CARP fishing remains a growing sector of the angling industry – with more younger anglers getting involved, while the so-called pleasure angler has also migrated into this market.

And carp fishermen are prepared to pay good money for quality tackle but they also shop around mail order firms for the best deal. And the market itself is estimated to be worth at least £25 million a year.

These are just some of the findings from a major survey carried out by Total Carp magazine, the top selling consumer carp publication produced by T&G’s sister company.

According to the figures, which have only just been released, the majority of carp anglers are short session fishermen who spend aruond £60 a month on tackle, notably readymade bait.

The great news is that carp anglers are on the increase as most waters now hold carp and the style of fishing has become more accesible.

Two thirds of those who responded to the survey are in full time employment with more than half earning over £15,000 a year. Interestingly, they are prepared to spend around £100 to £150 on a rod, between £50 and £100 on a reel, more than £150 on a bivvy and a substantial percentage will spend more than £60 on a bite alarm!

David Hall, managing director of Total Carp’s parent company DHP Ltd, who analysed the statistics, explained: Carp fishing is in pretty good shape. There is more tackle available than ever before, more anglers are fishing for carp, more fisheries are catering for anglers who want to catch carp and they are attracting new, younger anglers. Point of entry for the newcomer is easy, find a commercial coarse fishery and the chances are it will be stocked with carp in varying sizes.

This is also a younger market than match fishing and they are prepared to pay handsomely for high quality fishing and they want to fish with top class tackle.

He also pointed out that 78 per cent of readers buy major tackle items from mail order firms and they buy on price.

David added: In the past decade we have seen the emergence of a mail order culture, it began slowly, but now it is a an essential part in the way anglers buy fishing tackle and it not going to change.

There are a small group of dealers, a new generation if you like, and they have embraced this very lucrative market and we have to remember it embraces all aspects of angling, not just carp fishing. It is almost impossible to gauge what the total market is actually worth, but I feel that it is worth a minimum of £25 million pounds a year and the bulk of this is shared between some 15 to 20 companies.

It goes without saying that these companies will continue to grow. However there is room for more retailers to embrace the mail order concept and I believe that within the next five years we could see the emergence of a number of new players. If we are to take our readers seriously – and I can think of no reason why we shouldn’t – then it is clear how they will purchase their major items of tackle in the future.

Tackle and Guns