Future of match fishing

davej1981

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Was thinking lately will match fishing be around in the future? Seeing results from nationals etc, they seem to be attended by alot less than when i used to fish them in the 90s. I remember there being 5 divisions in the old NFS nationals, god knows how many teams in the junior nationals (about 15 teams now between junior and youths) regional summer and winter leagues. Even the open/club match results seem to have fewer attendees and many are names I remember from the 90s. At my two local clubs the average junior attendance in matches is 2-4. I can remember interclub matches where each club would have 2-3 teams of 5. Without the youngsters coming through i fear match fishing will be a dying art in years to come
 

Dave Spence

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You struggle to find matches of 20+ anglers nowadays?
 

DontKillZander

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Being 28, could I suggest that I am part of one of the younger generations of anglers? Well...

I'm not trying to poke the lion here, I mean it - hand on heart, it's just the truth, the absolute #1 reason why I'll never get into match fishing is:

Bream and F1.

They do absolutely nothing for me as a species, especially Bream, I dislike catching and dealing with them.
Take a shower flannel - dip it in a bucket of wall-paper paste - hook it... voilà - you've caught a Bream.

The venues where you can reliably fish matches week in week out are typically stocked to the pegs with Bream, they're a massive part of the match anglers net, kills it for me completely, when I'm fishing worms on canals if I catch a Bream I move on.
 
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Dave Spence

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Most matches today are carp dominated.
 

Silverfisher

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There’s quite a reasonable match scene on the Thames around here still. Get the summer and winter leagues and few different shield and multi club matches that get 40 plus anglers and there’s various club matches every weekend and midweek that range from 10-20 anglers. Nothing like yesteryear I know but it’s certainly the river match scene that dominates angling around here alongside the specimen carp fishing.
 

bettsfan

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I fear for the future of it as well as Dave says it is so carp dominated it is more hauling than fishing!! I looked with interest at the Riverfest results, a quality field and because I don't know the Trent at all, it appeared it was very balanced rather than such 'peggy' matches you hear of nowadays. Personally I fish a few every year just for the day out, but still enjoy the challenge.
 

Arry

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It'll be down to clubbie knock ups soon... I was the last captain of a team in my club and that was back in the 90's... Most local clubs can't/won't run a team... I think the Essex Club League is still staggering on in some form or another, but opens are now few and far between locally, with only the bigger waters like Tylers, & Puddledock, & Lake John running them.
 

Neil ofthe nene

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Two issues really. The number of anglers is falling and the standard of the top anglers and venue experts is so much above the average that the likelihood of the club angler winning a large open is so remote as to be unattractive. Fishomania is a good example of how the cream rises to the top. Originally marketed as a chance for any of us to capture the big prize winning is now almost exclusively in the hands of the professional match angler.

Hence people tend to stick to matches they can compete in.
 

alsur

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It's certainly changed back in 80s I used to fish the Monday evening matches on Thames at Molesey most evenings there were between 50 and 60 people fishing, we would look at AT for opens at weekend and normally had a good choice. The Surrey winter league that I fished at time was 10 teams of 12 and there was a waiting list it folded a few years ago. First National I fished was division 4 on Ancholme there were over 80 teams of 12 a 5th division was added. Now in my area there are a couple of commercials running opens but none of opens run by clubs that were common and finding a match on a river is almost impossible. There is one winter league which admittedly is well supported where there was three and as always there are Club matches.
 

The Landlord

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Yeah - same round here. Two commercials that run opens & that's about it. Used to fish the winter league which would be 10 teams of 12 but that's gone now.
Even club matches used to attract 30-40, be it on an outing to a different venue or the local park match lake. My current club has been holding monthly matches on our 20 pegger lake but only 9 turned up last week.
 

sjmclean

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Most venues I fish these days, on all but a handful of pegs you need to be on ide, and that on this venue means 1 kilo of worms, 3ltrs of groundbait and 2-4 pints dead reds to win. it's a lot of money.
 

Neil ofthe nene

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There is also the issue of people not wanting the hassle of running large matches. No one appreciates the work that goes in, complaints are many, thanks are few.

Trying to organise, say, a 100 pegger means the organiser takes a financial risk. The admin is a nightmare. And the reward?
 

Freesolo82

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I think the match scene while nothing like its heyday with 100 peggers every week is healthy and has variety for everyone.
 

smiffy

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I think the match scene while nothing like its heyday with 100 peggers every week is healthy and has variety for everyone.
I think it’s geographical if what you say is right. As for variety? One of the reasons I packed up match fishing was the one dimensionality of it. Years ago I could be fishing a Canal,drain,lake,pit or river on any given Saturday or Sunday. Now it’s down to small ponds,despite being described as lakes?, fishing for Carp. There is little variety,sadly.
 

Zerkalo

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Seems even Junior Nationals I fished have moved away from canals? To be fair though, small pond Carp fishing is an ideal way for me to ease myself back into match fishing, as others have said, the calibre of angling is too great for me on river matches round here and I won't be entering any big matches anytime soon.
 

OldTaff

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I loved fishing club and open matches back 20 years ago in wales but I don’t think I’d do opens any more now I’m in Kent but maybe if I find a local club that actually has vacancies then I would consider knock ups with them.

It was always fishing on mixed stock club lakes with the odd carp puddle in the mix but the match reports I see now show me the match scene is a whole different beast to back in the day. I’m not geared up for dedicated commercial fishing and the investment in kit and bait would be prohibitive.

The lack of rising youngsters that has been mentioned will undoubtedly hurt match attendances, the youth sections on our matches were always packed out and hotly attended - times change as do interests but I wonder how many clubs encourage and develop their junior sections if they even have them.
 

TrickyD

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The big matches, Nationals/Festivals, and to some extent, winter leagues, although well attended, were very occasional, once a year or half a dozen matches over the winter. Now matches may have 20-30 anglers, but they are almost daily, and all over the place. I don't think there is much difference with the numbers fishing matches now as in the past.
 

Arry

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I think it’s geographical if what you say is right. As for variety? One of the reasons I packed up match fishing was the one dimensionality of it. Years ago I could be fishing a Canal,drain,lake,pit or river on any given Saturday or Sunday. Now it’s down to small ponds,despite being described as lakes?, fishing for Carp. There is little variety,sadly.
This is the main reason I packed it in... once clubs stopped using coaches for regular outings, folks had to use their own transport... and 30 blokes needing parking means commy waters... and that means carp... and while there are carp, that means multiple nets, more rules, heavier gear, less diversity and variety... and for me the fun went out of it... the last couple of uears I carried on for the banter and the social aspect, but the desire to compete died and now its just me and a quiet water with a rod, reel and a net, with a bit of bait, and I am happy once more....
 

The Landlord

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This is the main reason I packed it in... once clubs stopped using coaches for regular outings, folks had to use their own transport... and 30 blokes needing parking means commy waters... and that means carp... and while there are carp, that means multiple nets, more rules, heavier gear, less diversity and variety... and for me the fun went out of it... the last couple of uears I carried on for the banter and the social aspect, but the desire to compete died and now its just me and a quiet water with a rod, reel and a net, with a bit of bait, and I am happy once more....
Yeah...can you imagine the amount of gear that would need loading Onto a coach, these days? ?
 

smiffy

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I was on the open match circuit so the only time I got to go on a coach was to my peg on the National. Otherwise it was driving myself or car sharing.
 
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