This week's match fishing blog is by a guest match angler, Yorkshire-based Angler's Mail reader Mike Herrington on the decline of team fishing. He's pictured here with Lee Kerry.
I READ with interest Frankie Gianoncelli’s Angler’s Mail match blog regarding team fishing in the UK.
I have never fished for a team, although I have been asked to on a couple of occasions and I have run Open matches for a number of years.
All teams like the prestige of winning team events as it indicates better all-round skills as a team.
If you take for example a team that fishes in the North East who then has to fish on say the Basingstoke Canal, the expense for a six-man team will exceed £1,000, based on bait, tackle, petrol, etc. In addition the cost of entering some of the said events is not cheap in itself.
Who wants to travel 200 miles to go fish a canal that has dog crap all over the place and then have to watch out for cyclists who have total disregard for anglers and their tackle?
Also the reduction in fish stocks due to predation is another factor that does help the cause. I took a walk along the Boston Spa length of the River Wharfe on Saturday about 9am.
This once prolific venue used to be packed with anglers, the whole way down the length of the river, often double banked with both club and day-ticket anglers alike. Guess how many anglers I saw on a one-mile stretch? None.
I stood on the bridge and could not see any fish apart from the odd trout jumping out and plenty of minnows. I must have counted about five or six grebes patrolling the river.
People and teams will pay to enter team fishing providing that they are going to get a day’s fishing for their troubles without the fear of broken poles and getting dysentery or some other such diseases from dog faeces.
We need to keep the natural venues as part of team fishing as they generally lend themselves to the skills required for bloodworm and joker fishing.
You look back at the days when the Embassy were involved. Team fishing was in its heyday, but at that point you did not have the commercial scene.
That alone has probably had more of an affect on team fishing than most of the above. Short walks, comfortable pegs and on-site amenities and facilities to name but a few.
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