This week’s Angler’s Mail HQ blog is by freelance reporter James Bohrsmann.
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Remembering the reasons why we all started…
ONE thing that has struck me during my time here at Angler’s Mail HQ is the steady stream of e-mails we receive from a number of young carp angler’s asking for exposure and advice on sponsorship.
As a carp fisherman myself, I understand the passion people have for the sport and applaud anyone that seeks to make a living for themselves in the industry.
I can’t help but think, though, that too many people nowadays want the reward without putting in the work.
These e-mails got me thinking about the mindset of many young carp anglers today; and their attitude appears to be the polar-opposite to that of the guys who made carp fishing the hugely popular sport it now is.
Did Terry Hearn chase Mary around the mighty Wraysbury One in the hope that the capture would result in a sponsorship deal? Or did he do it because he was passionate about catching big, special carp?
The likes of Hearn, Nigel Sharp, and Dave Lane targeted these fish and dedicated themselves to catching them. It seems all-to-common nowadays, that young anglers instead target a sponsorship deal and then figure out how to land that.
I remember reading Terry Hearn’s first book ‘In Pursuit of the Largest’ when I was a youngster and it sparked something inside me that made me want to pursue carp fishing.
These guys were pioneers in the sport long before it became the huge, commercial industry it is now. Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s great how accessible carp fishing is to everyone including young anglers. I’m just not sure everyone is pursuing it for the right reasons.
Undoubtedly anyone that goes fishing has some degree of passion for it, my view is simply that some have lost site of that passion in their attempts to gain some sort of notoriety in the industry.
My advice to the guys who e-mail in asking about sponsorship and exposure would be to remember the reasons why we all go fishing in the first place and to enjoy their time on the bank.
Carp fishing is really whatever you make of it, and different anglers will enjoy different aspects of the sport. For me personally, the stories of the guys out catching the ‘history’ fish of the 1980’s and 90’s will always epitomise all that is good about carping; the adventure and the unknown.
In those days a 40 lb carp was a rare prize, in fact when Jan Wenczka banked Yateley North Lake’s Bazil back in 1981 it was the only 40 lb carp reported that year.
Of course by the time Terry Hearn banked Bazil in 1995 at over 45 lb, fish of this size were starting to appear elsewhere also, but were still by no means common.
Day-ticket big’uns are being caught on a daily basis now, and it’s a great thing that all anglers, regardless of time-constraints, can catch big fish. Nonetheless, the topic continues to stir up debate in the carp fishing world.
Someone said to me recently, ‘carp fishing has seen its best years, it will be all downhill from here.’ This is no doubt an opinion shared by many long-term carp anglers and it’s not uncommon for the period circa 1990’s to be referred to as the ‘glory years’ in carp fishing circles.
While I would love to go back in time and wet a line on a prime Yateley Car Park in search of Heather or the Dustbin, or cast a bait into the unknown at Wraysbury in the hope of landing a British record, I still believe this type of fishing is out there today for those who wish to pursue it.
Add to this the huge amount of great sport to be had at hundreds of day-tickets, club waters, and syndicates around the country, and I’d say it’s a pretty good time to be a carp angler. But while we enjoy catching these fish, lets not forget the intriguing history of our sport.
Dave Lane, Nigel Sharp, Pete Springate and Terry Hearn (to name a few) all have fascinating books that capture the true adventure of carp fishing, and remind us that it’s that adventure and the journey along the way that make carp fishing what it is.
ENGLAND LADS WINNING GOLDS. Great news on page 4 of the Mail this week with the England under-18 and under-23 teams doing us proud at the World Coarse Fishing Championships.
BIG CARP ON THE PAGES OF ANGLER’S MAIL. August can be a tough time of year to catch big carp, but captures of some real crackers are still flowing in! Check out the specimens on page 9 of this week’s Mail.
MULLARKEYS – THE LATEST FATALITY IN THE TACKLE SHOP INDUSTRY. It’s tough times out there and it’s never nice to see long-standing companies such as these having to shut.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
ANGLER’S MAIL ace Steve Collett shows you our great free gift that is stuck on the front cover of this week’s printed magazine.