WELCOME TO the  Tuesday blog. Tuesdays mean Steve Collett, focussing mainly on match fishing but also delving into his styles of pleasure fishing and specialist angling.

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Steve Collett – one of the keenest and most proficient all round anglers – is a weekly blogger here. Follow his match, pleasure and big fish adventures and thoughts…and learn a few top tips too.



CLUBS. Not the kind with neon lights, headbanging dub step dance trance, and scantily clad chicks… this week I’m talking about a better type of clubbing.

The small match club scene is undergoing a bit of a resurgence of late, and I for one am very pleased to see it happen, just have a look at the match results in this week’s Angler’s Mail and you will see on most Open matches attendances of 10-20 on many of them. The reports I have had this week from club sectary’s seem to indicate that the norm now is 20-35 on the club matches.

Gone are the days when the club angler used to feel inferior with the masses of Open anglers turning up on the same venue. The worm has turned, now it’s the club angler fishing in sections of ten, rather than a makeshift Open section of four.

I spoke to a pal of mine “Prev” this weekend who was on Woodlands View with the Goodyear club and I know they would have had 15-20 anglers on it. Down the road at Wassel Grove fishery the start of a winter league attracted only 16, again another Midlands club I go fishing with had 26 on the match this weekend, and two minutes down the road at the Mecca of midlands match fishing Woodland View 15 attended.

I’m not knocking anyone who attends these club or Opens, what I am trying to get across, and I have been saying it for years, it will affect the skill-set of a lot of anglers. We have ended up fishing for nothing too, I used to try and win my section first, then a pool, and maybe then a frame, now days a section of four is a good section win.

Mind the gap!

Is the gap between club anglers and open anglers still as wide? And what is it that the club angler has to do to make the switch into the big time, the “open” angler?

There’s actually almost nothing he need to do anymore, as the club angler is now fishing bigger matches. The only thing the modern clubbie will struggle with is time served on the venue. The Open angler usually fishes the same venues and gets to learn his trade, and the tricks over weeks of attendance, the clubbie will go there once a year.

So is the leap into the open world such a big one? Well yes it is, they are two completely different animals, and the open angler spends his life on the three “Ps” prep, practice, petrol. It becomes life consuming, the costs, the fierce competition element, and the section win mentality comes into play.

On the other hand, I am sure they don’t mind me saying, my good old pals have a different methodology towards their fishing the three “Bs” – breakfast, bait, and beer ! And other than a few clicks on Google, and a phone call here and there, that will be more than enough preparation needed for a great day.

But who enjoys it more ? That’s the question.



Turnip head… and fishing for England

I remember feeling really sorry for Graham Taylor when he was England manager.

So many people care about England football performances… as Graham “Turnip” Taylor experienced with this kind of media treatment.

As predicted by many, when the results turned out to be a little less than mediocre, out came the hatchets “we want Taylor out!” Chants could be heard up and down the country, and it wasn’t long until the call came from the FA to ask what has gone wrong with English football, and a P45 soon followed.

Not a lot has changed with English football since then and probably won’t for a few years unless our country’s youth policy is addressed.

So what’s this got to do with fishing ? Well what’s happened to our England team? I remember as a kid reading with a massive smile on my face 4, 6 maybe 8 pages of how Bob Nudd has smashed the world up, Tommy Pickering winning on the waggler – childhood heroes of mine, and how I wanted a white Drennan cap.

Now… I couldn’t give a toss. What has happened? Even our carp fishing team has been embarrassingly defeated and put in its place.

Where has it gone wrong, who is answerable to all of this? I have never heard  of an inquest or a hearing about our poor performance, nor chants of “we want whoever out”,  and I don’t think anyone cares anymore.

I asked five kids at a junior match who the current England team is? I say kids but these were 12-16 and pretty good anglers with all the kit, very streetwise, and looked the part – Rive boxes and matching Goretex, not someone who had been to go outdoors in the morning and just picked up a kit. They read the mags, they know what’s going on. And guess what, they hadn’t got a clue, and I don’t think they cared. Very sad.

