Are newcomers missing out on vital skills?

Lee Richards

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A good observation but as Arry said Mike it's not sustainable.
Not many parents will fork out £35 a week for one of their kids to go fishing on a Carp water and certainly not alone.
The kids I see Carp fishing do so on Commies because the tickets are affordable and they guarantee some sport
And yet even that has been hammered numerous times on this very forum with comments about the tackle they use being overgunned,all the gear no idea etc.
 

Markywhizz

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They may not allow catch and release on the other lake(s) but it is available for £12.50 on one of the lakes. Both my local trout fisheries only have one lake and it’s reasonably cheap to fish catch and release on them. It’s the same at most game fisheries.

I have had interesting conversations about fly fishing on here. I may not be very experienced at it but I enjoy it and have learnt quite a bit from other fly fishermen on here. Is sea fishing also a forbidden topic because that comes up as well?

Fly fishing needs newcomers as well and it is an interesting question as to whether the rise of stillwater lakes has caused people to lose river fishing skills.
 

mike fox

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I'm right alongside Sam Vimes on this... at 62 I really am not interested in bringing more people into the sport... to be honest, 11 years of strife trying to do it almost made me walk away from something I loved... lifes too short to waste on bolshie parents, kids and red tape( health and safety assessments on every swim.... really....????) Get out and enjoy your fishing... yer a long time dead
I've been coaching for 20 years now and still enjoy it. I'm 62 and the "red tape" is no bother. I found there was very little money to be made in coaching coarse angling and I was not getting a financial return on my investment. Fly fishing is very different. During this lock down year Zoom and Facetime has come into its own. Diversification.
People use coaches as a quick solution to learning and expect to pay for it, rather than as we did when we were learning taking years over it for free.
 

Me and my lad

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You didn't need a coach in order to learn how to fish back then, just as you don't need one now.
Anyone advocating that fact are just doing so to make money out of it.
The first part I fully agree with, but the second....
Having been a junior angling coach for some time I am yet to take payment for any advice or time. I would advocate a coach if need be. The difference between then and now is a lack of time. In days gone by we found time but jobs were not so consuming I guess
 

mike fox

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A good observation but as Arry said Mike it's not sustainable.
Not many parents will fork out £35 a week for one of their kids to go fishing on a Carp water and certainly not alone.
The kids I see Carp fishing do so on Commies because the tickets are affordable and they guarantee some sport
And yet even that has been hammered numerous times on this very forum with comments about the tackle they use being overgunned,all the gear no idea etc.
It is not sustainable for most, I agree. This is where the AT should be active through their coaching schemes but are failing miserably. Newcomers are out there, young and old and so are the venues out there. It is no good at all holding these one day events if candidates don't progress in the sport. The AT needs to work together with fisheries of all disciplines.
 

Cobweb

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You don't seem to be getting it Mike.
One of the reasons they don't go is because they do not have waters they can readily go to without assistance.
If they can't go then this is a contributor to the decline in numbers - am I missing something here?
Worcester is my closest City.
Here's a point worth considering- Does the sport need contributions from those that need assistance? Surely you would be looking to capture those with enthusiasm - not conditions. It's been my experience that those you assist will always need "assistance" in one form or another, and such assistance would be ongoing. Such folks have a habit of losing "interest" quickly I've found. Besides at this stage wouldn't you be looking to narrow your focus to achieve success? Launches are a tricky thing and adding burdens at the outset will not contribute to overall success. In fact the reverse is often true. those that need help can always be included at a later stage
 

mike fox

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It's got to be about maintaining the interest of newcomers, irrespective of age. Youngsters will always becoming up through the ranks of schooling to follow a pathway to whatever and wherever. Introduction and retainment is key. There is not a county in this country I have not visited and fished, be it coarse or game. I talk to those fishery owners/managers along with angling club management committees. Most will say the same thing that we are. people come and people go. I have often said that the 80/20 rule should be applied in angling. 80% of their business comes from 20% of their customers (their regulars). A conscious effort should be made to narrow that gap. Most other sporting venue clubs/managers hold their governing body in high regard. Angling doesn't. More angling clubs/bosses hold the EA fisheries dept. in higher regard than the AT. This should NOT be the case. Even the NFA enjoyed a better rapport with anglers all those years ago.
 

JLK

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I'm pretty sure most clubs/teams begrudged having to be part of the NFA all those years ago from what I can remember, (which doesn't amount to much as I was always on the razz back then as a young lad) but I do remember my team manager saying it was a rip off come national time and I'm not too sure if it's still the same now to be honest.
 

