Carp Safety & Photography

This is a crucial part of carp fishing which doesn’t get written about enough and should be at the top of the list of knowledge about fish.

It is very simple and easy, you just need the following items out ready and set up for when you catch a fish (not all packed away to keep dry).  They don’t cost a lot compared to other items of tackle e.g rod’s and reels.  They can be easily maintained for many years before needing to be replaced.

1 – unhooking mat
2- retaining sling
3- Carp care kit
4- scales
5- camera
6- tripod
7- forceps
8 – weighing pole
9 – bucket

Keys steps which should be out ready and set up.

1- unhooking mat pegged  out in a safe area which you should have already chosen for your photos.


2- retaining sling out, next to the unhooking mat.


3 – Carp care kit.  Now, hands up how many people own one but never use it.
Please think of the Carp.  I am sure we all would like them to look nice for as many years as possible and grow to be that big famous 40lb+ Carp that everyone is after.


4- scales.  Now, I understand that you may not wish to leave these outside but keep them handy, perhaps by the bivvy door or under your bedchair.

5- camera.  In this day and age there is no real issue with cameras.  You can spend as little as £35 on eBay for a camera with a flip round screen.  This enables you to see what you are up to and speeds up this process alot.  I have used Cannon camera’s for years and found that the G range from G2/G6 are perfect, as you can use an infer-red remote.  They have recently released the G1, which has a flip out screen, they had stopped making this feature for a number of years.
(Check G1 info ) There are a number of other options as they have revamped the original air pressing ball that you can have under your knee, as some people find holding fish and the infer-red remote tricky and these kits come complete with a tripod adapter kit.

I currently use a G6 for the night-time photo shot and a Panasonic DT70 ( check model), this has a timelapes option that allows you to take as many photos as you like – every 10, 20, 30 seconds as you wish.

You also need to know the distance the camera should be away from the mat and the simplest way is a peace of cord attached to the tripod.

6- tripod, there are plenty of options here from the gadget that screws onto your bank stick to the original camera tripods.

7- forceps, not all ways needed,  but must be handy.  You can ill afford to be rummaging around in your tackle bag when there is a fish on the bank.

8- weighing pole, these are a fantastic bit of kit that will help you lift the fish easier and steady the scales when reading the weight.

9- bucket, you should always have a bucket of water ready and always use the water.  It stops the fish from foaming up and makes for better photos.

Always think of the fish, would you like to be responsible for a fish’s death?  Just follow these simple steps and there will be one issue for you – just think safety first, you have achieved your goal and banked your target fish.  Remember it’s not all about the perfect photo in the morning sunshine or when your friend can get down to take the photos for you.  In this day and age and with the advances in technology and some practice you should be able to do your own photos.  I have been fishing by myself for over 20 years and all my fish photos are self taken and are in Carp magazines, even the night shots.


I feel very strongly about the use of Carp sacks to the point that I have not owned one for over 10 years.  The invention of retaining slings has made the safety of Carp so much better, however there is still no need to leave the fish in there for hours.  Please think of the fish and not yourself and respect the fish as there are living things after all.

I hope the above has been informative and will help you keep the Carp safe and enable you to take better photos.

Regards Richard


About richardhandel

I would like to give a brief snap shot of my life and introduce myself; My name is Richard Handel and was born in 1965 in Suffolk. I have worked as a UK Operation & Intermodule Manager for a shipping company. I live in Hampshire now and am married with 2 young children, both girls so I am a bit outnumbered even the cat is a girl! I have been fishing since I was about 7 years old. I started on small local rivers in Suffolk, then moved onto gravel pits and then carp fishing. My personal best is a 39.08 mirror, over recent years I have started river fishing again, on the Hampshire Avon, this is a nice break from the carp lakes. My life has turned a big corner this year, the company I was working for relocated their Operation centre to Estonia. I was offered a job at the head office in London. This would have meant a 5 day commute and working in Stratford. As a family, we did not fancy this, as I would hardly spend any time with the children (and the Mrs). So after 22.5 years, I was given a nice redundancy package and with my wife is working full time. I became the house husband. This has meant a complete turn around in my fishing, as I can pick and choose when I go. I have found a splendid new syndicate to fish this year, which includes 5 lakes and some 8 miles of river with only 150 members. It's an amazing change to the way I am able to fish. I am now trying to start my own tackle business and make a bit of a name for myself in the world of fishing, as I have retired from real work. Richard
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