WELCOME TO the second week of new live blogs on the new-look Angler’s Mail website. Tuesdays see a new blog by Steve Collett, focussing mainly on match fishing but also delving into his styles of pleasure fishing and specialist angling.
Steve, who often appears in Angler’s Mail magazine, has a top match angling pedigree with some big match wins including being a former Division One National champion. He is a total all-round angler too, so is sure to reveal some top fishing tips every week.
We hope you enjoy the blog, and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the icons above, or by the “old skool” method of telling fellow anglers! Feel free also to comment by using the special space at the bottom on this page.
Preparation, preparation, preparation!
PREP is a word that is often banded around now in match fishing circles.
Preparation is becoming all the more important, with big money matches, festivals, and to some extent big clubbies, and I must admit that I am not a great at it, and I am amazed by the people that dedicate weeks sometimes months getting everything ready. A good pal of mine Matt McGuiness verges on OCD when it comes to “prep” making sure everything is spot on, and if anything is needed, it will be ready, but this also has its pitfalls, as you have to carry it!
Over the last few weeks I have witnessed the sheer scale of the huge amount of preparation that goes into our lads and lasses that fish for England have to do, and let me tell you, it’s a huge task.
My girlfriend Samantha Perkins and I have just been over to Leeuwarden in Holland to practice on the forthcoming world championships venue the Van Harinxmakanaal Leeuwarden, so I have had to endure – no, participate – in this arduous task of prep.
New lines, new elastics, new hooks, pole sections, slider rods, absolutely everything has to be covered, then bait, bloodworm, joker, groundbaits, leam, molehill, and again everything that you can think of.
Trust me unless you have been, you would not believe how much goes into this, even down to checklists on Excel!
Think you could fish for England, read on…
I’m sure a lot of you out there would love to fish for England, and lots consider themselves good enough to do so, but be careful what you wish for. This game takes a huge amount of time, effort and money, and you must take your hats off to the lads and lasses that do it for England, and do it so well.
With Samantha and most of the other England competitors being sponsored anglers, this is a huge help financially as the amount of top kits needed would be the price of a new car! But there is other costs to incur, such as bait, fuel, ferry crossings, bits and bobs it all adds up and to give you an idea of the amount of financial commitment these guys make I have kept a list of last weeks practice session alone.
Total….£ 1020 and that’s just a practice !!
Now don’t get me wrong, this has been paid for on a normal salary, and time has to be taken off work, then there will be the 10 days run up to the actual fishing, again a huge cost that has to be paid for by the angler, a real financial burden.
So as I said before, do you still want to fish for England? It’s a real commitment and all of this makes our teams all the more special in these recent tough financial times.
So when like the feeder team these guys and gals come back with a gold, have a quick think of how much has actually gone into this… it’s not all private jets, and Perrier water chilled to 20 degrees you know!
Fishing in Holland
Back to the fishing, and I have to say I am always amazed by the relaxed attitude towards anglers in Holland. Everyone wants to know about it, not like in England where we are often frowned upon, people want to get involved, and the Ladies World Champs has really been e mbraced with the whole town looking forward to welcoming all of these nations, a refreshing change.
I popped into a tackle shop, as you do, and I was delighted to be greeted with such a warm welcome, these guys couldn’t do enough to help you, taking time to make sure we had the right licenses, right bait, tactics, they really wanted us to catch fish, and enjoy it.
Our weekend practising was a successful one, and unfortunately due to an official secrets act, I can’t tell you what tactics we used, but I am sure a great performance will be put in by Team England.
Fishing In England
It’s been a week of practicing in England with the pinnacle of match fishing – apart from Fish’o coming to an end – Evesham will be well upon us. The Winter League final, and the National on the Bristol Avon have been keeping the petroleum suppliers happy.
The Evesham festival has to be one of my favourite festivals, and you can see already that the quality of anglers entering the qualifiers this will be a real battle of who’s who, of “proper” anglers (dons tin hat).
Gold winning performance
Every week, come Thursday my phone will be red hot, who’s won this who has won that so I get to hear pretty much everything that has been happening in the fishing world. And my constant keyword checkers keep me up to date on smaller match fishing results appearing on the forums.
So I decided to give a bit of a weekly accolade here to what I consider the best results of the week from not only the top anglers but also the non-sponsored anglers that commit themselves to the club fishing world. Some of them may be a week or two behind due to deadlines etc, but you’ll want to follow this slot here on the AM site…
I make no excuse for being in total awe of this fella, and I am sometimes amazed at some of the comments I hear about big Al.
“Yeah he’s good, but can’t cope on commercials”! “He can’t catch F1s….” And at the risk of him punching me in the face, he probably couldn’t a few years ago, as it wasn’t his bag. But he has practiced, fine-tuned, understood, and learned about his new quarry, and I tell you now, this bloke is to be feared on any water.
A true professional and his latest midweek win deserves my Angler’s Mail performance of the week.
Alan made the trek over to Partridge Fisheries this week to practise for the forthcoming Winter League final, and put in the first of my performances of the week, drawing peg 16 Alan put together a superb winning total of 153.10 to put the jitters up anyone who draws in his section!
And to top it all off and show his professionalism he stopped on at the end of the match to film with the Mail’s own Ian Chapman on exactly how he did it.
Simon for me this week has done everything I love about match fishing. Good venue, good pals, new ones, lots of mickey taking but still a huge rivalry with internet forum bragging rights at stake, and most of all lots of fish.
That’s why Simon gets my Angler’s Mail award this week; Simon is just a normal hard working angler who loves his match fishing, and the cost and commitment to these matches doesn’t come cheap, so fair play.
He won three on the bounce at Rolfs Lake near Oxford including a mammoth 315 lb, then went on to win Rolfs Open match with 260lb and to top it all off he went and won a 2-day Maggotdrowners pairs festival with his partner Tony Roberts.
Well done Simon.
Well that’s it for this week. Next week I am going to go on a few midweek matches around my region to see if they are “matches” or simply a knock-up with four, maybe five pegs that seem to see the same old faces win week in week out; a touchy subject with a few anglers out there.
Tight lines and thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it, and don’t forget different bloggers each day, only with the Angler’s Mail.
STEVE COLLET’S NEXT MATCH BLOG WILL APPEAR ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 13.
Here’s the list of all our new blogs and when they go live:
MONDAY: Carp crews on rotation – Korda, Fox, Nash and ACE.
TUESDAY: Steve Collett, Mail contributor and ultimate all-rounder.
WEDNESDAY: Angler’s Mail HQ – yes, us!
THURSDAY: Specialists from Pike Anglers Club, Korum and Pallatrax, on rotation.
FRIDAY: Carl & Alex, Angler’s Mail juniors and video diary makers.
SATURDAY: The Angling Trust – guys at the governing body.
SUNDAY: Colin Mitchell, veteran coarse angler and top journalist