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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I DON’T think we have ever had fishing so good if you’re into amassing huge nets of carp. And this is the time to do it, as all around the country match results are soaring into the three -figure marks but there is a skill to it, and you have to be prepared.

I’m in the very fortunate position to be able to sit behind anglers whilst they are doing there best to fill as many nets as possible and break that ton, and more commonly the double ton!

And to do this there is no real secrets, just a lot of preparation, and I managed to glean a few tips of the very best to give you the chance of breaking the 100 lb barrier this summer.


1. Preparation

Simple as this may seem, the way you prepare your gear for a session could be THE difference between winning or losing. Make no mistake, the Les Thompsons, Des Shipps, and other greats all prepare to win, and nothing is left to chance.

The night before, make everything tidy, don’t just throw your stuff in the carryall. Get a situation going where you know where everything is, bait boxes nicely stacked, pellet pumps where they are supposed to be, and everything tidy, so when you get to your peg, there is less time messing and more time assessing!


2. Double up

Again this may seem simple to most, but having duplicates or more of everything really helps your rhythm, as there is nothing worse than seeing lumps down the inside, and discovering that you have tangled your margin rig 2 hours earlier whilst trying something daft! Get it sorted have one or more tied up exactly the same, it doesn’t take much effort.

I have lost count of the number of times I have seen anglers ruin a margin swim, by having to stand up and mess around in there boxes looking for stuff to Heath Robinson a rig together in the last hour.

Next time you tie a rig, tie two, when you buy a catapult, get another, but make sure you always have a spare.



This is something I see all the best do: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

When I do a feature with a top flight angler you will notice on his side tray, very little, the bare essentials. His bait will be kept simple, and everything is to hand.

Now when I am doing a feature with a club level angler. His side tray will look like Steptoe’s back yard, it will be a mess guaranteed, too many baits, too many different types of floats and too much crap!

Next time you see an Action Replay in the Angler’s Mail, pay attention to the side trays of the greats and have a look…. it will be as tidy as Gok Wan’s sock draw.


4. Don’t tire a swim out

When you’re catching from a particular area of your peg, it’s very easy to keep flogging it to death. We have all done it, and caught until the area dies out, or sometimes we are very lucky and it doesn’t.

But again one thing I have learned from the stars is that even if they are having a bite-a-chuck in a particular area, they will still give it a rest and try another part of their swim. This maybe even better that the bite-a-chuck area, producing bigger fish sometimes. It’s hard to do, and takes discipline but it’s worthwhile.


5. At arm’s length

If there is one thing I have taken away from doing features with great anglers is that they always have an area of the swim they can feed by hand, and in particular with real regularity.

The bait keeps going in little and often, but it never stops raining bait, it may be only two or three casters, one cube of meat, but whatever it is, they never stop doing it.

I have seen 40lb to 50lb put in the net in the last few minutes of a match on this line. So throw a few casters as far as you can and get into a rhythm of doing it, then fish it out.


All of these lessons I have managed to learn, they are not my tips – I am crap – but if you could just put one them into practise this weekend on your club match it might just make the difference.



It’s getting harder and harder to sort out a worthy winner of this award each week, as I have been hearing about some spectacular performances this weekend, but I have to pick one…

This week the Angler’s Mail performance of the week award goes to the North East of the country where a mammoth 159 pegger took place at Lindholme Fisheries. And it was John Barningham who took the honours with a 109lb 9oz bag, at the Big Bash charity match, from peg 69 on Laurels, beating young Frankie G into second place.

Take a bow John. It’s always nice to win a huge match, even better when it’s for a good cause.




Our biggest issue so far this year, a fat 104-pager is out now! With free fake bait (corn or maggot), free rod licence voucher, free day ticket voucher.


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