My life in fishing - Bobby Zamora

Ace QPR striker Bobby Zamora loves his carp fishing and is a big fan of Korda - we caught up with him recently to find out about his love of angling and how he juggles football and fishing...

How did you get into fishing?

My granddad got me into it as I used to spend my six-week summer holidays down in Bournemouth with him. He had a boat so we used to fish off that or on the river and I really got into it there – we did everything from minnow bashing to general coarse fishing!

But then you catch your first good carp and you think that’s unreal by comparison: “I want plenty more of these!” So then I just focused on carp after that and that’s the way it’s been for me ever since.

Have football and fishing always been your main sports?

Football and fishing has always been part of my life. I had a spell when I didn’t really get out that much, when I lived in Canary Wharf in an apartment, and in terms of size and storage space it just didn’t work, so I ended up getting rid of a bit of tackle.

But the urge to get back out was too much and I live out in the countryside now, which works for my fishing. I’m getting on a bit now so I’m looking forward to retirement, when I can put some hours in on the lakes!

Do you fit fishing around your football, or is it the other way round?

My fishing always has to fit around my football – at the minute we’re out of the FA Cup, so I’m thinking that if we’re given two or three days off, can I get a day on the lake as the missus will want to do something on the other day.

I’ve got to juggle football, family life and fishing as well. But when you do get a few days off you’ve got to try and grab them!

I’ve been out a fair bit lately but not as much as I’d like to. In season it’s a bit difficult as you don’t always know when you’ve got a day off – it’s hard to nail down when you can get out.

What sort of sessions do you normally do?

For me, it’s normally 24-hour sessions – if I can get more time then I will do long trips but generally we only get a day off, so if I’m going to go fishing it’ll be overnight.

The syndicate that I’m a member of is a good hour’s drive away so it’s not down the end of my road but having said that I am a member of a lake nearby that I use in the summer. I love going down there with just a rod, small amount of tackle and some mixers and having a walk and a stalk.

Do you use a bivvy or a brolly?

If the weather is nice, sometimes I just use a bedchair as I like to get away with taking as little tackle as possible. I like to keep on the move if I can – there’s no point in plotting up if there’s nothing in front of you!

What do you normally eat on the bank?

I try to eat healthily on the bank and we have a chef at the training ground and he does little takeaways, so if I am going to do a session I get some food from him.

What generally happens is that I have a Wednesday off, so after training on a Tuesday I’ll have all the kit in the car ready and I’ll grab my food and head off. It’s generally healthy stuff like chicken and pasta and breakfast is normally a pot of porridge and fruit.

But I do have a packet of hob nobs ready for my cup of coffee for when it starts to get a bit cold in the evening. I’ve got a sweet tooth so I have it with sugar – I’m good with my main meals but give me an hour and I get that urge for sugar, so I need my chocolate biscuits and a cup of coffee. I usually chuck a chocolate bar or packet of biscuits in the overnight kit.

What are your targets for this year?

At the moment, I’m after a 40-pounder. On my syndicate there have been a few 40s out in the past year and the lake is doing well. My biggest is 39lb 12oz but there are a good few 40s in there and they’re growing all the time, so hopefully I can put some hours in and nail one of those this year!

It’s been an enjoyable season for me and when it’s going well you just want to get out there, but the football gets in the way a little bit! I’ve had a good few 30s this year so it’s going really well but I just need to nail one of those 40s.

I’m going to stick with the syndicate this year – I’ll be on there for life if I can. It’s a lovely water – really nice – and it’s got a good set of lads. It’s really private and quiet too with no hassle and a lot of good fish, so when I finish playing I’ll put some serious hours in there.

What sort of tactics and bait are working for you at the moment?

At the minute I’m right into my chod rig fishing as it’s quite weedy on my water and the chod works well in and around the weed, where they all seem to hold up in that lake. That seems to be the main method over there at the moment.

A majority of the bait the lake sees are Mainline boilies – they’re big fish so they love munching on their boilies and a majority of the fishing is based around that. I usually use a chod and pop-up with a bit of Goo on top – quite straightforward really but it’s been working well this year.

I’ve also been using D-rigs, which have worked well with a wafter and a bit of Goo. The Almond Power Smoke Goo has done well for me, particularly in the summer when I had some great hits of fish.

Is there a divide between the golfers and anglers in the dressing room?

At QPR, there are probably a lot more golfers than fisherman. Joey Barton can’t get his head round fishing and he always has a little debate with us and the kit man at QPR, but Joey can’t get his head round it. But then he’s banging a tiny little ball around a field!

I’ve never fancied it myself as fishing has always been the one thing I do outside of football – they’ve always been my two things but otherwise I’m quite boring!

Do any of your football mates fish?

My mate Lee Bowyer is a big fisherman – I was with him and Mark Noble at West Ham and we’ve done a session all together – and Lee has just bought a lake in France.

He’s had it for a couple of months and Mark went over there a little ago and had a 44-pounder. I won’t be able to do anything this summer but, if I do get the chance soon, I’ll get over there and give it a go. I’ve certainly got that pencilled in for a future session.

Mark is a member of the lake I’m on and he lives 15 minutes away so it’s easy for him – he can just shoot down there after training and do a night, whereas for me it’s hard to get down there when I’m busy. Mark is quite new to the sport so I’m all over him but he’s learning fast. He’s put in a lot of hours recently so he’s starting to do well and learn a lot.

Because he lives quite close to the lake and West Ham’s training ground is not too far away either, he can put in the time. But for me it’s a good hour to my training ground and then another hour to the lake, so it’s a bit too much to do the night and then go to training the next day, whereas Mark can get away with that!

Do you have any funny stories from your time on the bank?

I’ve got two German shepherds and they’re pretty much like Police dogs - they’re very well trained and well behaved and one of them often comes fishing with me.

I went fishing recently with John Terry, who comes with me every now and then. This particular time, he came with me to my syndicate as he’d heard about the big fish in the lake - he was in one swim and I was in the other and he had my receiver and I had his, so we knew when each other had a take.

My alarm goes off at 2am and I’m into a fish, so John comes running round and the dog in the bivvy doesn’t know that John is fishing with me - she thinks it’s just me and her.

So she sees someone come running round the corner and comes steaming out of the bivvy, getting ready to absolutely nail John – she’d have completely annihilated him! – but I told her “NO!” just in time and she was straight back in the bivvy. It could have been an entertaining end to the evening – he had a chuckle about that too later on.