Carp Fishing Books: 15 Must Read ‘Bibles’ Ever Angler Should Own

When i'm not fishing there's nothing I love more than reading about it, same goes for when i'm on the bank to be honest, these books are a must read for anyone in the same boat.

amazon carp fishing booksAs carp anglers we all know the gap between sessions is painstaking, not to mention the sleepless nights leading up to that magical trip.

To suppress that hunger and to keep the spirit alive many of us turn to books from legends of our sport  in search of inspiration and dreams.

But there is so many on the market these days, many that are just not suitable but others that will really get the juices flowing.

Here’s our guide to carp fishing books, we’ve read them all to make sure it’s the right option for you.


In Pursuit of the Largest by Terry Hearn

Starting from the early days Terry guides us through his amazing and insightful journey, from the times as a post-boy to feeling like you’re standing beside a legend of the sport watching his every move.

You will read this book from cover to cover in no time, inspirational, genius and never trumpet blowing or egotistical, Hearn is a legend of the sport and this book shows us exactly why.

 Subsurface: Brave New World 1 by Gareth Fareham

Subsurface is a new breed of carp fishing book, it’s been made to “recognise and uphold the spirit that made us pick up a rod in the first place”.

There’s everything from the old-school, new-school and plenty too from high class anglers quietly going about their fishing on the underground scene, beyond publicity and ego’s.

Built with no agenda and no corporate sponsors this independent publication really trumps just about anything you have set your eyes on. Its vision, photography, quality of writing and persona is one that every angler should own.

This book truly is something different to the norm for one good reason, it has cut the BS, ego’s and publicity out of fishing and returned it to its routes, where we all started. Magical.

Still Searching by Terry Hearn

Terry Hearn is a carp-angling legend. More than just a carp angler, Terry is an accomplished hunter, with an eye for his prize, dedication and the instincts that every carp angler needs. In this book, Terry really brings you in to his world, he wrote every word himself.

Theres a staggering 390 amazing story telling images and 488 pages of phenomenal carping intelligence, tips and actionable motivational speeches from the man himself.

Living the Dream by Nigel Sharp

Following the life of Nigel Sharp since 1993. Nigel decided to dedication his life to fulfil his fishing ambitions and this book follows his amazing story on the hunt for huge, known carp across the UK.

From the very finest venues to the finest fish to culminating in the some of the most famous captures of all time, join Nigel’s story and let it guide you in your own goals.


Carping Uncut by Jim Shelley

Everyone knows Jim Shelly, an amazing angler who has caught more UK 40′s than most of us have had 30′s.

This book guides you through Jim’s successes and failings at some of the countries most difficult waters.

There’s 12 chapters of emotion, thrill and confrontations across seven different UK venues. Witness some remarkable captures and the stories behind what makes Jim who he is today.

A Flick of the Tale by Dave Lane

If you’ve read Dave’s first, highly acclaimed book, ‘An Obsession with Carp’, then you’ll have a bit of an idea what to expect from this new release. If you haven’t read it, then this will really open your eyes to the world of ‘specimen’ carp angling.

The obsession still burns, although Dave has a modicum of control over it now, but the rewards are now amongst the most sought after in the carp world.

This is a book that will amuse, amaze and astound you – and hopefully inspire you, with chapters on Conningbrook, St.Ives, the Secret Mere and many more… Take care as you go, and beware the brambles!

Finding the Time to Cast by Chris Currie

Finding The Time To Cast is a collection of carp stories written by the ordinary man on the bank, who has to juggle his fishing time with family and work commitments. Chris Currie became increasingly frustrated while reading carp magazines that constantly perpetuate the ‘time equals fish’ theory by reporting on the captures of ‘names’ who are able to fish full-time.

He decided that it was time the average-Joe, little-known angler had their stories told, so he set about talking to them and attempted to persuade them to take part in a particular venture that he had in mind. It took over two years for Chris to find enough of the kind of people who would fit his criteria to write chapters in this book, and he found some truly entertaining characters who not only understood the concept behind the project, but who were also willing to put pen to paper to tell the angling world of their experiences.

The results of their combined contributions confirm, as Chris already knew, that a lot can be achieved on very limited time, if you have the will and determination to juggle the various aspects of your life. Chris also relates his own angling tale, from when he was an eight-year-old with a special birthday present, an Argos fishing kit, on which he caught a 2lb rainbow trout – and consequently ate it for his tea – to a magnificent 44lb-plus leather; ‘a special, inspiring carp from an enigmatic place’. Magic stuff!

carp fishing books


The Fox Guide to Carp Rigs

In this unique book, Fox reveal some of the secrets of successful carp fishing. The book starts with a look back at some of the rigs used when carp fishing was in its infancy, and some of the more basic principles of rig design, before moving on to more complex methods.

Included within the pages are comprehensive details on feature finding and determining the nature of the ground you are fishing over – as well as rig suggestions for each scenario. Each rig has a full step-by-step sequence ‘on how to tie it’ with full colour images and illustrations. In one chapter Frank Warwick details his approach to Snag Fishing. The Fox Guide to Carp Rigs is an invaluable guide for any carp angler.

