Are newcomers missing out on vital skills?

derwentboy

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I think Tommy is right about the enjoyment factor and saying "does it really matter?". The thing is, if someone does get 'hooked' they will learn no matter what and keep on going and be an angler for life. I had no junior club when starting out..but I did have someone who took me and I figured the basics out by myself. There are more organisations offering fishing than before e.g. Let's Fish and there are certainly infinitely more resources to learn about different styles of fishing on different venues , both natural and commercial, than ever before. If you want to get an idea of how to waggler fish a commercial..or maggot feeder fish a natural venue in winter/ stick float fish a river all you have to do to begin to get an idea of how folk do it is to go to youtube.....there's more tips/ secrets and methods on show for people to learn from than ever before and that is a very very healthy thing.
I think that 'the way' and pathways that people learn to fish these days are vastly different than a youngster serving an apprenticeship in a club in the traditional way......I don't know the figures on this but I'd wager there are a lot less 'Works Clubs' than there once was in comparison to yesteryear so people find different ways and basically things are just different these days. The way they choose to fish or experience fishing initially is often not as it would have been e.g. a la Mr Crabtree or something but there's loads of free resources to find out other methods. People will never stop fishing though....
 

Dave Spence

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When I first started, over 60 years ago, we would fish a multitude of venues, rivers, ponds, pits and canals. It was imperative, therefore, that we learned what could be considered, basic skills, casting, feeding etc. However if someone only fishes commercials with a pole, they don't need these skills and instead learn delicate presentation etc. It's horses for courses really, you learn the skills to catch fish within your own type of fishing.
 

Lee Richards

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Fifty/forty years ago feeder fishing was viewed as an unskilled method and chuck and hope.
Now be it rIver,method or Carp method it is a vital part of the anglers armoury and a style of angling that evolves more than float fishing.
 

Silverfisher

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Took me years to start feeder fishing, had probably been fishing 10 years before I started doing it on rivers and I only first did it on a Stillwater this year. I still very much prefer float fishing so it's almost always my plan A and tbh is usually the most effective method where and how I fish but learning to feeder fish has certainly opened doors for me both venue and fish wise so I really quite enjoy it now when conditions or circumstances require me to do it instead of float fishing.
 

Fugley-fisher

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You can learn a lot from YouTube but nothing beats the experience of a seasoned angler, one look at a rig, observing a feeding pattern, explanation of water craft, might only take 5 or 10 minutes to explane.

I think a lot of new or novice anglers would get more enjoyment from the sport with some relatively basic instruction on the bank, I'm not an expert by any standards but can normally help a novice with a few aspects of angling, if my club had a youth/coaching policy I would volunteer, if i did not work 3 out of 4 weekends i might even run it.
 

Griffo

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lot of anglers with vast experience on here, nice to read a lot of the comments, Have skill’s been lost? Not sure but as a 12 year old mad for anything fishing your choices were the lake, river, canal or pond you could walk to from home or catch a bus to if the driver let you on with a handful of rods and a basket. My fishing back then was a massive learning experience left to you to work it out and you gaining your experience by trial and error. Commercials were a new thing to me about three years ago when I returned from my fluff chucking period. Easier to catch, yep but only when you put the effort into working out what works. The worlds changed since those good old days. I took my daughter silver fishing with an elasticated whip with a little Cristal waggled for the first time when she was 6, sat her on a chair and fed a handful of maggots told her it would take a while so give it time, first Chuck first roach 24 roach and an hour later a kid hooked on fishing (Until she discovered makeup nails and boys at 17), same when I’ve taken an assortment of renegade nieces and nephews on the broads on holiday, had to introduce a catch two fish and it’s the next ones turn rule, never fished once in the week but never had a rod out of my hand. I suppose the thing is get em catching and most of them stay hooked. Doesn’t matter if it’s a commercial or not it’s about enjoying your time, but yes I sit and watch some of the regulars fish the same spot same method time after time and look at me in disgust changing methods every time it dries up. All part of the fun, each to their own.
 
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alsur

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As we all go fishing for pleasure does it matter if you only learn skills you need to catch the fish you want to catch, although with out trying other things they might be missing something they would really enjoy.

