Are newcomers missing out on vital skills?

Lee Richards

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Really??
There are plenty of people on here who have stated that they have started and had no one to show them how to fish.
There are also plenty on here who have been fishing a fair time and didn't know this forum existed.
The first waters many get to fish are flowing and there are plenty of skilled anglers who have blanked on consecutive visits.
 

Silverfisher

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Perhaps, but if you were young and just went with your mate and a basic rod and line , you wouldn’t know any different. Just think to when you first drove a car. What would you have done if somebody just gave you the keys and said. “Off you go then”. You may get off the drive after numerous attempts, but you have no idea when off how to change gear, or any of the other stuff that makes you a better driver. No different to fishing, or anything else for that matter.
Fair point to be fair although in the days of the Internet there's not much excuse to have no clue at all. I'm told I caught on my first session although I have no recollection of that session. I know I certainly blanked on the first session I do recall though which was a bit embarrassing as my cousin who was 4 at the time did manage to catch something 😅

Good analogy on the car though. When you think back to how hard it was to operate one on those early lessons it is quite incredible how second nature driving becomes, I could barely get them off the drive to start with 😂
 

tipitinmick

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Fair point to be fair although in the days of the Internet there's not much excuse to have no clue at all. I'm told I caught on my first session although I have no recollection of that session. I know I certainly blanked on the first session I do recall though which was a bit embarrassing as my cousin who was 4 at the time did manage to catch something 😅

Good analogy on the car though. When you think back to how hard it was to operate one on those early lessons it is quite incredible how second nature driving becomes, I could barely get them off the drive to start with 😂
Don’t mention sex then. 🤣🤣🤣
 

lp1886

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If you have no intention of competing, or fishing, on flowing water why do you need to know how to fish a stick float? The fact that some think it is a ‘vital’ skill is ridiculous... it’s like saying you can’t enjoy having central heating if you don’t know how to sweep a chimney. Times have moved on, and as much as it pains me to say it, commercial waters (and their luxuries) are here to stay.
 

Neil ofthe nene

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Interesting question, but don't you think that it's a question of getting those youngsters interested in the first place? Clubs with junior sections these days are getting a bit thin on the ground now and can't (or don't) offer the young anglers of today the opportunity to gain those skills. These days it's left up to dad or other relative to take them out, but if the dad or relative doesn't have enough experience, then the youngster is on to a loser to start with.
My own opinion is for clubs to have 'open sessions' where youngsters (or even older) can take part and learn some basics that will see them in good stead. At least they will then know if angling IS for them or not.

This is precisely the point of the CRT Lets Fish project. Through this and similar projects the Wellingborough coaches have introduced hundreds of youngsters and their families to angling. As a direct result the club's junior numbers have grown enormously. Many cluibs are also doing the same thing.
 

OldTaff

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I think AT has a point to a degree from what I’ve seen on returning to the sport - possibly the average angler doesn't have as wide a breadth of skills as they did say 30yrs ago.

My local lake is solely stocked with carp - it has (in the warm weather) large numbers of local kids and young adults fishing it. The techniques employed are:
(1) carp rods, bombs rigs, bite alarms
(2) any rod, huge hook, half a slice of floating bread

In the winter hardly anyone fishes it and the techniques employed are:
(1) carp rods, bombs rigs, bite alarms

So far I've fished it with a whip, pellet waggler, method feeder & freelined dog biscuits - this spring it’s getting a marging pole on it too - having engaged with a lot of the other anglers, mainly due to my catch rates compared to theirs, in the vast majority of cases they say they've never seen the techniques I’m using yet alone know how to fish them.

Now maybe this is merely because the people who fish the venue have never been exposed to a fishing club with a junior section & coaching or have ever needed to fish for anything other than carp hi question they’ve picked up from YouTube or magazines.


Even as a junior in a club I never got taught the skills I have now - they are solely down to my dad who passed on everything he knew about big & small rivers, ponds, lake and reservoir fishing for everything with fins (oh and eels - yuck).

