Ian ‘Chilly’ Chillcott


1. Dominic Pole: OK so we know baits 'blow' after so long but how long does it take for fish to accept a bait again do they forget the association with danger?

Chilly: I totally disagree Dominic, I have never suffered from a bait blowing, and don’t agree with your thoughts. I have used the same baits for several seasons on many occasions without any evidence to suggest they blow. Mainline Pulse would be a good example, and the longer I used it the better it got. If they associated our baits with danger then the likelihood of catching them again would be very remote indeed. Find something you have every confidence in and stick with it, rather than being a slave to fashion.

Chilly doesn’t buy into the concept that baits blow on waters.


2. Kieran Simmons: If there was 1 hook pattern you had to use for the rest of your time angling what would it be and your reasons why?

Chilly: Thankfully, at Fox I have had a lot of input with several major products, and the SSC hooks would have to be the top of that list. If there was one hook to use for the rest of my angling, and let’s face it, I use it nearly all the time anyway, it would have to be a size 7 SSC. Recently this pattern has been developed to the next level and thanks to the clever product guys at Fox is now even stronger and sharper than ever in its new guise as the Edges Curve Shank.

The pattern Chilly would use forever if he had to pick just one.


3. Daniel Reeks: What’s the best fight you've had with a fish where and when was it?

Chilly: Blimey, I have had so many great fights, but if I had to pick just one it would be a fish that I caught for the TV cameras. It came from a lake called Mercers Park, and was hooked on the last morning of filming. The footage doesn’t quite convey just how long that fish fought for, or how savage the battle was. However, to get it on film was remarkable and a 40lb’er for the cameras is a very rare fish indeed! 

This fish nearly pulled his arm off!


4. Jase Myatt: Hi Chilly I know your hook arrangement barely changes but when would you use a longer or shorter rig with stiff or supple?

Chilly: During the first TV series I did for Fishing.Tv I was determined to show that it only mattered where you put your rig and not necessarily what it was or how it was set up. To that end, I set up my size 7 SSC hook on six inches of Camotex strippable braid. I fished it with a long hair, and to avoid tangles I used a mesh PVA bag the size of which was dependent on distance. I chose five completely different venues, and with no swims shut down or baited for me I had the most amazing adventure. Even catching two 40+ fish in one programme. I use that set up for nearly all of my fishing today…little wonder really.

If it ain’t broke why fix it?


5. Wayne Griffiths: My question is when fishing a lake with a lot of natural food in what do you do to try and get them feeding on your bait, as I've had trouble with this all season?

Chilly: I am a boilie-only angler, and have been for more years than I care to remember, but many see fishing boillies as such a one dimensional tactic. They are available in different sizes and my favourite combination is 10mm and 15mm. For whatever reason, some of the rarer visitors to the bank seem to fall for smaller offerings and this has helped me so much over the years. I also have Response Pellets at my disposal which come in the same flavours as the boillies I am using. In weedier areas they tend to hang up in the weed and along with crushing up my boillies, they present bait at varying levels. Again something that can encourage the less enthusiastic carp to feed on my bait. As the saying goes, it works for me!

Try smaller boilies to temp the rarer carp.


6. Jason Hutchings: Are there any carp in the history books that you wished you had caught and is there one alive now that you would love to catch?

Chilly: Jason, I can only imagine that you wanted to see a grown man cry by asking this question, and amid the tears, I will try. Mary from Wraysbury would have to be that carp. She occupied much of my life in the late 90’s, but unfortunately it was never to be. Fishing in No Carp Bay one summer I had bite at around three in the afternoon and the fish got weeded up. I took to an inflatable that didn’t want to be inflated, and after an hour and a half I watched the hook fall from her mouth as she disappeared into the weed…ouch!! Two months later I watched in horror as my lead core parted in the middle and once again she gracefully cruised out of site. I hoped for third time lucky, but it was never to be, unfortunately. The Burghfield Common is the fish of my dreams these days, so I guess I ought to go fishing for it, eh?      

Chilly would have dearly loved to have caught Mary and actually lost it twice!


7. Alun Trueman: Are we overthinking it by sharpening hooks? Are they not sharp enough? I've heard of hooks snapping after filing too much. What are your thoughts?

Chilly: I have never sharpened a hook, and I guess I never will. I use the finest hooks available, and I will be totally honest, I have never had an issue with any of them. Many try and increase their credibility in carp fishing by advertising a pointless exercise, but I hate people that try and con more money out of this game at the customer’s expense. If you’re not happy with a hook, change it, it is as simple as that. Which leaves you more time to discover the right place to put it!

No need for hook sharpeners when you have access to hooks as sharp as this out of the packet!


8. Jamie Pepper: When starting a session describe your 1st 3 priorities and what you do when 1 or all of them cannot be met?

Chilly: Any swim is as good as the next when you are guessing, so the trick is to get it as right as possible before you set up. Number one on my list would obviously be; location, location, location. If you aren’t fishing where they are, you ain’t going to catch them! To be honest, that is the only priority, but it can be assisted by looking at the windward end of the lake during the colder months, and the newer the wind the better. Don’t just look for five minutes, sometimes much of my session is simply looking. Five minutes in the right place is better than five hours in the wrong, as Walker once wrote. Local information is always a good thing so keep plugged into the grapevine if you can. If all else fails, guess, it sometimes works for me!

You need to find them before you can catch them.


9. Kishy Christian Rush: Is Donald Trump just misunderstood?

Chilly: Him and the rest of that crazy country are just a little misunderstood at the moment, and let’s be honest, they haven’t done too much to help us understand just lately!

He’s just a little misunderstood lol


10. Daniel Allen: Have you ever had a nightmare session on the bank, like forgetting vital gear or gear breaking on the bank... Just so I know it's not just me lol.

Chilly: I suspect the most nightmarish session I have ever had was when I set out to make my first programme for Fishing.Tv back in 2008. It was during the worst storms this country had seen for 85 years, but I was determined to do it. The wind stopped me fishing where the fish so obviously were. I broke two fishing rods, two Evo Bivvies were obliterated, everything got soaked and even one of the cameras suffered at the hands of the weather. It was the most depressing thing to be involved with. That was until the last of two nights when mirrors of 21lb and 28lb came to visit! Don’t ask me how, but it just goes to show, even in the most disastrous of times, there is always some light at the end of the tunnel.

One particular filming session was a proper nightmare!