Tuesday’s blog is from Steve Collett, the boss of leading online tackle retailers Harris SportsmailCollett

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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THERE is a sudden increase in the amount of angling coaches around these days, and whilst I am all for taking our sport forward, are we doing it the right way?

The very first time I came into contact with an Angling Trust coach was whilst I was doing a feature for the Angler’s Mail. After a brief introduction, I could already see the wheels falling off this money cart, as the “coach” in question may well have been on a coarse to be able to tell a carp from a catfish, but as far as teaching the methodology of fishing, these poor kids may well have asked Boris Johnson!

In a nutshell as far as I can see this bloke couldn’t fish, and could never fish, so why would he think he could coach, was it the qualification he had just paid a few hundred quid for? I can remember that day as if it was yesterday; it was the day I feared for our sport, what I witnessed and hear next confirmed it.

The bloke was a fraud as far as I could see, and I felt that anyone who had signed up, or joined one of his “coaching” courses would be in and out of our pastime faster than you can say fish!

It prompted me to get in touch with our governing body, but I felt they were so out of touch with modern fishing, it wasn’t worth my time or effort pointing these things out to a man who thinks he can buy a leg of salmon from Waitrose!

The right kind of coach...? Back in the old days you'd have been talking about one like this for anglers... with your wheels, not two legs.

The right kind of coach…? Back in the old days you’d have been talking about one like this for anglers… with four wheels, not two legs.

So what about coaching, who makes a good coach?

Well normally in a “sport” a coach does not necessarily have to be good at their “sport” but are we a sport? Would you have lessons from a golfer who was crap at golf? See where I am coming from.

At the moment our governing body will give a coach’s badge to anyone with a few hundred quid and a Goretex fleece, to me this is all wrong, it’s the blind leading the blind.

If I was going to a coach, I’d go for results, I get golf lessons from a scratch golfer, I get clay shooting lessons from an ex Olympian. Why should I go to “DAVE” who has had 23 lasts in a club match, and hasn’t won a raffle, yet he is my area go to coach, just because he has an accreditation, that is NOT recognized by anyone outside of the Angling Trust?

All of this has long term implications, taking 12 kids down the local F1 farm to catch the same size fish, over and over again will see them leave or pastime in their droves, I’m telling you. It might be good for getting youngsters into fishing, but will they stay more than five minutes?

Andy May - now he's a proper angling coach.

Andy May – now he’s a proper angling coach.

Another happy angler in the hands of young coach and top angler Lee Kerry.

Another happy angler in the hands of young coach and top angler Lee Kerry.

I would have a bit of coaching, as I love to learn, but who would I go to?

Well, it would be “DAVE” or some other Herbert with a “badge” and a tabard.

I would be looking at results men, people who can pass on real knowledge like Lee Kerry, Kireon Rich, Andy May, Nick Speed, Andy Findlay, Jamie Hughes… anglers that can catch fish and at the top of their game.

Why Dave… because he has a badge and has once caught a 7lb carp from Tunnel Barn?

So if you were going to take up golf today, god forbid, got yourself some golf bats and looked for a coach, would you look up the local Tiger Woods, Poults, or a professional… or would you be interested in my mate Jamal, he’s no good, doesn’t really play, but has a badge?


collett match awards


Dave Brooks Jnr - performer of the week... this is a catch he made earlier (a lot earlier).

Dave Brooks Jnr – performer of the week… this is a catch he made earlier (a lot earlier).

This week’s award has to go to the Wembley of fishing once again, a venue that has more names than a phonebook, and remains the who’s who of match fishing… The “Stainy”.

This week’s winner seems to have cleaned up as the match calendar on the canal comes to a close. Taking his side to victory as well as putting in an awesome individual performance, it’s safe to say that Dave Brooks Jr knows what he is doing.

Drawing peg 202 (a peg I fished in the week and caught nowt of note!) Dave put together a superb net of roach totalling 13-15-0 alternating bloodworm and occasionally switching to his caster line long, beating young Tom Potter who put 11-1-0 on the scales.

A great performance from a top quality angler and easily deserving of this weeks Angler’s Mail performance of the week, Mr Dave Brooks Jr, take a bow.




Be sure to read this week's Angler's Mail - in shops from March 4. Steve Collett is on the cover and with an exclusive 5-page feature inside this week’s Angler’s Mail – in shops now.