I guess people only bother to learn the skills they need to catch in the waters they have access to. Why would a dedicated carp specimen hunter want or need to know how to make cheese paste for free lining to chub on a crystal clear little stream or use a 6’ rod to spin a tiny jig shad for perch in marginal weed?
 

Jimpanzee

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There are now more online resources, videos, articles etc then ever before, so the angler of today is also in a much better position than they were 30 years ago if they wanted to learn a new skill and that’s the key thing ‘IF’ they want to learn a new skill. If you enjoy going to a commercial and catching big fish week on every visit, you are still putting money into the industry and that can only be a positive thing imo.
 

minkyandbear

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In short I don't think newcomers, of whatever age, are missing out by primarily fishing on commercials. If the angler enjoys themselves that's all that matters. It is getting people into the sport.

Information is so readily available now that it is so much simpler to learn the basics and practice the various methods than in pre-commercial days for many people, especially individuals who are not club members or are guided by experienced anglers. Most commercials are heavily stocked so success is normally guaranteed. Although carp and F1's predominate most fisheries have a good head of silvers, so fishing light can be practiced.

I am sure that many people raised on commercials will at some point look to explore the other more traditional waters and will then learn the skills needed to fish rivers and stillwaters. The skills? Stealth and watercraft.
 

Ken the Pacman

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The days of the angling apprenticeship through the levels have long gone sadly. The carp starter set outsells traditional float or feeder sets ups at least two to one because the beginners just want to catch the biggest fish in the pond today. After buying gear that they dont really know what to do with they are mostly self taught from u pube or similar.
It is sad it has come to this but with little coaching available and no knowledge required to turn up at a fishery and stand a chance of catching something it is not going to change in a hurry.
I know everybody cant be an expert in any form of angling overnight and it can take years to understand what is going on under the surface but once you took away the need to learn how to fish by providing massively overstocked puddles with easy access it was always going to go this way, just another unintended consequence of the rise of the commercial fishery.
It saddens me as they have missed out on so much that angling has to offer by just sitting behind a bite alarm waiting for a fish that has hooked itself to announce its arrival but if they are happy to do this as long as they are not damaging fish unduly who are we to argue but I fear they will drift away from angling as soon as they have suffered a few blanks.
 

minkyandbear

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The days of the angling apprenticeship through the levels have long gone sadly. The carp starter set outsells traditional float or feeder sets ups at least two to one because the beginners just want to catch the biggest fish in the pond today. After buying gear that they dont really know what to do with they are mostly self taught from u pube or similar.
It is sad it has come to this but with little coaching available and no knowledge required to turn up at a fishery and stand a chance of catching something it is not going to change in a hurry.
I know everybody cant be an expert in any form of angling overnight and it can take years to understand what is going on under the surface but once you took away the need to learn how to fish by providing massively overstocked puddles with easy access it was always going to go this way, just another unintended consequence of the rise of the commercial fishery.
It saddens me as they have missed out on so much that angling has to offer by just sitting behind a bite alarm waiting for a fish that has hooked itself to announce its arrival but if they are happy to do this as long as they are not damaging fish unduly who are we to argue but I fear they will drift away from angling as soon as they have suffered a few blanks.
This Ken is too true and despite my previous positive post is something I have heard from tackle dealers over the past 25 years. Especially true for children.

A youngster taken by a parent or grandparent on their first trip lobs out a method feeder and catches a 10lb carp. Depending on the childs outlook anything subsequently caught under 10lb is of no interest and most likely the gear will soon be sold on.

But and this is the big but, I am sure that for every youngster that falls at the first hurdle dozens more will go on to enjoy a lifetime of angling pleasure.
 

Ken the Pacman

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I would like to think a high percentage would be retained but its easy to see how the numbers have dropped just during Autumn which has been very mild mostly.
 

John Step

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I think if someone has been 6-10 times before catching a fish then assuming that isn't the depths of winter or specimen fishing then I'm not sure they're cut out to be angler 😉😅
Actually that was me as a nipper but on steroids. I was infatuated from the age of 4 watching the big boys of 8 or so catching sticklebacks with nets.

