My Fishing Journey, by Steve Quinlivan
My first memory of ‘fishing’ was crabbing with my father and brother. Ok, not what you would call fishing today, but that was nearly 30 years ago.
I then got into fishing a bit more seriously at school where we had our own lake, mainly stocked with silvers and bream, but one legendary carp called Big Bertha. I never did catch Bertha, but did spend most of my free time silver bashing with a simple set up, hook and a little stick float and using bread moulded around the hook.
I did however, manage to win a school fishing match, with 1st prize being an old keep net, by catching a dinner plate sized bream. Once I left school for college, the fishing died off as I focused on studies and life.
However, the fishing shows on TV – Matt Hayes Fishing etc. soon had my interest peaked and I went carp fishing a couple of times with a friend and loved it, but didn’t have the money to get any kit. My father knew I really wanted to do it and managed to find an almost complete carp starter set up 2nd hand off of eBay. That was it, I was down the bank every moment I could.
Not really knowing what I was doing, throwing out big balls of ground bait wrapped around a method, with sweetcorn on the hair. I would manage a few carp every now and again, with the biggest being around 18lbs. While I was waiting for the alarms to scream off I would have a little whip, and amuse myself silver bashing. Due to work, life and getting frustrated with not really catching, I eventually reduced the amount of time on the bank and finally stopped, chucked the gear in the shed and forgot about it.
Move ahead about 10 years and I moved house and found the gear in the shed, most of which the mice had gotten to, but thought why not go out on the bank again. So, I visited the fishery that I had previously been to. It had all changed, new owners, landscaped, new fish stops, lakes redesigned.
Honestly, I didn’t enjoy it as before and didn’t catch. This led me to visit the local Angling Direct store to ask for advice. Not only did they point me to my now favourite commercial fishery that is 2 miles from my house, but also introduced me to Steve, an amazing angler who works at Hinders Baits, who also happens to share my name. With his advice and direction, I caught some carp on my 1st trip. Nothing to call home about, but enough to get me hooked on the sport again. I met Steve a few times on the bank and his tips and direction, especially around tight, accurate and consistent casting, soon had me catching more carp but, I wanted more. So I booked a personal 1 to 1 tuition with Steve, not only did I learn a lot, but I had the best days fishing of my life (up to that point!), catching some stunning carp.
We ended the day on 37 carp on the bank. From there and with Steve taking me under his wing, I have been consistently improving. With my average day session catch rate going from 7 carp to 50.
About a year later, I met up with Steve for day session at the local fishery and he surprised me with the opportunity to join the Hinders Bait family as a Product Field Tester, which of course I jumped at. Just after that, I was doing some promotion work with Steve at the local fishery, getting some video content for some new products. The aim of the day was to do some filming, not really go for the numbers and get the content we needed. This quickly changed to one of the best sessions of my life. While we got the content, it soon became apparent that the conditions were perfect, the carp were on the feed and we were in the right spot. 9 hours later, a few retakes on camera, and I had landed over 120 carp. My arms hurts, my back hurt, but the smile on my face said it all. A day I will never forget.
I also had the opportunity to do some proper carp fishing with Steve at Linear Fisheries, with the direct aim of beating my old PB of 18 Lbs. Which over 2 nights / 3 days we managed to do, not once, or twice but 3 times in succession, with my new PB now standing at 25Lbs. What an amazing session. Since then I have been learning and absorbing all the angling knowledge from Steve and Hinders so that I can improve my techniques and catch rates.
That’s my fishing career up to now. Still more to learn, new fisheries to visit and more fish to catch. Feed tight, Fish tight, Steve.