ANGLER’S MAIL HQ BLOG (Wed) – Dick Walker, carp fishing sponsorships, match fishing stars + highs and lows of the week
There will be something for everyone - pleasure fishing, carp fishing, match fishing, specialist fishing or anything else. This week’s Angler’s Mail HQ blog is by reporter Thomas Petch.
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DICK WALKER WILL BE TURNING IN HIS GRAVE
THE full story is in this week’s issue and it was a pleasure to speak to Dick’s wife Pat who still keeps in touch with his old angling fiends and is still as sharp as a needle.
Dick is one of the most influential anglers of all time and modern specimen fishing wouldn’t not be what it is today without him.
I read Stillwater Angling many times as a kid and it was a brilliant book.
But I can’t help thinking Dick wouldn’t be impressed with some aspects of today’s carp fishing scene and the “fish at all costs” brigade, breaking rules. And “instant big carp anglers” who might catch a 20 or even 30 as their first fish.
And I am still amazed every time we get a letter through simply asking ‘how can I get sponsorship’?
The vast majority of these are carp anglers who seem to think they can catch a couple of average fish and then be set up for life.
There’s very, very few sponsored anglers out there who actually make a living from angling, as was discussed yesterday in Steve Collett’s excellent match fishing blog. But virtually all who have a decent sponsorship will have done it the hard way and caught many big fish of national importance and also been professional in how they approached angling.
Virtually every letter we get is just a single line long of how can I get this, with no CV and no details of how they could help a company develop or market products.
We don’t just get a few, we’re now talking about a couple of hundred a year.
This epidemic hadn’t even started ten years ago and sat here at Mail HQ, I can’t help thinking that our neighbouring magazines like Rugby World, Golf Monthly, Shooting Times and World Soccer don’t get these letters in.
And why would they? Would a promising golfer, footballer, shooter or rugby player write in with that attitude, no professionalism and no CV at all? They’ll know they’ll need to make it into the big time and the rewards will follow. But in angling there seems to be this worrying trend that many new anglers seem to think angling owes them a living without a single thing to back it up.
My advice would be just enjoy your fishing. And if you’ve got real talent, desire and then success, like in all sports, you will get rewarded.
Match talent comes to the fore
I look after our Inside Line interview each week. After speaking to veterans World Champ Joe Roberts (current mag) and newly crowned £50,000 Maver Match This winner Les Thompson (in this week’s Action Replay feature, with more to come from him next week), I’m impressed with the hard work they put in.
Although I’m not and never would like to get into match fishing myself, I fully know how much hard work and dedication the top guys put into the sport.
From creating hundreds of pole rigs to putting in hours on motorways, you don’t get to the top level without all the hard work and the talent to match.
Be sure to check out a brilliant four-pager from Les. He is at Cob House which also hits our news pages…. an angler had to use EIGHT keepnets in a recent match!
I’ve been getting back a bit of action this summer – and had great fun with my six-year-old son Bryn, just getting him into small fish and not pushing him too hard at all into angling as I don’t want him to not like it!
He’s had fun on the whip at Twynersh in Chertsey and Harlesthorpe Dam in Derbyshire but his favourite time will have been to a camping trip to Fleet in Dorset.
We booked a three hour boat trip and he caught his first proper sea fish, a nice dogfish that he was thrilled about. Being allowed to go in the captain’s seat, steaming 30 minutes back to port was also a hit.
A trip to West Bay that holiday, saw us catch dozen upon dozen shore crabs plus some small spiders crabs and some very tasty large prawns.
And I’ve found a really nice new girlfriend who loves fishing. But Andrea who hails from New Zealand, was brought up sea fishing with her dad and brothers and just can’t get her head round us coarse anglers making all that effort to catch fish and put them back again. But I think I’ll save that topic for my next blog!
Getting kids into fishing: We reveal the young guns who won Daiwa tackle prizes in National Fishing Month this week.
Dick Walker: Departed this world in 1985, but as we reveal, interest in his exploits are still strong and there’s a brand new book out on the great man.
Fish kills: I know Kevin Nash wasn’t pleased to lose six prime carp, as we report on this issue – but I hope his wise words help other fisheries from similar heart-breaking losses.
Disabled angling gets no funding: With the Paralympics in full swing, we reveal the anger that England couldn’t afford to send a team to Portugal for the World Disabled Angling Champs.
AND FINALLY….PROMO VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
Here are the very latest promo videos to come to our attention. We also have lots more videos in our new TV player (top right on this page).
Urban carping gets a slick spotlight with Nash TV. Click this trailer:
New bargain rod does the lot – latest online TV demo from Dragon Carp: