In his popular weekly blog, Colin Mitchell explores the differences between 'Deckchair Derek' and Mr Got It All... does having the latest kit help you catch more fish?



IT’S so easy to buy loads of great gear and learn so much about how to fish effectively.

There’s now a vast range of superb tackle on sale – and even some of the lower priced items are fantastic bits of kit. And there’s no shortage of great features, articles and information about what to catch, where and how.

There are even professional coaches that you can hire – sometimes at a not too unreasonable cost, especially if you share the bill with a mate.

Crikey – you can even hire four times World Champion Bob Nudd to show you the ropes. Tell me another sport where you can get that sort of great offer!

Yet it still amazes me about how many people haven’t got a clue when they get onto the bank – and I am not on about the guys and girls who go maybe once or twice a year on their holidays.

This past week I watched a big corporate match on a major commercial fishery. No names, no giveaways as I don’t want to embarrass anyone – or indeed have hitmen chasing me!

There was a vast array as to the standard of angler, as you would expect on an event of this nature. They ranged from Deckchair Derek to Mr Got It All, who had the best kit money can buy. His seatbox probably cost more than some of the cars that were parked up!

But to say the standard of angling was mixed would be an understatement! Of course there were a number of anglers who were obviously regular match guys who knew what they were doing. You could spot them a mile off.

There were others with all the gear they needed who were either totally confused about what methods to use on the day or didn’t have much of a clue. I fear it was the second…

There was one particular guy who hadn’t dressed the part and didn’t look it as he tackled up. He didn’t have the best-looking gear either – but he could actually fish!

His casting was spot on to the right place. He attacked in the right way to win but quite simply didn’t have the best of pegs from which to produce the good. He fished with a smile and went home happy – just glad to have been on the bank.

And the guy who had what I would call kit from the past, not exactly the modern day outfit! But once again he knew what to do, had probably fished for many decades and just fished to enjoy himself.

Now I think the last two anglers are the heart and soul of angling. Without them we would not have a sport.

The guys with all the gear – and they were the ones moaning loudest about poor sport, bad pegging, rubbish breakfast etc – are not the best advert for angling.

In fact their continual whingeing makes me wonder why they keeping on wanting to cast a line.

Blog MitchI feel sorry for the likes of Deckchair Derek who has pretty decent gear, his heart is in the right place but he falls short on ability or knowledge to catch the few more fish he deserves.

But, back to the start – there is no excuse for anyone not being able to learn more and catch more.

It is down to the rest of us to try and help where we can. I did my bit with a few little pointers in the right direction to the anglers who looked like they might like to know. And I got thanks.

Don’t just take a friend fishing. Give a bit of help to those friends you don’t yet know…

One thing is certain about angling – nothing is certain! You can target species you don’t expect when you reckon there is no chance of them showing.

Sometimes tackle that shouldn’t give you an earthly of catching results in fish being netted. You see anglers who haven’t got a clue land a fish that leaves your face green with envy.

And at other times baits that really should not attract the fish fool some superb or unexpected species. How often have all of the above affected you or your fishing?

I’d not realised it before but over the past few weeks I reckon that I have seen all the above happening. And it’s just another good reason as to why we should never wear blinkers when fishing.

Although I draw a line at floatfishing half a slice of bread to tempt catfish. Yes, I saw it happen and I am still gobsmacked. It wasn’t one cat that was caught. It was several…but I am still not going to have a go at that method!


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