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.

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No match fishing, just leisure carp

I WILL be honest with you, I have not been on a match for a few weeks. I just can’t bring myself to go out, spend 50 or so quid, to draw rubbish, catch nowt, and not enjoy a second of it. And I really don’t think I am the only one judging by the amount of people fishing matches over the past few weeks.

So I have used this time, to do a few rigs, adjustment to rigs, and a little experimenting with new ideas.

Despite this weather and current climate being just an inconvenience, it’s also a real crisis for the tackle shop, more than ever before, because of a few things but I won’t go into that again. I don’t think any of these casualties will make a comeback – a very sad year for fishing I’m afraid.

So like most of us, I should have been confined to the house by a warm fire, or in the pub with a ploughman’s, but as a self-confessed angling nut, I have either been carp fishing with the missus or attending shows, open days, and anything that involves fishing.

And last Saturday saw me make the journey up the M6 to the Northern Fishing Show, the first one, to have  good ol’ look around, and see what’s what.

Although most of the show was aimed at the hard-core carp market  (click here to watch my videos) I couldn’t help notice that the match world is getting closer and closer to this scene, and vice versa.

The guys on the Guru stand seem to knit our two worlds very well together, with carp-type rigs, flavours, even the bits and bobs are coming from the “dark side”. I’m pretty much all for that, as most commercial fishing these days is becoming more and more large carp-orientated we need to think more along the lines of the dark side and employ a lot of their tactics.

Korda have helped make Goo popular.

One thing I was very proud of back in the day was the use of the “hair rig” back in the late eighties. I was the first “match” angler to use this method and a feature in one of the angling mags brought lots of sniggers and mickey taking.

I took a lot of money on it, and it’s great to see it’s now very much a part of the matchmans armoury. And there is a lot more things we will adapt soon I’m sure.

The bait side of the carp market is also making its way into our carryalls, additives are also playing a massive part.

Take a look at the Goo, that stuff will smash waters apart this year, and I suppose it’s only a matter of time before some sour face old farmer with a fishery bans it for no reason.

What’s next from the dark side? Well I am pretty sure we will take ideas from the “chod” slack line fishing, and definitely zig style fishing will see us put some big weights together.

So before we snigger and laugh at our friends in the little green houses, and rib them about camping, have a little time out, and look at what they are doing, trying to catch pressurised fish, the same as us.


Congrats to Matt Stockton

The weather has done us all in again this week, and it’s been pretty tough again for anyone venturing out, so a few phone calls gave me a pretty clear picture that the Carp are still shoaled up, and a lot of waters are still frozen.

Apart from the freezing weather young Matt Sockton (Maver) managed to top the field at Boldings Pools in Shropshire and put together a superb net of 63 lb 11 oz on Beech pool peg 11.

It’s always good to see the young uns do well, and this lad did, so Matt take a bow, pal…. this week’s deserved Anglers Mail Performance of the week.

Related post

Steve Collett talks to some of the stars of the Northern Angling Show 




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