This week’s match fishing blog is from Preston Innovations’ star Andy Power, the reigning UK Champion.
Tean fishing of individual matches?
SOME of you may be surprised to know that as well my individual antics like UK Champs and Match This, I also team fish for Preston Innovations Thatchers.
However like many match anglers at this time of year, I’m following big individual matches around the country in the hope of qualifying for a big final. But if your luck doesn’t go your way then you can quite often feel deflated, let’s face it coming first out of 100-plus anglers is quite a tall order.
Even on a normal open match, you may draw badly, fish a brilliant match, not frame, and maybe even feel like you’ve had a bad day. For this reason I find team matches more satisfying, in a team match your fishing for points so even if you haven’t got a chance at framing, your trying to get the most from your peg to earn points for your team.
In our team instead of going straight home after a match, like you may in an open, we all go back to the pub where the results are held, and speak to each other about our matches. This way you can learn a lot from each other about how the venue has fished and whether you have made the right choices. When you chat to others in an open match however, there’s always that element of doubt that they are holding some information back.
Team fishing seems to be on the decline every year though, unfortunately I think this seems to be down to people disliking natural venues, whereas commercial winter leagues however seem to be thriving. I think the biggest reason people choose to fish commercials is the easy access and convenience, and can be put of by the long walks on some rivers.
The trouble is there is no real incentive for youngsters to get into team fishing on natural venues. Take a look at the winter league final, I bet after a team has practiced and spent money on accommodation bait ect, even if they did win they would hardly cover their costs.
Then there’s the venues involved in these finals, which are usually limited because of access and logistics meaning the fishing is usually quite hard. If an youngster was looking at the low weights in the press, he may be thinking why would I want to go there and catch a kilo of fish, when I could visit my local commercial and catch that with my eyes closed!
I have to admit although winning individual events on commercials is great, but I enjoy the act of fishing and the challenge far more on a natural venue. There’s always the element of mystery involve that you never quite know what your going to catch. I can draw my peg on some commercials and know before I start what weight I’m going to catch, and which pegs should catch or struggle, and when my float goes under its often the same size fish over and over again, where’s the fun in that?
Being out in countryside on a picturesque looking river, is certainly more satisfying than being on an overcrowded “hole in the ground” where you “sword fighting “ with your opposition! Not all commercials feel like this though, but on my travels I’ve found my fair share that do!
When I look back at the greatest days fishing I’ve had, I don’t remember the countless one or even 200 lb weights of carp, I remember the times I’ve had 20 lb weights of roach on a Bristol Avon, weights of bleak, dace, catching bream on the Huntspill, or even the thought of slipping a caster on in the last hour of a canal match to hook a bonus fish that gains you those extra precious points in a team match.
From a competitive point of view though it seems commercial fisheries are where the future of UK match fishing lies, and I will of course try to keep at the top of my game where these venues are concerned.
But the river season starts soon, and I cant wait to add some variety into my match fishing, as well as some great team matches coming up on natural venues, I’ve got three Riverfest tickets, and I know that even if I don’t catch I’ll still enjoy running a float down a river more than blowing out on a Fish’O’Mania qualifier!