Jerry Bridger aan het woord

Sommige namen zie je veel voorbij komen op social media of in de bladen en van sommige namen heb je misschien nog nooit gehoord. In onze rubriek ‘aan het woord’ interviewen we zowel bekende als onbekende karpervissers uit binnen- en buitenland. Op deze manier leren we niet alleen de persoon beter kennen, maar nemen we ook een kijkje in zijn of haar visserij. In deze editie spreken we met Jerry Bridger, de verkoop & marketing director van de Cipher group (Trakker products, Aqua products & Cygnet Tackle).  

First of all, thank you for making a contribution to this ‘interview'. For our readers who do not know you yet: who are you and what do you do in daily life?

Firstly a massive hello to the CarpFeeling crew and thank you for asking me to be involved in this interview. I’m 42 years old and am based in Sheffield, UK and have lived here in the north of England for the past 12 years. My day job is within the angling trade working for Cipher Group Ltd (which most people won’t have heard of) but the company owns the Trakker, Aqua and Cygnet Tackle brands. I’ve worked for the company since October 2012 and have covered various positions involving media & communications and sales. I’ve been angling for as long as I can remember and have lived and worked in a few different locations, London and Munich, Germany being two. Not surprisingly I have an obsession with carp angling and everything to do with it....luckily for me my job does allow me to combine the two.....but before you ask, sadly I don’t get lots of time to go fishing. Fishing business has to come first!

When it feels this good, you’re going the right things!

Can you tell something about how you got in the carp fishing industry, your career this far and so on?

My career and journey in the carp fishing industry started back in 2003 when the then assistant editor of UK Big Carp Magazine, Jon Banister asked me if I could contribute and compile some overseas content and articles. I was living in Munich, Germany at the time working for a global chemical supply company called Sigma-Aldrich. Jon was keen to see some different mainland European content and it was the perfect opportunity to further my enthusiasm for angling journalism. I took a new job back in the UK during 2004 which saw my love of angling journalism and photography grow even stronger. An opportunity then arose and I quit my day job to give a new start up magazine called Carp Addict my full attention, also working with Jon Banister. Then in 2006, after two very happy years I left Carp Addict magazine and moved to Sheffield, England to work for Angling Publications Ltd (Carpworld magazine). In two spells working for his company totaling nearly 7 years I was involved in both angling journalism and advertising sales. Then in 2012 and opportunity arose to join Trakker Products in a Sales & Marketing role. Since then my role has developed and more responsibility also followed, most recently being appointed as Director of Sales, Marketing & Product Development with full responsibility of UK & European business across three brands – Trakker, Aqua Products & Cygnet Tackle. In 2017 I decided that I wanted to document some of my fishing adventures through video and learn how to video edit – another new skill that I wanted to understand more about. This was when the BullCam video blog series was born, published through Trakker’s YouTube channel. The response from viewers has been amazing, and I’ve been consistent with myself from start of the project, if people like what I do, I will keep doing them and enjoying sharing my bankside adventures in video form. So far, so good!

The Trakker UK Team, we’re a brotherhood of like-minded people & all great friends.

How do you combine your fishing with your personal life at home?

Combing angling time with anything requires planning so a his & hers calendar works really well for myself and Mrs BullCam! We have two daughters aged 10 and 11, plus a Miniature Dachshund, two cats and, not surprisingly, they all command a slice of my time, and of course there are work commitments to fit in! I try to balance my life as much as possible, as too much of any one thing isn’t healthy. I try and plan two overseas trips per year and a lot of my UK fishing is now filming-related with virtually no personal fishing anymore. I go fishing when time allows, and I make sure that I enjoy every minute of it.

Don’t forget to smile!
Don’t forget to smile!

How long have you been fishing and how did you came in contact with it?

My love for fishing started when I was 8 years old. I was on holiday with my mother and she took me on a sea fishing trip on boat. From that moment I was absolutely hooked and the obsession started. One fishing trip

You wrote a few carp related articles and you have been around for a while. What do you like and don’t like about modern day carpfishing?

I used to write a lot of articles and I also edited a lot of other people’s article during nearly 10 years working within angling journalism! I’m a very positive person and I think the modern-day carp scene has developed massively and the more people that are involved in fishing, the better. I don’t just mean this commercially, as I know how special angling is for people who discover it and how it can obsess and occupy the mind. What’s not to like about angling?

