Ben Hamilton Interview // Part One - Text Only


A. The problem with that is some anglers have more time than others. I would say that a good angler is someone who is consistent in what they do. The kind of angler that has the drive to get to the lake as much as he can, even on short time. Someone that recognises if the cast isn’t quite right and will keep trying until it is absolutely bang on. 

Anglers that react to conditions too, they don’t even really need to think about it, it comes natural. They may see a fish show in an area when they pack up, so make note and come back that night to either fish or map the area out.

Someone that reads the situation well and knows how to react to that scenario. A lot of that comes down to experience, but you see some anglers that just have it. Your eyes are the most important thing in fishing and you find that the anglers switched on are viewing their areas meticulously. Looking at the birds batting down on the surface, the coots spooking and so on. 


A. I think it is the whole package that comes with carp fishing. The end part of having a carp in the net is just the final satisfaction. Being outside with nature is wonderful and whether I have my rods with me or not, I still love being outdoors. Fresh air is good for you and in a digital world that we live in; I think it is good to help get more people outside.

I love the fact that we can all speak to one another, all being like minded in the sense that we love carp fishing. You get people from all walks of life, some that you would never speak to on the street, but our shared hobby brings us all together.

I have built so many friendships through fishing and some that will last forever. Of course, we want to catch carp and the buzz of catching a fish that you have worked so hard for is a overwhelming feeling that is hard to compare.

It is that hunter, gatherer aspect and you are trying to target big animals and you have to set a plan of how you are going to catch it. 


A. Loads! Running a fishing company I have to be realistic and some have been too far away to fish for properly. I am very fortunate where I live just outside of Yateley, that there have been and still are plenty of lakes with big carp to fish for. 

Years ago I fished a lake called the Sheepwalk and it had a long, scaly mirror in it. I managed to catch it, but at the time there were rumours of a big common and another big mirror. They were there; I had actually seen those fish and they were big!

That common was an impressive carp and just never got caught. I wish I had given it a real go and if I could have caught anything, it would have been that one looking back. I don’t want to say the obvious, the Black Mirror, I would say an unknown whacker that I saw for my own eyes and she was huge! 

I don’t think they are around now, but still to this day it gets me all going thinking about it. Back then split tail was 39lb, which was a big carp, but the common was around 46lb, which for a common, was just massive.

They were really nomadic carp and behaved like wild creatures. You just couldn’t predict them. One d ay they could be on the end of a warm southerly, so you bait the swim and come back the following day, only to find the area devoid of fish. I would wait for the wind to change and on the next southerly, be on the wind ready for their arrival, but they never came. You couldn’t really get anything going and I think that is why that common just never got caught.


A. It was busy! Everyone was like-minded, but respectful when they were in the swims. It was certainly a one in one out scenario. It gave it a really edgy atmosphere, with people being timed out with someone waiting for you to go. You can be getting some fish feeding and you have to go, only for matey to walk straight in behind you.

It was very hard to get anything going that’s for sure. When I first fished it, there were full time anglers fishing it a lot. There was no time limit, but once the rules changed the fishing did. It always had a very high calibre of anglers fishing it, so it was a very hard to lake to get your head around I suppose. 

I had fished the other side of the road before and I knew a lot of the guys fishing the Car Park and the North Lake. The carp on that side of the road were just unreal, for size and unique looks. I mean, even now, where could you go to try and catch a 50lb proper leather? The fish in the Car P ark were all unique and big, which brought so many good anglers over from across the country.

I loved my time there and gained so many good friends from it too. All the fish have passed now, which is an end of an era but a start of a new one. I know Martin has done a fantastic job over there and the North Lake in particular has some huge carp in there and nice ones too. 


A. That is very hard to actually pinpoint one. Dustbin off the top was pretty cool. I would have to say that Heather was just so special. It was a fish that you just thought was out of your league and one that you would never catch.

My mate Darren Miles was fishing next to me and a chap directly behind me on the Pads Lake. I had the Dustbin feeding down to my right, which was before I had caught it and it looked nailed on.

I was watching it eating and it was approaching the rig, before a smack sound of the hammer spooked her. The chap on the pads was hammering his pegs in and that had spooked the carp. I was furious and remember going back to my rods fishing out in the pond. I picked the rod up and brought it in from the edge. As I swung the lead to my hand, the left rod was whizzed off. In my stupidity, I thought I had hooked my other line, which was impossible, but I was so gutted I didn’t know what to think.

What I then realised is that the other rod wasn’t me, it w as in fact a bite. It was midday and I could see everything and the guy who has smacked the tent peg in trotted off to go and get my friend Darren. He was now in the water and had seen it, but didn’t tell me which one it was. 

He slipped the net under it and I will never forget him turning round to tell me that it was Heather.

I was a mess, I had to make a tea and calm down for 5 minutes. That feeling was absolutely incredible and one that will always stay with me.

