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Darren Belton

Darren Belton

Darren has been fishing for thirty years, exclusively for Carp for the last twenty.

Living in Kent, Darren has a good selection of waters available for his use and has been fortunate enough to have caught fourteen fish over 40lb.

Watch Darren's Video Introduction

News from Darren Belton - Monday 12th January 2015

"I had been waiting all week for the wind to turn to a westerly and, as soon as it did I shot out for a quick day session.

"The wind was blowing into a small bay and I wanted to fish the far margins. I cast over with a piece of dissolving foam attached to the hookbait before then walking round. When the foam popped up I put three handfuls of hemp, response pellet and crushed hybrid over each rod. Immediately I started to get liners and, after just an hour one of the rods was away. A 26lb mirror was soon in the net and the rod back on the spot, plus a couple more handfuls of bait. An hour after that the same rod was away again. This felt much bigger - it hugged the bottom and, as I bundled it into the net I could see it was a chunk. On the scales she went 38lb 4oz, and I was more than happy with that!"

News from Darren - Thursday 18th September 2014

"On arrival at the lake on Sunday lunchtime I opted to drop into an area where I had taken the 45lb ghostie from a few weeks before. I soon had 3kgs of hybrid spombed to the spot followed by my usual Hybrid and micro popup snowman presentation - one rod on either side of the freebies.

"The first night passed without event and, after a few hours wandering around, I decided to stay put. I topped up the spot then rested the swim until early evening. At about 5am the next morning a blistering take resulted in a stunning 46lb 12oz mirror. I was already buzzing but the best was still to come...

"At around mid morning I repeated the previous day's activity and recast the hookbaits at 5pm. Six hours later a funny take had me in my waders and, as it flat-rodded me and stripped 50 yards of line from my spool in the process, I realised this was a special fish. Twice more it went on huge powerful runs and, when it finally went in the net my legs were like jelly. I flicked on the head torch and peered in to be met by the big common - it looked huge! I quickly went and got John who was fishing a few swims away and, as we hoisted her up on the scales I knew all my dreams had come true. At 51lb and 12oz it was a new PB and my first UK fifty. It still hasn't sunk in."

News from Darren - Thursday 4th September 2014

"I arrived at the lake Sunday lunchtime with two nights ahead of me, to find it fairly quiet. Although it was tempting to drop in the swim that I caught from last week, being new to the lake I wanted to fish a completely different area. I soon found a nice silty area and spombed 3kgs of crushed hybrid on it, followed by my hook baits.

"All was peaceful until about 3am when I was awoken by what sounded like concrete blocks being thrown into the lake in front of me. They were there in numbers and, as I sat watching my right hand rod was away. After a spirited scrap a 26lb mirror was sat in the net and the rod put back on the spot. All went quiet and I thought they had gone but an hour later the same rod was away again resulting in a clean looking 35lb 4oz mirror.

"Mid morning I reeled in and topped up the spot, not recasting until 5pm. At 4am the same rod was away again, this time a large framed old looking warrior was the culprit, weighing in at 36lb 4oz. Another successful session on this incredible lake soon came to an end, and the long drive home was made all the easier!"

News from Darren - Monday 18th August 2014

"After a few issues with the lake closure due to an algae bloom, I finally got the chance to fish my first session on my new syndicate water - and what a session it turned out to be!

"On my first night I had a stuttery take that I was convinced was a Bream however, as the rod hooped over I soon changed my mind. A tense battle ensued and eventually I ended up with a large mirror sat sulking in the net - 44lb exactly. This was a very special fish to me; my 20th different UK 40lber.

"The following afternoon a screaming take resulted in a 38lb mirror, and later that night I backed it up with yet another 40, this time weighing in at 42lb 4oz. I was buzzing when I got back home, only to find out the incredibly sad news about ex-Chub Marketing Manager, Andy Charlton. It puts a lot of what we do into perspective, and my deepest sympathies go to his wife and family." 

News from Darren - Tuesday 24th September 2013

"After managing 6 fish to 30lb 2oz last week I couldn't wait to get back down. On arrival the swim that I have had so much success from this year was once again empty. I dropped straight in and had soon created a large bed of hybrid amongst the weed - my clockwork orange hookbaits placed on either side of it.

