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 writes an absolute must-read My Say column in this week’s big value Angler’s Mail magazine – out now!
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THE GREAT PELLET RIP-OFF
OVER the past few weeks I have found myself visiting quite a few venues up and down the country fishing small Opens, and like most of us, enjoying it.
Nothing massive, no mega money matches just a good craic with a few pals, and all is good in the world of club match fishing.
That is until I get home and discover I am now the recipient of goods I cannot use anywhere else? The dreaded “fishery own pellet”.
If, like me, you fish four of five venues a month then you have probably been duped into buying pellets from four or rive places, differing hugely in price and quality.
So I decided to look into it further and see if we are really being ripped off or the fishery has the welfare of its stock genuinely in mind.
Venue 1’s pellets were put under the microscope (so to speak) and, in a rather flimsy polythene bag, put on the scales. The 3mm pellets that were obviously Skrettings and purchased at £2 a bag measured a whopping 280 gr, as the fishery was at its peak and the carp were having a go, a pint of pellet would cost roughly £4. Two pints would be needed at least, so I parted with £6 and proceeded to feed the farmer’s pigs.
The next venue I attended supplied pellets in a very smart “manufacturers” and added a few different colours to ensure you didn’t bring your own “pellet.” At just under £4 for 650 gr a few pints again would set you back a pretty penny, but at least the amount was clearly displayed, and the packaging was recyclable. Somewhere along the line quality control had been adhered to, but still an expensive day out!
My next weekender was possibly the worst. A horrible dirty farmer opened his stinking caravan, and proceeded to hand out pellets in a polythene bag that was so thin, it could have been used as PVA. A few of the guys had bags split before they had got to their pegs.
I thought I would get some to keep for my experiment and noticed in the back of his pellet peddling vehicle that he actually had two different brands of commercial pellet – Coppens and Skrettings. So obviously the cheapest was the best, £2 a bag and £7 peg fee, the odious toad did nothing for fishing but take.
It was no surprise to find out that when I weighed the bag it registered 225g and contained two different types of pellet, and pieces of plastic.
I really do feel “trapped” when attending some of these venues. I am all for commercial enterprise but when most of these fisheries have no quality control, no packaging recycling programme, and no weights and measures procedures, I begin to feel a little hard done by.
I can’t help feel for the tackle shop that has all of these measures in place, and must feel foolish sending these anglers to their doom, giving information, and bypassing a sale.
I have voted with my feet on this one I’m afraid, and will readily turn around, or refuse to use pellet if I feel I am being took for a ride and maybe so should you.
If you feel you are being ripped off, report it to Trading Standards. You would not pay for a pint of beer, and get a half, so why should you be short changed with pellet.
Records have been smashed to pieces up and down the country this week as the fish have a proper munch before they embark in a bit of sexy time.
With elastics being stretched all over the place, the Angler’s Mail performance of the week, as always is made more difficult.
This week I have gone with a bit of consistency as well as experience and this week’s winner managed to round off a good week with a net of 61 lb 9 oz on Sunday to add to a superb 196 lb 7 oz midweek win at Blundells fishery.
That man is off course Daiwa-backed Kieron Rich, no stranger to a few titles can now add an Angler’s Mail performance of the week to his list. Well done Kieron.
STEVE COLLETT RETURNS NEXT TUESDAY (MAY 21).
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