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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THE MATCH FISHING SCENE’S SILVER LINING
I DON’T know whether you have noticed but silver fish only matches seem to be making quite an appearance on the commercial match fishing scene.
I personally like this, but there is as always a few plus and minus points surrounding this latest fad.
The first plus point is these matches are getting people out there fishing, with midweek matches even attracting 30 of our country’s finest recipients of our benefit system gracing the banks. Miracle matches where men in their 50s who have been on “disability benefit” for 20 or so years suddenly make a miraculous recovery.
As they throw a Rive box around to their pegs like Olympic athletes and wield 16m poles like they bench 500 kilos down the gym, lift 30-40lb out of a keepnet as if it weighs the same as a box of eggs then, as 3pm draws closer, their mysterious injuries reappear!
They load their gear into a government-subsidised brand new vehicle, to help them overcome the days fishing! (Go on, you are all thinking it), but they are out there fishing, and good sport is to be had, as the carp shoal up somewhere else on the lake.
The other great thing about these matches is that they manage to “fine tune” our anglers, with some of them having never seen a 0.10 hooklength or a hook you couldn’t fit two maggots on! So anglers are improving on these matches all of the time, and having to buy new gear, lighter elastics and so on – again good for the trade. With maggots and casters instead of fishery purchased pellets forcing folks into tackle shops; this can only be a good thing.
But as it’s me, and I can moan for England, there is always something, and it’s peg fees that grind my gears. They still command the same amount of money to catch the fisheries “pest” fish, whilst the majority of any investment, that’s if there is any, will go towards stocking carp for the summer when the punters roll in. Meanwhile we will keep topping up the coffers.
Only this week I got talking to a few guys who have fished these types of matches with 30-40 in attendance, and one of my pals managed to win midweek and his reward? The massive pick up of £50 with 30-odd blokes paying £15, he would have got more than that in Nectar points for his fuel to the venue!
This is the negative side for us match anglers and I can only see it drawing people away, as it seems that if there is anyway of squeezing that extra quid out of us hardy souls, they will, and those being fishery owners, of which I am one myself. If it was me I would see a reduced peg fee and a loyalty kind of pay-out for the anglers that have kept the trade going over winter, before we price them out of the market forever.
Anyway, my bad run is continuing this week, I reckon it’s karma for all of the moaning I do. It’s going well on the specimen side of things, I’m still catching a few special fish in that area, but my match fishing is taking a bit of a knock still.
This weekend on the winter league I drew an area that contained bream, on a day that no bream fed! I managed to hook a couple though, and lost the first in a snag under my feet, and the second came off as my lobworm turned on the point of the hook. If I would have got them in, I would have won the section if not the match.
I felt like crying. It’s just not going well for me at the moment, but hey we shall keep plodding on… and I am sure this blind squirrel will find a nut!
A few flooded rivers and rising rivers have seen a few folks struggle this weekend and this week’s biggest match the Wye Champs suffered a little with half of the field struggling to put half a pound on the scales, but that’s fishing.
In the meantime the canals were fishing well if you could get a put in due to the falling leaves, and this week’s winner managed to remain consistent wherever he goes, and showed why he is one of our greatest talents.
With a top class field, this week’s winner made the most of peg 190 on the blue water marina and put together a fine net weighing 18-2-0 of roach and skimmers on bloodworm to win this round of the EWL on the Stainforth and Keadby Canal. I am off course talking about Matt Godfrey (Barnsley Blacks) – this week’s Angler’s Mail performance of the week.
STEVE COLLETT RETURNS NEXT TUESDAY (NOVEMBER 5).
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