"At about 10.30 that evening a stuttering take produced my first Bream of the year, and I hoped this wasn't a sign of things to come. At around 2am a one toner produced a mid 20 mirror and, after putting a few more spombs of hybrid out to the area I went back to bed.

"I had to wait unil 9am for the next take, and a hard battle produced a 35lb mirror. I phoned Rob Marsh who very kindly came down to do the pics and, after slipping her back we were sat chatting when the other rod was away.

"The fish came straight to the surface and I managed to keep it clear of the weed until it slipped over the net chord. As we peered in we both looked at each other and smiled. This was a very special fish, a prehistoric looking Carp over 40 years old and absolutely stunning. On the scales she went to 31lb and I couldn't of been happier. Big thanks to Rob for the pics."

News from Darren - Wednesday 14th August 2013

"I had managed a couple of over nighters last week and caught on both nights so I couldn't wait to get back down. I had 3 nights ahead of me and, because it was so hot I decided to rest my spots during the day and only fish between 6pm and 11am.

"On my arrival the lake was practically empty. I chose a swim that had been good to me in the past and soon had 5kgs of 20mm hybrid deposited at 50yds amongst the weed. I stuck to my guns and didn't cast my clockwork orange popups out until the evening. Although I saw plenty of activity I had to wait until 4am for my first bite. It promptly fell off in the weed, but half an hour later the other rod was away, resulting in a pretty 26lb mirror. Another of the same size soon followed before I reeled in and topped up the spots ready for the following night.

"At 4am, I had a fast take that was the start of the maddest few hours I have ever experienced. After a tense battle a mint 38lb 10oz mirror was having its pic taken and the rod had only been back out about an hour when it was away again. A 33lb 10oz mirror was soon in the net and as I slipped it back the other rod was away. Another hard battle ensued with the fish weeding me several times but again it eventually went in the net.

"On the scales it hit 33lb exactly. After getting both rods back on the spots I sat back and couldn't quite believe it - three 30's in three hours!

"Unbelievably half hour later I was playing another angry fish and on the scales it went to 31lb 8oz. After that I reeled in for the day again, topped up the spots and waited for the heat to die down before recasting. Once again at 4am I was doing battle with a large Carp which one the scales went to 36lb 10oz. A 29lb 14oz mirror finished off the morning, and after giving them a free feed I was on my way home. A real red letter session that I won't forget in a very long time."

News from Darren - Thursday 25th July 2013

"The lake has been closed for a month to allow the fish to spawn and give them a well deserved rest. On the opening night there was a draw and, although the swim I drew was ok, when I found my mate Chris would be leaving in the morning and he had drawn one of my favourite swims the barrow was behind him at first light.

"As soon as he had gone I set about depositing 5kgs of hybid boillies amongst the heavy weed and my clockwork orange hookbaits soon joined the freebies. I had to wait until midnight for my first bite - a cracking mirror of 38lb 10oz. A small common followed and as soon as it got light I topped up with another 5kgs of freebies. Four 20's to 28lb 4oz followed, and then another cracking mirror of 34lb 4oz finished off a great session. All the fish fell to mainline baits, rigmarole skinfull hooklinks, esp hooks, and my AirCurve rods dealt admirably with the heavy weed."

News from Darren - Wednesday 12th June 2013

"I arrived at the park lake hoping to find a swim with some shallow water free as the fish are still not keen on feeding in the deeper areas. I settled on a swim that I hadn't fished that much in the past but gave me access to an island where the depth came up from 12ft to 6ft.

"I had soon deposited a kilo of crushed Mainline Hybrid boilies to the island margin and once again opted to fish the Clockwork Orange pop up's over the top.

"About four hours later my right hand rod went into melt down and after a long hard battle I slipped the net under this cracking mirror known as cluster. It was a fish I really wanted to bump into, weighed 37 lb 4 oz. The 3.25tc AirCurve Rod coped admirably with the tough fight."

6 30's and 12 20's for Darren

"I had booked a four night session on Elphicks West End Lake at the beginning of the year but hadn't bargained on the winter still being with us in mid April! At the beginning of May the days were warm but the night time temperature was below zero every night of my session and the bivvy frozen on the inside!

I was hoping the fish would want some grub, but the rods fished over spodded areas produced nothing. Time for plan B. I decided to find some shallower spots and fish singles, and this started to produce fish straightaway. All the bites came in daylight, yet nothing after dark. I even managed to bank a brace of 30's live for a UK Carp feature on Small Water Angling which will detail how I approach these sorts of waters.

