Carpworld - - CONTENTS - -Ru­pert White­man

Ru­pert looks back on his fish­ing jour­ney over the last 30 years

The year 1988 seems such a very long time ago now. When the first is­sue of Carp­world ap­peared I was just over a year into a mourn­ing spell, brought on by the mighty Spurs’ shock de­feat to Coven­try in the F.A. Cup fi­nal of the sum­mer be­fore. I don’t know about you lot but I can vividly re­mem­ber is­sue No.1 like it was yes­ter­day. I couldn‘t af­ford it, mind. But I def­i­nitely re­mem­ber it!

The cover was as iconic a shot as I’ve seen over the years, cer­tainly from a mag­a­zine’s per­spec­tive, so I hope you all like this month’s of­fer­ing, an homage to the orig­i­nal. And the man. All the more poignant in light of re­cent events... Many thanks to Craig Stan­nard for tak­ing the time out of his life to ‘rus­tle some­thing up’ at short no­tice – the end re­sult is per­fect!

So much has hap­pened over the past 30 years that if I tried to put it all into words, I’d prob­a­bly have to rope off the next cou­ple of is­sues just for my­self. Don’t worry though, I won’t, as I dread hav­ing to com­mit to these few, short words each month as it is!

In 1988, the fire was just be­gin­ning to burn for me. Sum­mer hol­i­days had been spent with friends as usual. We’d been hav­ing a go for a year or two by that stage but, even in those days, the strug­gle was al­ready real and the sin­gles and low to mid-dou­bles I was catch­ing from farm ponds, neigh­bour’s gar­dens and the odd day out to a club wa­ter close to the near­est town, re­ally didn’t seem to be quite what it was all about. Es­pe­cially when you’d over­hear the oc­ca­sional ru­mour, in hushed tones, as to what they were catch­ing just down the road, on wa­ters such as LSA’S Amwell and the Ab­botts – and also Cartha­gena, the Crown and those pits snaking fur­ther up the val­ley to­wards Lon­don that were shrouded in mys­tique.

For a young teenager living in the coun­try­side in the 80s, just be­ing able to visit the near­est fish­ing em­po­rium, Simp­son’s of Turn­ford, was one of life’s lux­u­ries, a rare treat, and even if my Mum got bored and wanted to go af­ter 15-30 min­utes, that op­por­tu­nity to walk around, wide-eyed, gaz­ing at all the lat­est, new­fan­gled bits, baits and gad­gets for a short time was treated as a proper, spe­cial out­ing!

Things were (very) dif­fer­ent back then, with life in gen­eral and not just fish­ing. It’s amaz­ing to sit back and see how far we’ve come, or re­gressed, in a rel­a­tively short pe­riod of time. Most of the peo­ple I as­so­ci­ate with on the bank and in the of­fice would strug­gle to be­lieve that we had to get by on a de­flated foot­ball, a hand-me-down push­bike of some de­scrip­tion and the oc­ca­sional gun­shaped branch for en­ter­tain­ment back then.

So, to be in pos­ses­sion of two mis­matched rods, a shiny pair of Mitchells and, if I re­mem­ber, just the one Heron in­di­ca­tor was not to be sniffed at. In days of short sup­ply, I had to be con­tent with the fish­ing at my dis­posal and read­ing about those hal­lowed wa­ters would have to suf­fice. De­spite none be­ing more than ten miles away from my front door, they were tan­ta­lis­ingly out of reach. The sto­ries con­jured up imag­i­nary scenes and land­scapes, to be kept in my sub­con­scious, un­til I would be able to drive and ex­pe­ri­ence them for my­self.

I’d love to wax lyri­cal about how upon re­ceiv­ing my first set of car keys, I hit the loud pedal and made my way south, emp­ty­ing the Colne and

Things were (very) dif­fer­ent back then, with life in gen­eral and not just fish­ing

Blackwater val­leys, à la Hearn, as I went. Un­for­tu­nately, life got in the way and by the time I was old enough to drive, other things proved far more of a dis­trac­tion and it was to be quite a while be­fore I found my­self sat by the wa­ter again...

To quote Rod Ste­wart: “I wish I knew what I know now, when I was younger!”

Back to the present and as per, I’m run­ning around, hav­ing a jug­gle and try­ing to keep more than a few bits air­borne. As of last week, that be­came a lit­tle eas­ier as I parted ways with RK Leisure af­ter nearly four years gain­ful – de­pend­ing who you speak to, of course – em­ploy­ment.

I had a won­der­ful time (see on these pages) and met some great peo­ple along the way, more than a few of whom, I’ll be keep­ing in touch with in the fu­ture. I’m gen­uinely sad to no longer be work­ing there as the last few months had threat­ened to give me the op­por­tu­nity to present my daugh­ter with a way of life I didn’t think was pos­si­ble un­til re­cently. But, such is life and as is al­ways the way, op­por­tu­ni­ties seem to present them­selves at just the right time and as much as noth­ing is set in stone just yet, I’m sure things will be sorted once again by the time you are read­ing this. Ev­ery cloud, and all that jazz...

On to more press­ing mat­ters and as al­ready cov­ered in just about ev­ery ed­i­to­rial so far, there is an­other im­pend­ing trip to Abbey. As planned, it’ll be the fan­tas­tic four from the first trip, plus guests, but we’ve got the whole lake this time, although the book­ing com­prises an­other group of three who will be join­ing us for the du­ra­tion. This one will most def­i­nitely be a fish­ing hol­i­day too. Once I’m checked in and re­ported back safe ‘n’ sound to the pow­ers that be in the UK, the phone is go­ing off and a much needed break from re­al­ity will be strictly en­forced!

It will un­doubt­edly be sear­ingly hot. Whilst we have all been moan­ing about the sun over here of late, rou­tinely, their weather ap­pears to have been some ten de­grees warmer, in the up­per 30s. I know for a fact, sit­ting in that for seven days will be ab­so­lutely no fun what­so­ever. Ev­ery fly­ing, biting, crawl­ing thingy will be zip­ping about, fully charged. The rivers of sweat will not stop and any pre­con­ceived ideas you have on keep­ing liq­uids cool just will not work, no mat­ter what you try.

On a plus note, the fish are all sea­soned cam­paign­ers, hav­ing been there over 20 years. They know the ‘ap­ple’ by now. And so long as one or two play ball, all the mozzies in the world couldn’t make it worse than a week stuck in an of­fice.

Hope­fully Oc­to­ber’s ed­i­to­rial will be smoth­ered in big carps once again, although I’ll be the right side of the lens for a change...

Be lucky.

Clos­ing the gates for the last time. It’s been emo­tional


I’m sure this is but one of many last­ing re­minders TO A BONA fide LE­GEND DOT­TED AROUND THE COUN­TRY

Hav­ing a lit­tle free­lance dab­ble to keep my eye in

I told you he was just toss­ing them back last time... Hope­fully he’ll try a bit harder this time around

My wing­man for the up­com­ing trip across the chan­nel will once again be the charm­ing Mr Wright

I’m fairly sure win­ters won’t be the same at any other venue I made some good friends along the way. Rob Mc­gloin and Fin­gers at 50lb-plus

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