Carpworld - - CONTENTS - -Ru­pert White­man

Where have all the he­roes gone? Ru­pert won­ders if carp fish­ing has changed be­yond recog­ni­tion and those we once ad­mired for their achieve­ments are a dis­ap­pear­ing breed. Does the same ap­ply to carp fish­eries? Do the Red­mires and Terry Hearns ex­ist in mod­ern carp fish­ing or is ev­ery­one sim­ply go­ing to have their fif­teen min­utes of fame on so­cial me­dia?

Ishan’t bore you with the de­tails of any­thing else Abbeyre­lated for yet an­other ed­i­to­rial, other than to say it was such a good trip over there, I’ve af­forded my­self the lux­ury of a full-length fea­ture later in the is­sue! I couldn’t help but no­tice on my re­turn to the UK that the sun only had to dis­ap­pear for all of 6½ hours be­fore all the haters and moan­ers got set­tled in be­hind their key­boards for a week’s worth of flat-out snip­ing and bitch­ing again. When in hind­sight, they should all have re­alised that with the as­so­ci­ated drop in pres­sure, it was prob­a­bly the first time this sum­mer to ac­tu­ally bother get­ting their gear out and just go fish­ing in­stead.

It’s get­ting bloody te­dious now... That’s a topic for an­other day though. I don’t want to spoil my cur­rently buoy­ant, posthol­i­day state with such triv­ial mat­ters.

A cou­ple of the com­ments and as­so­ci­ated posts did give me food for thought though. What­ever hap­pened to the icons in carp fish­ing, both hu­man, and those that swim? Have we missed them? Do we need them? Will there be any more? I’m not for a minute sug­gest­ing we can’t sur­vive with­out them but it was al­ways quite nice to have some­thing to aim at when I was grow­ing up. Some­thing I could as­pire too. Some­body to read about. Some­where I’d re­ally want to go to. Some fish I’d re­ally fancy catch­ing. You know the kind of stuff. At least you should.

I ap­pre­ci­ate that noth­ing lasts for­ever and many of the an­glers and fish I re­mem­ber so well, have now started to shuf­fle off this mor­tal coil in re­cent years, and will con­tinue to do so with in­creas­ing reg­u­lar­ity, I don’t doubt. But there doesn’t seem to be any­one or any­thing com­ing through to re­place them. Why is that? Is it just that we’ve reached sat­u­ra­tion point and there isn’t room for any­one to stand out, or to find some­thing, or some­where, fresh any­more? I’m not for a minute sug­gest­ing that there aren’t any good, or even great, an­glers out there right now, but who’s car­ry­ing the torch for the next gen­er­a­tion? Where are the Walk­ers, Hil­tons and Hutchys? The Mad­docks, Mc­don­alds, Nashs and Al­cotts? The Holts, and the Hearns of this world?

There are a lot of peo­ple out there at present that are will­ing to quite un­justly blow smoke up their own a*ses. They even seem to ex­pect a pat on the back for do­ing so. So­cial me­dia is rid­dled with them of late. I’ve no­ticed a sim­i­lar theme while vet­ting po­ten­tial ar­ti­cles for the mag­a­zine too. The ma­jor­ity are writ­ten by peo­ple with an aw­ful lot to say, de­spite not hav­ing grounds for re­ally do­ing so.

And where are the fish? De­spite the fact that there were prob­a­bly only a hand­ful, or two, at best, of gen­uinely big fish, those of 40lb plus, in the coun­try 20 years ago. Each and ev­ery one was held in a revered state. That wasn’t just down to the size of them ei­ther. We don’t have many, if any, Claris­sas, Jacks, or Bazils, the Marys, Mallins and Two Tones or Black Mir­rors any more.

I wouldn’t even like to hazard a guess at just how many 40lb­plus carp are in the UK right now, yet out of all of them, I bet that it is still no more than a hand­ful that stand­out na­tion­wide, cer­tainly no more than that re­ally. Their homes seem to be shad­ows of their for­mer selves too.

Where once you could name but five or six ‘places to be’ – now there are a hun­dred. But their con­tents aren’t re­ally worth con­sid­er­a­tion... un­less, of course, you quite fancy hav­ing your name up in lights for all of five min­utes be­fore you’re su­per­seded by the next man (chas­ing a bait deal).

Stock lev­els have gone through the roof. With­out ex­ag­ger­a­tion, if you can’t lay claim to hav­ing three or more 40s in your lake these days, you are a ‘no­body’ – five is cer­tainly prefer­able, and that’s just for a day-ticket ven­ture. Syn­di­cates all need to have at least ten or more, just to qual­ify as cool. Some coun­ties didn’t even have that many un­til re­cently. Some still don’t!

And in my eyes, that is why peo­ple like Terry Hearn will never be re­placed. He was the last of the line, the end of an era. He was from a time when it was a race to see who was the first to have ten 40s. I re­mem­ber Dave Lane go­ing ham­mer and tongs with him to see who would be the first to catch three fifties, then five 50s... I know lads who have had (a lot more than) that in (half) a sea­son over the past cou­ple of years. Does that make them bet­ter than Tel, or Dave? Hell no!

It is ac­tu­ally quite wor­ry­ing to see the change in the ‘scene’ (god I hate that term) over the past decade. You used to have to earn your stripes, work your way up the ranks bit by bit. Now you can just log on, ‘add friend’ and chat to any­one of the cur­rent rank­ing mem­bers like you’re long lost bud­dies. Just be­cause you are rub­bing shoul­ders with them, doesn’t mean you are on re­motely the same level. Yes, we are all still hu­man. Yes, we can all catch fish. It’s just that some do it with a cer­tain style – in a man­ner that com­mands a cer­tain re­spect. They’re the ones that are in painfully short sup­ply these days.

The whole shoot­ing match has gone skew-whiff of late. I can’t see where change will come from ei­ther. It’s a sad in­dict­ment that a man who’s made some of his liv­ing from the com­mer­cial side of fish­ing, now sits back and thinks it’s too com­mer­cial, rather than lap­ping it up. That’s when you know there are is­sues!

ABOVE Will we ever see his kind again? An ab­so­lute hero to the peo­ple two gen­er­a­tions ei­ther side of his own...

BE­LOW Savay. It’s not just the per­son­al­i­ties – sadly, the hal­lowed grounds are in short sup­ply these days too

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