"In total I managed 12 20's and an amazing 6 30's weighing in at 31, 32, 33, 34, 36lb 4oz, and a 37lb 8oz. All the fish fell to a single clockwork orange popup, fished kd style with rigmarole skinfull hooklinks and esp hooks. Greys rods and Daiwa iso's completed the setup, and it turned out to be a memorable session."

News from Darren - Monday 23rd May 2011

"Well it's been a funny start to the year. After one of the coldest Decembers that I can remember the fishing at the start of the year was slow to say the least. Although I was seeing fish show on every trip, it was desperately cold, and the fish certainly didn't hang themselves. At this point I just have to mention the new Chub Cloud 9 Sleeping Bags. This may sound like a blatant plug, but anyone that knows me will vouch for the fact that if I don't like something I won't use it, let alone promote it. However, I can honestly say that these bags are nothing short of brilliant. When I am fishing I only ever use a single skin shelter, with no ground sheet and no front, no matter what the weather, and since receiving my Cloud 9 in January have not been cold once, even when my water bottle froze solid, and I woke covered in frost (on several occasions.)

"Thankfully, despite a patchy spring the fish are now visiting the bank, only now they appear to be pairing up in preparation for the spawning ritual. My own fishing will continue on my syndicate water, although I have got a new ticket for a small intimate water that contains a very large mirror Carp that I am hoping to bump into! I also hope to return to Cottington at some point. After fishing there with James earlier in the year we were both staggered at the stunning scaly Carp that reside there, and would both like to have another go for them!!!

"I am also going to be doing a few open days, one of which is coming up soon at Hawkhurst Fish Farm, showing off the new and exciting products for Greys and Chub and hope that some of you will be able to come along and say hello.

"We also have the academy weekend to look forward to so it looks like being a great but busy year and I can't wait to get started!"

News from Darren Belton - 12th January 2011

"Well that was the strangest session I have ever had! I decided to check out one of the club waters that I belong to as I had heard there was a good head of 20's in there, and I needed to get a bend in the rod.

"I went for a look around at the weekend with a view of fishing on the Monday and, although no anglers were present I liked the place, and duly returned at the break of dawn on the Monday.

"All was quiet, and I soon had a couple of baits in place, and was just settling back with a brew when I heard a noise. A cute little brown Dog had joined me, and I made a fuss of him before he went on his way. Little did I know he was in fact the scouting party and ten minutes later he was back with some friends!

"Much to my amazement three Goats followed him into my swim, and quickly went to work. They must have done it before, as they worked as a team. One went for the boillies and, as I tried to get him away, the second one ran off with my bucket! Within 2 or 3 minutes they had cleaned me out, both bait and sandwiches had vanished, and the third one was eating my landing net! At this point I decided enough was enough but one of them just got angry andh charged at me, head down and catching me in the thigh.

"I braved it for a while longer but in the end, had to admit defeat. They just wouldn't leave me alone. One got on the seat next to me, and another even got in the boat, and I was soon heading for home. Although I must admit haven't laughed so hard for a very long time!!"

News from Darren - 20th May 2010 

"Well at long last we would appear to have seen off what is possibly the harshest Winter for Carping that I can remember and a few fish are at long last starting to slip up.

"I did manage to fish through the Winter (when it wasnt frozen) but only really on runs waters to try and land some fish for articles and the likes. Small fish were landed but what a grin - ,really hard work!

"Spring saw me return to a large southern pit for just for a few weeks as it seems to be the best time of year to try and capture a large mirror that I have had my eye on for a little while now. Again,we appear to be about 4 weeks behind and, although it was hard work I did manage a few upto just short of 30lb (but not the one I want!)

"I pulled off due to various angling commitments and have just returned from the BACS's at Cilham Mill.I fished with James Coleman and we actually managed to get our first choice of swims in the draw. In a familiar vein to the rest of the year the match turned into a real slog with a harsh north easterly wind shutting down the whole lake. in fact after 24hrs only two fish had been landed! We lost a Carp on saturday afternoon and managed to bank a small one Saturday night and right at the death(30 mins before the whistle), managed to lose a large fish to a hookpull! That would almost certainly have put us through to the semi final but thats angling! Many congratulations to the guys that did qualify - it was a real grinder for everyone.

