Early carp fishing

This part of our website will be used to post bits of information from time to time about aspects of the history of the Association – which dates back over 100 years. If you have any interesting information or photos please let our president know at kevinclifford.office@gmail.com

To start the ball rolling here are three photographs passed on by one of our members that show the very earliest days of carp fishing on Hull & District waters. The carp had clearly not been stocked long in the pits at Brandesburton, and these captures show members of the East Hull Specimen Group with catches of carp that were extremely rare in Yorkshire at that time.

Pete McGowan with a catch of carp

Pete McGowan with a catch of carp weighing 4¼lb and 1¼lb and a tench of 2½lb from Coneygarth Extension in 1966. This large gravel pit was reworked in 1972 and just two carp were netted and saved, weighing 14¼lb and 8½lb and they were moved to Thompson’s Pond with a number of tench.

Pete Budding and Pete McGowan with a brace of carp caught in 1965

Pete Budding and Pete McGowan with a brace of carp caught in 1965 from Fosshill Ponds. These ponds were reworked in 1976 and about 18 large carp up to 17lb were netted and moved to Thompson’s Pond by Association volunteers.

Pete McGowan brace of carp caught September 1965 from Fosshill Ponds.

Pete McGowan with a fine brace of carp caught on the 6th September 1965 from Fosshill Ponds. They both weighed 7½lb. Other anglers who also fished for the Brandesburton carp around this time were Greg Larder, Cyril Budding, J.R. Twidale and Glen Wood. The carp in Foshill Ponds had been stocked in about 1962/63.

Kevin Clifford holding a 13lb with another of 10lb 14oz June 1971

By 1971, five or so years later, these carp were being caught regularly by others, such as Mally Roberts and Kevin Clifford, now weighing mainly between 8lb and 15lb. Here Kevin is holding one of 13lb with another of 10lb 14oz, caught in June 1971 on sausage meat.

In response to the above, Roger Ackers on Facebook has asked if we have any historical information about the carp in the old Stamps Pond. As far as I can tell the idea of deliberately stocking some of the Brandesburton pits with carp came about in the late 1950s. I have a letter from Jim Kirby, the Fisheries Officer of the Hull & East Yorkshire River Board to Jack Chambers, the secretary of the Hull & East Yorkshire Consultative Association suggesting a carp stocking was imminent. (Some of our oldest members will remember both Jim Kirby and Jack Chambers. Jack was also the secretary of Hull and DAA at that time.) I also have some minutes of a Consultative meeting from around the same time that also promotes the idea of stocking carp at Brandesburton.

In any event by 1968 carp weighing between 6-10lb were being caught in Stamps Pond by a handful of local anglers. The original Stamps fish look to me to have the appearance of Belgium fish – possibly from fish suppliers Anglo Aquarium or Stambridge. (The Fosshill carp by the way looked much more like the carp supplied by the Surrey Trout Farm – often known as Leney carp after the owner, Donald Leney).

Kevin Clifford with a brace of carp from Stamps Pond in 1968

By the mid-1970s Stamps was being regularly fished for carp by numerous anglers, both from East Yorkshire and sometime much further afield. Even some carp anglers from London occasionally visited. At that time there were very few waters that held a decent stock of double-figure carp in the north of England.

York angler Kevin Roberts with a 16lb carp caught from the road bank at Stamps in August 1975

York angler Kevin Roberts with a 16lb carp caught from the road bank at Stamps in August 1975.

The pit produced its first 20-pounder, as far as I’m aware, to Clive Gibbins in October 1980

The pit produced its first 20-pounder, as far as I’m aware, to Clive Gibbins in October 1980. It became famously known as Bus Stop.

In the mid-1970s some smallish carp had been moved from the nearby Stock Pond into Stamps Pond. These had been introduced into the Stock Pond a few years earlier, as part of a large consignment of 10,000 2-4 inch carp jointly paid for and shared by H&DAA, British Rail AC (Staddlethorpe), Balta AC (Brandesburton) and BP AC (Slipper Bridge at Gilberdyke). These fish were supplied by Anglo Aquarium and were almost certainly Belgian fish in origin.

In 1983 Stamps Pond was drained down and subsequently reworked by the owners, Hoveringham Gravel/Tarmac. On the 30 April and 1 May 1983 a fish rescue took place, comprising three or four Yorkshire Water fishery staff (led by Alan Mullinger) and a handful of volunteers from H&DAA. In total 58 carp were netted, between 8lb and 20lb and transferred to Tilery Lake at Broomfleet (the average size was estimated at about 15lb). Those Stamps carp found a new lease of life in the rich waters of Tilery and grew much bigger, many being caught at over 30lb, with the best almost 40lb.

Below are three photographs of that fateful Stamps nettings in 1983.

Stamps Pond netting 1983

Stamps Pond netting transporting stock

Weighing Stamps Pond netting 1983