Match fishing - drawing the line somewhere?

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Philocalist

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OK, I'm not a massive fan of commercials, maybe in part down to the fact that anything local to me is largely a soul-less hole in the ground, massively overstocked and invariably inhabited in part by the local neanderthal community. It has nothing at all in common with the reason I go fishing, but each to their own I guess, up to a point?
I'm not a match angler, but aware of the obscene weights of fish that are sometimes caught (saw one posting today where the first four places had 2000lbs of fish between them in a 4 hour match, top weight in excess of 600lbs, second place 590+ .........)

To the point, was further south for a couple of days, and today had the opportunity to walk through a large commercial while there was a match in progress - won't name the location, but it's a common enough occurrence because there is a public footpath / right of way straight through the place, and along one section it looks down onto the bankside from a slightly elevated position, from less than 10m away.
Difficult not to notice that a lot of fish were coming out, many had 3 or more keepnets in place and it was easy to see multiple carp within a couple of feet from the bank as I walked along - with anglers dangling a baited hook into them off top kits etc, not much different to catching ducks at the fair TBH.

What I saw next is what stopped me in my tracks though - an angler in a peg further along was swapping gear to something 'more suitable' for the task - what was clearly a short, heavy rod, reel and heavy line, with attached hook and an excuse for a float - I'm not exaggerating when I say this could have been used off the side of a boat in the North Sea - and off he went.
Bait into the feeding frenzy, strike, heave, fish into net, repeat - again and again and again. Within minutes, several more similar set-ups were in use - obviously an accepted tactic at this venue at least.

Is it just me, or has something gone badly wrong here? It's one of those things I wish I could un-see, though saying that I'm now very disappointed that I had no phone / camera with me at the time.:(
 

robwigan

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Just go else where and don’t worry what others do I would say, do what you like and enjoy. Why waste time on this if you don’t like it so much you are still able to fish in the manner you want to :)
 

chris1967

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looks like you went down to have a look ,then moan elsewhere.
 

Cobweb

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This really a political topic which is asking for a morality check on match fishing venues, the approach of the providers of such, and the eagerness of competitors to "beat that weight!". Not sure the topic belongs in the same division as " Shotting patterns for canals" or "Does my bum look too big in these waders?"

When I used to shoot in national competitions years ago, there was always a magic number to aim for over any distance, and one that was always very difficult to achieve, no matter the help you got from wind coaches. Here in match fishing where the biggest weight wins - the cap seems to have been removed from any "limit", by mutual consent. I have nothing to say about that other than If I was competing and the target was to beat the other guy's performance, I too would be going flat out for the win. Whether there is commercial opportunism and general industry exploitation present in this or not is a subject for a much higher level of debate than on here, where you will likely not receive much sympathy

I'm too old, and started too late in this sport to even think about entering into such a melee as competition fishing. Besides, ever since I saw Brownings demonstrate a 30m pole at the NEC at Birmingham for over £2000 more than 30 years ago I decided there was no way I was going to spend that sort of dough having just bought a second hand tri cast feeder rod for £25. Not being interested in using a pole pretty much eliminates me from most angling competitions, and I don't mind one bit!

If you want to seriously pursue this as a topic I suggest you take it to a different venue, your MP for one, and checking out the Angling Trust's position on such thing may be educational
 
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Markywhizz

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600lbs in a match. Do you need twelve keepnets then :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
 
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chris1967

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I find the title of the thread more offensive to be honest
I’m not a massive fan of silver fish but I don’t take it to the public and pleasure anglers what’s that all about. Lol only kidding
Seriously though hate silver fish
 

DontKillZander

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I think the point people are actually trying to get across when moaning about stuff like this -
Or more accurately, what they’re trying to understand -

...is the perception of these match anglers, do they think they are fishing?
Or are they actually aware that it’s... something else?

They’re “fishing”(sort of) in a place where there is no such thing as a single nice fish, a place where they were bound to catch that fish, a place where anybody could have caught it, a place where it would actually be surprising / maybe even embarrassing to not catch one.

No angler outside of the match scene is going to commend or respect the so called “accomplishment”.

A 26lbs carp won you the match?
So what? A 26lbs carp on such water isn’t even photo worthy, its equivalent to a 13lbs pike on my canal, it’s not every cast but it happens quite trivially.
 

Neil ofthe nene

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Not every commercial fishery is like that. As with many areas in life we can find extremes and try and present them as the norm in order to shock and mock.

Come with me to the commercials I fish with my club and you will see that you have to work for your fish most of the time. Strangely the anglers that put in the effort do best. "The more I practice the luckier I get".

