Back in July I was doing a night on my local syndicate, the weather was just right, the view was stunning, the food and company were great too. I blanked - it can't all be good! As always, a blank is followed by deep soul searching to figure out where I went wrong - was my hook link to short for the silt? Should I have even fished that rod in the silt? And all those kind of questions that go with it.
Whatever went wrong, it didn’t matter. As many of us know, the catch itself isn’t why we go fishing. We actually fish for everything that comes before the fish is on the bank. The early mornings, the driving wind and sideways rain, the 2am cup of tea after that single bleep on the alarm, the rush around the lake with a poorly loaded barrow while you move to showing fish, the sunrise that everyone else missed because they were up late watching Netflix on their sofa. It’s not just the catch we go fishing for – we fish for the enjoyment along the way.
The proof, is it that as an angler progresses they will seek out harder and harder venues, taking great pleasure in tackling a water with only a handful of carp, knowing they’re in for weeks of blanking with not so much as a take. Why would they do that if catching a fish was the sole purpose of carp angling? If that was the case, we’d all be huddled round an over stocked pond where fish come two for a penny. It’s the chase we love, the complete mental absorption in the doing... the enjoyment of the process.
That’s what it’s all about. That’s why we deal with all the pain in the process, because our enjoyment comes from overcoming those problems, and the trophy picture of your new PB is exactly that, a trophy for all the hard work that no one else sees!
It's exactly the same for me with launching and running Aptus. I absolutely love doing this, and it isn't tied to selling a certain number of swivels. It's in the overcoming of challenges. The late nights working to get something over the line. The breakthrough in getting a product just right. Finding a way of storing and organising hundreds of thousands of items of tackle. Finding a way of getting that tackle to customers quickly, and of course seeing people use our products successfully on the bank!
There's been some serious challenges the team and I have had to overcome. And some serious c*ck ups on my part as I've tackled something completely new. I've misprinted 10,000 labels on expensive biodegradable film. I've stayed up until 4am speaking to factories all around the world to source a product, only to find a better factory here in the UK (which of course we used!), I put aptustackle.co.uk on our tungsten putty labels instead of aptustackle.com (so we purchased that domain too - problem solved!). These challenges are what make it interesting - and we can only become better through our mistakes, in much the same way as angling.
Don't get me wrong, we have had some serious triumphs. There's a mind blowing range of hooks on the way for January 2021. We perfected the balance of tungsten in our tungsten products to delivery some truly awesome tackle. We successfully created a comprehensive range of premium, high performance terminal tackle with the fastest delivery available in our market. We successfully re-designed the terminal tackle packaging concept which I'm confident will lead to a complete removal of single use plastics in the tackle industry in a few short years. Through the challenges we have to celebrate the successes.
So in much the same way I set out on my syndicate to pursue a certain few fish. I've launched Aptus to pursue a certain few goals - one being to innovate and provide exciting, new and more effective tackle to anglers - to ultimately catch more fish, but also to make a long term positive difference to angling and our waters. Neither will be quick to achieve - just as any angler chasing the Burghfield Common knows it can't be done overnight. But if we didn't enjoy every minute of the process, as well as the end goal, none of us would do it. So it really is in the pursuit where the real fun is - although we may not believe it at the time!
I’ve never blogged before, so if you’ve got this far I'm surprised and grateful! We’ve got some great content lined up from awesome guest bloggers, great interviews, pictures, videos and stories to be put out across our social channels in the coming months, so if you haven’t already, give us a like/follow on Facebook and Instagram and you won’t miss out.