On the subject of starting fishing I never had anyone to teach me but with a few friends we learnt to fish the hard way through books (Mr Crabtree goes fishing) and angling press, I'm sure with some help we would have caught a lot more but I caught enough to get hooked. It wasn't until I was asked to fish our works matches that I started to really progress with the help of a couple of very good anglers.
 

Silverfisher

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Must say I can't imagine learning to fish from scratch without a teacher or the Internet. Obviously I've learnt a lot myself on the bank over the years but the teachings of family and the Internet have certainly been the key factors.
 

Dave Spence

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Fifty/forty years ago feeder fishing was viewed as an unskilled method and chuck and hope.
Now be it rIver,method or Carp method it is a vital part of the anglers armoury and a style of angling that evolves more than float fishing.
I remember those days mate and I also remember anglers packing up match fishing when 'the pig' started to dominate the Trent. I may be wrong but I think John Dean was among them.
 

Lee Richards

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When Barbel started to dominate the Middle Severn the switch from float to feeder was a massive one that changed angling forever.
 

Silver fan 82

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The article starts off with "30 years ago". Well 30 years ago commercials were pretty thin on the ground in comparison to today. I personally think that commercials are the perfect place for a newcomer or youngster to gain the basic skills needed. If after time that angler then wants to widen their skill set, for example learning to trot a stick then great.
I personally think commercials have done great things for the sport. I don't fish them anymore but used to every weekend in the passed. I didn't have anyone to teach me how to fish, I used to read those things called books or watch John Wilson, Matt Hayes or Jan Porter on TV. But commercials were a great way to build the base as itt were and then go and build upon those skills learnt even further. As anglers we never stop learning, never.
 

Cobweb

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Enjoyment has to be the key else pleasure anglers like me wouldn't exist surely. If as someone has said you've fished 6-10 times and caught diddly then the commitment to turning up that many times shows your interest. All that is lacking is tuition. As for developing skills and knowledge, that is an eternally continuing process, enhanced greatly by forums like this one.

I stopped being competitive over 20 years ago after my first MI. A good angler (or an aspiring one) never stops developing his skillset and adapting to changing conditions. That's true of anything really that you want to keep being good at.

The advent of Commercial fisheries has made a big impact on angling, as has the arrival of better rods and kit to improve results. Skills are important, but it could be argued that some of the hard won techniques on rivers and canals, while a useful toolkit, may be of lesser importance (rightly or wrongly) to those whose focus is elsewhere and concentrated on the financial reward aspects of competitive fishing. Personally I think that argument falls on it's face when competitions occur on rivers and canals. It's just a case of acquiring those skills when necessary rather than at the outset

So no - I contend that youngsters are not missing out, and like us oldies - will identify and choose what skills we need to develop, and when to acquire them - that is if we want to stay doing such enjoyable stuff as this
 

Sad Teacher

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I think a lot of people learn stuff from YouTube but I think sometimes these videos create a false impression about how easy it is for beginner to catch fish. I teach in a secondary school and each year we shut school down for 4 days and have activity week where we do things like take them camping, take them to museums and I alternate between running a science week and a fishing / camping week. Kids love it we take 20 fishing sometimes we stay in one location others we go to different locations and clubs and charities have been brilliant helping us with venues and stuff - everyone gets a prize lol!! My point is all almost these kids take poles and can fish really well with them. However as week goes on the pre tied rigs run out and kids struggle tieing a hook on or shotting a float down. So going forward we have practice days before we go making sure they can do all these basic things so have even converted to a rod!!
 

chefster

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I know people of all ages and been fishing years, that just go and do the same thing week in, week out , never try to expand their horizons, or learn new skills, I guess they can’t be bothered
 