And don't be fooled by weight. 100lb is only twenty 5lb fish or four per hour in a five hour match. Compare that to canal matches that are won with much less weight but many more fish.
 

davej1981

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At the end of the day people like different things. The guys fishing these style of matches enjoy it. That sort of weight of fish and style of catching doesnt appeal to me so i dont go to those venues. But the fact that others do is fine! Not all matches are like this and yes the ones that are seem a bit ott to me but as a fishing community we should not be bashing someone else style of fishing because we dont see the point in it. Dont like “hook a duck” fishing- go to a natural venue. Seems to be alot of moaning atm about what others enjoy. We are all fisherman, we all like something different so lets just carry with what WE enjoy and not worry about what OTHRERS enjoy, encourage each other, celebrate each others success (even if its not our thing). Too much negativity in the world today and fishing for most is that release, lets all stay positive!
 

robert d

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OK, I'm not a massive fan of commercials, maybe in part down to the fact that anything local to me is largely a soul-less hole in the ground, massively overstocked and invariably inhabited in part by the local neanderthal community. It has nothing at all in common with the reason I go fishing, but each to their own I guess, up to a point?
I'm not a match angler, but aware of the obscene weights of fish that are sometimes caught (saw one posting today where the first four places had 2000lbs of fish between them in a 4 hour match, top weight in excess of 600lbs, second place 590+ .........)

To the point, was further south for a couple of days, and today had the opportunity to walk through a large commercial while there was a match in progress - won't name the location, but it's a common enough occurrence because there is a public footpath / right of way straight through the place, and along one section it looks down onto the bankside from a slightly elevated position, from less than 10m away.
Difficult not to notice that a lot of fish were coming out, many had 3 or more keepnets in place and it was easy to see multiple carp within a couple of feet from the bank as I walked along - with anglers dangling a baited hook into them off top kits etc, not much different to catching ducks at the fair TBH.

What I saw next is what stopped me in my tracks though - an angler in a peg further along was swapping gear to something 'more suitable' for the task - what was clearly a short, heavy rod, reel and heavy line, with attached hook and an excuse for a float - I'm not exaggerating when I say this could have been used off the side of a boat in the North Sea - and off he went.
Bait into the feeding frenzy, strike, heave, fish into net, repeat - again and again and again. Within minutes, several more similar set-ups were in use - obviously an accepted tactic at this venue at least.

Is it just me, or has something gone badly wrong here? It's one of those things I wish I could un-see, though saying that I'm now very disappointed that I had no phone / camera with me at the time.:(
Commercials are not for everyone for sure but a lot of people enjoy them ,tactics can be strange but most places i fish you really have to work for them . All of them can be hard fishing . All of them are pretty places with trees ,bushes plants ect. On occasion i fish featureless venues but really enjoy the competitive nature. Im sure if you look around you can find nice places that suit your style of fishing . In ten years of commercial fishing the biggest weight ive seen is less than 2oolb even at Lindholme although only been to Lindholme twice . Enjoy your fishing and try and find somewhere that suits 😉
 

Sportsman

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Ironically, it is the catch at all costs match fisher, who has the most to say about the "Camping rather than fishing, drunk, doped up fast asleep carp angler, who has the most to say about the toff, stuck up fly fisher, and so on ad nauseum.
Just a thought, If the "wrong" party ever gets into power and fishing is under threat, I bet it won't be images of fly fishing or people resting on a camp bed in beautiful surroundings that they use to promote their cause.
 

davej1981

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From what i can see people from all disciplines are quick to slate another. As ive said we all enjoy differnt things, we do the style of fishing we get most enjoyment from, so what right do any of us have to slate someone else’s enjoyment, whether that be a match angler having a pop at the speci boys or the fly fisherman slating the match angler. We are all anglers lets all be positive about a hobby we are clearly passionate about, leave others to enjoy what they want
 

davej1981

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Ironically, it is the catch at all costs match fisher, who has the most to say about the "Camping rather than fishing, drunk, doped up fast asleep carp angler, who has the most to say about the toff, stuck up fly fisher, and so on ad nauseum.
Just a thought, If the "wrong" party ever gets into power and fishing is under threat, I bet it won't be images of fly fishing or people resting on a camp bed in beautiful surroundings that they use to promote their cause.
More likely to use images of wildlife tangled in lines etc than that of a particular style of fishing, thats what will affect people
 

marcusp

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No difference to the modern day so called carp anglers who turn up at a commercials fishing for carp that go no bigger than 15lb with three rods designed for fishing large waters, 3lb tc, 15lb line and size 4 hooks all attached to 3 or 4oz of lead. So called speci angler then proceeds to spod 5kg of bait into this small commercial and sit there, dressed in the latest designer chav tracksuit smoking a splif waiting for there alarms to go off with a poor f1 or bream on the end that gets treated like vermin.

eventually having spent all day at said venue they call it a sucess when a small double figure carp finally hangs itself on the 18mm they are using. They then proceed to take dozens of pics and shout over to their mates on the other side of the lake so everyone else can hear. They finally pack up and walk past the angler who has been using match style tactics and caught far more than themselves but call them noddies.

