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...
There's nothing remotely stuffy or old about our twentieth edition! In fact, there’s a distinctly indie feel to #CYP020 with headline contributions including a Belgium road trip for BrexCyp 2, Alfie Russell in For The Record, and life running a small, yet proud, bait firm for big-carp man, Joe Forrester. Here’s the detail…
After so many of you liked BrexCyp part one, the lads decided to immediately follow up with a jaunt to one of the infamous Belgian canals, in search of a gnarly and particularly huge common; or anything they could catch, to be fair… As is our rapidly becoming CYP style, the nights were late, the mornings were early, it rained (there were beers), and rods were bent, but not before Elliott, Dave and Ben were pushed to the absolute limits! As you’d expect from BrexCyp, you’ll be getting warts-and-all coverage of the realities of staging a road trip deep into foreign territory, with barely a clue about what awaits.
In complete contrast, our For The Record interview took place in the surprisingly calm, quiet surroundings of a London flat. Now, we’re well used to interviewing anglers who are, let’s say, somewhat more well endowed in years than our interviewee this month, Alfie Russell. Don’t let his tender age fool you though, because we found a remarkably mature, controlled and self-aware young man in front of our cameras that day, and what followed made for one of our favourite interviews yet. Life in London, fatherhood, the ethics of poaching and making a living from angling all feature…
Oxford Carp Baits’ Joe Forrester would easily warrant inclusion for his angling exploits over the last 15 years alone, despite many of them being off the beaten track… but, that’s not the film we wanted from him. We wanted to bring to light the realities of running a small bait firm in one of the most challenging and overpopulated marketplaces in our industry. Joe gave up a secure job several years back, to work out of his unit, with two kids to feed and no plan B. In A Day in The Life, Joe explains how it all happened, and just what it’s like to be a one-man brand in the bait game.
Aside from that little lot, you’ll also find Scott Lloyd’s game-changing moment, Gaz Fareham’s Quickfire grilling, Jake Wildbore’s Schoolboy Error and one of the strangest things Mark Bryant’s ever seen on the bank, as well as impartial reviews of the new Korda tackle box and Trakkers Hydro landing net.
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