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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GOOD ANGLER – OR SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERT?
LOVE it or hate it, social media is here to stay, and it’s beginning to have a shady underbelly that is becoming more apparent, the more I get involved.
I am privileged enough to know a lot of top anglers, anglers who have won World Championships, broken records, won Nationals, and prestigious cups, and to many of you, especially the younger generation, you will have never heard of them.
Then I have been unfortunate enough to have seen some anglers that would struggle to get a kiss in a women’s prison with a fistful of pardons!
But and this is a BUT in capitals, they have become some kind of “go to” information centre for a lot of newcomers.
Legends in cyber space, this is becoming a problem now for companies that wish to genuinely take on “product developers” or “consultants” as the modern version of the Yellow Pages seems to be Bookface.
The typical managing director of a fishing tackle company by his very nature has little or no time to go fishing, doesn’t read magazines, but may get the odd ten minutes or so to have a browse on the internet to see what’s happening, and is usually greeted by a message from the bank like this:
Yeah GR8 dayz fishing drew peg 23 smashed it all over da place, had 299lb mainly shalla bloke next peg a 10lb all on the “Jammydingbat 8mm pellet” feeding “Jammydingbat method mix” all on a “Jammydingbat size 12″.
Let’s get this bloke on board! He has 1,300 friends and he is a fishing god.
No, no Mr MD he has just won a 3-peg knock up… and who is to know if this even existed.
You must have seen it, and it’s become more and more the norm now come Saturday afternoon, and it’s starting to grind my gears. So much so that I have deleted a lot of accounts at the very first mention of a match win, because it’s ruining my Tuesdays.
I don’t watch telly, I don’t go to the pub, so on Tuesday, I like to read about the matches that have gone on in my Angler’s Mail. Then go back to the front and have a look what’s going on in the world of angling, I don’t want my surprise spoiled by text speak and a few mobile phone pictures of 50 bream on the grass.
So when I took a young lad fishing the other week, he asked how I managed to get in the magazines, and get into fishing. And then he asked how he should go about making a name for himself, because let’s face it, that’s all it’s for…
I doubt many anglers have ever been mobbed outside Starbucks, or had to have restraining orders put on crazed young lady fans. Well, I know a few that may have had the opposite!
And the lad’s question left me a little perplexed…
Now, do I teach the lad what I had taught to me? Watercraft, the amazing thirst for knowledge of my elders, and the willingness to learn, the commitment required in getting up at 3am and walking miles to pegs?
Or do I tell him to study social media, and post bullshit, and learn how to ridicule others before they get to you? And make sure every fish you catch you must mention your sponsors, or potential sponsors at least five times? It happens.
I can honestly say, although I am a moaning big gob, and pretty savvy at the whole social media and angling marketing trade, I won’t mention a product if it’s crap. In fact I try not to mention them at all, I use them because they are good.
If I have a cap on, or clothing, it because I am too tight to buy one and have probably stolen it! I also have a shop full of every bait, and a queue of bum-licking reps that like to bejewel you with the latest Carlos Fandango products, with the off-chance you may get them a bit of free advertising.
No, I like to think if I am using it, it’s good. I’m not sponsored or have had anything free from Drennan, but I can tell you now, hand on heart, that bloke does not make rubbish, and my kit will be full of his stuff, because it’s good.
It’s a tough one this, but I like to think that the Angler’s Mail reader knows his stuff, and I won’t question his or hers intelligence by trying to pump them with tosh.
Then there is the nasty underbelly of the social media, the ridiculing, the snide remarks some people get, and I can imagine they can be quite hurtful to some folks. The questioning of fish size – we all do that, but I wouldn’t dream of putting on a page, and ruining the poor bloke’s deluded moment of fame.
I would never dream of ridiculing someone’s catch or fish-catching qualities. I tell you why, because, they are the same as us. They are one dip of a float, one screaming run, or one three-foot twitch away from a record fish, or one lucky draw away from a big money win. It’s why we go, we are all in it to win it!
Now the important bit, the Angler’s Mail performance of the week award….
I can’t believe I am saying this, but it’s been another scorcher, and although not the greatest weather for fishing, it’s pleasant to be in, and no doubt many anglers will be sporting a perch belly due to the rolls of unwanted BMI and sunburn!
And with the heat, a lot of shallow fishing was in order, and one guy has been appearing on my radar a lot lately. He managed to take the top spot at the well-attended Lindholme Lakes open, just a few fish in front of a girl, ex international Kayleigh Smith (a name to watch out for), with 126-6-0.
This week’s Angler’s Mail performance of the week goes to Ben Fisk, the Middy-backed angler fished 14.5m on Laurels Lake 18 to take mainly F1s with a few proper ‘uns to go with it.
A great performance as it’s no easy task to win an Open at Lindholme these days – it’s attracting very good anglers from around the country
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STEVE COLLETT RETURNS NEXT TUESDAY (JULY 16).
STEVE COLLETT VIDEO ALERT! Click below to see Steve in action with the FREE BIG PELLET WAGGLER given with the latest Angler’s Mail print magazine…
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