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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Ten hopes for 2014
I know this is the time of the year we are meant to make resolutions that we almost never keep.
So instead of making pledges I’m going to make requests, outline my desires and hopes for 2014. No apologies if you have heard some of them before – I know many of your agree with some of these things!
1 Litter louts
Ban them all. The length of the ban should be matched to their sins. And yes I would include people who don’t poop scoop where we fish…and would love it if their dogs’ dropping were deposited through the owners’ letter boxes. I take no responsibility for anyone’s actions if they like this idea…
I know I can go on a bit myself but I’ve had enough of those who whinge about match anglers, carpers, or anyone who does an aspect of our sport they don’t like. Just get on with your own fishing and don’t worry about them. You will enjoy your own fishing much more.
I don’t care who they are or where they come from, anyone caught illegally netting fish, staking out lines or generally threatening our sport should be heavily punished. Courts need to crack down hard on this behaviour. Remember, fish are worth thousands of pounds!
There are some good coaching sessions around, let’s have more. Let’s attempt to make fishing more interesting to youngsters, show them what it is really like to be outdoors, what a blast it is to catch a good fish – and how anglers play an important part in protecting the countryside.
5 Celebrity challenge
There are a number of high profile celebrities and sportsmen who love to go fishing. It’s about time we used the power of their presence to boost our favourite sport. John Terry, Joe Cole, David Stockdale and a whole host of others might not be your favourite footballers but they will earn space in the national spotlight for fish captures.
6 River revival
A lot of our rivers are showing signs of improvement. And former England international and Matchman of the Year Dave Harrell deserves a lot of credit for highlighting that with his Riverfest event. More power to his elbow this year – when someone like DH can get backing from the Angling Trust – among others – it should be a good lesson to us all.
7 England to rule
Ok, I know we are off to the World Cup in Brazil where we have very little chance of success – but our angling team are one of the most feared on the planet. Mark Downes and Mark Addy haven’t had the right amount of credit for their success so maybe this year they can collect gold again and we can all use that and point to the football stars at the same time. There again it would be great to see BOTH teams wins gold…
8 Hall of Fame
Football, music and a host of other pastimes and sports have one, so it is now time that we had an official Fishing Hall of Fame. It could be like a museum with some great exhibits, films, pictures and guest appearances. I’ll nominate Alan Scotthorne and Bob Nudd as the first people to be inaugurated (it’s ok, there’s no pain) and you can start adding your suggestions at the foot of this blog…
9. Trust them
I am still not totally convinced about the Angling Trust but they are making the right noises, have moved in the right directions and certainly, so far, appear to have done more pro-rata than their predecessors, the National Federation of Anglers. But our sport still has many fights on its hands and we need a good ruling body. The Trust need to find a way of showing to all anglers – including me – why we MUST be members.
10. Tight lines…
And finally, I hope that you get plenty of bites, rod benders, elastic stretchers and maybe even a few PBs during the course of 2014. If you need any help with your fishing drop a line to me on Twitter @mitchcolin or get in touch with the top notch team at Angler’s Mail.