This Angler's Mail match fishing blog comes from Preston Innovations-sponsored Frankie Gianoncelli, and looks at team fishing and its future.
TEAM fishing for some anglers is the most important and attractive aspect of the sport. Yet for others, it simply doesn’t even cross their mind. There must be an answer to this, why has team fishing dwindled in the past ten-15 years?
Personably I think this is down to one reason. The modern day match angler has gone money mad!
Anglers seem to neglect team fishing and push it aside. Yet they spend a considerable amount of time and money to hunt big cash events like the Fish’O’Mania and Match This. Is this solely down to anglers nowadays longing to push themselves and enhance their ego’s, or is team fishing simply not attractive enough, which forces angler’s to fish the big money qualifiers and open match scene?
I think the answer to this is quite simple. Anglers have to worry about pleasing the endless list of sponsors they have. They have to push themselves in order to climb the ego ladder and be the ‘top dog’, which conclusively costs a lot of money.
Anglers chase around the big events and hope that one day they will get their break and cash in.
You have to look at the expense of all of this commitment, coupled with the recession we have seen over the past ten years. Anglers can’t afford, ‘literally’ to rely on other anglers to fill their wallets and egos.
Team events cannot compete against the likes of Fisho and the Match This, in terms of the prize money they offer. They also don’t hold as much kudos for the winner.
Take the Division one national as an example. How many of you can name the Division One National winner, or the winning team for that matter?
I then ask how many of you can name this year’s Fishomania champion? Well in fact they are both team-mates and good friends of mine, Simon Fields and Andy Geldart. Both anglers put in a fantastic performance to win these two events.
Yet Andy picked up £30,000 for his efforts, as opposed to Simon’s £3,000. The difference in prize money is quite shocking when you analyse how both anglers won their events. Andy won a 130-peg qualifier, which then progressed him to the famous 16 peg final at Cudmore. Overall Andy had beaten 146 anglers along the way to being crowned Fisho Champion. On the other hand Simon battled it out to win the Division One title against 600 anglers, yet only picked up £3,000 for his efforts.
It doesn’t take a genius to see why team fishing has unfortunately dwindled so much. I can hazard a guess as to what 99 percent of the match anglers in England would rather win, and this unfortunately is one of the major factors behind team fishing’s decline.
This is also very, very worrying when you start to look at what will attract young/new people into the sport. Something tells me that team fishing doesn’t stand a chance against the individual big cash prizes available to anglers now. I fear that team fishing will be predominantly fished by existing team anglers and therefore will find it exceptionally difficult to attract new young team anglers into the sport.
There will always be team fishing in England, we are the best in the world at it, undoubtedly. I just fear that the big cash individualistic attraction is catching a lot more angler’s than team fishing is. Unfortunately when events like these have so much media power and cash backing behind them, I think that the only way team fishing will be able to compete against such events is to have an equally big cash prize and promotional attraction.
However, the Angling Trust do have a new young fresh thinking team behind them. They are looking at every way possible to make team fishing more attractive to new people entering the sport and provide the best possible service to existing match anglers. So, it’s not all doom and gloom if you’re a team angler, don’t chuck the gear away yet!
What do you think the reason behind team fishing’s descent could be? Why not drop a line to Angler’s Mail, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
This week’s blogger, Frankie Gianoncelli, is sponsored by Preston Innovations. Prestons support the Angler’s Mail Matchman of the Year – now with rivers, canals and lakes tables, as well as the famous main leaderboard. Exclusives to the magazine!