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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IS THIS THE END FOR BIG MATCHES?

I CAN remember this weekend fondly as the ACA Masters weekend where up to a 100 anglers headed to the Glebe fishery, as a treat almost, as for most of us we would hardly ever get the chance to fish it.

End of big matches? 100s used to turn up for a fur and feather…

It was one of the “biggies” in the match fishing calendar, now it barely registers on anyone’s radars, yet alone command the pages of the weeklies. How come?

Is it a calendar clash that’s causing these blue riband events to lose their appeal? I know this weekend’s Masters clashed with a few matches, but still, it should have taken priority – shouldn’t it have done?

Or have we just lost our way with these events due to the costs involved, the travelling involved, or is the lure of big money on other matches just too much.

As I see the Maver Match This attracting over 100, the Trent and Misery getting 80-plus, and a match I attended at Patshull Park attracting more than these historic events?

Unfortunately I think these kind of “calendar” matches are going to be confined to the history books like the BAA big un, the King of the Trent, and other famous matches.

In my book it’s a real shame as these kind of matches brought everyone together. It wasn’t the money, although I’d be a fool to suggest that wasn’t a big draw, but the title, that name on a trophy that will be there forever.

It’s all gone I’m afraid, and the need to get back some petrol or bait money is far greater than the need to go down in the angling history books?

 

No it’s not a carp. But it does seem to attract a few anglers. I’m a fan.

Are BREAM the new carp?

Anyway, my blog wouldn’t be mine without a moan, so I have got it out of the way this week, and what a week I have had.

You can tell that because my keepnets and car smell like a Wolverhampton lass’s drawers, and have the same amount of charisma!

Me with my bream head on!

This week I have had my bream head on, after getting battered by Grant Albutt the week before, I decided to go back to the drawing board and sort my groundbaits out for the weekend ahead and a match at Patshull.

When I say sort my groundbaits out, I mean sort out, as it’s a fine art getting your GB spot on for bream. Especially when you could be faced with fishing top 8s deep, or throwing a feeder into 25ft of water.

So I put Samantha Perkins on the case, as she is a bird, and they do stuff in that room they call the kitchen thingy place, and also working for Dynamite Baits, she knows her stuff when it comes to, well….. stuff.

After a bag of this, and 500gr of this, with a kilo of that, we both looked at each other as if we were going to present a dish on Masterchef. But how do we know the bream like this, or have we just wasted our time, and the groundbait is just a carrier to get other baits down?

Whatever, it’s this kind of rekindled alchemy and interest that keeps me excited, and I can’t wait to go out and do it again. Unfortunately the same could not be said if I was going F1 fishing, and I can’t be the only one who thinks this, as regularly now.

60-odd travel from all over the country to try and catch Patshull’s bream, and only this weekend I was given neck ache by the awesome Derek Bennett who somehow manages to think like a bream. It’s probably because he looks and smells like one as well, but that’s not sour grapes after him having 50 lb and me having 28 lb!

The attendances show that quality anglers such as Ricky Teale, Grant Albutt, the Brennans, Browns and others, all have an appetite for some nice back to basics natural fishing, and put a bit of variety on it all again.

 

Congratulations to Rob Brennan (far right) who wins this week’s AM Match Award

This week’s winner got my full attention, as he was on a boat almost opposite, so I had to watch him net fish all day!

Fishing 5 metres to hand, Rob had to watch the end boat catch fish after fish for the first half hour, and I could see a weight was on the cards, but Rob kept at it, and managed to put together an amazing weight for a natural venue of 114lb 3oz of skimmers and roach to claim this week’s Anglers Mail Performance of the Week. Rob Brennan take a bow.

 

 

STEVE COLLETT RETURNS NEXT TUESDAY (AUGUST 20).

 

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Be sure to get this week’s Angler’s Mail magazine. It includes the ultimate guide to meat baits; how to find and catch big rudd; a margin method to nail carp now; anglers getting fitter …and must-read exclusives that we won’t reveal here ( because other mags and websites would love to hijack them!!)

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