IT’S time for our must-read Sunday blog. Every Sunday we welcome coarse fishing all-rounder Colin Mitchell.

For many years Colin was a senior Angler’s Mail magazine staff man and he has enjoyed a long, interesting journalism career. He understands match fishing, pleasure fishing, carp fishing – the lot.

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LET’S PRESUME that you are a newcomer to angling – or have just returned to the sport after a number of years away.

Now look through the pages of Angler’s Mail or check out some of the gear that’s on offer through the many shops or on-line retailers.

And whilst you are doing that have a good look at the various baits that are for sale.

Remember… you have been away for some time or are a newcomer. In both cases you would be totally baffled!

It’s obvious that if you want to get into golf, it’s wise to get a bit of coaching. Coaching is just one option when you start fishing!!

Returnees would be gobsmacked at the amount of cheap yet good tackle that is now on sale. There is no excuse for having rubbish kit.

They’d also be bamboozled by the incredible array of baits for sale – and I am not just on about carp baits and boilies.

Newcomers wouldn’t know where to start! How do they chose from the vast array of tackle and baits?

Advice is now so freely available they would also probably struggle to know where to begin.

Much of the above is something that’s always been a problem for angling: where do you start, how do you learn to fish?

Thankfully we now have a vast pool of advice in magazines like the Mail and some good informative TV programmes. We also have professionally qualified angling coaches.

Angler’s Mail magazine supports Take A Friend Fishing, a trade initiative to get people into the sport. There’s more on this in the next issue – some really fascinating stuff as we near June 16th, the start of the old-style season.

But pretend you are the man in the street. How do you know about what is available? There are less local tackle shops than there used to be and many are now not the font of all information and meeting points like they were in the past.

If you want to start playing football, cricket, golf etc you know to join a local club or see plenty of adverts from teams seeking players in local papers.

Do you see similar adverts from angling clubs? Rarely!

It’s time for angling to get out there and really prove how beneficial we can be to both society and the environment.

I know there are many great schemes run around the country, mostly by total volunteers, aimed at helping the deprived and bad lads.

We also need schemes for those with cash who don’t have social problems. These people can give angling a much-needed boost.

I was at a social function last weekend when a lady told me – with no prompting as I hadn’t mention angling – that she would love her son to go fishing. She didn’t know where to start and was talking about nets!

Angling coaching events do exist, and there are many good coaches if you choose to find one. Keep an eye on Angler’s Mail for info on events where you can improve your skills as firms like Korum, Nash and Korda are well into this now.

Luckily one of my local clubs, Godalming AS, not only have properly qualified coaches, but they also have “fun days” and teach-in at Marsh Farm Fishery.

When I told here about these her face lit up and it looks like our sport will have another recruit very shortly.

But how many potential anglers are we missing out on? How many can’t find out about learning – or buy the gear, don’t catch much and drift away?

Carp fishing has lured a lot of people into angling – including another person at that function who admitted he had returned to the sport after a break because he enjoyed catching the species.

Now, thankfully, he’s also drifted back into catching other species and taking on other disciplines rather than just cast out boilies and sit behind alarms.

I won’t knock any form of legal fishing but I do think it is vitally important that we all try to understand the other aspects of our sport.

Poles, feeder rods, float rods, fixed spools and centrepins all play a regular role in my fishing. But I’ll bet many anglers stick to just one method lots of times they are on the bank.

I’ve done some teach-ins but now I’m going to do my bit by taking my professional coaching badges. Not for reward but just to give something back to the sport.

Are you going to do anything? Or if you are already helping angling, let us know!

  • FREE ROD LICENCE – Angler’s Mail will carry a free one-day rod licence voucher in its issue on sale from Tuesday, June 11. Use it – take a friend fishing!



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