Ever wondered what Britain’s best-known carp angler does when he’s not out there catching the biggest fish in the land?
In the wake of Terry Hearn's capture of the Parrot at a new personal-best weight of 63lb, we spoke to him about the other side of his fishing personality...
You’ve already achieved so much in carp fishing. What keeps you motivated?
TH: It’s never been about pounds and ounces or beating my personal best. The harder it is, the bigger the buzz and it’s as simple as that. Some climbers just aren’t satisfied until they have a crack at conquering Everest, which pushes their ability and dedication to the absolute limit. This is what I’m like with my carp fishing. Some anglers can’t get their head around fishing a lake with only two carp in it, or going weeks on end without a peep from your bite alarms. This is what heightens the buzz for me. I love to target one big fish and give it my all until I catch it
Have you ever considered travelling abroad to target huge carp?
TH: I’d never say never, but it’s never really appealed to me and I’ve never felt the need to go and catch carp outside of the UK. If I was to travel abroad it would probably be after other species such as perch and barbel.
What‘s your favourite species, aside from carp?
TH: It has to be perch as they are just beautiful, beautiful fish, especially when they get big. I think my fondness for this particular species goes back to when I was a kid, catching them from my local rivers and lakes. It was more difficult to catch big perch back in the day as there are some many more around these days, which is a great thing.
AT: So what else have you caught recently?
TH: I spend loads of time on the river when I’m not after carp and the conditions will ultimately dictate what I’ll go for. Barbel have been high on my list recently along with big roach on the River Thames and its tributaries. There’s something about big river roach. I stumbled along some really cracking fish to well over 2lb while baiting up for carp on the river last summer. You’ve got to be ready to take your chances when they come along.
You obviously have a passion for catching many different species, but could you live without carp fishing?
TH: Never. They are never far from my mind, even when I’m fishing for other things. I’m always checking the forecasts for favourable weather conditions, for example changes in pressure, temperature and wind direction. My carp gear is always in my living room and I’m forever tinkering with stuff ready for my next session. Like I said earlier, you’ve got to be ready to maximise your chances when they come around.
What’s your idea of the perfect day’s fishing?
TH: I have to have peace and quiet and be as far away from anyone else as I can. I’ve always been the same. It doesn’t matter if I’m fishing for the biggest carp in the country, some roach on the river or a big perch on a local club lake. As long as I’m away from the crowds I’m happy and able to immerse myself in the challenge that my chosen species has in store for me.
What’s the best piece of angling advice you can give?
TH: What’s the point in going fishing if it’s not giving you a buzz? You’ve got to be motivated, and sometimes this might be just keeping things fresh and trying something a bit different. I targeted zander for the first time recently and I absolutely loved it. I found myself reading everything and absorbing as much information about them as I could. Me and my dad have a boat so we can get out there and explore. I love the buzz of a new challenge.