Simon Scott Q&A

Simon Scott Q&A

As well as being a highly succesful carp angler, he’s also a fish farmer and a lecturer. We delve into the fascinating mind of Simon Scott...

Q When did you start carp fishing, and who was your biggest inspiration in your formative years?

A I started at around the age of 12, legering bread-and-corn cocktails on my local river, and by the time I was 16 I was targeting carp at a local club water using luncheon meat.

I received assistance early on from local fishermen like Trevor Lilywhite and Trevor Perser, who showed me how to set up rigs and helped me to learn the art of casting.

Once I had started carping properly I read every article or book on the subject that I could. Early influences included Kevin Maddocks, Duncan Kay, Peter Springate, Jim Gibbinson and Kevin Clifford.

Simon is well known as one of the hosts of Thinking Tackle

Simon is well known as one of the hosts of Thinking Tackle


  • Age: 47
  • Lives: Hampshire
  • Occupation: Fish farmer, fishery consultant, occasional TV presenter and writer of articles
  • UK PBs: Mirror 52lb, common 39lb
  • Hobbies outside fishing? Growing vegetables, gardening and family time
  • Music to accompany your perfect session? Leftfield
  • Pot Noodle or toastie? Toastie

Q What is your favourite venue of all time?

A I was fortunate to have fished at Wraysbury One when it was home to the British record carp. The fishing was difficult owing to the size of the water (120 acres) and the fact that there were only about 45 carp present, ranging in size from mid-doubles to over 50lb!

There was always an electric atmosphere when you drove through the gate – the place was the Everest of carp angling.

Q If you could go back in time and fish for one carp, in one venue....

A I’d go back to Wraysbury One to fish in the early days when the stock was fairly unknown. It would have been amazing to have fished it when the likes of Pete Springate and Kenny Hodder were there.

I would love to have caught a carp which they called Olive. I used to look at pictures of that carp in the early articles with my eyes on stalks!

Q What’s your idea of the perfect session, in terms of the time of year, style of fishing?

A I love the changing seasons that we have, but if I had to pick a favourite time I’d go for August or September. The temperatures have started to drop, the nights are longer and the fish are packing on condition.

I LOVE stalking, and to watch a large carp pick up your hookbait in clear water at close range is addictive stuff...

Close-in stalking is one of his favourite tactics

Close-in stalking is one of his favourite tactics

Q Aside from boilies, if you had to use just one bait to target carp, what would it be?

A I am a huge fan of tiger nuts – they tick all the boxes! Carp absolutely love them, they withstand the attentions of nuisance species, and they never fall off the hair – perfect!

Q Have you ever fished abroad for big carp?

A I was lucky enough to go to Rainbow Lake in France a few years back and I would LOVE another chance to fish there!

I found the whole experience completely fantastic. The lake is amazing and the fish are enormous brutes that fight like sea monsters.

Q Who’s the best carp angler you’ve ever fished with?

A I’ve been fortunate to fish alongside some anglers who are gifted with amazing talent, understanding and watercraft.

If I needed someone to catch a carp to save my life I would probably pick my old friend Adam Penning. I cannot think of a man that puts more effort into his angling.

Q You’re involved in the fish-farming industry, so what’s your opinion on carp being grown on to huge weights before being stocked?

A I say each to their own! At VS Fisheries we sell carp over 20lb every winter to fisheries, and you could easily argue that these are huge weights in some situations!

However, I’d prefer that all carp were stocked at weights of around eight to 10lb (four summers old) because I believe that these settle into their new homes better and do better in the long term.

Q Do you think that there’s an uncaught British record swimming around out there somewhere?

A Unlikely! Every year I see pictures of previously ‘uncaught’ carp that I know for a fact have been caught before.

There are a great many anglers out there looking for uncaught monsters living in quiet corners, but it’s hard for me to imagine that one over the British record actually exists!