicely, and what made it even more satisfying is that the carp has only been landed 3 times in 6 years!
Where else in the world would you like to fish?
This is an easy one, Euro Aqua in Hungary, I know it’s a lot of money and not everyone’s cup of tea, but as a carp angler to have the opportunity to fish for the largest carp in the world is something that in my eyes dreams are made of! It’s no different to a car enthusiast owning a modified corsa but dreaming of owning a Ferrari! One day maybe!
If you had not been born a carper, what other style of fishing could you have seen yourself doing?
When I went to Africa in 2008 I got the opportunity to fish for tuna, and if I’m honest the buzz of “big game” fishing is quite similar to carping, not knowing what you are going to hook and getting proper beat up by a monster fish!
And finally Tom, what are your fishing ambitions for the future?
Just to keep doing what I am doing, I know everyone says that but I am really enjoying my fishing time at the moment, I am out on the bank regular giving one to one tuition as well as doing plenty of on the bank work for my Sponsors fox international and sticky baits, I wouldn’t mind catching my first UK 40 plus common either, I’ve had 11 mirrors over the magical mark but to catch a common that size would be a lifetime ambition achieved!
Thanks for talking to us Tom and hope you have a great year
No problem lads anytime…..