Another moment was when I was coming to the end of my time on the lake and I was fishing for Arfur. I was fishing a spot in the edge and that fish was feeding in the area for weeks and when I landed that one, it was a bitter sweet really. I had caught both the biggun’s, but it w as time to leave.

I can remember every big fish that I have caught, but those two I have each moment etched in my mind. Both such special old carp from a wonderful lake.


A. I suppose you always wish for a bit more time, whether it be an hour or even a day. With a lot of people that do have access to time, a lot fish with the idea of there always being tomorrow, if that makes sense. I kind of guess where you are going with this and yes, I suppose being able to focus on one or two nights a week, you can fish harder.

It is all dependant on the individual I suppose. Some anglers I know have three nights a week, but fish bloody hard during their time. Others have slightly more, but have more of a relaxed outlook to it all. It doesn’t make them bad anglers, but I think and I suppose they would as well, admit that if they worked even harder at it they would catch more fish.

I spend a lot of time fishing, but not with rods. A lot of my time is spent walking and even baiting the lake. I like to prep everything up weeks prior to when I actually fish the spot. Once I have a it rocking, I would try and bait it every couple of days. Although I may not have rods in the water, my bait is fishing for me.


A. For all of my close in work I have an old roach pole that I use to bait up with. It is so quiet and I can come and go without anyone knowing. I wouldn’t pick an area to bait that is a popular zone either. Often the places I do choose and bait are quiet corners or very neglected swims.

If I had a spot out in the pond going, then of course I wouldn’t just rock up and get the bait out there. I try and get down as much as possible and when there is an opportunity to bait the swim, I will do.

I don’t like stressing, so I will always have my gear in the v an and if I get to the lake and it isn’t right, I wont fish. Equally, if I get there and it is quiet, I can get the rods out really fast and I’m maximising the time I have on the bank.

When i’m baiting on a daily basis, quite often it can be just a handful. I am not talking masses, it is more about the regularity of it. Sometimes I will give them big hits, but again, only when it feels right to do so.


A. I like fishing close for a number of reasons. Firstly, I can get to the lake and see if the fish have cleaned the spot, or even watch them down there. You can get away with fishing the corners, where most anglers will feel hemmed in. These are the zones that I like because I am often left alone, just me against the carp.

You can learn how those carp feed and the adrenaline rush is just incredible. To watch those big rubbery lips sucking up the food you are giving them is such a good feeling. 


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Small Water Baiting

Adam Raveney ditches the spod rod on small venues, in favour of a super simple, forgotten method!

Highlands To Lowlands

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Line Up with Lewis Read

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Tracking A Paw Print

Kieran Hopkinson relives his journey of tracking down Scotland’s largest, and most elusive mirror carp.

Land Of The Linears

Chris Beasley relives a memorable saga of when he caught a spree of linears, including the king of them all.

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Evolution Of D-Rig Hookbaits

Scotty K gives an in-depth talk on how he's experimented with D-rig hookbaits over the years - alongside a step by step on how he presents his pop-ups.

Thinking Caps – August

In this latest instalment of Thinking Caps, we ask Myles Gibson, Oz Holness and Scotty K what rigs would they use if they were limited to only two for the

Going the Extra Yard

Myles Gibson breaks down the most important aspects of his setup for fishing at long range, including a step by step to his leader knot.

Big Pit Life

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Approaching Small Venues

Scott Lloyd delves into the tactics and techniques he likes to use on small, intimate waters, as featured in his popular Insights film.

Thinking Caps – July

In this latest instalment of Thinking Caps, we ask James Timberlake, Lewis Read and Scott Lloyd for their insight on fishing weedy lakes.

Big Carp Mindset

Myles Gibson reveals his favoured tactics and a few golden tips bound to get your mind ticking in the direction of big carp angling.

Thinking Caps – June

In this latest instalment of Thinking Caps, we ask Adam Raveney, Marcus Clark and Oz Holness for their insight on fishing during the warmer months.

Travelling Light

Oz Holness explains how to efficiently prepare for a session out on the bank, whether it be long or short.

Thinking Caps – May

In this latest instalment of Thinking Caps, we ask Tom Gibson, Roy Alofs and Steve Metcalfe for their insight on taking your photography to the next level.

A Meeting with Olly

Oz Holness relays the tale of what he described as the best welcome back to angling he could have wished for, post lockdown!

Low Rider Rig

John Cash explains how to tie his go-to rig, the 'Low Rider', that works seamlessly with both wafter and pop-up hookbaits.

The Long And Short Of It

Lewis Read delves deep into the world of rigs, talking specifically about how to get the best out of hooklinks and different sizes for specific situations.

Thinking Caps – April

In this latest instalment of Thinking Caps, we ask Jimmy Hibbard and Lewis Read for their insight on rig concealment.

Kickers & Extensions

Lewis Read looks in-depth at a functionality of kickers and extensions. He gives his step-by-step to creating a perfect Line Aligner rig.

Spring Fishing with Oz Holness

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Under Pressure

Ian Mclaughlan discusses his findings on how air pressure affects carp’s behaviour.

