CC Moore
Ian Chillcott Columnists

The smile says it all!

Our time in the outside world should be enough to put a smile on our faces… shouldn’t it?

Over the past five years we have discussed, on a couple of occasions I believe, what motivates people to go carp fishing, and just as importantly exactly what they want from it. There isn’t a carp angler amongst us that hasn’t gazed at some form of angling literature, be it books, magazines or more often than not these days, the intro-webby-doodah-thingy, with a wistful look in our eye. It can be a great source of inspiration, whether this satisfies our search for a new water, a new target or simply finding the will to keep on keeping on.

Over the years, and probably mostly whilst I was in the very time restrictive period of my life, the Army, I found solace in the pages of newspapers and magazines. It made me more determined than ever to one day see my hopes and dreams laying on an unhooking mat before me. Oddly enough, it never seemed to be about the people that had caught those fish. It didn’t matter to me what they had caught it on, or strangely enough, what social standing the person held in the carp fishing world. In fact, the more that person represented some kind of importance, the less notice I took of them. Strange how things turn out in life isn’t it?

However, probably one of the biggest things that stopped me taking them so seriously, was the fact they never looked to be very happy about catching a carp that most of us ‘mere mortals’ wouldn’t have minded sawing an arm off to catch. Looking at their sullen, “I don’t need to be happy because I catch loads of these all the time, and I’m getting rather used to it” smile, made me wonder why they went carp fishing at all! And of course, that leads to another rather unnerving problem. When people in the limelight start to do things as a matter of course, it is often the public, which supports them in their search for stardom, who start to do the same… whatever the ramification!

Our time in the outside world should be enough to put a smile on our faces… shouldn’t it?

Fashion-following is something of a mystery to me, but I do understand it from time to time. After all, if a successful angler is doing well and advertising what he is doing well on, it stands to reason that a certain percentage will follow along blindly, like lemmings free falling off a cliff face. I lose the will to live at the thought of people who take fashion following to a level where even their facial expressions and posture is believed to be the secret to taking them to the ultimate credence level.

Now, I guess it’s worth mentioning, I reckon we all go carp fishing to enjoy ourselves… don’t we? Even if the session doesn’t produce a carp, spending time in the outside world should bring a smile to our faces. Watching the sun rise and set over the water, and the wildlife entertaining us with its company, are all things which should make us glad to be alive. Therefore, I cannot understand why the capture of a carp makes some of us look like they’ve have had a bit of an accident in their underpants!

It doesn’t have to be monster to make you smile

Let’s look at this from another angle (excuse the pun) for a second. I agree this example is considerably more important than catching a carp, but can you imagine someone holding up their newborn baby for the camera looking at the little bundle like it’s a totally uninteresting and boring annoyance? I suppose it could be a little awkward if there is a poo-filled nappy in the equation, but would that dampen your smile? The same could be said of posing for a picture with a Lottery winning cheque. Will people take you more seriously if you gaze at it with a stern, “been there, done that” look on your face?

There is, however, even more to this strange and unbelievable reaction to catching a carp. Not only do you need to look as if you don’t care, you also need to hold your head at such an angle that makes you look as if you’re about to create a completely unique DVD about yoga. I have often wondered, as I study catch shots, just how impossible I believe it is for someone to crane their neck at such an angle. And for the life of me, I cannot see what relevance that has on the capture of a carp! Maybe yoga does has something to do with it after all, because it looks to me like some have trained for long periods, and very intensely too, in the bathroom mirror to allow their bodies to form into such unnatural positions.

My hopes and dreams lay on the mat

It’s impossible not to think that some feel ‘looking good’ is the ultimate target when taking a picture, and fashion seems to dictate you don’t need to smile if you yearn to be taken seriously. And if you can crack a vertebrae or two in your neck to get the position of your head right, then you will have no doubt of your standing in carp angling notoriety. Carp handling and care is a thought for another day, but you can’t help feeling when you see such anomalies that the last thing on the anglers mind is the wellbeing of what he has just caught. Is it so important to get the pose just right?

I have never understood why people go carp fishing if it fails to make them smile whilst trying to achieve their goals, which often makes me wonder why the hell some go fishing in the first place. It’s the same in all walks of life really, and whilst I’m not suggesting that you ought to be beaming from ear to ear as you make your way to work at half past six in the morning, there is more to our existence than that. It’s those escapes from everyday life which are supposed to cheer us up, enabling our faces to crease into huge grins.

The smile says it all!

I have an American truck parked on my drive, and at 6.2 litres it can very often represent a massive fuel bill. However, that fuel consumption often reminds me of the extensive motoring I do for my angling… but hey, it’s not about the miles per gallon, it’s all about the smiles per gallon! Just my opinion of course.