Liam Duncan Interview // Part One - Text Only

Q. BEING A LEICESTER LAD WE HAVE NOT BEEN BLESSED WITH LOTS OF BIG CARP, BUT WHERE WAS THE FIRST PLACE THAT YOU JOINED?

A. It was Sandpit on the Sand and Gravel ticket in north Leicester. There were a few nice commons, topped by Blind Eye that was around 35lb. Myself and a friend did a couple of seasons on there. We struggled like mad on the first season, even though I caught blind Eye on my fourth night. I was actually off work with a broken hand and the pictures I had with that one I’m in a cast.

It wasn’t until the second year that we got to grips with the place really. It was only a few acres with 30-40 fish and it taught me a lot about spot fishing in weed. We would bump in to a speak to Lee Petty quite a bit at the time and we did look up to him I suppose. He was a Leicester lad that had travelled and caught loads of big fish from up and down the country.

Q. BEING A WEEKEND ANGLER, I SUPPOSE YOU HAD TO PICK A SENSIBLE OPTION FOR WHERE TO FISH NEXT?

A. Yeah we looked long and hard at it and ended up getting a ticket for the St Ives complex. I also got a ticket for a local brick pit with some special carp in it too, so I could use that for my work nights and local fishing if you like. Kev Wilson had caught the Fat Lady, which put it on the map for us Leicester lads, but by the time we got down there it had gone.

I ended up fishing on all the pits flitting around really and not settling. In the end I spent the summer mainly fishing on the brick pit and caught some of the old ones that I wanted from there. It was a park lake and came with its limitations, but all that goes by when you just focus on why it is that you are there. The carp were special and to catch some of them was a real buzz.

Q. I SUPPOSE GOING SOMEWHERE LIKE ST IVES WAS A BIT OVERWHELMING DUE TO THE SIZE OF SOME OF THOSE LAKES?

Particularly Fjords and Meadows, which was a really big pit. I caught a few fish from around the complex that first year and it was a real buzz doing so. Once I had done a bit on each, I decided that the following season would be spent fishing the shallow pit for Colin.

It hadn’t done 50lb at the time and I knew that it was going to get really busy as soon as it did. The complex was quiet because everyone had thought that it was all about the Fat Lady. There were times in the summer when I would get down on a Friday after work and have the place to myself.

I had done my first year and caught a few and it wasn’t until the following spring that it happened. I always found that when it got busy in the spring and there wasn’t much weed out in the pond, the fish loved it in the out of bounds.

It can be quite ‘peggy’ in the spring and I was lucky to get one of the swims that fish one of the swims that fished towards that out of bounds area. I waded across to an island and got up the tree and I could see a lot of fish in there. They were bubbling and sheeting up, so I gave them a kilo of Krill on the fish, another kilo a bit closer to the spot I could fish, then another half a kilo on the actual spot.

Saturday morning they were trashing the second pile of bait and it wasn’t until the Sunday morning when they were on top of the rod.

They were absolutely smashing it, with sheets of fizz all over it. They dwindled out as the morning went on and I thought my chance had gone. Then, out of nowhere I was away! I had a feeling it was her and when she went in the net it was no mistaking which one it was. She looked awesome and was my first really big fish at 48lb 8oz. It was a huge buzz to catch her and a lot of work had gone in to it that’s for sure.

Q. I SUPPOSE AFTER CATCHING THAT ONE, THE ROUND BROWN WAS NEXT ON THE LIST?

A. The lake actually backs on to the meadows and you cant help but poke your nose through the bushes from time to time. My mates had been on there and caught it and I had a game plan of how I was going to do it.
Thankfully I had caught Colin early, so I could enjoy the spring on there. There were a handful of originals and then a lot of stocked fish too. If I had to guess the stock I would say there was around 75-100 carp in 110 plus acres. It is four lakes all connected, with loads of finger bays and places that the carp could be in.

There is a lot of legwork but really enjoyable fishing. I tried to get down on a Wednesday night to bait up and if the conditions were biblical I may do the odd night. It meant packing up at silly o’clock for work and it did kill me, but if it looked cock on I would occasionally do it. I caught a few fish that year but it wasn’t until the autumn when everything started to come together. I was fishing a spit that was flooded and hardly anyone was fishing the lake at the time. I was having to wade my gear up a 100 yard spit to a small bit of dry land at the end. It was a popular swim that fished in to the meadows, but because of the water level it was left alone.
I kept baiting the spot and I had quite a lot of fish off the spot. It was October the 11th when I eventually got the bite that I was looking for. It was a proper autumnal morning and it was such a buzz to see her in my net. She weighed over 43lb and what a lovely old fish she is.

Q. OTHER THAN ST IVES, THE CAMBRIDGE SCENE HAS GONE QUIET, WHICH OFTEN MEANS THERE ARE SOME BIG FISH AROUND, DID YOU HEAR OF ANYTHING WHILE YOU WERE FISHING ST IVES?

A. There are loads of lakes out this way for sure. I wanted to stay on St Ives and a friend had been fishing on Longreach. I had spoke to him a lot about it, but I didn’t want to go on there while he was fishing on there.

I had caught a couple of big mirrors and fancied a crack at a big common. Years ago I got to hear about a lake in Lincolnshire. It was a bit of a park lake with a lovely old common of over 40lb in it. Randomly, I had actually enquired about a ticket and was due to meet him the morning after I caught the Brown. It was great timing really, so I shot up on the Sunday with the Mrs and took her out for some food to celebrate and got my ticket for the new lake.

