12-Snabba Frågor till: Gary Benny

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Gary Benny, en man med många strängar på sina spön… OK den var rätt dålig men Gary är en man som är spöbyggare, boilierullar och en genuint duktig sportfiskare. Många känner igen honom som en riktigt skicklig karpmetare, men han har fångat många fina fiskar. Fast va hände egentligen i hans Bivvy i unga år… Ja det och mycket mer får ni reda på när ni läser hans 12 Snabba Svar.

Gary Benny

1. Vilken av dina “bästa” fiskar var svårast att fånga? 

I will write in English, I hope that’s ok. Anybody who knows me will know I am very passionate about my angling and I want to express myself properly and in Swedish I might end up saying something stupid! 🙂

 Without question the hardest fish I have ever caught was my first 20lb carp!

Growing up in southwest England, surrounded by muddy farm ponds on the Somerset levels. A double was a sight for sore eyes let alone a twenty. From an early age I started carp fishing and begged for the day I would catch a monster, as it never came!

One day I remember looking at a picture of a 26lb mirror carp held by Rod Hutchinson. And reading the article about how he caught it. I suddenly thought why don’t I do that! I hunted for a water that held one, there was a local lake with one fish called “The Preacher” or “the vicar” that could go 20lb soon. But that fish apparently only came out on Sundays hence the name. And I could only fish every other Saturday or after school. 😉

 So I made plans to fish a new water at the back of my uncles garden at new house he had moved to. Found by accident one day at a family BBQ party. I don’t think I was at the party at all and I was demanded back after dark having punished one local angler for all info! (thanks paul!)

I saw him fishing there upon my look around and even though he tried to trick me he was only fishing for Tench…

I was on to him and after my numerous questions he broke and confirmed that infact he was fishing for carp!

 I had never fished a clear water lake with weed before. This lake was old… Very old, with sunken world war 1 trucks in it, loads of birdlife, shallows, backwaters and climbing trees! I was 13 years old and in love! As soon as I got home I ran around to my mate Sam’s house and we began making plans on how to buy tickets and when we could fish it.

 After countless trips of blanking, buss journeys taking hours to get there, not eating lunch at school to save up lunch money for more boilies and countless extra hours in the florist where I worked. Sam and I convinced the lake managers to let us fish nights as juniors. Below 16 couldn’t fish nights alone, (and my uncle fancied some time with his wife I think).

I set up in my favourite swim the climbing tree swim.

Gary Benny

And set about raking a hole in the dense weed to my right at the tip of a marginal bush. After what felt like hours I baited with hemp and tiger nuts, borrowed from my neighbor Toby’s bait bucket. And a few 10mm oily chicken pepper boilies. Two ten millers went on the hair and a 1oz lead dropped onto the spot with a firm thump.

It wasn’t until midday when a warm south westerly was pushing into my margin that suddenly I saw my right had rod burst into life and nearly leave the alarm!

Battle commenced and a crowd of the local secret squirrels came into make sure this newbie didn’t do anything wrong (i.e be told never to tell anybody about the fish!). It took some time on the 11ft 2lb pro carbon carp. But finally it rolled into the net and I was shocked… With a previous PB of 16lb 8oz, this fish looked huge and for me it was.

24LB 8oz, a fish called The Twin… At 14 years old, and 2 years of trying I managed it and was over the moon… I remember this being a super hard thing to achieve. And after I did, they came like buses and I broke my PB twice that year!

Gary Benny
The Twin and a PB

Other than that I mite mention I am still trying to catch a bloody seatrout… That’s proving harder than I thought in Stockholm Skärgård!

2. Hur ser du på det Svenska metet om man till exempel jämför med det Engelska metet och framförallt karpfisket? Vad anser du är vår bästa fördel i Sverige jämfört med England och/eller övriga Europa och vad är vår största nackdel inom metet jämfört med de andra?

For me this is quite easy to answer… Anglers! My goodness what a paradise you swedes have! So much water… More than the heart can take and most full of fish and better yet… Nobody fishing for them!

Gary Benny
This is how the lakes look on a quiet day!

This said, the Uk for me still feels like proper fishing for some reason. When I go back I love to get out fishing, it feels really nice to put yourself up against the rat race. Pressured fish and crowded lakes. But I remember when I first came to Sweden, loving the tranquility of it all. The nature and to be honest something that is rare to find in the Uk for sure.

But if I could choose I would without doubt pick Sweden to fish in for the rest of my days…

And it looks like that’s how it will be also for me!

