WELCOME TO the Tuesday blog. Tuesdays mean Steve Collett, the boss of leading online tackle retailers Harris Sportsmail.

Steve’s blogs focus mainly on match fishing but also delve into his styles of pleasure fishing and specialist angling. He also appears regularly in Angler’s Mail magazine.

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ENJOY CATCHING NEXT TO NOTHING?

THIS weekend saw me on the banks of the Warwickshire Avon representing the Trentmen on the team qualifier, and as ever I always look forward to fishing Evesham.

The night before always see me having a mad preparation few hours, and everything is thrown in the back of the car barring the proverbial kitchen sink. And along with mountains of tackle, is mountains of bait – just in case…

So in hindsight let’s look at what I have put in the back of the car:

  • Pole of course along with spare top 5s, top 6s, spare number 8 and 9 (just in case).
  • Rods: A waggler rod, stick float road, Bolo, 10ft feeder, 11ft feeder, 12ft feeder, and a 13ft barbel rod (just in case).
  • Then bait wise, kilo of worms, 50 lobworms, casters, maggots, hemp, fluoros and pellets (just in case).
  • Then 4 pole rollers, roost kits, over 200 rigs, 20 flat floats, bleak rigs, wagglers and feeders, basically enough to roll up and fish a World Champs!

Hmmm, have I forgotten anything….?

So with absolutely every base covered, and squeezed into the back of the car, I set off on the 80 miles or so to Evesham. And after a nice breakfast at Dianas, I awaited my fate as the teams drew.

Peg 9 was to be my home for the day, the disabled peg, and with Rob “uncle baller” Perkins having been on peg 10 the day before and catching, I must admit I was quite optimistic and looking forward to a day’s fishing. Not bagging, just fishing.

At 12pm I was ready and as eager as ever to get started, and I had a plan. I would not feed a thing for the first hour, not a single maggot. A risky strategy, but because a lot of fish were caught the day before, I thought they may just have been in the area, and might not want a lot of grub.

Ao I held my nerve whilst everyone around me balled it in, or bait dropped, thinking this might just pay off.

Well to cut a long story short I can sum up my day to you pretty quickly…

A ruffe day at the river!

2.45pm First bite, and 20 foot of elastic stretches out, I played this fish like a pro, it must be a barbel or a tench, no it was a pike.

2.59pm A bleak so small it can hardly be seen with the naked eye

3.20pm Another bite and another pike! This time on the feeder but again in the scissors

3.50pm The float sails away, and I am into an eel. Relief as it’s mega points.

4.00pm A daddy ruffe.

5.00pm All out, and that’s all folks.

So A lot of preparation, a lot of money on bait, and a fair bit of money on fuel for the grand total of 9 oz, yes 9 oz – an eel, a bleak, and daddy ruffe, and a pretty low position in my section. But there was a few 3 oz, another 9 oz and a 9 oz 8 drams… all mainly small stuff!!

So after that, you would think I would hate to see the place again, but it may surprise you if I told you I cannot wait to go again, as I think it’s amazing fishing, especially the team qualifiers.

Why? No matter what happens you are never out of the race, that float could sail away, and you could be latched on to a 11 lb barbel, a huge carp, a big old bream… you just don’t know.

And that’s the great attraction for me, you just don’t know. And I enjoyed it more than I did with a 122 lb match win in the week. And to me a lot of us have missed the very reason why we go; it’s to enjoy it. And despite my meagre 9 oz I loved every second of it.

 

Well again it’s been a great week for some, and tough for others, especially the 40-odd per cent of people that blanked on the River Trent this weekend. And going through my texts and match reports it seems as the rivers are fishing very iffy at the moment, but for the majority fairly.

This week’s Angler’s Mail award has to be shared out, and a team that I consider one of the best around, down to its refreshing method of recruiting young stars, mainly from commercials and nurturing them into modern team fishing. And this weekend it proved to be a great decision as a mix of old and young managed a great 57-point score to qualify for the big money final on the Bank Holiday weekend.

A great result for them, but also for the future of match fishing, Maver Midlands take a bow, this week’s collective winners of the Angler’s Mail performance of the week award. You’ll be milking the applause from now until next Tuesday’s AM magazine, I hope.

 

 

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STEVE COLLETT RETURNS NEXT TUESDAY (JULY 9).

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