Lee Richards

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People do come and go Mike but those coming lessen by the year and you only have to spend any time on here to know that as a pastime angling is now the domain of the 50 plusers and most with disposable income
 

mike fox

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I'm pretty sure most clubs/teams begrudged having to be part of the NFA all those years ago from what I can remember, (which doesn't amount to much as I was always on the razz back then as a young lad) but I do remember my team manager saying it was a rip off come national time and I'm not too sure if it's still the same now to be honest.
Some have always begrudged any kind of financial outlay whatever it was, still do and always will. Such is life. My experience from the nationals was in awe of the NFA with the impressive organisation of such events. The support they gave my clubs, down south and here up north was excellent. It is for these reasons I signed up to become a coach.
 

mike fox

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People do come and go Mike but those coming lessen by the year and you only have to spend any time on here to know that as a pastime angling is now the domain of the 50 plusers and most with disposable income
As discussed in another thread months ago.
 

Lee Richards

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That as well you know was purely down to Covid.
Let's see how many repeat sales there are over 2/3:years before calling the decline in angling reversed.
 

mike fox

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That as well you know was purely down to Covid.
Let's see how many repeat sales there are over 2/3:years before calling the decline in angling reversed.
Again it is the responsibility for the AT to retain them. I deliberately didn't mention the EA because the AT have jumped into bed with them purely in an attempt to increase their status with Sport England, so they must prove their worth IMO. We shall all see what happens.
 

Lee Richards

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I have never had any dealings with the AT and tbh have never taken much of an interest in what they are about.
You obviously have so I will ask the question: do you think they have the capability to take our pastime forward and what will they do differently to what has gone before?
 

mike fox

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I have never had any dealings with the AT and tbh have never taken much of an interest in what they are about.
You obviously have so I will ask the question: do you think they have the capability to take our pastime forward and what will they do differently to what has gone before?
They have the capability, but whether they take the opportunity is one thing and whether they have the leaders is another. Who knows what they will do differently. I know what they should be doing differently. What I will reluctantly ask is "Did the Captain jump a sinking ship"? I'll leave you to work that one out.
 

Lee Richards

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As said Mike I don't invest any time in the AT.
Only comment I can make about any of the bodies that are supposed to support our sport is I couldn't really tell you what they have achieved in my lifetime.
The AT have regular press releases on this forum but the threads don't tend to stay long on the boards.
That tells you something.
 

mike fox

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As said Mike I don't invest any time in the AT.
Only comment I can make about any of the bodies that are supposed to support our sport is I couldn't really tell you what they have achieved in my lifetime.
The AT have regular press releases on this forum but the threads don't tend to stay long on the boards.
That tells you something.
Exactly and I have noticed the little interest taken by this forum participants. That should tell THEM something.
 

OldTaff

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Whilst the thread has diverged from the OP it is now mirroring similar threads on development, coaching, national bodies, etc that I see on a forum dedicated to my other hobby - archery.

As an archer my national fees are £45 p.a. with club membership of £30 p.a. - EA licence is less but there isn’t a fishing club around me with annual fees less than £120 even if they didn’t have full books and huge waiting lists.

I am a Level 2 accredited coach, something that cost around £1000 of my own money to attain as one has to progress from basic to level 1 to level 2. I receive no payment for my coaching and it actually stops me from shooting.

We get a fair level of new archers through but very few stick - progression through AGB classification is rapid at the beginning but the grade curve is incredibly steep which is where we see the dropout. Archer, 3rd class & 2nd class would usually be achievable within 6 months for an average new archer - This is akin to having successful sessions on a commie then hitting a spell of constant blanks.

Juniors are normally lost to school pressures around 11+, GCSE or A Level years.

1st class and Bowman (highest club attainment) require a significant investment in equipment and may take 6-12 months. To reach Master Bowman (top 5% nationally) or Grand Master Bowman (top 2% nationally) one must travel and enter a minimum of three record status comps AND that is for each bowstyle you shoot.

I’m GMB longbow, MB barebow and Olympic recurve BUT if I want to retain that I have to reclassify every year with the associated time & cost implications. Coaching on top can make a fun hobby a chore plus we don’t get paid to coach it’s all voluntary.

AGB are criticised for being totally focussed on Olympic success (which brings in lottery funding) and ignoring grass roots club development - justified but what organisational body doesn’t get that grief?

Even with a national governing body, a county level structure below that and local club structure the sport is far from being in a good state - I don’t get the feeling angling will be any different if they go down a similar route.
 
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