Somethings that I do miss though is the English socials. The team work on syndicates and the general feeling of the anglers on lakes. We group up, always chat, share info and have a good time, something that I do miss in Sweden. Basically as there is less serious anglers doing it over here.

Another point I might add is that I feel that English anglers seem to have much more respect for the fish and the lakes.

Maybe we take it too far to be honest, or maybe I am wrong and I haven’t met enough serious Swedish anglers yet. But I do see lots of rubbish from anglers on lakes here. And also people fishing dangerously or without care or consideration to others. Fishing for themselves and selfishly, that I don’t like.

The UK also have more people to look after the lakes, more baliffs working for free and also lakes with lots of fish for beginners to train and learn the art of fishing. Although these days England seems to have far too many “instant carp anglers!”

Wow reading that back I almost sound grumpy. But in general I think Sweden is amazing for the fishing, but of course with “Mete” being so small here it misses out on the benefits of tackle shops with all the gear to look at. And maggots sold by the pint on demand and of course Barbel!

3. Du startade ju Swedish Bait Mechanics 2009 men varifrån och när kom ditt intresse för boilies? Och kan du dela med något roligt som hänt under åren du har hållit på med boiliebak?

Swedish bait mechanics will be 10 years old this year… Wow that is pretty impressive isn’t it really. I cannot honestly say I saw that coming when all I did was decide I needed good bait and couldn’t get it in Sweden, or didn’t know how to anyway.

Boilies for me where always something we looked at in the shops as they looked interesting. But ended up using luncheon meat and corn instead as it worked fine. My first boilie I ever used was a Nutrabaits Cranberry Nutrafruit popup, bright orange and a microwaved popup. You got 3 large and 3 small in a plastic bag and I used those 6 boilies all winter without a single bite. Watching my mates bagging bream and roach on maggot and bread…

But I was a carp angler now and this bait was for carp!

I then started to read the nutrabaits catalogue. Nashbaits bait book and then when I borrowed a book from Toby, I suddenly was amazed at what you could do. It was Rod huthcinsons carp now and then, this book was like a bible to me. And for the next year and I spent hours engrossed trying to find out information on Cassinates, flours, Ethanol flavours, birdfoods at the local pet store. Even grinding trout pellets for fishmeal, I also “borrowed” flavours and acids from my school science lab. Which where bloody useless by the way. And most likely sent all the fish down the other end of the lake!

I just loved the idea of making my own bait!

All I wanted was to achieve and say I had done it. I almost stopped trying as one day after drying a 1lb mix in the garden on a towel I forgot I left my baits out. Later that evening I went to collect them and saw lots where missing, anyway cussing the birdlife I put them in the freezer for the next day session.

A bream only to show for my efforts I cycled home only to find a very upset mum and dad waiting for me. They informed me that the next door neighbor had come around and enquired to why there pet cat had spent the day shitting all over the house… And now was in the Vetinary doctors getting help as it kept screaming… To this day I still don’t understand what they where talking about. I mean my boilies caught a bream, totally safe.

4. Drömmar har vi alla och oftast många, men vad är din dröm inom metet/fisket i Sverige? Motivera, är det att fånga en specifik art över en viss vikt? Besöka ett visst vatten? Annat?

Dreams, that something I do a lot. I am 100% a dreamer and is the reason I feel I have achieved so much In my fishing. Dream and then make it reality!

I love to sit and dream of big uncaught fish somewhere never found. Or catching the big common from any lake that it resides but has never been seen!

But I think my dream would be to see Mete grow in Sweden again. So it can thrive more, less anglers in big boats with electronics (which I also enjoy!) but out walking the rivers and enjoying just how awesome Mete is. I really feel its slowly fading away and that’s why this Swedish Anglers group is so important to make awareness. And get more interested in such a fine way of angling.

5. Karpfisket är såklart ett stort intresse för dig, men hur mycket metar du i Sverige eller utomlands efter andra arter? och i så fall vilka arter? Kan man till exempel hitta dig i en liten vass efter en ruda? Eller är det enbart karp som gäller och i så fall varför?

Yes I would agree that carp is my number one, but I would never say I am a carp angler. I am an angler of all species and you will definately find me watching a bubbling float for crucian carp or feeder fishing in a river. Infact as I write this I was recently in the uk fishing my old local river for Roach and Chub. Nothing big was caught but I loved every minute of it.

