My dad loves fishing, and so did his dad before him, so I was only ever going to end up the same! From an early age I planned on forging a career in fishing. In fact, following a holiday tuna-fishing trip I decided that I would be a deep-sea fisherman in America aged 10! This was until the next time I went out on a boat and experienced seasickness!
Although my mind had turned to other things in the meantime, just before I left school I got back into carp fishing, which I’d been obsessed with for the first two or three years of senior school. The bug never truly dies if you love something, and from the day I left school, it’s all I’ve ever channelled myself into.
I became good friends with Derek ‘The Don’ Richie that year and he was an inspiration to me in some ways; although certainly not for the horrendous trance music he listens to, but for the way he lived and breathed carp fishing, and made his living out of it at the time. I came from a relatively well-to-do background, so you can imagine their dismay when I told my parents that I wanted to become a carp fisherman, and earn my living that way. As parents should, they tried their best to guide me away from that choice and it caused us a few problems at first, until they grasped how truly serious I was about it all. It’s a strange old pastime and I’m sure that the way it can take over your life is a bit scary to normal human beings! My parents are, however, people that had succeeded by doing what they love and with time they embraced my plans, and have supported me ever since, for which I owe them a lot, as support from your family is like no other.
Eventually I landed myself a job at Korda Developments, who need no introduction, and it was there that my life in the industry began. I was a right pain in the arse, constantly breaking the rules, turning up late, doing and saying things I shouldn’t, but it was a proper job, in a man’s world. I should’ve been sacked a few times I’m sure, but my passion for carp fishing was never in doubt and this never went unnoticed. I also loved writing and photography, and was eventually given the opportunity to embrace it, moving into the marketing department, and honing all sorts of new skills.
As times changed and the company grew, the filming became a huge part of my role, and being the creative mind that I am, I loved this new world. I learned so very much during the 8 years I spent at Korda and they turned me from an immature young boy with a love for carp fishing, into a man with proper life skills, some direction, and an even stronger love for carp fishing, which I will always be grateful for.
I’ve always envisioned going my own way and it was inevitable that I eventually began to look at the industry and work out how I would not only be able to make my mark, but also at how I would truly be able to see my ideas come to life. I want to inspire people, as people have inspired me, and in order to do that, you need complete control of your own destiny. The rest is history, and Cypography is my chance to create something I can be proud of, my chance to inspire people, and entertain. I’m a happy guy, who knows what he loves.
I don’t produce this alone. During my time at Korda, I met Richard Stewart; he’s one of the good guys, and is now one of my best friends. With years in the industry under his belt too, a love for angling of all kinds, and a talent for both the written word and anything that involves cameras, he was the obvious choice when it came to finding a helping pair of hands. He’s been my shoulder to lean on for many years, we’ve worked together at Korda and now we’re working together again, which I’m very pleased about. They say you shouldn’t mix business with friends, but this is more than work, and hopefully this will come across in our films.
IN THIS ISSUE...
If ever we all needed a FOUR-HOUR carp bonanza, then it’s probably now, right? (If you’re reading this in the future, we’re all locked in our homes, with no pasta or toilet roll.) So, settle in while we ease your passage through yet another day of those same four walls!
This month sees the return of ‘Uncle’ Jim Shelley, as we give him our signature grilling in For The Record. In an interview that’s frank, straight-talking and surprisingly funny, Jim opens up about everything: from being ‘dragged up’ in Essex, his part in what many consider the golden era of the UK big-carp scene, to what hardcore carping is now that he’s the wrong side of 50, and a whole lot in between. Put it this way, it’s a lot better than daytime TV!
Elliott’s Cold-Water Campaign rumbles on, as he tries everything he knows to find a chink in the scaly armour of those cunning Cotswold whackers, and with the lake seemingly on shutdown, our man sticks to his guns, and… well… catches!
Another guy bringing us along on his latest campaign is Monster Carp’s Neil Spooner, who has his heart set on a monster much closer to home than those he pursues for ITV. In fact, this remarkable carp, James’ Fish, lives in a tiny Essex pool, and its prodigious growth rate earned it the moniker, The Miracle Baby (from us no less). Having banked almost all the other residents, Neil has devised a cunning plan to trap the wary beast this spring, but what could possibly go wrong?
Scott Lloyd rounds off our headliners this month, with a location masterclass for those of us who want to get on fish more often. This guy is eyeball-to-eyeball with carp most of the time he’s at the lake, and we couldn’t resist picking his brains on how to take advantage of the early rising opportunities that occur at even the busiest circuit waters.
If that little lot weren’t enough, we’ve also got Alfie Russell on watercraft, James Armstrong on falling in, Joe Morgan’s Catch of a Lifetime, urban carping legend Jon Lam’s best blag, the strangest occurrence that Martin Pick’s seen while bankside, and the venue that Jon McAllister would plump for given the choice of, well, any lake at any time.
Finally, we've got a couple of our famed unsponsored reviews, with the Fortis Elements Fleece getting the benefit of Elliott’s abuse, and Korda’s intriguing Kamakote under the spotlight in What’s New.
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Our mission is simple – to make beautiful fishing films that you’ll all love. Unfortunately for us, that’s where the simple bit ends. In order to make this happen we’re working hard to persuade the best names in angling to step in front of our cameras, then the pressure’s well and truly on to make something memorable! Fear not though, we’re confident that you’re going to love what we’ve got for you. We’re a passionate bunch here, and we want you to joins us as we journey in search of the beating heart of the UK carp scene. Take your first step and hit subscribe now! Thanks for reading!