Thinking Caps – February

We ask Gaz Fareham, Scotty K & Simon Kenny a series of questions about their approach to new waters and what tactics they would tend to use.

Winning In Winter

With limited rod hours and coming off the back of an injury, Jonny Fletcher had to rethink his options if he was to make the most his winter campaign.

300 Thirties and Counting

We talk to Steve Renyard following his capture of 300 UK thirties and delve into his never 'quit attitude' to angling that stems from his past.

Thinking Caps – January

We ask Lewis Read, Marcus Clark & Myles Gibson a series of questions relating to the moon phases and how they play a role in their angling.

Leadcore Leaders

Oz Holness explains how to set up a leadcore leader safely and the benefits of using this long standing favorite of many anglers.

The Subtle Spinner

Oz Holness talks about one of the most popular pop-up presentations of the modern era, the 'Spinner Rig' and how you can create this effective rig.

Scotty K’s Cork Ball Pop-Ups

Scotty K teaches you how to roll perfect homemade hookbaits consistently, explaining why he uses them and also preparing you for fishing trips ahead.

Thinking Caps – December

We ask Marcus Howarth, Oz Holness & James Timberlake an array of questions about their winter fishing months and how it differs from warmer weather.

Autumn/Winter Transition

Oz Holness reveals how to approach the change of seasons from autumn to winter with various tips and an all important set-up called the 'Easy winter rig'.

Overnight Life

Steve Lyas talks through how he makes the most out of his overnight sessions between work and family life.

Circuit To Solitude

We speak to Josh Flack about his time on the famous Yateley Match Lake and the circuit waters in Reading, before finding a little slice of heaven.

Two’s A Crowd

Chris Beasley recalls his last two seasons on the famous Dinton Pastures’ White Swan, where he landed two incredibly special scaly characters.

Targeting The Silt

Gaz Fareham highlights how effective targeting silty areas can be, especially in the autumn; with tips and the perfect rig to combat these areas.

Think Link D-Rig

Oz Holness gives you the perfect rig for fishing clean spots, the Think Link D-Rig. When used with a wafter, this rig is a sure fire way to secure a

Big Pit Hinge Rig

Featured on episode 7 of TA|INSIGHTS, Mitch Hammonds teaches you how to make his Big Pit Hinge Rig with valuable tips to help increase the chance of a bite.

Keep It Simple

Nick Helleur guides you through his Simple Rig set-up and shows you how, 'keeping it simple', can miraculously increase your chances of a bite.

Two Forties In Two Weeks

Guy Turnbull relays the epic, intrepidus tale of two incredible forty-pounders he was lucky to land just two weeks apart.

The Balanced Rig

Follow Jake Wildbore's perfect 'Balanced Rig' guide that will serve a multitude of different lakebeds; supplying you with consistent catches.

Long Range Tactics

Long range fishing can be frustrating, but Sam Pryor's tactics & set up makes it all the more easier to fish those hard or gravel bottoms.


The Multi Rig is one of Oz's favourite rigs for the winter period and he explains how he tackles a big lake when the temperature drops.

Gaz’s Autumn Rig

There is one rig that Gaz comes back to time and time again, the 'Autumn Rig'. It's quick to tie and super reliable in the most demanding circumstances.

Scott Lloyd’s Hinge Rig

The Hinge Rig is without a doubt Scott Lloyd's favourite rig; if your spot isn't clean, this rig ensures you are presented correctly 100% of the time.

In The Edge Rig – Ben Hamilton

Follow Ben Hamilton's guide on how to create an In The Edge Rig, helping you catch your carp with ease, just from the edge using a well crafted rig set-up.

The Claw Rig – Myles Gibson

Prolific big-fish-angler Myles Gibson runs us through his go-to rig that has seen him catch an obscene amount of big fish in recent years.

Liam Duncan Interview Part Two

Take a look at part two of our Liam Duncan interview where we gain insight into the methods and techniques used to achieve the ultimate success.

The Mobile Approach

Oz Holness explains how stripping back the gear to a bare minimum will allow you to stay fresh and mobile, which will put more carp on the bank

The Spinner Rig

Marcus Howarth explains the effectiveness of using a Spinner Rig on a variety of lakebeds; even the riggiest of carp will fall for this simple step by step.

Big Boilies for Big Carp

We speak to Oz Holness who gives us an insight into how he singles out the bigger carp by feeding bigger baits in a particular way

Liam Duncan Interview Part One

Liam Duncan usually goes quietly about his business, but here he allows us to probe into some of his ventures such as his time spent on St Ives

Spring Prep by Gareth Fareham

Gareth Fareham gives us an in depth look at his preparation and yearly rituals to get the most of those first rays of Spring when the carp finally wake up

Ben Hamilton Interview Part One

Dan Wildbore delves into the mind of Ben Hamilton and discovers the methods of the man behind Thinking Anglers and how preparation is key to his success