Gary Benny
UK River

I do love dead baiting for pike, stick floats for roach with breadflake. I also have fished in Älvkarelby a few times sat behind the quiver tips catching Id, roach, bream, vimma etc. And I need this in my fishing, variety is the spice of life. But I will be honest and say I don’t do it as much as I should and with my limited time these days. My family takes priority for spare time but im lucky to live in the skärgård. And have a boat in the water and also some nice lakes nearby.

Gary Benny

Should I get out, it often is Perch fishing with lures or livebait as I only have a few hours after the children are in bed. Or maybe squeezing in a rare night session, set up in the dark and pack up just before bite time… Yes I said before lol, but this year I plan to try to fish more than ever. Even if it’s a hour here and there. I am a happier person when I have fished, that’s what she tells me anyway!

6. Du har rest och fiskat mycket utomlands, kan du berätta något riktigt speciellt som hänt dig, en sådan där händelse som etsat sig fast hos dig?

So many memories from so many trips come to mind here. It is nice to have a question like this to jog the memory and think back a little.

For example fishing a week with Birger and Håkan in Madine at the WCC with the team Sweden lads. I am sure all will agree we had some fun and its the best blank I have ever had… In fact it still doesn’t feel like a blank! Then there is sight fishing for redfish in Florida. Really fun and gets the heart pumping when they thump the bait and scream line on the first run…

But I think one special moment I always look back on and maybe will surprise you is a session I did in france in 2008.

The lake itself was disappointing to say the least. Weeded up with a green carpet surface, lies about the fish that resided there and more poison chat and koipuu than I have ever seen in my life… So why is this memorable…

One morning I was in the boat looking for clear spots… The mist was clearing from the morning breeze and the sun rising over the hills in the distance. It really was starting to glow and then the frogs stopped croaking and I heard silence. It was so noticeable I stopped rowing, and just looked at the sunrise happening in front of me out in the lake. Suddenly the weed and all the other problems where forgotten and I just sat there watching, It was just beautiful.

I am a lover of the environment. I regulary stop and watch a sunset, or the trees in autumn glowing in the sun. But what made this so special was the carp that flopped itself onto the biggest weedbed infront of me… It slipped up so quiet and led there, it was shocked I think it didnt go back into its water home.

It didnt really try hard either and I was staring at it only feet away, a mid 30 just wallowing as its weight sunk it down slowly. So its shoulders had water over it as it pressed the weed, I took my oar and gently pressed infront of the fish parting the weed. It rocked slightly and slid into the hole and away, almost without sound. I was amazed.

I then found a clear spot under that weed bed, and later did catch a mid thirty common… And yes you guessed it.. It was the same fish! Karma.

Gary Benny
Karma Common

7. Metet och Sportfisket generellt innefattar väldigt mycket prylar, vissa är kanske mer viktiga än andra men vilket har varit ditt absolut sämsta inköp i fiskeväg?

Hard one to remember as there has been a few I am sure. Working in the industry in tackle manufacture I also cannot be seen to slate others products. So will tred carefully here, lol.

But one thing I do remember buying and being extremely disappointed in was my first bite alarm. A Magno! Having borrowed my neighbours optonic super XL. But not being able to afford anywhere near that. I went to my local tackle shop with 18 of my hard saved pounds and purchased a Magno!

Gary Benny
Magno Alarm!

To me this was a huge thing. I raced home to set it up and play!… Except it didn’t come with a battery and the shops were now closed!

This sorted the next day and a later start to fishing than planned. I went about setting up my leger rig and a fresh chunk of spam on the hook. A blade of old grass for a stop and sent it out next to the reeds on the island. I then found out about the alarms features… Or lack off…

Firstly the adjustable angle screw thread (100% plastic) wasn’t tight. And my old carp rod was too heavy for it, so it would fold if not perfectly straight… So some Dreannan dacron sorted that, and with super glue in mind for later wouldn’t be an issue.

Then can the bite alarm arm, an orange plastic arm you put the line around. When pulled tight would swtich the alarm to beep, and this had a very “modern” adjustment system of a spring inside and a lever on the front to adjust…

But I soon found out even on full tension a mosquito farting on the line would set it off…

With it blowing hard that day I was furious. I mean you couldn’t even tension the line to the lead, (slack lines where not invented then).

Rod on the ground. I openend this technically advanced piece of equipment and rammed as much sticks as I could in the spring to make it stiffer… It worked and the line could be seen semi slack to the lead, and the wind only causing a false bite every 30 minutes or so… Result!!! Or so I thought…

Being made in England… You would imagine they would understand that the country does have a small amount of rain each year… With todays forecast to be some heavy showers I was happy to be sitting under the Nubrolly. (old school anglers will know this brand.) Back to the wind with the alarm to alert me, with the second of the downpours out of the way I suddenly got a bite!! It was screaming…(all it can do as it was a bloody on off switch) and I lifted into… Thin bloody air… But this time it didn’t stop screaming but then started to sound a little odd…

In fact it sounded like a dying frog. A sound that today still haunts me.

