Tuesday’s blog is from 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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Too much fishing?
You might look at this title and think you can never have too much fishing, or you can’t go too often, but looking back over the year I really think you can have too much of a good thing…
I’m a weird kind of fella when it comes to end of year. I set a reminder on my iPad, and I have a day going through the goods and the bads of the year that’s just gone. In my notes I like to analyse what went wrong and what went right to enable me to catch more fish I suppose – not just in match fishing, but in all of my fishing.
One of the things that has stood out in my end of year notes is my lack of preparation in matches has cost me massively, it’s in black and white, and for some reason it has taken me until December to realise what has gone on. I have only prepared for three matches all year, the rest I just could not be arsed if I am honest, just threw the gear in the car and turned up. If you draw like me, this just won’t do.
The three matches I did get excited for stood out like a sore thumb in my notes, the prep started on Monday for a 50 pegger at Boddington. New line was put on, I had a practise session, and I got a real buzz about wanting to go, which resulted in a match win with 209lb on a very tough day. Job done and a happy drive home.
Then the Division One national. This always gives me a buzz, and prep started weeks before with a few line-ups won, and matches framed. I felt as if all of my gear flowed, and again a section win from a bad peg gave me another rare smile and a nice drive home. All my gear was good, my rigs perfect, and the spark was back.
My only other prepped match was on the river, where I would meet up with my old mates. But off course there would be fierce rivalry at stake rather than big bucks, so I had a couple of practices and realised the conditions would be bad, so pole and flat float is all I took with me on the Severn, a river usually associated with throwing the pig. Over 21lb of bits and pieces saw me win with 15lb to spare on an out of sorts river Severn, all down to a bit of prep and practice.
That is off course only three matches, the rest of the year has been throw the gear in the car and go. In truth I might as well have not bothered as I have been woeful this year, and in matches that are more than ten peg knock ups, there is no hiding place and it shows.
So next year I’m going to start all over again. I’m going back to club level, and small Open level match fishing as I put my hands up and say I can no longer compete with the big boys, the real pros of the game at the moment, and that’s what you’re up against – pros. To win consistently like Steve Ringer or Matt Godfrey, to name a few, in real matches (not ten-peg mid-weekers) you have to be good, very good. I am not!
I think my “crapness” is down to doing too much fishing. I know I am the luckiest guy in the world when I say that, and I am very blessed to do so, but I do too many varied types. A typical week would see me pike fishing on a big reservoir, shark fishing off Padstow, perch fishing up North and a few sessions carp fishing, then all change to try and compete in a 100-peg winter league.
It can’t be done, and I really do think there is such a thing as too much fishing. Don’t get me wrong I love it, I wouldn’t swap it for the world, I am saying that if you want to be the best, you need to really concentrate on one discipline, or be uber efficient at time management.
Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed my moans and ramblings through the year, and I thank you for reading them, I wish you all a very happy Christmas and may your nets be bulging and your scales be bottomed!
For me there could be only one winner this week in the shape of a former world champion and a bloke I have followed since I was a wee lad. Having drew peg 102 the former world champ made no mistake and chose to fish bread for the chub that reside around there finishing up with 45-8-0 of them to finish clear of a class field like Rory Jones Hadrian Whittle and Danny Ashington, and provide a perfect score for his team, I am off course talking about Mr Clive Branson, this week’s Anglers Mail Performance of the week. Well done Clive
STEVE COLLETT RETURNS NEXT TUESDAY (DECEMBER 24). FOR LOTS OF MATCH RESULTS AND REPORTS, CHECK OUT THE NEW ISSUE, ON SALE THIS WEEK >>>