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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I’M TALKING about our fishing season of course, but I suppose it doesn’t affect that many of you these days as there is a huge number of puddles and commercials to go at. Certainly many matchmen barely notice the difference.

I’ve written before about the Close Season debate, and I’m still unsure on where I sit, I am sure though that my decision won’t be affected by commercial gain.

My reasons for the close season are probably personal, I don’t mind the rest, and as I have said before I really enjoy the excitement of the glorious 16th but there are a few more reasons why I think it should remain.

I was talking to an old boy the other day whilst having a little walk along the banks of the Trent, and I remarked that something was very different about the river at this time of year, and until June, the old boy made a few guesses, “peace and quiet” he said, “no cars along the bank” and a few more. But he didn’t get it. What is it that makes the riverbanks different in these next few months?

Litter, yup litter. Have a walk along the banks of say the River Severn from Arley upstream and you will find the odd “dog egg” but hardly any litter strewn along the bank, and tucked into bushes. Now call me a cynic but it’s a huge coincidence that between March and June you very rarely see what resembles a small council tip on the bank, yet come June 16th and the following months I can guarantee that you will find meat tins, groundbait bags, and other fishing related tat.

I’m not really buying the other argument about “spawning fish” if these spawning fish were such a ‘no-no’ then why is it that every specimen chasing angler wants to catch a big tench in the next few months, why do you think they are fat? And why are perch targeted in these early parts of the season, with anglers hoping to catch them at their biggest, they are full of spawn, so why are barbel any different and should be treated with extra furry mittens?

Then I have a few “fors” with the abolition of the Close Season. Somehow this reason seems to know when March 14th is and when June 16th arrives. I have fished a stretch of the Trent all year, and in all that time I haven’t seen one cormorant on the water, I have seen them flying over, but never hunting, and it’s the same with goosanders, and god knows what else.

But on Sunday I had a small walk and saw 10-15 cormorants and four goosanders? Do they know we are not supposed to be there, or are they just feeding young ‘uns? Whatever the reason they certainly don’t inhabit this stretch during the season.

Then the speedboat crew, these creatures only operate or migrate during the Close Season, and love to wash away the banks and zoom up and down at 20-plus knots only slowing down to do what…. fish. That’s it have a troll boys, do as you please, I can’t tell you off as a caucasian working class  Englishman, it may be deemed as racist. I could try the EA… err, yup, done that. Or I could become a volunteer bailiff and still have no power, but gain a uniform and a walkie talkie!

So that’s my two-penneth worth on the Close Season, and it is just that my opinion. It’s a highly charged discussion point on the media that is the faceless forums, yet never a heated discussion in the pub or on Close Season day, why is that?

Anyway, what are your views? Should the glorious 16th remain just that, glorious, or like Sunday shopping and 24-hour booze do we need to move on, and just let it be?



collett match awards


Arise 'Sir Les" - read his tips by clicking the link below.

Arise ‘Sir Les” – read his tips by clicking the link below.

THE festival season is underway again for another year, and one of the country’s finest anglers has already chalked up a big title with Mr Steve Ringer taking the Bait-Tech Festival by storm showing his pure class.

This week’s winner seems hell bent on taking another big title, and the amount of prep and practise, as well as talent, I’m sure he will do it.

This week’s winner also managed to put a 20-pounder in the net as he cruised his way to victory on the Maver Larford Classic qualifier, a week ahead of the first Match This £50,000 qualifier.

I am of course talking about Les Thompson (Matrix Bait-Tech) who put together a fine net of 177-2 -0 and put the heebie jeebies up most of the competitors next week with a dominant display.

Lesley take a bow, this week’s Angler’s Mail performance of the week.


Related post

Les Thompson’s top match fishing tips





Like match fishing? top bagging waters are revealed in this latest issue – plus Action Replay with the youngest Daiwa Dorking ace, and Andy Bennett’s match fishing story.