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.

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Oh, the joys of driving around the Midlands to go fishing in late March….

THIS weather is starting to become a disaster, not only for my own fishing, but for the angling trade in general.

This past year has been disastrous for some, and I can only see it getting worse if the Easter Holiday weather forecast is anything to go by. People just don’t want to go fishing in this, myself included, as let’s face it, fish don’t like it either and statistically are reluctant to feed.

So it’s back in the tackle shed for me, doing a bit of preparation for a few forthcoming trips, buying a few bits and bobs, and praying that next week’s Countryfile predicts 30 degrees of wall to wall sunshine.

In the meantime, I had a few thoughts about what does happen, when we finally get out, before we know it they will be spawning again, and become similarly difficult to catch.

During these few “change” months, what’s the best way of targeting a match, do I fill it in with bait, thinking they will be starving, or do I go softly softly, thinking they are not really on the move yet?

I don’t really know as I am self-confessedly crap, so I asked a few of my old muckers what they would be doing, first of all the one and only Andy May (MAP), the twice Angler’s Mail-Kamasan Matchman of the Year, what he gets up to…


 Andy May reveal his top fishing tips for this time of year

Andy May gave me some top insight into how to catch more fish right now.


So Mr Andy May, what on earth have we got to do know to start catching fish? It’s been that long my keep nets become about as useful as a pocket on a sock!

Now is the time Steve, to really think about the quantities of bait used, think about introducing more bait, taking a bit more, and keep any feeding fish in your peg.


What kind of bait Andy, stick to maggots and casters, or even the odd grain of corn like we have been doing all winter?

This time of year I like to slowly introduce baits such as meat and worms, also caster as the fish will soon be thinking about spawning, and in turn need to gain as much protein as possible, so think about a few more filling baits.


With the water temps hopefully rising, is there anything else you would do?

Definitely start to look shallow, and start to follow the fish into water of less than 4 ft.


What about elastics and stuff Andy, do you keep the same gear on?

No, you need to start stepping up your gear now, gone are the 00.9s everything is stepped up elastics, line, and hooks the lot!

Any other tips Andy?

Yes throw away your plummets, they are useless and fish Shallow, Shallow and Shallow!


Well that’s me told, no more plummets and tins of meat from now on then, and if we all fail, write to Andy May at MAP towers! (Only joking)

It’s an interesting insight again, into the way top flight match anglers think. I mean would the great Billy Lane, have given any thought to protein?

I know it’s apples for pears with regards to the types of fishing, but I do think that top flight anglers are really giving thought to the baits, and feeding habits of fish, much like our bivvy-bound cousins “the carps angler.” We could even be related!


It’s been a tough one this week, as the attendances have been not surprisingly very low, so after a few phone calls there could be only one winner.

James Hawkins

With it being the first real big festival of the year, it could only be James Hawkins (Ringer Baits) who finished the 180-strong festival with a 35 point score, along with Neil Adcock, and the uber prodigy Matt Godfrey all with the same.

So it went to weight with James taking the honours with a superb total of 233 lb 8o z and went away with a nice cheque and the prestigious Bait Tech title.

Well done James Hawkins, this week’s Anglers Mail performance of the week.



I made some videos for Angler’s Mail TV with my old mate Ian Chapman at the Northern Angling Show in Manchester at the weekend.

Here’s me having a chat with top man Dean Barlow, son of the late great Frank Barlow.




What an event this show was, much needed in the north. And you’ll be able to read all about it in Angler’s Mail magazine – the undisputed No.1 publication for show coverage, latest news, top tips and where to fish.





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