Carp Angling Intimidation Brigade
For those of you old enough to remember, this isn’t a Hovis advert – Honest! But…having started off 40 years ago fishing for roach with a size one hook, 20 maggots on the hook, casting 20lb line from a nigh-on ‘my little pony’ fishing reel, through the eyes of a six foot white glass boat rod…my passion was lit! 5 years on at the ripe old age of 11, I had shaped my skills and equipment and was fishing for roach, rudd and perch at my local venue having first completed my paperound with enough pocket money to buy myself a packet of size 20 hooks and half a pint of maggots.
Every weekend, rain or shine I would climb aboard my Chopper and cycle like mad to the lakes edge and happily fish my tits off throughout my youth. At the age of 15, I had fished with whips, roach poles, match rods with old Abu closed spools and had ended up finding myself ledgering for Tench. The Old tinca-tinca red eye kept me entertained whilst watching bottle tops rise a few inches over borrowed knitting needles from my mother’s needle work draw! (sorry Mum if your reading this).
From ledgering to swing tipping, from swing tipping to quiver tipping and then finally, after nearly two decades of ‘noddy bashing’ I found CARP and then followed swiftly, the CARP INDUSTRY INTIMIDATION BRIGADE !
WOW……the dark art of all angling. The mysterious ‘invite-only’ into the secret squirrels ‘hush-hush’ club. My first ever introduction to fishing intimidation. It mattered not that I’d earned my own stripes and caught great specimens in the little league ‘noddy’ brigade where all seemed colourful, positive and upbeat. If I was to become an important CARP ANGLER then I’d need to learn the ropes of having to deal with the CARP INTIMIDATION BRIGADE!
A strange folk in their own right, they live in (some) tackle shops and are seen drinking tea all day, also found by lakes and rivers and are ever apparent on the Internet.
This rare breed live by simple but structured rules. I know this as I was fortunate enough to stumble upon one of their enlistment pamphlets. Although they do not form part of the majority gang, I believe the conditions to embark their way of life are quite straight forward!
Stage 1 – BEING APPROVED
Firstly You would need to sit around tackle shops and act aloof. You’d need to make any enthusiastic or potential customer feel uncomfortable and relay a feeling that he is stupid and should therefore remain inferior. It would be a requirement to talk about captures that never happened, or brag about being a very special field tester for a very important company, when in fact what it really meant was you could get your bait cheaper if you paid cash through the back door! You would need to know every rig and state it was better than the incoming anglers version and then negatively state that ‘their rig wouldn’t catch a cold’. It would be a requirement to pay hiked up prices for anything with a carp or carp related picture on it. To walk past the coarse fishing aisle or the sea fishing aisle and completely turn away from the price tags, because it wouldn’t be cool to pay half the price for the same product.
Stage 2 – KNOW YOUR TRADE
You will need to have spent weeks and months and years studying regurgitated magazine articles that would be recreated under a different named angler and practice saying ‘Yeah I fished with him, he’s a right numpty’ so you can quote them verbatim. You’ll have to ignore or close one eye when you viewed an angler in the carp-comics with the same capture wearing 3 or 4 different branded T shirts and pretend that kind of thing never happens. Make sure that catchy logo’s and expensive packaging are your first choice for product selection because they will definitely catch you more carp. Once you have learned these ropes, you may then continue in your chosen career and move upwards into the real realms of carp fishing intimidation.
Stage 3 – FINESSE YOUR INTIMIDATION
Get yourself to the Carp Shows!! Firstly, choose a brand where it’s cool to say you fish for them even though you don’t. Nestle up to other like-minded rookies within the brand and practice looking unapproachable, miserable, aloof and intimidating. Once mastered, fold your arms and finesse unaccommodating body language. Have pictures on your smart phone so you are able to show any potential customer that you have very expensive equipment (irrelevant of experience or having ever used it) and remember to shout about how much it cost you. ‘Higher Cost = Higher Accreditation!’
If anyone approaches you, make them feel unimportant and uncomfortable. Make them feel they should look up to you because you are associated to that big brand and thefore know everything there is to know about every situation in carp fishing. Let them know that unless they pay a high premium for bait or carp related equipment then ‘obviously’ they stand little chance of catching carp. Try to convince them there are millions of suppliers in China (not just a handful) and that all the other ‘cheaper’ brands source their products from shoddy sweatshops pushing out hooks made from buckled wheels!