"This coming weekend its back to Chilham for the members match which is always great fun, and then I can get back to my own personal angling. Hopefully my year will improve but from the numerous people I speak to everyone seems to be in the same boat at the moment and I will keep you updated on how I get on."
News from Darren - 16th December 2009

"Well autumn has been and gone, and winter is well and truly upon us.I fished hard through october and november,and if I am honest it didnt live up to expectations. I did catch a few up to 34lb but my target fish eluded me, and the water has now firmly shut up shop so time for a move for winter (but it will give me an excuse to go back next year!)

"I have only done a couple of nights on my winter water and no joy so far but I hope to put that right in the very near future.

"On the plus side I have had some very enjoyable sessions on runs waters whilst doing feature articles and the action has been thick and fast, so dont let anyone tell you that you cant catch a carp in winter!

"Next year promises to be a cracker with a few new waters in the pipeline, and myself and James have just secured a place in the British Carp Championships in May, which is something to look forward to!

"This is my last blog of the year, so I hope you all have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. All the best."                       


News from Darren - 22nd September 2009

"My next trip out was the August bank holiday weekend, and not suprisingly it was busier than usual. I opted to fish the middle section of the lake, so I would be able to see any carp activity, and hopefully put a new plan together.Well, it didnt go well! The extra pressure meant the carp wouldnt play ball, and not one carp came out the whole weekend! In truth, it didnt feel right at all, and I felt as though I was just camping. I did however see a carp show over one particular area ,and on theTuesday morning, when the lake had returned to normality I nipped round with a marker to see what I could find.

"I couldnt get a drop, and it was soon evident that the fish had been showing over fairly thick weed. I decided to get the mini weed rake out (one of the castable ones)and a dozen or so casts later, had cleared a small patch in the weed that had a lovely clean gravel bottom. A few handfulls of boilies where scattered on top,and I headed for home, planning to let it settle and return in a few days time.

"On my return I dropped straight into the swim and flicked a lead straight onto the spot, followed by another couple of handfulls of boilies.The night was fairly uneventfull,apart from a couple of bream on an open water rod and I was beggining to feel a little despondant. I neednt of worried though as, around 9am the gravel rod was away - an absolute one toner! Thankfully it headed out into open water and, after a fierce battle, another stunning mirror was kissing the spreader block and I returned home with a big smile!

"I am back out tommorrow for a 48 hr session,and we are quickly approaching my favourite month of the year - October.I try to fish as much as possible in this month,and except for a weekend trip to Chub HQ in Alnwick for a product developement meeting, I have managed to clear my scedule for the whole month! The plan is to fish my current water hard for the month before moving onto my winter water at the beggining of November,and I shall keep you up to date with how I get on."


News from Darren - 24th August 2009

"This year I was fortunate enough to gain access to an intimate water in deepest darkest kent that holds some truly awesome old Carp.The water itself is around 9 acres in size, and holds around 50 or so Carp.They range in size from upper doubles right through to a couple that go over the magical 40lb barrier,and every one of them is a stunning old strain of Kent Carp.

"Before I stepped foot onto the place I was told that it was a tricky water, and that if you had a dozen fish out in a year you were doing well, so I was under no illusions as to what to expect. True to form I struggled, and for the first 4 weeks I couldnt buy a bite. I was however, slowly putting together the pieces of the puzzle, and although I was tearing my hair out felt that it was slowly falling into place.

"I decided to concentrate on one area - it was very weedy, and seemed to be left alone by the other members. The bait started going in, and  I had soon established a small clear patch amongst the weed. It took another 2 weeks before I recieved any action, but the first take I recieved was from one of the so called 'A team'- a stunning pure leather over the 30lb mark. Since then I havent looked back, and to date I have landed 19 Carp,including several over the 30lb mark, and another of the 'A team',a real old warrior of a mirror. Unfortunately my little spot has grown into a crater, and seems to have died a death, I have just got back from a 48hr session and it was my first blank in a while.Things didnt feel right, so my next session is going to be spent exploring some other areas of the lake. To a degree I feel I am almost going to be starting from scratch,but needs must.There may well be a few more blanks on the cards but thats fishing and I shall keep you updated on my progress!"

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