Q. HOW DID YOU APPROACH THE NEW LAKE?

I had just come off the back of a couple of really good seasons using the Krill and I knew it would work wherever i took it. That first season I had 16-bites, with it being very low stock it was pretty successful. Most of the action was over lots of particles in the summer and I could never really get the fish going mad for the fishmeals, which is something that I had not seen too much.
The Manilla was released that year and I ordered some early on, with the plan to use it in the spring. If the fish were not on the fishmeals, they would certainly like that stuff as it smelt and tasted bang on. I caught from the off just boilie fishing, which was wicked because I couldn’t get bites doing that sort of fishing.
I had a week off in March and I think I had 5-bites in my week session that I booked off. I fished boilie only all spring and I ended up catching the big one in May at 42lb 8oz. It was a really old history fish for the area and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I wanted my first big common to be a special one and it was, a truly immense and treasured carp for sure.

Q. YOU ARE A RELATIVELY YOUNG ANGLER BUT HAVE BUILT UP AN ALBUM OF SPECIAL OLD CARP, REGARDLESS OF SIZE, IS THIS IMPORTANT TO YOU?

A. This is something that I am passionate about and one day we may have to fish for whatever we can do, but while these special old carp are swimming around I want to look back at my album and angling, knowing that I did everything I could to catch them. This is what drives me, fishing for amazing looking carp. I would quite happily fish a lake for a mid thirty if it is a lovely looking fish. I feel that you appreciate them more when they have something about them and it isn’t just about digits on a page, a list of how many 30’s and 40’s you have had.

Q. I SUPPOSE QUITE A FEW OF THE LAKES THAT YOU HAVE FISHED ARE RELATIVELY WELL KNOWN, HAVE YOU KEPT ON FISHING THESE SORTS OF LAKES?

A. I suppose the meadows spoilt me in that between myself and a few friends we were the only ones really fishing it. That meant that we had that freedom and no stress at all. A lot of the busy lakes its hard to get anything going, but on the quiet waters you can rock up at any time and know what to do. I can have my rods in the clips ready, so that I can cast out in the dark should I arrive late. I don’t have to worry about someone being in the swim or jumping in off the back of my hard work.
That sort of fishing is what I love most and is what I have looked for in recent years. I don’t have to hear all the negative swipes that can happen when you are fishing with lots of other anglers. I can enjoy my fishing for what it is and that’s what it’s all about for me.

Q. DO YOU DO MUCH BAIT PREP WORK?

A. Whatever I am using I soak it all in liquids. I glaze my boilies with the matching liquids and in the summer months I use a lot of particles. When you cook particles and let them cool, they suck in all the liquids. I add a full litre bottle of either the Cloudy Manilla or Krill, depending on the bait that I am using, and all that liquid absorbs in to the particles. I want my bait to let off as much attraction as possible and I feel it has helped me catch more carp.

Q. DO YOU FISH EVERY WEEKEND?

A. Pretty much, unless she has me pencilled in for something. She really understands having grown up with me and being together since school. Even tying rigs in class, she knows the score and we see each other all week and is willing to lose me at the weekends. She knows it’s my passion and she would never stand in my way of doing what I love so much.

Q. YOU HAVE KEPT YOURSELF AWAY FROM DOING ANY MEDIA WORK IN THE PAST, IS THERE A REASON FOR THIS?

A. I just think there are loads of people that do that and I don’t think people need to see what I do. Some people love doing it and are good and giving information, so there is no need for someone like me to do it. If I held some of my rigs up people might spit their tea out.

Q. I GUESS YOU ARE VERY PARTICULAR IN THE WAY THAT YOU FISH, MAKING SURE THAT EVERYTHING IS BANG ON?

A. It has to be 100% for everything. I have to know that my bait works, my hook is sharp and I am presenting on something that I know the fish want to feed on. When you are fishing lakes that are tough, you have to make sure it is all done to the best of your ability.

Q. I NOTICE THAT YOU HAVE BRAIDED MAINLINE ON, IS THIS SOMETHING YOU USE A LOT?

A. I do in the summer months, due to the amount of weed that is in the lakes that I fish. It protects my line and helps with weeded fish for sure. It is a bit of insurance really; if I hook something I know that there is a very slim chance I will get cut off.
You can also get a much better feel for the bottom too. The drop is everything to me and with the braided mainline I can feel if I have landed bang on or not, which is key on some of the lakes that I fish.

Q. YOU HAVE A CLOSE GROUP OF FRIENDS THAT ALL FISH, I SUPPOSE THAT IS QUITE NICE?

A. Yeah it is great, we are all friends outside of fishing and we can all share the buzz of catching big carp. It is great having people to speak to while you are spending all that time on the bank chasing your dreams.

LATEST ARTICLES

Thinking Caps – September

In this latest instalment of Thinking Caps, we ask Jonny Fletcher, Mitch Hammonds and Lewis Read how their autumn approach differs from other seasons.

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

We sit down with Mitch Hammonds to ask the questions about big pit fishing and get the lowdown on his tactics, when going the distance.

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 Alex West, 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

Spring is a time we all look forward to as carp anglers and from experience, planning can help you make the best of what can be a prolific time of

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.

Days Only

Experienced day session angler, Alex West, runs through how he approaches short session angling, where night fishing simply isn’t an option.

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.

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.

Multi-Rig

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.

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

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

1