Steve Collett – our Tuesday blogger

WELCOME TO the Tuesday blog. Tuesdays mean Steve Collett, focussing mainly on match fishing but also delving into his styles of pleasure fishing and specialist angling.

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WE have all been there… “Who put this peg in?” the very familiar moan and groan of the modern day match angler. “Who pegged this? Ray Charles?”

I am pretty sure that this Sunday, you would have heard those kind of things wherever you are in the country, but how many of us have actually taken a step back and thought about pegging a match yourself?

This weekend match organisers on a winter league that I am involved with had to make a difficult decision and switch a match from a flooded river to a canal – a nightmare situation in itself. Then the added headache of accommodating 70 plus anglers, parking, and the overall fairness of the match.

Can’t be an easy task, and trying to keep everyone happy is nigh on impossible, but the match had to go ahead, and decisions had to be made.

Now before I go on an further, think about it, think about what has to be done.

Team captains have to contacted. Controlling clubs have to be contacted, hopefully the waters are free that weekend? The sections have to pegged out, signs put up, and a lot of walking and talking. It’s a lot of work that goes into it, believe me.

So after a few days of panic, the match goes ahead and come Sunday morning us happy anglers, draw our pegs and look forward to a days fishing. Wrong, it’s Sunday, it’s open season on match organisers…

This match legend drew more than his fair share of no hopers, cesspits and parrot cages. Read this week’s and next week’s Angler’s Mail magazine for the FULL story on this brilliant new Frank Barlow book.

How the few would love a “wall-mounted Brian” or a “fireside rugskin of  Bob”. These mild mannered creatures have become prey, almost everyone hates them. They can do no right, the hard work they have done all week is now to be undone in five minutes.

I really feel for these guys at the moment, they come in for so much stick, and I have been part of the baying mob over the years. As I get older and longer in the tooth, I look at it in a very different light.

These blokes are not on 50k a year to peg out, most of it is done on a voluntary basis, so if I do draw a bad ‘un, it’s a case of head down and try to get the best of of it that I can, not channel all of my energy into verbally murdering the match organiser.

It’s a thankless task these poor buggers do, and unless you have done it, it’s hard to realise what’s gone on behind the scenes.

I’m sure you have seen the signs in the banks, post offices, and other public dealings offices about verbal abuse to staff will not be tolerated. Well the things I heard this weekend aimed towards this poor guy would have had us all imprisoned !

And it made me think, these blokes want us to catch, pure and simple, if we all bag up, they are happy, an easy life with smiling faces all round is a good result. They don’t purposely go out of their way to ruin a day’s sport for us.

Put it this way, next time you are on a natural venue, look along the stretch and peg out mentally, say 50 pegs. I can guarantee you that there will be at least ten “bad” pegs where the chances of winning are pretty slim. You never know, but the chances are they will be bad pegs, that’s match fishing, and there is nothing we can do about it – it’s a bit of a lotto.

It’s definitely not the match organiser’s fault, and we would do pretty well to remember that in the future, as without these guys from the Angling Trust we would find ourselves in a pretty poor state each week come draw time.

As I can tell you now, I wouldn’t do it for all the money in the world, so next time you draw a duffer on a winter league, remember its not the organiser’s fault, someone has to draw it, and hopefully a one from last in the section becomes a good hard fought out result.

This week’s award goes to a bloke who has been in the frame on more canal matches than anyone I know.

He seems to have been around for ever, and has been at the top of his game “cut fishing” for over 20 years now.

It’s the one and only Mr Paul Turner (Maver Tipton) who topped the field in this weeks Bilston league and recorded a win on the Sunday that followed a superb victory on the Shroppie on Saturday.

Areal class act, and a superb weekend of results for him. Congratulations Paul, take a bow, this week’s deserved Angler’s Mail winner.




Be sure to read Angler’s Mail magazine – EVERY WEEK! This week’s issue includes a special look at news books on the legends Frank Barlow and Mr Crabtree, and how to make winning feeders.