Tuesdays blog is from 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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Match fishing craic RIP?
There was a time when match fishing could be heard, a time when you could sustain a broken rib due to laughing too much, and the draw was a time of fierce mickey taking and stroke pulling.
After a match the frivolity continued – if you had done bad from a flyer, you knew about it, tales of woe, boaters, tasty joggers would all come out, and always the club or team jester would hold court. Match fishing seemed a great laugh and a good place to be, full of characters, now it’s more like a doctor’s waiting room!
I’m not sure what’s happened of late, but it doesn’t take a genius to work out that all of this straight faced and boring participation coincides with the popularity of social media, or does it – are we just a boring lot anyway?
Take some of our sports big winners, the names. Unfortunately for the sport, I have seen more charisma in a pair of crocs – the edge has gone of them a little, and as I said above it all seems to run parallel with social media, and the angler’s so called “sponsorship” or discount scheme, as it should be properly called.
Only a few weeks ago, I was sat on a match when a bank runner asked me if I had caught anything. I ignored him, he asked again, I turned around with my eyes closed and said ‘I don’t know mate, I’ve left my contact lenses at home and can’t see my float, do you mind stopping there sky lining me for five minutes and letting me know if my float goes under…’ I was off course taking the mickey, he didn’t seem to think so and stood there for 40 seconds before realising and scooting off in a huff! No sense of humour.
I have had to stop myself looking at Facebook on a Sunday, as I know it brings a little bit of bile to my mouth… you know, the absolutely outrageous comments you have all seen, but I don’t think anyone has approached the subject yet. Like:
“Match at wilys farm today, drew peg 2191, usually a bad peg, but I managed 28932 lb and a match win, I would like to thank my sponsors Bob’s baits, Paul’s poles, and Frank’s floats, I would also like to thank my mom and dad for having me, and the owner for having such a great hole in the ground and filling it with fish. I would also like to thank my team mates and competitors around me for being great human beings”
What the frigging hell is that all about? Turning a club match into an Oscar speech, shoehorning everyone in except the slug on his holdall? The world’s gone mad, the fishing world that is, I suppose it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing “selfies” on a peg. Oh wait a minute, we already have!
I think this is due to a certain amount of anglers feeling the pressure to “please” their discount club people (I mean sponsors) and again the only way they can do this is via social media. I know the world is changing, I just like to moan about it!
Matchfishing for me was the last bastion of political correctness, a place where, as a working class ruffian, I could rip the p@#s out of anyone within earshot, a place where politics is a dirty word, and the only talk of anything intellectual would be the discussion of what Rachel Riley was wearing on Countdown.
It looks like this has all gone now, instead you can hear whispers of micrometre measurements, and he-said-she-said on Facebook – “oh have you heard about so and so, I’m so going to unfriend him in the morning”!
Matchfishing craic 1950-2013 RIP
The temperatures have really started to drop now, and silver fish leauges up and down the country are in full flow, and none more than this where this week’s winner claimed victory against a strong field in this week’s teams of four silver fish league at Hallcroft fishery. Giving a great performance of the week, Matt Malia topped the bill with 23-7-0 of skimmers on the pole from peg 50 on Island pool. A great net of fish, and well worthy of this week’s Anglers Mail performance of the week. Matt take a bow.
STEVE COLLETT RETURNS NEXT TUESDAY (NOVEMBER 26).
Be sure to get this week’s brilliant new issue of Angler’s Mail magazine! It’s in shops from Tuesday, November 19.
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