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. He also appears regularly in Angler’s Mail magazine.

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IT is your biggest nightmare as a match angler.



We’ve all been there, that awful moment when the angler on your left starts to catch, as you look at him with a deathly stare, hoping he loses the fish, and then that gut wrenching noise of a splash, the noise from the drag, and the angler to your right has one on.

Now you’re hoping for some kind of disaster, a bolt of fork lightning to strike, the legs on their boxes collapse and they fall in. That wonderful sound of the elastic pulling out, or the effing and jeffing when they lose the fish, bringing a wry smile back to your face.

C’mon you have all wished awful things on your fellow competitors when they are beating you?

This weekend I was dealt such a blow. I was invited by my friends to fish a match at Boddington Reservoir, a venue I know very well. I have won quite a number of series on there, lots of opens and invitationals and been lucky enough to have some massive weights over the years.  I was quite looking forward to fishing this match and pretty confident of catching a few.

So, a quick fumble around in the old memory bank reminded me that I caught well on the pellet waggler – three rods, three different depths all with John Bonney floats and constant casting, proper hard work fishing. So with past wins fresh in the mind, I took one bait – pellet, a Method rod just in case and a straight lead. And looking back at past results the same area produced 205lb 12oz for me using the same tactics, just casting a little further than everyone else and picking up the fish that backed of the bombardment of everyone else’s pellet.

Simple, or so I thought.

Back to school for Steve... you're never too old to learn

Back to school for Steve… you’re never too old to learn

Within seconds of the all in Samantha two pegs to my left was in, then so was I. Easy stuff this, that was until the guy to my left started to catch two, then to my right two more, and I remained with my singular fish. And as the day went on it got worse, and worse, my face was longer than my pole.

What was I doing wrong? This method worked for me last year! And therein was my answer, last year, a whole 365 days ago. I had become complacent, just rolled up like Charlie big potatoes and expected to catch.

I had an awful day, getting smashed both sides, and instead of getting my head down and catching  I fantasised all day about the anglers either side of me being tortured to death by baiting needle, and began making my excuses…

Pike? Check

Wrong Bait? Check

No ripple? Check

My peg is crap? Check

Every excuse bar the truth; I was crap. No preparation, over confidence, and not in touch with the venue. But I did learn one thing, and that was never to do it again.

I will have to go back to taking everything bar the kitchen sink, every bait, and not take this carp hauling for granted. It’s not as easy as us natural water anglers make out, 60lb to my left, 90lb to my right and I had 50lb, and to make matters worse Samantha won her section with 89lb so the car journey home was, well… entertaining.

collett match awards

Congratulations to this weeks AM match winner, Kev Johnson

Congratulations to this week’s AM match winner, Kev Johnson

After getting a thumping the last thing I wanted to hear was how other anglers had triumph but, I had to change out of my grumpy pants, and award the Angler’s Mail performance of the week to someone.

This week’s winner must have hands like a pin cushion, with over 450, yes 450, perch swung to hand. I am sure a box of Elastoplast would have been first on his shopping list when spending the winnings.

Fishing on a King of Clubs practise match, Kev Johnson who runs Messingham Sands fishery, drew on the Gulladoo steps section and used a 4m whip to hand fishing maggot to record a spectacular 36-600g. I think I would have given up after 10kilo… having soft hands and all!

A spectacular catch and a well worthy winner of this week’s Angler’s Mail performance of the week, Mr Kev Johnson.




Best of British - we salute you, inside this week's special Angler's Mail magazine. This big value issue is on sale from Tuesday, September 17. Get your copy!

Best of British – we salute you, inside this week’s special Angler’s Mail magazine. This big value issue is on sale from Tuesday, September 17. Get your copy!

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