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THERE seems to be a worrying trend in the UK match fishing scene at the moment, and that’s organised matches, purely as money making schemes. As if match fishing wasn’t expensive enough!

I have heard of a few current matches and up and coming matches, where if you do the basic sums, and the organiser is forthcoming with the payout matrix, then you will see the sweetie jar is being plundered, well and truly.

Let’s do the maths….

A recent match up north boasts of a huge £2,000 pay out with ten qualifying rounds all with 40 anglers, paying £25 whole English pounds for this great extravaganza, with the promise of riches and notoriety. Sounds great, or does it?

Let’s put my Carol Vorderman outfit on for a while, and work it out.

40 anglers paying £25 each with ten rounds = £10,000.

Each round paying £150 first and four sections of £25 = £2500 paid out.

Then the grand finale, the title, the prestige, the £2,000 leaves you feeling elated, but leaves someone else feeling a lot happier. The “sponsor”, the saviour of match fishing, who is the real winner. He has just walked away with a cool sum of £5,500, and along with the cost of a few tatty prizes he has done very well for himself. There is only one winner here.

This is not the only “grab” from our already depleted pockets, we now have to contend with “admin” fees set upon us. Where the heck have these come from? Admin fees – we are a cottage industry, a small village fate. I have never seen an admin fee charged to a dozen eggs from my local farm?

But as I have been told, these admin fees are to cover costs, but what costs? Apparently said matches are run by volunteers, so where do the costs incur? Unless the very welcome help are adorned in Prada hi viz tabards I see no reason to incur “admin fees” … and I am voting with my feet, for this reason.

Match anglers’ money has kept many fisheries afloat in winter.

Without us Goretex  addicted pellet pingers, the industry and many commercial match fisheries would have died on their backside, we have kept numbers of businesses going over the winter months.

I noticed only a few months ago, that only six day tickets were sold on a very famous fishery, compared with a match attendance of 34 on the Wednesday 47 on a Saturday, and 53 on a Sunday.

Said fishery must have thought his lotto numbers had come up, and it’s the same story up and down the country. We may not be a massive contribution to the industry, but it’s a very welcome one, and our madness, and endurance of these past few freezing months has definitely put bums on the bank, when most would have stayed at home.

So next time you enter a big money competition, ask to see the pay-out matrix, as it is a competition. And to run one there are guidelines and Government rules to be adhered to, and don’t see through the phoney “prizes worth” drivel.

I think I speak for many matchmen out there when I say, we have no money left, it’s already a very expensive game. Treat us with a bit of respect, stop increasing peg fees, and stop the “stealth” admin fees. We a worth more than that, and give us a bit of thought before putting a few pence on a peg fee, or trying to squeeze a few bob out of us. Once we are gone from this sport, it’s harder to get us back.

Sermon over, amen. Now on to my favourite bit of the week awarding the Anglers Mail performance of the week. I missed last week’s, as I was away trying to wrestle with catfish on the Ebro, so a few phonecalls and emails gave me a few indicators of what was being caught and who was catching them.

The performance that stood out for me was that of Graham West from Garbolino Black Horse. He beat a awesome field of anglers with 11-1-0 of perch and a few bits on the Angling Trust semi final, on the Grand Union Canal. So a belated well done Graham, a great result.

This week’s Angler’s Mail performance of the week has to be shared between the superb pair of Browning Hot Rods ace Rob Wright, and England Youth International Frankie Gianoncelli, who managed a superb pair victory over some of the country’s finest matchme.

Rob and Frankie took the title after a very close final round and pocketed £1,500 big ones for their efforts, a great result, and a bright looking future for these young ‘uns, so take a bow lads, a well-deserved Angler’s Mail performance of the week.

Well done to Rob Wright and Frankie Gianoncelli.





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