Tony Keeling

WELCOME TO the Tuesday blog. Tuesdays mean match fishing. Steve Collett is currently away fishing – a top secret mission – which he’ll tell you about at a later date.

Into his blogging boots steps Angler’s Mail match fishing reporter and Where To Fish sage, Tony Keeling. One of the best canal anglers (and match organisers) in his younger days, top man Tony is still an ace to be reckoned with, and very much in touch with the whole scene.

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END PEGS – if I had a tenner every time someone has said to me this season ‘he only won the section because he was end peg’ I would be blogging this from somewhere deep in the Caribbean!

I must rank as the worst ever performer on an end peg in match fishing history. I used to do OK on them but not now, perhaps all end pegs are not that good, maybe I am just crap, I don’t care either way!  The fact is I only have one guy to have a bit of banter with is more of a concern to me.

The last few months I have won a lot of sections by my standards and I am quietly pleased and still enjoy the banter of telling my neighbour to get some lessons in or the last time I beat anyone I didn’t see them for a few years – all good fun!

The last two sections I have won I was on pegs 2 and peg 3 – on both occasions I was told ‘I only won the section because I was on the peg.’ How can peg 2 or peg 3 be an end peg? However, you can’t please everyone – maybe I will drew next to this sherbet stirrer one day, if I ever find out who he is…

Like many matches we do sections of five around here and it is brilliant, spreading the money out more. OK £25 will not pay the electric bill but in these matches you get a free day out. Our contests are very cheap to fish; probably that is why we have the biggest turnouts in the country.


Good pegging requires commonsense.

Reducing the amount of end pegs is not really rocket science. The practise of having, five pegs here, five pegs there, five pegs in Timbuktu just doesn’t wash with me, this creates many more end pegs. At the rate this is escalating I might have to renew my passport before too long!

We can’t avoid boats, we can’t avoid cables and we can’t avoid bridges but we can use commonsense. I have seen three end pegs in five on more than one occasion – I just can’t understand why.

Now before someone says that I am a moaning old fart, I may well be, but my comments here are meant for the benefit of team match fishing, nothing less. After all, can you imagine an Angling Trust National being pegged all over the shop – it would be chaos, thankfully it will never happen. In fact I see nothing wrong with following the Angling Trust model match rules as much as we can.

Now here is a really good tip from all my years of match organising. Match organising is the same as match fishing, it is all about learning from errors, I know that only too well after making enough of them.

A few years back I pegged out a 100+ plus match in a vile thunderstorm. I got three pegs stuck together, not two but THREE! At the draw I was told of my mistake, by mobile, from someone who had drawn one of them. I was just finishing the draw, someone drew my peg and chuff me I was on one of them as well!


I was offered Liverpool FA Cup final tickets once… after putting in a peg a fishing match winner didn’t initially fancy!

Anyway that was soon sorted, I had to move one guy to the other side of a lock, he protested in no uncertain terms. I even promised him his money back if he had a bad day.

He won his section and all of a sudden I was his best mate – I thought he was going to come round for tea – he even offered me a couple of Cup Final tickets… he was from Liverpool!

So, there was a lesson to be learnt from this and I made up several books where every peg in over ten miles of canals should go whenever I ran and pegged out any matches. I marked every peg with all its features in front and behind, sometimes it was a case of grouping a few together, such as stick-ups five pegs and that sort of thing.

I used these books in every match I ran, including several Nationals from that day on. A quick count in the book would always tell you what peg you should be putting down. All parking points were listed relating to groups of pegs and it also made pegging out for team matches a piece of cake; another big bonus was you could do all this by yourself.

Hope you enjoyed this read, with apologies to all my mates from Liverpool!

See you on the next end peg!!



Paul Murrin

There is no Matchman of the Week from me this week, sorry about that – a few extra lessons and you might get on here! 

However, there is one for the organiser of the last few months and that goes to Tipton, West Midlands based match organiser Paul Murrin.

He has stepped into my size 14s and gets the draws done much faster and results out far quicker than I could ever have done; in fact he does them faster than Tom Lipton can sell tea leaves!

Well done and well deserved Paul. You can pay me by cheque!!!




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