Tuesday’s blog is from 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. He also appears regularly in Angler’s Mail magazine.

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Are you sitting comfortably?


I CAN remember a few years ago driving down Trimpley Lane with a heart full of dread – I was not looking forward to catching 30-40lb of  Severn barbel on the stick!

As I got closer to the car park, the hatred crept in, and it now became a 50/50 toss up of whether or not I should even go to my peg.  ‘Why?’ you may ask… ‘Why you wouldn’t want to go and catch 30 lb of lean, mean fighting-machine barbel on stick float gear, surely the most pleasurable thing you can do with your clothes on!’

I’ll tell you why; it was the walk, the walk of doom commonly known as cardiac hill at Trimpley, on the River Severn near Bewdley. You could walk down it now, and see past scenes like a Vietnam war film; disgorgers on the floor, lids from 70s bait tubs in a tree. You can tell that this has been a place of destruction – grown men brought to their knees. Many a man has fallen at the hands of Cardiac Hill, even the fittest of the group could disappear from this mortal coil because of one thing….. dun dun duuuuun, the ASI box.

ASI box

The ASI box – no lightweight, that’s for sure.

The old ASI box weighed as much as two Vauxhall Astras complete with three kids and the weekend shopping. It was as comfortable as watching a sex scene on telly with your parents in the room, yet we had to have one – why?

I got rid of mine in the early 90s, and replaced it with a lightweight Brilo box, with all the bells and whistles and made off the same stuff everything new in the tackle trade is made of, space shuttle wings !

My old Brilo was perfect, with its little red Octoplus feet, that never ever went missing (joke) and draws that had a mind of their own, and depending on how bad your day was, they might just make it worse by spewing your shot and bits and bobs into the river or canal – a very common sight.

The Brilo was light though and we could easily cram three people in my little Toyota Corolla complete with gear, and off we went safe in the knowledge that if we drew three miles away, pah! Not a problem, I could carry it all!

Then it came, the invasion from France, and in my opinion the worst thing to happen on these shores since Steps: The Musical…The Rive box.

The Rive in all its glory

The Rive in all its glory

All 36-stone of aluminium and uselessness, I have a Rive RXi fuel injected hatchback model, with detachable mooring for a 40 ft yacht, and a 15 ft satellite dish attachment! And still I finish a five-hour match walking like I have been down the mines for a shift! Why do we do it to ourselves?

Then the transportation issue, it has now become an issue as to what car you CAN have if you want to go fishing with a mate, because if there is two of you, you need to shy away from a Volvo estate and start looking at 7.5-tonne Scanias with a tachygraph on, it really is that big, and this leads me to the title of this blog.

After all this hassle, all this inconvenience, are you any more comfortable? I know I am a few hundred pounds lighter, and that’s not around the waistline.


collett match awards

Steve Ford

Steve Ford

With the rivers still being out of sorts, only a handful of matches were held this weekend so the phone was beeping like crazy with information coming in of huge weights for this time of year, and non more than this venue that produced this week’s winner.

You needed over a 100 lb to pick up a few bob this week, and our winner did just that, putting a massive winter 136-10-0 on the scales to take the honours.

Drawn on peg 23 on Laugherne island, Steve Ford put himself on the podium in this thrilling round of the Cob House winter league with a smashing net of fish for this time of year. A deserved winner of this week’s Angler’s Mail Performance of the week, Mr Ford. 






This week's action-packed January 14 cover dated issue is on-sale now

This week’s action-packed January 14 cover dated issue is on-sale now