Carpworld - - CONTENTS - -Ru­pert White­man

The edi­tor looks at the big news story about the Lac du Der com­mon than ended up in a small French com­mer­cial lake, and how a week up in the north­ern bad­lands of York­shire, at the Carp­world of­fices, has left him miss­ing out on feed­ing carp, com­pletely drained and in dire need of a hot bath...

In light of the events at the start of May, I sup­pose it would be rude not to start by giv­ing my thoughts on the whole, sorry episode that has taken place re­gard­ing the huge com­mon and the vast Lac du Der in France. Firstly, I’d like to say, prob­a­bly for the last time, just what a won­der­ful thing so­cial me­dia can be – when used ap­pro­pri­ately!

You couldn’t help but sit up and no­tice, when the whole of the Euro­pean carp scene seemed to rally around, af­ter Samir Arebi fi­nally un­earthed the truth. It fol­lowed 18 months’ worth of un­der­cover de­tec­tive work that ul­ti­mately came to fruition with an im­por­tant con­clu­sion. Fig­ures on Face­book alone, show that well over 10,000 peo­ple got in­volved in­di­rectly – mean­ing the reach would have been some way north of that too. Ab­so­lutely crazy stuff!

No­body knows for sure but, fol­low­ing on from some fairly se­ri­ous ru­mours shortly af­ter its orig­i­nal cap­ture as an un­known fish from Lac du Der, it had ap­par­ently been caught again (soon af­ter­wards) and moved to a com­mer­cial wa­ter some­where in France. Samir started try­ing to piece to­gether ex­actly what could have hap­pened. With a mul­ti­tude of pre­dom­i­nantly English-owned hol­i­day venues in the area, it was go­ing to be a long and ar­du­ous task, wait­ing to spot the fish, when and if it ap­peared in some form of pub­lic­ity in the me­dia.

Un­be­known to us, Carp-talk (is­sue 1223) in­ad­ver­tently set the ball rolling with a post re­gard­ing a huge com­mon that had been caught a cou­ple of weeks pre­vi­ously. Noth­ing was noted as the re­port passed through the of­fice – but as Etang du Bois had al­ready pro­duced a fish only a cou­ple of pounds smaller, why should it?

For Samir, on the other hand, it was ex­actly the mo­ment he’d been wait­ing for, as the images could be com­pared to the Lac du Der photos for the first time (the orig­i­nal cap­tor had only taken shots of the right flank) and the give­away was a soli­tary small scale, near the vent. Af­ter a more thor­ough anal­y­sis of the scale pat­tern and any other iden­ti­fy­ing fea­tures, it was deemed to be one and the same carp.

Fol­low­ing on from a tele­phone call, the owner of Etang du Bois agreed to re­turn the fish the next time it was caught and in a kind twist of fate, or karma, the carp was caught by an an­gler on the very same even­ing! Plans were then set in place with the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties and by early the next morn­ing, the huge com­mon was videoed swim­ming off strongly, back into its right­ful home. I do love a happy end­ing!

Aside from that, we are a full month into the new sea­son and I still haven’t man­aged to get my rods out in anger yet. I had a half-hearted at­tempt on the Church at Hor­ton dur­ing the sec­ond week of the sea­son but it was fairly busy and, de­spite a lost fish on the first morn­ing, my heart wasn’t re­ally in it. The fish were in­cred­i­bly ac­tive, show­ing all over the lake but, to the best of my knowl­edge, mine was the only take dur­ing those two days.

I even had a novice’s at­tempt at snar­ing one off the top, from the Boat Pool dur­ing the more re­cent sunny spell. Suf­fice to say, I didn’t man­age that ei­ther. I had all man­ner of ex­cuses on the day – they weren’t fully awake, the sun was that lit­tle bit too hot, the wa­ter slightly too wet, a poorly-judged wind and some ridicu­lous un­der­tow were all partly to blame. It would have had noth­ing what­so­ever to do with my re­peat­edly cast­ing right on top of the few fish that were ac­tu­ally con­tem­plat­ing the odd floater or two...

As is al­ways the way, dur­ing my en­forced ex­ile to sunny York­shire they have well and truly switched on, with a num­ber of very large fish hav­ing been caught over the en­su­ing pe­riod. So I am now fran­ti­cally writ­ing this, mean­ing I can shuf­fle off back down south af­ter a week in the bad­lands. My first pri­or­ity will be a nice, long bath, af­ter one too many strip-washes in the out­door toi­let at the of­fice this week. Then I’ll re­fresh the bat­ter­ies and spend some qual­ity time with my daugh­ter, Lily, over the week­end be­fore head­ing off for al­most a full week’s worth of pho­tog­ra­phy and the oc­ca­sional night on ei­ther Hor­ton or Wrays­bury.

In a lit­tle over two weeks, I shall be sit­ting in a swim at my beloved Abbey. I’ve had an in­cred­i­bly busy year, even if I do say so my­self, and although I’m yet to con­firm my trav­el­ling/fish­ing com­pan­ion, I couldn’t re­ally care less who they may be. The thought of un­wind­ing with my toes dipped in the cool, clear mar­gins will far out­weigh any of the po­ten­tial laughs and shenani­gans of a planned so­cial.

Hope­fully, we will get to catch a few along the way, and so long as who­ever does bag the spare seat re­mem­bers to bring my din­ner round at 6pm, sharp ev­ery night, and make them­selves scarce (with plenty of time still left for me to get the rods sorted well be­fore sun­set), I am sure it’ll be lovely times all round...

BE­LOW Nowhere I’d rather be...

LEFT Mini me...

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