The Preston Innovations England Feeder team are well managed by Tom Pickering (front row, second from left).

On a brighter England note, it was great to see another trial for Tommy Pickering’s Feeder team. Now if anyone has never met Tommy, you may have heard a lot about him. I know I had, and to be honest I couldn’t stand the bloke – arrogant, threw his rattle, holier than though, I just took a instant dislike to him, and I wasn’t on my own.

That was until I spent time with him, and I could never have been so wrong about a man. I’m not blowing smoke up his bum, and trying to get in the team (I’m not good enough, simple as!) but I must say I have never met a more passionate Englishman.

This bloke is England, the work and detail he puts in for his lads is unreal. I know he is off to South Africa soon to work out the massive Bloemoth Dam in preparation for the forthcoming World Championships, and is already looking ahead to Ireland in a few years time.

He is literally living and breathing for his team, and what a team it is. Now if you think you are good enough, go for it, there is no boys club, this is the real deal. If you’re good enough he will hear about it, believe me. If you’re not, he will hear about it.

So next time there is a trial advertised, and you think you can cut it, get in touch with the Angling Trust and send your angling CV: your country needs you! Not yet though, the team’s good enough!



This is what its about…

I had this email forwarded to me this week from Sammie Perkins. One of her female colleagues had a corporate match for the staff at Dynamite Baits, and I thought I would share it with you. It made me smile from ear to ear…

Hi Sammie.

Kerry is this week’s “star” in this Performance of the Week slot.

Well Sammie, I did it!!!  Everyone tried to make me fish with maggots, but I just didn’t want to put one of those horrible things on my hook.  They said I wouldn’t catch on corn and it didn’t help that I only had 2 pole sections and I had drawn the worst peg!!

So I sat there all day using hemp and corn and I didn’t catch a thing (not even a tiddler)! Until the last half an hour that is…

I had just been inside to the toilet and to fetch a cuppa tea for Ang and I thought, I’ll give it one more go.  I chucked a handful of hemp in and a few pieces of corn and I put a corn on my hook. 

I stared at the water and my float as I had been doing all day and then it finally happened…..the float dipped under, I struck to the left, the elastic on my rod came flying out, this was it!  “I’ve got one” I shouted!  

Everyone was pleased for me cause I think they thought “poor Kerry, she’s hasn’t caught anything all day”.  It was a good size carp, I was so happy. 

Anyway, I thought I better get back out there and keep trying.  So off I went again and almost immediately the float went under, I caught another carp!

Time was ticking on,  only a few minutes to go, so out I went again and I caught another carp (I could tell this one was a biggy).  I caught it before the end of the match, but I didn’t land it before the end but Mark said it would count as long as I’d caught it before time then that was fine!

Three carp in the last 30 minutes of the match, weighing 13lb something.  I was over the moon (but very unpopular with everyone else) – I got a lot of abuse!  But I don’t care, I was patient and held out to the bitter end!  

Thank you for your tips, I didn’t let you down. 

Regards, Kerry Saunders.

I know Kerry is not an avid match fisher but I could just imagine her excitement and how happy she was at winning this match. Hopefully angling has won here, and as a one off I would like to award Kerry Saunders my Performance of the Week.


STEVE COLLETT’S MATCH BLOG RETURNS HERE ON THIS WEBSITE NEXT TUESDAY – check back on this website every day for a new blog.

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Related posts:

Why it’s time for change now, as we move into autumn, by Steve Collett

Enjoyment can come without winning, by Steve Collett

How Les Thompson won £50K at Match This final, by Steve Collett

How to become a sponsored angler, by Steve Collett

What really happened at the World Angling Championships, by Steve Collett


Be sure to read this week’s Angler’s Mail magazine (on sale now) for big value angling coverage, including must-read exclusives galore!