Arry

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I think that fishing has to be in the blood before you even go... bear with me... how many of you can go past a bit of water without even looking at it... I'd say most of you... see what I mean...? When that inquisitiveness grips at an early age, the hook is already in... and you start fishing... I started fishing as a nipper three and a half years old with a short bit of cane and s bent pin and bread for bait in the Grand Harbour in Malta... my mum was probably doing more fishing than me but the seeds were sown at a very early age.
With our return to the UK i fished with my grandad in some brooks in Fife, Scotland, and then with my mates on small rivers... as I grew so did my gear... as with most lads it was a logical progression... joining a club and learning your craft... some lads stay in the sport, some drift away... some try different codes... I do think that folks miss out on the enjoyment of angling by sticking to one code/method but thats their choice... To be honest if it gets folks into angling then whatever method they chose is fine by me... but deep down I feel that an apprenticeship has been bypassed
 

R0B

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Surely these days, with the abundance of information and guidance online and on paper, the newcomers have way more opportunity to learn "vital" skills quicker than we used to in the olden days?
I started at 11, with only my mate for guidance (he'd only just started and knew next to nothing, though he went on to become a very successful specimen angler, holding several records). I caught a perch on a spinner on my first trip, then blanked for ages float fishing. In those days the only books we were given were out of date and mentioned things like killing roach and "bread paste is of course, the finest bait" without actually telling you how to do it.
I didn't catch another coarse fish until I discovered loose-feeding, probably mentioned in the AT the first time I got hold of it. Then it was learning from magazines and blokes on the bank. I only had stillwaters and a canal so never trotted a stick float until quite recently, not particularly difficult if you already know about controlling line and have half a brain.
 

Zerkalo

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Agree on stick float fishing being a transferable skill anyway. Most skills should be transferable so I think too much fuss is made in the article about them. Back when we used to fish rivers with the Junior Club most of us were on the pole and feeder anyway so stick float fishing felt a bit new to me when I returned to fishing. I would say though along with my Club (which was mostly good because they took us everywhere including Ireland) I never would have joined the club in the first place if it wasn't for my dad getting me started.
 

Cobweb

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I didn't start fishing until I was in my mid 30s and learned what skills I have on rivers and still waters initially then, more recently, moved to commercials and method feeders. Like @cheftser I have lost count of the number of guys around my age who turn out with the same gear and same tactics for every venue they go to, which makes me wonder sometimes whether their reason for being there has more to do with getting out for the day for some peace and quiet and a natter with their mate(s).

Whatever, going back to the OP I think that you set your own targets in terms of what you want to get out of the sport or hobby you take up, so once again - no - kids are not disadvantaged in todays angling world. The opportunities to improve and succeed are still there. Those that want to achieve things will always do so. Talent can be developed, up to a point at least for many, and for those with exceptional skills the sky is the limit! But I don't think that the imaginary barriers referred to exist, simply because those that have identified them, are using their own personal criteria and experience in arriving at judgement
 

OldTaff

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One thing that impacts what skills you learn/develop is the “why” of why do you fish.

If you are solely looking to catch a big carp you'll master the techniques which land those, for barbel likewise, etc.

If you are an aspiring match angler you’ll doubtless scour every technique in the book to ensure you can fill your nets on a diverse range of venues with a breadth of species.

If you are a pleasure angler then maybe a subset of the match skills are most useful to wheedle out a bite or three while you enjoy a coffee on the bank.

The people who will stick in the sport are the ones who will seek out YouTube, etc and those who leave after a couple of blanks aren’t going to stick at any sport.
 

Silver fan 82

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I think a lot of people learn stuff from YouTube but I think sometimes these videos create a false impression about how easy it is for beginner to catch fish. I teach in a secondary school and each year we shut school down for 4 days and have activity week where we do things like take them camping, take them to museums and I alternate between running a science week and a fishing / camping week. Kids love it we take 20 fishing sometimes we stay in one location others we go to different locations and clubs and charities have been brilliant helping us with venues and stuff - everyone gets a prize lol!! My point is all almost these kids take poles and can fish really well with them. However as week goes on the pre tied rigs run out and kids struggle tieing a hook on or shotting a float down. So going forward we have practice days before we go making sure they can do all these basic things so have even converted to a rod!!
YouTube videos can be very misleading. A good example is speci carp fishing in winter. Alot of them on YouTube make it look easy but IME it's far from easy. At least on the waters I fish anyway.
 
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