Future of match fishing

Fugley-fisher

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When I packed in 20 or so years ago my club had a junior league and we fished inter club matches the seniors had evening summer/winter league and weekends and team, we also held several opens and memorials and pairs, some of them had 60-100 pegs those days are gone , i was about to dip my toe back into matches on rivers I've no chance of winning especially as a Mr Des Ship enjoys our little club there is another couple anglers that have won nationals or framed , we did have a charity 50 peger few weeks ago. Think the problem is the junior or lack of people to teach organise, especially the river getting the gear and tactics right takes time, I've asked if our club has a junior section to get involved but alas we don't. I am by no means an expert but passing on some small amount of experience and enthusiasm might just give another youngster a life long past time or the next Des Ship.
 

Me and my lad

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it is not just fishing. My lad is now playing football in a lincs league because the local town do not have enough teams. This means a 90 min drive for away games. The fishing club I used to run is now down to 6 members and they dont always turn up. Yet the new club I have started has 16 plus on each match...with two junior anglers. I guess playstations are to blame plus the many comercials that have opened up to make the
 

feldri

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I think the introduction of carp waters is not the main reason for the lack of anglers on the bank. The main reason in my opinion was the introduction of personal computers and computer games, along with the internet. Kids, and teens, would rather kill zombies and race cars around on a monitor rather than go outside and participate in what is normally a waiting game. The young have no patience nowadays and the thought of just catching a few fish over a 6 hour session does not compete with the action on the computer.
 

IanG1

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To be honest without the commercial fisheries, match fishing would have died long before now. Most kids introduction to the sport is normally on a well run and safe commercial environment with lots of bites and fish to be caught to hopefully get them hooked (pardon the pun) on the sport.
 

Dave Spence

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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?
Totally agree Neil, if match organisers want to take a cut of the revenue will get no complaints from me. Organisers who organise 200 peg events, imo, should have no qualms about adding a £1 per peg for themselves.
 

Dave Spence

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I think the introduction of carp waters is not the main reason for the lack of anglers on the bank. The main reason in my opinion was the introduction of personal computers and computer games, along with the internet. Kids, and teens, would rather kill zombies and race cars around on a monitor rather than go outside and participate in what is normally a waiting game. The young have no patience nowadays and the thought of just catching a few fish over a 6 hour session does not compete with the action on the computer.
Nailed it!!!:cry:
 

Sam Vimes

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I'm not convinced that you can base any predictions on current river matches (or those held on big "natural" stillwaters). River match fishing has been in decline for decades, pretty much in line with the loss of interest in fishing rivers amongst general anglers (that don't fish matches) and the decline of many of our rivers. I do have a pet theory that the lack of anglers and regular bait going in only exacerbates any decline, but that's another story.
I tend to avoid commies and fish rivers and more natural stillwaters. If it weren't for barbel anglers and fluff flingers on the rivers, and out and out carpers on the stillwaters, I wouldn't see too many people at all.

When I occasionally see the local river matches, the average age of the participants invariably surprises me. It fairly unusual to see a soul on the better side of forty. Unfortunately, I suspect that I'm probably being a little generous by saying forty and not fifty, or more!

I'm afraid that the changes are largely down to a combination of the ageing demographics of anglers and the rise of the commies. I can't particularly blame anyone for switching, regardless of the reasons. Scratching about on a declining river compared to the far higher chances of bagging up on a commie is a no brainer for many, regardless of age. That's all before better facilities, easy parking and short, easy walks are taken into account. I know there will come a time when I won't be capable of walking miles on a river (or round a big stillwater) and the commies will keep me fishing. I can't say that I'm looking forward to it, but I'd rather that than give up. I know that provided I don't lose my marbles or eyesight, I'll probably be catching more fish than I do now.

One of the few benefits of Covid that I've witnessed has been a few more anglers than in recent years. I've also seen a few kids with dads that have been fishing commies for the last ten to twenty years. I recently encountered a bloke that I knew when were both kids. I knew he fished way back then and I knew he occasionally fished in the intervening thirty years, but it was always on commies. Covid has seen him rejoin a club he's not been in since he was a lad and introduce his son, who'd only ever fished commies, to the "joys" of fishing the river.
 
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Arry

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There is also the high cost of competitiveness... to fish at a high level needs a high level of committment and gear to fish a 5 hour match effectively... and I know myself trying to compete at top level means a leap in talent and costs and one that I couldn't make (talent being my main issue and skintness) its cheaper/easier to buy a kid a play station than a full kit for fishing...
And on a final note how many kids wanna fish with the old man...? As I approach my dotage I look back and knowcthat my old man really couldn't be arsed and at a young age I'd rather go with me mates... now at 62 I wish the old fellah would've taken me when I were a lad... biggest regret really...
 

smiffy

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To be honest without the commercial fisheries, match fishing would have died long before now. Most kids introduction to the sport is normally on a well run and safe commercial environment with lots of bites and fish to be caught to hopefully get them hooked (pardon the pun) on the sport.
I’ve seen this said before but I could probably make a very good case for the opposite. There were 6 divisions in the national and a whole host of winter leagues when commercials started to take hold. It wasn’t difficult to find a 60 pegger both days of the weekend either. Now?
Yes,numbers were already in decline but it has only hastened since commercials made an impression. I know many more anglers that have stopped matchfishing because of commercials than for any other reason. They are definitely Marmite.
 

Fugley-fisher

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I've offered my stepson to come out and I'll teach him I've enough gear to make it happen, all I get in response is maybe, I'll not force it cos it would be miserable experience for both. Xbox rules. Say no more.
 

