Unusually, this is a double review. Not only have I reviewed this book myself as a newcomer to the species, but I've also got an experienced carp angler to add his thoughts as well - and you can't get much more experienced than Peter Springate! In fact, this review is long overdue as Peter liked the book so much he didn't want to part with it!
Firstly, these are Peter's comments:
"Well, what can I say!
I've been a great fan of Jim Gibbinson's ever since I read his first book, Carp, way back in 1968. Gravel Pit Carp must rate as one of the best ever books on carp fishing, and deals with just about all aspects of the subject and the problems involved.
It really is a lovely volume and is well produced with many colour and black and white photos plus a host of line drawings to help the reader. It's full of ideas; one in particular I like is the power gum line clip on page 20.
Anyone who's read much of Jim's work before will know of his sense of humour. One tale he recounts in the book is of a red T-shirted teenager with dyed yellow hair who asks Jim, "Done any good, mate?" You'll have to read the book to discover Jim's reply!
To summarise, this is a book that every carp angler, young or old, should read. No one, beginner or highly experienced carp angler, could fail to learn from it."
These are my thoughts on Gravel Pit Carping:
"This is the first technical book on carp that's ever made me want to go carp fishing. And from someone who's avoided the modern carp scene for so long that's really saying something!
Like Peter I've long been an admirer of Jim's, and he's my favourite technical fishing writer. Gravel Pit Carping is typical Gibbinson: authoritative, structured and often amusing. As usual, Jim makes even the most difficult subject seem easy; time after time you'll say, "of course, why didn't I think of that?"
Seldom do the designers of a book get a mention in a review, but I have to applaud the fresh-looking format. My only niggle is that a book of this type really should have an index.
Such a lot is covered in over 300 pages it's difficult to single out any part of this comprehensive book. However, I especially appreciated the excellent sections on location, which too many carp books gloss over in favour of rigs and baits. In my experience of fishing for other species on gravel pits, location is more important than anything else, and I suspect that it's the same with carp.
I'll finish what could otherwise be an overlong review by saying that if you only buy one technical book on carping, buy this one!"
To locate this book, you could also try Amazon.co.uk by clicking here.
Copyright Steve Burke, 2001