IFD: Vinnie Byrne has been carping for a long time in Ireland. He was a member of the Abbey anglers and went on to be a founding member of the Irish Carp club.
He has made regular trips to the UK and France and even proposed at Mar Peche!
Vinnie has also represented Ireland at the Wolrd Cup Classic and was an organiser of the Irish carp Championships. So now on with the questions…
How did you originally start fishing?
I’ve been fishing since I was a kid. It was actually some neighbours who got me into it when I was about ten or eleven.
How did your interest in carp begin?
There was a friend of the family from England, and we used to go over on holidays to Portsmouth a lot, I used to go with him and it started from there really. Came back here and kept up my coarse fishing. Then I started fishing Galmoylestown with another English chap. We used to fish places that are gone now like the Pondhouse.
Then we started to go to Ballincollig in Cork and would do the odd day session on the Lough. Back then I didn’t even do the night fishing so it was mostly day sessions.
From there where did the carping take you?
In the last few years I have enjoyed going back to a midlands lake. I have fished most places at one stage or another, I never really got stuck on one place. I’d try and find a few fish then move on to the next place. When I heard they were bringing up a few fish from Decoy to Maynooth which was starting up I joined that. If I remember rightly I think I was the very first member of Maynooth. We fished there for a few years and got involved with setting up the Abbey anglers. We used to run the Irish carp championships. So the next few years were spent focusing on that and then that became the Irish carp club.
What would be your advice to someone fishing a new water for the first time?
Do as much homework as you can before you even leave your house. Check the internet for any tips, and look also for previous catch pics. Google Earth can be a help. When on the lake talk to the regulars, but don’t expect them to tell you all the secrets! Get to know them and they will trust you more with info. Early in the season before the fish are getting active, get the marker rod out and keep note of any spots and distances, and plum your depths so you can refer back to this later on. Don’t stick to one spot but move around the lake and get to know the whole lake. Even if you are blanking, as long as you come home having learned something and adapt for you next session.
What kind of approach would you recommend for tactics on a new water?
For me I think solid pva bags and a pop up are a good place to start, the rig will be presented perfectly and if it should settle in weed it should hopefully stay on top of the weed. Again get as much info as you can and be prepared to change your approach to suit. Consider the margins especially and don’t just sit there and hope the fish will come to you.
You have fished quite a bit in the UK, what have been your favourite waters and do you do anything different?
I don’t class it as any different, at the end of the day its a lake in front of you, so it’s the same approach whether fishing Ireland, the UK or France. Just have your plan of attack ready and just enjoy yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s the mot famous lake in the UK, there must still be ways of fishing it. Try and figure out something different to what everyone else is doing is very important.
I’m lucky enough I got to fish some ones that I really wanted to like Redmire a few years back, and last year I done a trip to Mapperley, where the old UK record was caught by Albert Buckley, this would have been even before Dick Walkers old record. I also got to fish some of the carp society lakes which I really enjoyed. I have another trip planned for this year back to the UK and I’ll be looking forward to that.
What do you like about the French fishing?
I like going to France for the warm weather and bigger fish, there are a huge variety of lake so ask guys who have been there already to see if the lake will suit your fishing and just enjoy it. I have some very happy memories from France and some funny ones too.
What was your most memorable catch?
One of my most memorable catches was on an Irish lake that shall remain nameless. The fish in it weren’t even that big, but on this particular session I caught one just off the lake record. It wa only about 14lb, we decided to sack it while we got ready for a photo. Little did we realise that naturists also used the lake, and as the pics were being taken two naked men appeared from nowhere to see what was going on. As I was crouching down holding the carp over the mat they stood each side of the photographer and all I could see was there bollocks over each of his shoulders as I tried to stay serious! Needless to say I couldn’t manage a smile for those photos and I remember one of them saying, “don’t get me in the pictures my neighbours don’t know I do this” it was surreal and that would have to be the most memorable catch moment!
Can you tell us about your PB’s?
I won’t lie to you I’m not 100 per cent sure, I think my best common was about 39lb and the mirror 38 or thereabouts something like that. I’m honestly not that into the numbers side of things and the lads will tell you I’m not even that big into the pics, I’m there to just enjoy it and soak up the whole experience, If you get caught up in numbers it might just take away from the moment. A very good quote I read was from Richard Walkers ‘Still Water Angling’ that I think is very appropriate is ” Young men nowadays feel positively cheated if they are not catching 20lb carp or pike, how many double figure carp must I weigh through before I get a twenty, as if an 18 or 19 is an insignificant fish and a positive nuisance. Anglers often say they never caught a carp big enough for your standards but the best scrap I ever had was from a 9lber”.
If 10kg became the new benchmark would all the 20lb carp become irrelevant? If I was into numbers I’d play bingo!
And finally Vinnie, what lakes would you like to fish in the future?
I’d like to go back to Redmire of course, In France we fished Madine in the World cup classic, I’d like another trip back there. I’ve never fished Cassien as well which I would love to and of course many more UK lakes. As long as I’m fishing I’ll be happy….
Well thanks Vinnie and hope you have a great year
No problem lads