I give you the modern day instant carp angler
 

Markywhizz

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I always think people who don’t like fishing commercials put up arguments against them without understanding much of what they are all about. Anyone taking up angling as a beginner, with a job and a family to take up their time, wants to go out for a session of an hour or two. In that time they want to catch fish. OK they could join a club and fish a sparsely stocked mixed lake in beautiful surroundings. They might be fishing a session a week for a couple of months without catching anything. Commercials allow novice anglers the opportunity to try out various methods and find out what works best without taking years to learn.

When I started I joined a local club and fished as and when I could. I found it really frustrating my lack of success. I would go out for one or maybe two sessions a week after work. I would occasionally catch a few 4-8oz roach and be made up. I’d been fishing like this for eighteen months and was telling the guy in my local tackle shop that I was thinking of selling all my tackle as I was that despondent. He recommended me to drive to Ashbourne 25 miles away to try fishing at Birch House Lakes. I did as he suggested and caught a carp of about 4lb in my first ten minutes. I was over the moon about it. I think I caught about six more in my first three hour session so in spite of my lack of knowledge and skill I had some success. I continued fishing there as often as I could get out there. As time went by I learnt where my strengths and weaknesses lay and worked at improving every time I went.

Personally I don’t see any attraction in match fishing but I know for many it means a great deal. It may be their only friendly interaction with other human beings who quickly become mates. And many people have a strong competitive drive and for them winning matters. I think whatever venue they fish on they will want to catch as many fish as it’s possible to do at that venue and I don’t blame them.

The thing that bugs me is when people keep going on about commercials being overstocked and having little regard for the health of the fish. Forgive me for being blunt but this has to be b@ll@cks. For a venue to be overstocked to the extent people suggest, fish would be dying at an alarming rate. It seems to me that the really prolific venues are the ones where the owners have got fish welfare and fishery management worked out perfectly. They invest tens of thousands into their stock and they are quite particular about who fishes there and what methods they use. I’ve never been to a fishery which can produce 600lb in a match but I’ve been to places that regularly have bags of three hundred or more and they are incredibly well run. They invest a lot, not only in to the fish but in being able to provide a good experience for those who love to fish there.

My final comment is on how easy it is to catch on commercials and no skill is required. For a start there are many novice anglers who would totally disagree. I think if you were to look at the match results at these venues the same names would be framing regularly no matter where they draw. No skill? I catch way more fish than I used to and than many others on the lake but it’s taken me ten years to get there.

Recently I’ve been fishing some very quiet secluded natural venues belonging to two clubs I’ve rejoined and I’ve been really enjoying it but I still like to fish a commercial at least every fortnight because I want to have a bagging session to boost my confidence again. You can only handle so many blanks after all.
 

Me and my lad

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Seems to me that fisheries cannot win. Not enough fish is the cry from difficult waters but some people prefer this. Too many fish is the cry from overstocked commercials, but again, some people like this.

Now, dont get me wrong, we all moan at times but why? I believe it is because we all have our own ideals or visions of great fishing. Most I imagine are based on our rose tinted memories of our past. For many of us fishing started with no carp as they simlply were not stocked so ideals did not include this species. Me, I fish all venues but still prefer a mixed water with the element of surprise, my best mate prefers the hook a duck type ponds. However, we go to both.
 

Silverfisher

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I wouldn’t worry about it mate it’s just one of those things. If someone wants to go and catch tons of possibly recently stocked starving carp one after the other every time they go fishing then that’s up to them. I’m with you in that I can’t see the appeal myself as there isn’t much sense of achievement but they’re not doing you any harm so just don’t worry about it. Also as has been said despite there being lots of commercials that are overstocked and/or soulless there are also a fair few that actually do appear quite natural in their aesthetics and stock which are actually pretty decent places to fish once in a while 👍🏻
 

Reuben

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No difference to the modern day so called carp anglers who turn up at a commercials fishing for carp that go no bigger than 15lb with three rods designed for fishing large waters, 3lb tc, 15lb line and size 4 hooks all attached to 3 or 4oz of lead. So called speci angler then proceeds to spod 5kg of bait into this small commercial and sit there, dressed in the latest designer chav tracksuit smoking a splif waiting for there alarms to go off with a poor f1 or bream on the end that gets treated like vermin.

eventually having spent all day at said venue they call it a sucess when a small double figure carp finally hangs itself on the 18mm they are using. They then proceed to take dozens of pics and shout over to their mates on the other side of the lake so everyone else can hear. They finally pack up and walk past the angler who has been using match style tactics and caught far more than themselves but call them noddies.

I give you the modern day instant carp angler
I have to say I see these people every time I fish Orchill - most of the time on the match snake lake! Completely overgunned with bite indicators on full volume. It’s put me off going there tbh. The River Forth is my first choice now.
 

DontKillZander

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If someone wants to go and catch tons of possibly recently stocked starving carp one after the other every time they go fishing then that’s up to them.
100%, agreed.
But don't let them come talking about how they caught this and that - out of pure grit, determination and skill.
When...

matchfishing.PNG

It's almost like stolen valor.


Lest we forget the real fishermen out on the treacherous river banks, carving out their own swims in torrential weather whilst praying for a bite.
 
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