Match fishing – an obsessional pass time?

There is a phrase, “the more you put in, the more you get” match fishing has many types of angler. During my time fishing matches over the years I’ve met anglers from all walks of life. Yes its a fantastic hobby, we all know that, It gets you out the house in all types of weather and health and wellbeing benefits are well known.

Match anglers are all different, some are happy to fish with a few mates on the local pond with a competitive edge and then on to the anglers where fishing competitively completely dominates their life. But is this also a good thing and can pressurised match fishing actually be bad for your wellbeing? I must admit during the first Covid lockdown when we were allowed to pleasure fish I really enjoyed the whole experience. I always though pleasure fishing was a bit boring. But since then I’ve done more of it, no pressure to do well in a match and risk the mickey being taken out of you when the match hasn’t got well. Pleasure fishing is deafinitely good for your wellbeing but I’m not so sure the same can be applied to match fishing.

Chasing the big money

There are various types of match angler ranging from the once a week Sunday angler to the top tackle company sponsored anglers. Many of these companies positively promote their sponsored anglers on their social media channels promoting their goods and many of these anglers are also very active personally on social media which has become part of the job these days. Many chase the big money qualifiers but it must be remembered for many, this is their job. Lets be fair anyone can enter one of these big qualifiers but chasing the dream is really only possible for these types of angler. They have the time to do it, time for all the tackle prep the know how and expenses covered, but for the average joe the odds of actually winning the final are virtually nil. If you have the time to practise on the venues, can afford the entrance fees, bait requirements and travelling expenses go for it. In reality even winning a qualifier is going to be hard. These top anglers are in the public domain and the cream of the crop, many are full time professional anglers but yes you can pay your money and fish against them. I don’t know another sport where this can happen. To compete with these anglers requires a great deal of dedication, skill and luck in the draw bag. Fishing qualifiers for these pro anglers really must be an obsession. They must spent hours on prep work so they have all bases covered.

Social media

We all like a good pat on the back when we do well and many younger anglers who have grown up with social media are heavily influenced by it. Many posting on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram their latest match results and then counting the ‘likes’ and comments they receive. Many hoping a good run of results will get their name some recognition and the possibility of a little sponsorship from the local float maker or tackle shop. This determination to succeed in my view can be great for some but for many others maybe not. We are not all the same. Personal circumstances for some anglers means they simply cannot afford the gallon caster for a shallow fishing in the summer in a 15 peg match where the winners only going to win £40.00 but if you have it on your bait tray you may bag up on F1’s and post your ‘win’ all over social media. In an attempt to raise your profile. Where as the ones with a few tins of corn or meat and a bag of pellets ‘just had a nice day’s fishing. Is this fair? Some fisheries now have bait limits which is a good idea but how many times have you had your bait tray been checked in a match? Never for me!

Fishing several times a week – good or bad?

Many older anglers now have move free time to go fishing often being semi retired from 55 and starting to take out their personal pensions. Often fishing several matches at the same venue week in week out. They become ‘venue experts’ knowing every peg like the back of their hand and the best methods and baits. This makes it difficult for the once a week angler to compete with them which can lead to disheartenment and not good for their well being . Some of these retired anglers have become brilliant anglers on these venues. They’ve put the hours in and reap the rewards. But is there more to life, fishing on the Saturday, the Sunday and maybe twice in the week. If you live on your own and you want to do it that’s fine. But if you have a family how do they feel? To fish several times a week must lead you to constantly think about fishing 24/7. Are they missing out on other pass times?

Thinking fishing 24/7

I only generally fish once a week being in full time employment and after the tackles gone got back in the garage from the last match I’m already thinking about next weekends match. My first job is checking what items of tackle are going to be needed. What I’ve used and need to replace either off eBay for small tackle items or off to the tackle shop. Tying up rigs, changing elastics etc. At least if I do it then I’ve got all week to sort it all out. Then the rest of the week before the match consists of checking the weather for Sunday, every day! researching the venue on the internet if I’ve not been there and watching hours of youtube video’s. Most evenings are spent pretending to watch TV with the Mrs when really I’m sat in the front room with my iPad all over whats app fishing groups, looking at 2nd hand fishing gear on eBay and facebook marketplace and reading about everybody’s match reports on their facebook and Instagram pages. Then the weekend comes and the Mrs mentions that we’re going out Saturday night and all I’m thinking what time are we home. I’ve got to get up early Sunday morning to get to the draw on time! Plus I’ve now got to fit in buying my fresh bait and preparing my pellets before we go out. So if all this sounds like you I guess your obsessed with fishing just like me.

Then for me there is the updating of this website, posting match reports, tackle reviews and other useful bites of information which I do all for free. Yes match fishing is obsessional, its in my DNA !!

Does this sound like you? Leave a reply below

Light line diameter when winter carp fishing

As the days get colder going into winter should you use lighter lines when fishing on carp venues? I think the answer is NO!! Silvers or F1 fishing is a different kettle of fish so to speak but I generally believe using lighter lines on pole rigs when you are fishing for carp doesn’t make a blind bit of difference.

Many anglers sitting on the bank biteless during a match in the winter often decide to change to a lighter line diameter rig and also change to a small hook trying to induce a bite. I’ve done this to and also not done this during many matches that I have fished. I have talked to many anglers that do change to lighter rigs because they believe this is correct. This may be because when they have historically fished on rivers and canals for silvers in the past they have caught on lighter tackle and most magazines and internet sites encourage you to do this. 

I gauge my opinions around my previous matches and what I have experienced, when I’ve either been too lazy to change to a lighter rig or I’ve not prepared for the match and a only have heavy carp rigs in my seatbox. I’ve used these on countless times in the past and found absolutely no difference. 

I’m a human being and can hardly see the difference between 0.18mm main line and say 0.14mm mainline. So how a fish can tell the difference in cloudy water is nonsense to me. What the difference is the speed on which the rig sinks through the water and whether it looks natural to the fish, if you are using the small bait, which is the case when fishing for silvers or F1’s.

When I’m fishing for carp on the bottom I generally use a large bait, it sinks quickly and will never look natural on the drop. I believe a Carp will take the hook bait if it’s hungry and feeding. On the days when you can’t get a bite, it’s not because of the diameter of the line it’s simply because the Carp aren’t feeding or there are no carp in the place you are fishing. I have lost count on the numbers of times when I can’t get a bite and then moved to another place to fish in the swim with the same rig and caught a Carp straight away. This is why I am convinced line diameter doesn’t matter when fishing for carp. The important factor is to get your feeding right and to get the Carp feeding confidently at some point during the match. In winter these Carp may only come on the feed for 30 minutes in a five hour match and a low weight may only be required to frame. So if you hook a Carp in the winter you want to land it. I have lost many Carp and therefore many matches because I have used a light hook length in the winter, but not these days!