I took the battery out and dried it out in my jumper and put it back in. But it would only work sometimes and the sound was weird to say the least… I dug around in my rod bag and found one of the old knitting needles I stole from mum as my first monkey climbe. Cut off thick rush stem and made a c shape with a hole in it and there we go monkey climber made.

That evening when my dad came to collect me, he asked about my alarm. I think he saw in my eyes the disappointment and within a week, I had a fox mini micron!

8. Vad är det mest pinsamma som hänt dig under en fiskeresa?

Hahaha well this is one I need to think about who is going to read this and then answer as there has been a few storys. But I think one that sticks in my mind was when I was fishing St johns. This was before it was a rat race, the gravel was still being dug from the lakes back then. And I went up for a winter session with my girlfriend at the time for two nights having passed my driving licience. The car I got given by my mate the previous week as mine was too small to fish from. (Mini). But this Nissan sunny screamed up the motorway to Oxfordshire (literally as the thrust bearing was broke) at over 100mph all the way. (Speedo was broke too).

I got all my gear around to the point swim. It looked good too, but saw no baliffs to pay yet so got on with getting the rod outs. After doing so I sat back and then pumped up the double air bed in the sundridge 2 man I had been robbed £50 for the week previously. With all the work done it looked cozy, very cozy and so the zip went down and we investigated what teenagers do in tents when its cold. You know keeping warm, only to hear a loud cough from outside the bivvy after a few minutes.

I popped my head out and Roy Parsons the head baliff was stood there. “Got ya ticket son?

How long you down for, or should I say fishing for? ”Said with a firm grin on his face… Embarrised I scrambled for my wallet and passed out some cash with the words “two nights please.” And muttered things like yeah those rabbits make werid noises don’t they…

With the ticket paid for that night passed well until late the next morning when my alarm told me it was time to stop what I was doing. And run out to strike! And just as Roy was walking into the swim to see if I had caught anything. There is me with my rod in the air… And my fishing rod bent over into a fish!

And Roy just slowly walks past just shaking his head… I was shivering naked and all I heard was chuckles from the far bank and back in the bivvy. Funny times but I never could look Roy in the eye after that session ever again!

9. Om du skulle få möjligheten att meta varsomhelst i världen i en vecka MEN du får enbart fiska efter en art den veckan. Vart skulle du åka och vilken art skulle det bli och varför?

Hmmm that’s not easy as I have so many bucket list fish I would love to catch, can I also go back in time? As then it really easy to answer. I would say Wraysbury for Mary’s mate or the mere for the black mirror. Just to say you have done it… But I think I really would love to fish a week at Redmire pool if I could anywhere. It’s a lake that for me means so much, I know its not the lake it used to be. But its steeped in history.

Maybe a boring answer really, I could say another species but you know what I love carp fishing and for redmire is a something special. Especially if I could get one off the top and fall out of a tree doing so!

10. Vilken är den största fisken du tappat vid någon av dina fiskeresor? (Störst som störst exemplar för en specifik art)

Not a fun question to answer, as I still remember this one as it was not that long ago and still hurts… I was in Croatia fishing carp in 2017. It was a tough week, very strange weather, ice and gales. Then heat stroke all in the same day and the fish didn’t know if they where coming or going!

The bite wasn’t easy to be had but I was one of the lucky ones to manage to work out how to get bites. A few a day but only after the second night…. Anyway…

I had caught some nice fish, big fish of 25 kg plus and so was happy to say the least but this lake holds monsters.

I clearly remember it, Tobbe my buddy was sat with me looking out of the bivvy. And then my left hand rod made a single bleep, then a slow drop back. I wound down thinking I would connect to a bream but instead it went completely solid. Like I was snagged, I was about to give it the “snag pull” when it started to move, really slowly. And super heavy, it was on for ages, and I really mean ages.

I couldn’t do a thing, when it went right it went, left, it went left. I had zero control and all the time it felt like it was sat on the bottom… I even made a comment to tobbe… He asked me how it felt and I looked at him and said nothing.

Then I took a breath and said “last time I felt something this big it was 83lb mate…” Why I said that I don’t know as it sent my head in a spin, my knees shaking as this way too stiff 13ft distance rod bent over!