A fish from the 18,960 km2 Lake Ontario in Canada with the city of Toronto in the background.

Can you tell something about the Trakker team and what you would like to achieve in the nearby future?

For me the Trakker team also includes the staff that now work for the Cipher Group (the holding company for the Trakker, Aqua and Cygnet brands.) I just want everyone to be successful and happy. I do take things very seriously that it’s down to me to make the right decisions to ensure that everyone has a long-term job and can pay their bills!  Specific achievements would be for the team to continue to develop leading edge carp fishing products that people get excited about and want to buy and be proud of using.

Which thing do you hate/dislike the most in de carpscene now a days?

There isn’t anything specific that I dislike about the carp scene, I just dislike people (who in general) who can’t be happy for other people’s successes. Jealously and arrogance are two horrible human emotions that have no place for me or my group of close friends.

A golden oldie from 2004 – River Danube, Germany. 42lb.

 

If you could go back in time, would you do thing differently. Have you ever been sorry about something? If yes, what is it?

I’ve made mistakes through my life….actually, no actually that’s incorrect, I of course like anyone else human I’ve made some bad decisions and I’ve learnt from those poor decisions. As you journey through life, you evolve and learn as a person and making mistakes or making the wrong decisions is all part of the learning process. I genuinely wouldn’t change one thing as I live with a clear conscience and at 42years old I’m happy that I know myself rather well now! No one is perfect, so why try to achieve the impossible?

Which product is indispensable for you in your fishing?

There isn’t really one product that I couldn’t do without, except for a sharp hook and a hook bait that the fish want to pick up! My product selection is totally dictated by the type of angling that I’m doing but to answer the question directly for any extended fishing sessions, the shelter that I choose (my basecamp) must work for me. The Tempest bivvy in it’s various forms (Brolly & XL) cover my angling whether it be a quick session or several days on the bank.

A lot of my fishing has a camera somewhere in the background.

How do you handle/approach a new swim?

My choice of swim and the way I approach a new swim totally depends on the length of the session. Short sessions for under 24hours I choose a swim where fish are present and I just fish for them where they are. Session fishing or on a group French session where you choose a swim for a week-long session, you must adapt your tactics whereby you have to bait and wait for fish to arrive. Over the course of a week, you will get chances. In the latter scenario I will map out the swim (leading rod, marker float or echo sounder) to find the best possible spot and then bait that spot for the duration of the session.

How important are rigs in your fishery and what is your most used rig for you personally?

Incredibly important but I tend to use one rig for most of my angling. It normally features a size 4 Curved shank pattern hook, 30cm of 25lb coated braid, a shrink tube kicker, micro hook bead and a sliding micro ring swivel. This way I can add any hookbait or fish the rig with a bottom bait, wafter or pop up just by adding a weight.

Producing angling media doesn’t feel like word – it’s a privilege.

What is your favorite fish-related book or film?

Terry Hearn’s In Pursuit of the Largest. A totally captivating read.

What is your favorite bait, and why?

Boilies, boilies, boilies and some more boilies. Quick and effective fishing rules!

What is the most underestimated aspect of carpfishing for you?

Preparation of kit prior to going on any session. If your kit is fully prepared then you can totally spend your time watching and listening, not trying to find kit items that are hidden away amongst a mass of untidy tackle items.

Another Trakker filming project with all the team in attendance.

If I ask you about your favorite catch of all time, which fish will be the first to come to mind?

Landing three different 60lb+ carp from Les Teillatts during a session in 2017. Not so much because of the size of the fish but because the moments were captured on film & camera and the moments were shared with some great friends who made a special moment even more special. The feeling was electric!

How would you describe your ultimate CarpFeeling?

The ultimate CarpFeeling is when a friend captures a fish that is very special to them. The emotions of helping friends when they are in a complete state of shock following a big fish capture is just the best feeling ever.

What do you hope to achieve in the future in the sportfishing area?

From a fishing point of view, my personal goals are to keep enjoying every moment that I get on the bank. My priorities in angling aren’t focused towards my successes but for the enjoyment of everyone around me!  

Big commons seem to like me!

For the last and final question Jerry I want to ask you to leave a quote or a nice anecdote for the readers?

Savour every single moment and don’t forget to stop and smile.

Thank you very much for your cooperation and wish you all the best!

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