Ali Hamidi’s Carp Fishing Masterclass

Ali Hamidi’s Carp Fishing Masterclass contains OVER 330 pages forming a mindboggling 32 chapters of detailed carp catching information. This is a must read for any carp angler, irrespective of experience.

With so many methods at an angler’s disposal it’s very difficult for many carp anglers to understand what to use and when to use it. Ali Hamidi’s carp fishing masterclass however helps to demonstrate exactly how to get the best from a huge number of methods in any given situation.

Ali himself has extensive experience combating big fish venues but is equally at home cutting his teeth on heavily stocked and pressured day ticket venues like most of us day to day carp anglers. It’s this experience that makes the contents of this book so valuable to the reader and will help people of all abilities to convert time on the bank into fish in the net.

This book is primarily focused on outlining the most important processes of carp fishing. It dispels myths about tackle and baits and helps to describe the best way to approach your angling. The detail of knowledge that Ali passes on has to be read to be believed. The focus of the book is to help all anglers understand many skill-sets.

Lee Jackson’s Carp Clinic: The Ultimate Guide to Catching Carp

Another outstanding title from the makers of Improve Your Coarse Fishing Magazine, Lee Jackson’s Carp Clinic takes the enthusiast through all the processes needed to catch this elusive fish.

Hundreds of specially taken colour photographs and clear, easy to understand text, make this book essential reading for all those carp enthusiasts out there.


Telling Tales 2011 by Korda

Korda’s second yearbook. Its 17 chapters chart the fishing year, as experienced by the lads who work at Korda. Every twist and turn, every smouldering dawn and steaming kettle on the way to final success is documented, in full colour.

The book features headline contributions from Danny Fairbrass, Ali Hamidi, Damian Clarke, Adam Penning, Darrell Peck and Tom Dove, along with a few lads who usually stay clear of the limelight! The chapters, cover a real range of fishing stretching from the capture of one of the very biggest carp in the world, right through to UK day-ticket fishing and the secret world of the under-the-radar club water!

As with the last offering, these stories are richly illustrated with stunning images and full-page plates. Although it has been produced a classy, coffee-table publication, Telling Tales also features plenty of the tips and tactics that you’d expect from Korda, subtly interwoven into the chapters.

carp fishing books

Great Stories

Beauties and the Beasts by John Claridge

Beauties and the Beasts by John Claridges covers two decades of his fishing experience. Told in story form it records tales of good times and bad, the rough and the smooth of fishing busy circuit waters.

John’s writing is inspired by the likes of Rod Hutchison, Rob Malin and of course Terry Hearn, and he hopes the contents will serve equally to inspire and entertain others interested in angling. John Claridge was born and brought up in Yateley, where he fished the nearby lakes for tench and pike.

The book tells of some classic carp fishing encounters, the characters John met along the way and his drive to catch big carp from some of the most prestigious venues in the country.

The Urban Myth by Terry Dempsey 

Documenting the angling life of one of the most secretive and successful carp anglers to ever grace our waterways. A young angler named Terry Dempsey grew up with one ambition – to go off in search of the most prized carp in the country.

You will be taken on a journey over three decades, starting from the days, where pioneering with baits and rigs was the only way. Terry has written the book in a story form about the trials and tribulations he encountered on the way to his quest, while fishing lakes such as Darenth, Yately, Longfield, Johnsons, Wraysbury and many more. This book is a must read, as you the reader will be able to taste the true magic within its pages.

Expanding horizons

Bivvy Tramps by Martin Lawrence

Author Martin Lawrence brings the carp world of Kes and his mates to vivid life in this imaginative fenland tale of camaraderie, dreams, opinions, car boot sales, heavy metal, carp captures, antis and disaster. This totally original book will quickly find a cult following from the legions of carpers who share Kes’s aspirations and love of carp fishing.

Who are you top five carpers of all time? How about top five carp captures, or even better, top five bivvy babes? Join Kes and his camo-clad mates in Tommy’s Tackle shop to sort our the important carp questions of the day. Kes has been a camper far too long, but he’s determined to prove himself by catching the Fat Lady from St Ives Lagoon.

Lying on his narrow-boat bunk he dreams of being an X-treme Carper, tackling rock hard waters like Fen Drayton and Wraysbury. Unfortunatley his plans are put on hold when he gets involved with a new ultra commercial carp fishery, and caught up in a whole lot of trouble with a group of antis, led by ‘Bunnyhuggers’ Jay and Saira, smuggled wrong uns, and the worst Ouse Valley flood in living memory.

Discover Carp Fishing by Simon Crow & Rob Hughes

An in-depth look at how to fish for carp composed by the 1996 World Carp Cup Champions. This title contains information and advice on how to tackle even the most cunning of carp.

The book includes detailed description of the carp itself and how to care for the species, the best tackle to use, and tactical considerations such as casting, plumbing and locating fish.

River carping, big fish hunting and match fishing for carp are also included together with information on different baits, including making your own boilie recipes, and baiting strategies plus rigs and knots.

carp fishing books

Carp Fishing Books: 15 Must Read ‘Bibles’ Ever Angler Should Own

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