If dared to be challenged, and asked what do you think about other respected brands product, then firstly don’t forget that body language and the sneering unapproachable looks you’ve been taught and then dig deep into your carp angling career as a ‘just add water’ expert in all things carp related and tell them ‘Its Crap!’ It won’t matter that you’d never have heard of the company or the product. It won’t matter that you’ve never used it or even know what it’s for! As long as you keep brainwashing that potential customer that paying ridiculous amounts of money for a well and truly over inflated carp related product is the right thing to do, then you are well and truly underway in becoming an elitist carp angling ego maniac.
Stage 4 – CREATE YOUR EGO
You are nearly there….you’ve got to feel comfortable in your skin as a Carp Intimidation Brigade Recruit so here’s a few more tricks to learn and you will soon receive the last of your stripes. Now it’s time to move up the chain again. It’s time to start adding an EGO to your list of skill-sets. It’s time to start writing articles for the carp comics. Don’t choose some of the respected mags, go for the ones that give annual awards for committed advertising funds. You know, the ones that don’t list all of the detail and product in which a carp is captured on in order to protect its advertisers. Don’t start trying to get yourself known in any of the impartial publications, that would be stupid and will work against everything you’ve learned so far!! So here goes, firstly, do the research and see what’s been written before. Make up a new, flashier, modern name and plagiarise the content so it looks like you’ve just invented carp fishing ‘over and over and over again’ and get the same ideas and concepts published as many times as is possible. The more rebadged, repainted, refurbished published articles, then of course the more badges you will receive. It’s important to Remember, that those unexpected keen, enthusiastic and eager to learn carp idiots love all that! WORK HARD to make it come across that if the reader has never caught a twenty, or a thirty, or a forty pound carp, that he truly is an idiot and that he should break his rod over his knee and burn all his fishing tackle. Let it be known that he shouldn’t really be enjoying his fishing until he has managed to get his magnificent captures in the carp comics. You should also be aware that if not a 20 or a 30 or a 40 and if not presented to the carp comics then quite frankly, his captures don’t count! Educate him that every rig and article shown in these comics will catch him hundreds of carp at his very next session. We say educate him, but of course, he should know this anyway!
Stage 5 – DISREGARDING THE IDIOTS WHILST REMAINING ARROGANT
If you can, stamp out the non-ego angler, the every-day angler. He’s a weakling! Let him know his ‘efforts versus rewards’ approach to angling is just a silly notion and that watercraft is a myth. Laugh hysterically at his captures under 10lb because let’s face it,(as stated above) unless it’s over 30lb it’s not worth mentioning and probably wouldn’t have given him or his son the slightest pull on his rod or feeling of unity in what was once known as a beautiful past time.
Stage 6 – TROLLING FOR KICKS
Once you have achieved levels 1 to 6 , by default, you are now considered masterful in the art of ‘TROLLING’ or being a ‘TROLL’. We deem this to be the ‘special forces’ of our brigade and fully encourage sabotaging others brands online followings and communities. That’s where the anonymous camouflage comes into play and you can become a full on keyboard warrior! The vast anonymity and feeling of moist wonderment whilst remaining a legend in your own underpants is the pinnacle of your ‘Intimidation and egotistical carper’ brigades passing out ceremony.
Then and only then my son… can you be proud of being a part of bringing such a wonderful, educational, passionate and enjoyable hobby into TOTAL DISREPUTE!
Note to Readers:
This piece is a ‘banter led’ but mindful ‘tongue-in-cheek’ smack at the few (but thankfully not the many) within our Carp Industry who need to take a seriously hard look at themselves and how they are allowing intimidation to fester in Carp Angling. We take our hat off to those future-thinking carp brands who work tirelessly to bring superb product to their customer base at the ‘right price’ and to those publications who truly remain impartial to our wonderful sport and can see where this industry needs to be heading in order to bring through the next generation of young carp anglers in a ‘safe and truthful environment’. Those publications that encourage their brilliant feature writers to tell it how it is, even if it is deemed a tough pill to swallow at times, we salute you and are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder alongside you!
‘Vive la Revolution’ – CherryCarp Marching On…!