Arry

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I think (if I had a mind to) I'd be more inclined to return, if clubs used their own waters and modified the rules a bit.... I really resented paying £90 a year for a club book and then going to a commy for a knock up at an extra tenner for a day ticket... mind you I don't fish the home matches now anyway as the desire to compete has gone...
 

smiffy

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Similar to Sam I’ve seen more anglers on the bank since restrictions were lifted. Clubs have had to close membership and have waiting lists after many years of struggling. However,the clubs stop memberships at far smaller numbers than they would have hosted many years ago. Membership is in the hundreds nowadays when it used to be thousands in the past.
 

rudd

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When I started match fishing had an 11m pole with three top kits, waggler rod, feeder rod, landing net, a keepnet and a black steadfast box with octoplus kit.
When I finished, 16m pole with 10 kits + section spares, margin pole, 2 x pellet waggler, method feeder, feeder, bomb, 2 x heavy waggler, 3 x waggler, four whips, three keepnets, seceral landing nets and something resembling a north sea oil rig + rollers, pole roosts,.trolly and a zillion rigs/ hooklengths - and it all had to match!
All that just to compete on club circuit! ?
 

martin22

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When I started match fishing had an 11m pole with three top kits, waggler rod, feeder rod, landing net, a keepnet and a black steadfast box with octoplus kit.
When I finished, 16m pole with 10 kits + section spares, margin pole, 2 x pellet waggler, method feeder, feeder, bomb, 2 x heavy waggler, 3 x waggler, four whips, three keepnets, seceral landing nets and something resembling a north sea oil rig + rollers, pole roosts,.trolly and a zillion rigs/ hooklengths - and it all had to match!
All that just to compete on club circuit! ?
Don’t forget 3-5 keepnets,a vehicle big enough to carry it all,fuel to get to the match,all sorts of bait from your local tackle shop for the match,how ever many bags of fishery own pellets on the day,brekkie in the fishery cafe before the draw,pegging fee,pool fee,golden peg fee and any other greedy pot fees,half the time you’ve spent as much if not more than first place winnings ?‍♂️
 

Arry

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When I started match fishing had an 11m pole with three top kits, waggler rod, feeder rod, landing net, a keepnet and a black steadfast box with octoplus kit.
When I finished, 16m pole with 10 kits + section spares, margin pole, 2 x pellet waggler, method feeder, feeder, bomb, 2 x heavy waggler, 3 x waggler, four whips, three keepnets, seceral landing nets and something resembling a north sea oil rig + rollers, pole roosts,.trolly and a zillion rigs/ hooklengths - and it all had to match!
All that just to compete on club circuit! ?
Don’t forget 3-5 keepnets,a vehicle big enough to carry it all,fuel to get to the match,all sorts of bait from your local tackle shop for the match,how ever many bags of fishery own pellets on the day,brekkie in the fishery cafe before the draw,pegging fee,pool fee,golden peg fee and any other greedy pot fees,half the time you’ve spent as much if not more than first place winnings ?‍♂️
Case well and truly rested m'lord
 

smiffy

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Don’t forget 3-5 keepnets,a vehicle big enough to carry it all,fuel to get to the match,all sorts of bait from your local tackle shop for the match,how ever many bags of fishery own pellets on the day,brekkie in the fishery cafe before the draw,pegging fee,pool fee,golden peg fee and any other greedy pot fees,half the time you’ve spent as much if not more than first place winnings ?‍♂️
To be honest you needed more gear to fish naturals. The exception being keepnets?. The bait bills could be horrendous and mileage could be massive. The biggest difference today has got to be pegging fee. When clubs hosted matches the peg fee was often minimal. A quid? A quid fifty? Never anything like the Five or Ten quid they take today. There would have been uproar.
Its possibly more lucrative to fish club matches on club waters than jump into the open match circuit today ??
 

davej1981

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Certainly round my way speci fishing seems to have taken over. Alot of great match anglers i used to know are all speci now, and the range of tackle available match style fishing is so poor at my local everything ive asked if they stock the answer is always no. I think that says it all about its popularity
 

Simon R

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It's still reasonably healthy around here - there are matches most weekends on the Tees - some club, some open but attendances of 30-40 are not uncommon. The three day Tees festival in August saw 80+ taking part and there's still team summer and winter leagues both on the river and a couple of stillwaters. Matches at Sessay and Woodlands most weekends - the former runs weekly Club Anglers Only matches which are held every Sunday from November through to March.
There's a number of small clubs that run regular matches too - ourselves (Stokesley), Wilton and Tees Valley spring to mind, although we're the only club that doesn't exclusively fish commercials with matches on rivers, natural stillwaters and reservoirs etc - as well as commercials of course.

When I occasionally see the local river matches, the average age of the participants invariably surprises me. It fairly unusual to see a soul on the better side of forty. Unfortunately, I suspect that I'm probably being a little generous by saying forty and not fifty, or more!

Sadly that's not just the river matches - I was the youngest at our club match last week by a good couple of years and I won't see 55 again. The junior's just aren't coming through any more - I can remember when I was 15 or 16 the Cleveland County Junior Open held at Albert Park Lake would be a sell-out every year (40+ pegs) and offer very mediocre sport but you'd still be sweating on getting hold of a ticket. Yarms latest junior match on Halnaby Lake (which they even made an open to try and swell the attendance) attracted the grand total of eight participants - bribed into taking part by the promise of prizes for everyone and free entry, some of the competitors had never held a rod before :p

Simon
 

tipitinmick

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Totally agree Neil, if match organisers want to take a cut of the revenue will get no complaints from me. Organisers who organise 200 peg events, imo, should have no qualms about adding a £1 per peg for themselves.
Steve Toone AKA ... ‘ Rip off ‘ would have loved you Dave. ??.
 
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