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.


DO YOU think it’s still possible to fish a match come nowhere and still enjoy it? Well that’s what I did this weekend, and to hear people moan week in and week out on matches I did not think this possible.

I made the hour and a half trek to Patshull Park near Wolverhampton with Samantha Perkins to fish the Sunday Open, and the only thing that I would have had a slight niggle about was the attendance, but I’ll come on to that later.

The fishing at Patshull is superb, a proper natural venue, with silver fish being the quarry and hardly a carp in sight. All of this plus stunning surroundings makes Sundays very pleasant indeed, but there was still a match to be fished.

As usual the drawbag was very unkind to Samantha and I, plus we both drew complete opposite ends to one another so mickey-taking out of each other was also put to an end.

I pulled out peg 31, Samantha 49 both areas had not been doing too much of late but hey ho, you can’t have everything. We both headed off to our pegs slightly deflated.

My peg was near the hotel with a very steep bank behind me making my original plan of fishing 13m very difficult, and being roughly a top-six deep (20-25ft) this was going to be a challenging few hours.

After a small perch an hour in, I knew I was out of the game, and talking to Samantha, she was struggling as well, with just one trout (that are not allowed).


Sammie and me had fun at Patshull, despite the cost and travel, but the entry number was disappointing.

Still enjoying it?

Four hours into the match and no one around me was catching and the guy to my left was packing up I decided to have a go on a 5 m “last resort” line where I had fed groundbait and chopped worm.

During the last 30-45 minutes I had put 49 small perch in the net and with those I had put 14 lb something on the scales. That was winning the section until the last peg on it who had a superb 17 lb on a very tough day.

So second in my section, not in the money I would usually feel down and out after a one and a half hour journey, and a big bait and fuel bill, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. So did Samantha who did superbly to finish second in her section with 16 lb odd of skimmers of another unfancied peg.

So why did we still have a good match? Well I’m not sure. It could be the nice folks that attend this match, the lack of moaning and groaning, and of course the beautiful surroundings, and challenging fishing that these natural venues have to offer. But with only 25-30 fishing, and included in this number were lots of people who like us had travelled at least one and a half hours for the pleasure – and looking at the results on the Angler’s Mail website, this was well attended – what is going on?

Look at the results this weekend in places like the North East where the two biggest matches of the week were on the River Calder and the River Don. In the East the Tidal Trent provided a qualifying match and the West Midlands did not even see one 50-pegger again this week. Midweek the attendances on places like the Trent at Newark are attracting 50-plus, and the Burton Festival will I’m sure see more than 60 on it.

So are people heading back to the rivers and naturals?  I hope so, as I’m sure this breeds a more all-round angler, and provides us with future world class talent, I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this?


More excuses than a pregnant nun!

Sean Ashby, the Drenann Team England regular, was our shining light in a testing World Championships in the Czech Republic. He didn’t catch anything this big (mullet) this time as bleak dominated the event.

Listening to the radio this weekend and Andy Ford’s superb coverage of the World Champs it really became apparent that we should win a gold medal in moaning and excuse making!

As a listener back at home, and of course never been blessed with the talent to fish for England, I couldn’t help chuckling to myself about the amount of excuses we made, not enough sun for bleak, the river rose, the flow wasn’t right, well forgive me for asking, was this not the same for Poland?

For the Czechs or did the river not rise in their pegs, and the sun shone all day, and the bleak only spoke Polish? I’m not so sure, we are having a rough patch on the International scene at the moment.

Is this due to the amount of commercials and lack of big competitions in the UK, I don’t know, but we need to nip this in the bud now, before we slide down the international slope. If this was football, well…


Apart from having a tough time, congratulations must be given to Sean Ashby who is now World Champion – a superb feat. And having to take on the Polish at bleak fishing is no mean effort.

It was a superb performance and he is now a member of a very exclusive club. Well done Sean. Special coverage will be in Angler’s Mail magazine – don’t miss it, match fans!

Gareth Drury

My other star performance goes out to Gareth Drury who had an amazing win at Forest Lane Fishery in York with a colossal 142 lb with 125 lb of that being made up of chub! What a day’s fishing and well done Gareth.

What makes it even more worthy of an award is that Gareth took his time out to explain to a few club anglers how he did it, and share tips for a match the next day. They then went on to finish first and second with a huge chub bag of their own!

Superb performances worthy of this week’s honours, take a bow!


Related posts

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 get this week’s Angler’s Mail magazine. It’s a lively issue, and includes one of the nation’s finest match fishing haulers, Steve Gregory, showing how to compile a big mixed net.