I had no relative to advise me and struggled with a homemade 5 foot piece of dowel rod and cottonreel reel until I caught 4 tiny roach in a day aged about 11. I wasnt aware of any angling publications that could have helped had I had the cash to buy one.

No stopping after that with scavenged bits of proper gear and more fish followed. 60 odd years later my enthusiasm hasn't waned and I finally think I am getting the hang of it.
 

The Landlord

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I caught a carp similar to that in a Steve Toone ( rip off ) long Higgin match some 30+ years ago and half the field ( 40 anglers ) came to see it weighed in. How times change. 🙄
I remember Frank Barlow writing about Steve Toone's opens. Why did they call him Rip Off, Mick?
 

tipitinmick

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I remember Frank Barlow writing about Steve Toone's opens. Why did they call him Rip Off, Mick?
🤣🤣🤣. Steve wasn’t exactly the most honest of match organisers pal. If you ever added the money up less the day ticket the payout was never accurate. A bit like the times we’d turn up for a Long Higgin match and the river was carrying a bit extra. Steve would hold the match on the Beeston canal instead. Funny how Steve had bloodworm and Joker with him at the time and no one else had. Strange that. 🤣🤣🤣
 

Lee Richards

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People of all ages have access to a multitude of hobbies/sports/pursuits these days and many never existed when most of us were young.Many also have busier lives and a diverse range of social interactions.

Fishing for some is the be all and end all but for others it's just one of many things they enjoy.
 

Sam Vimes

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What others choose to do is of no real concern of mine. There's enough in angling that requires no ability to catch small fish or trot a stick float. I'll continue to do what I enjoy and allow others to do the same.

The only aspect I find somewhat disappointing is the number of people that seem to take up fishing with expectations that are a little unrealistic. Whether that's those that go straight into specialist angling, that are quickly disheartened when they don't catch big fish regularly (or get bites every five minutes), or more general coarse anglers that don't catch 100lb+ bags very regularly, is immaterial. When newcomers give up on angling because their expectations were far too high, it's a great shame.

In a similar vein, it often seems that an awful lot of anglers derive little to no pleasure from anything less than 10lb+ fish or large bags. I do find that a bit of a shame, especially if neither thing are realistic propositions when and where they are fishing. The dearth of people fishing average natural venues seems to be evidence of this.
 

OldTaff

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What others choose to do is of no real concern of mine. There's enough in angling that requires no ability to catch small fish or trot a stick float. I'll continue to do what I enjoy and allow others to do the same.

The only aspect I find somewhat disappointing is the number of people that seem to take up fishing with expectations that are a little unrealistic. Whether that's those that go straight into specialist angling, that are quickly disheartened when they don't catch big fish regularly (or get bites every five minutes), or more general coarse anglers that don't catch 100lb+ bags very regularly, is immaterial. When newcomers give up on angling because their expectations were far too high, it's a great shame.

In a similar vein, it often seems that an awful lot of anglers derive little to no pleasure from anything less than 10lb+ fish or large bags. I do find that a bit of a shame, especially if neither thing are realistic propositions when and where they are fishing. The dearth of people fishing average natural venues seems to be evidence of this.

I wonder with the newcomers if it’s the shock of starting out on heavily stocked commercials and catching well/easily before joining a club with lower density natural waters and having to actually “fish” them rather than dangle a bait that breaks their engagement with the sport?

Perhaps more so if there isn’t a coaching element available at clubs.
 

CarpCatcher86

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The majority of people have no one to teach them, even if they did they can't be arsed to learn important basics.
I've seen countless people who claim to have been fishing for many months and still don't have a clue how to handle and unhook fish. That's like driving without knowing how to put fuel in a car. I have seen people who haven't got a clue how to tie a hook on, people who haven't got a clue how to fill a spool with line and plenty of people who haven't got a clue how to shot a float correctly. You try to tell them how to do all of the above correctly and point them in the right direction and they simply aren't interested, they think they know best and that's the end of it. In the interest of fish safety and water conservation, you try to steer them in the right direction, but some still refuse to listen.
 
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