After an enternity of up and down the margins and long powerful runs I even said under my breath “is this a cat, what have a hooked?”

Then slowly it started to lift in the water but not once giving up. It was so bloody heavy, I didn’t want to pull too hard for a hook pull. The line was 15lb but should it go for it on this stiff rod it would be goodbye also… It kept making long runs down the deep redline to my right but as is was pring I could see down no issue. And then suddenly it rolled and came up a few feet, and then another until boom….

There in front of me and Tobbe was an enourmous mirror carp. Tobbe had the 6ft landing net at full reach, he couldn’t go more without swimming. And the fish slowly moved closer, then it did a single string head shake and the lead whipped past my head…. The fish led there unsure what was going on. The tension released and then with a sense of freedom as Tobbe stretched and groaned to reach it…. It was gone…


Rod in the reeds, heart pounding, mouth dry I couldn’t speak. I span around head in hands and walked in an out of my bivvy… I dint know what to do… Tobbe put the net down and said sorry, but I couldn’t speak then… He left me to it… and I was a mess, an hour later I was still shaking. I had text my mate Sam in the uk, walked down to Micke and Birger to vent. But it didn’t help I just couldn’t believe it and I actually, sad as it is… Did let out a tear once alone in my bivvy.

Later that year I saw that fish in the magazines, and on a video, clear as day we saw it. Its like an image in my mind that will never go. And it was Dave Levvy that caught it at 88lb!!!

Gary Benny
The one that got away

11. Vilken fångst genom tiderna i Sverige skulle du velat ha bevittnat, och varför?

Having only lived here ten years I have limited knowledge to some of the most famous captures. Some of which spring to mind, like the big Lödde Å pike brace, or bubblan from Antorpa.

For me sometimes seeing a specific fish on the bank can ruin the dream a little bit. So I wouldn’t choose a fish I want to catch, for example a named carp… But maybe I would have liked to have seen the 3 kg record perch that is now no longer around. Big perch are super impressive to me and I have never seen such a big perch other than in pictures. So that would be cool to witness just how impressive such a creature is in real life.

Gary Benny
Perch fishing in Kalmar

12. Tycker du att dessa så kallade supervatten som ofta innehåller långt större fiskar av specifik art än resten av landet är en tillgång, eller en förbannelse? Motivera svaret.

This is a simple question that is often answered wrongly by not looking at it in a simple way. And I have strong views on this subject having hated imported mongo carp of massive size for instant waters for a long time. But you have to see it as it is.

We all get something out of fishing in a different way. Some love to sit on a hard water for the hunt of one fish, one bite a year for personal achievement. Others want to bag as many as they can in a session and work hard to get another bite as fast as they can. Its all personal preference.

I personally prefer harder waters, where you have to think a bit more. But at the same time I love to fish a water where I need to work my ass off, spodding, recasting and tying 100 rigs in s session. It is fun to do once in a while but it is not what I want to do every session.

I take each lake and capture by merit. If you want to go and fish an instant carp water for huge carp, stocked at huge sizes then that’s up to you. But don’t compare yourself with your 3 x 50’s and numerous 40’s at the end of the season to a guy who is fishing public open waters containing fish to low 30’s. As you cannot, it is not one and the same.

I would gladly swap one of my big foreign fish for a true Swedish 50…

Any day of the week, but again this is my choice and why I stated at the start that people answer this wrongly. It is up to you what you want to gain from your time fishing. We all judge ourselves against others… It’s not a race, it’s not a competition… Its fishing!

So to answer this question I would say that I hate instant big fish waters. But if that lake stocked those fish form a small size and they have worked to make them big. Help them grow and get them there then it is what it is, and as for imported strains… Lets be serious a lot of the strains didn’t originate from our own countries but where brought in many moons ago.

I see “Super waters” as a sign of the times. And have nothing against it.

But the only problem is the anglers who fish them and catch a monster before they have learnt the ropes so to speak. Instant big fish hunters but have never rigged a float rod properly, have never caught that species before but run to that lake as it holds one of the biggest… It’s a respect thing.

In my eyes you ruin the enjoyment if you catch the biggest straight away. But most people these days just want to show it on face book and show off just how good they are. They don’t really care about the fish, it is just a number to say they are better than the next guy.

Boring answer to end on really. But thank you for letting me answer the questions, as for “Snabba” sorry but I never give a quick answer… I like to talk!

Tight lines

Gary Benny

Vi tackar Gary för svaren! 
Här kan ni kika in SBM och hans boiliebak. Swedish Bait Mechanics

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