Future of match fishing

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Oy what's wrong with my hat, it matches the contours of my funny shaped head perfectly. I fished a lot of the same matches as Frank but never actually spoke to him, he seemed a real character RIP.

Never met the great man, but always felt like you was there when reading his writings....RIP Mr Barlow...
 

Pompous git

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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.
Have to admit I felt the same about bream for years, not anymore and I`m not sure why. I suppose it could be down to fishing with
spliced tip rods and fishing rivers more so that they do put up a fight of sorts. I would rather catch a net of goer roach on the float than
a thirty pound pike or carp but for years ignored redfins in favour of the bigger stuff, strange how things change, can never say never
regarding fishing.

Have commercials ruined match fishing or have they been the saviour?

The media are saying fishing is becoming more popular because of covid restrictions, will these people still be on the bank when its
perishing? I would like to think so but I doubt it but a few might realise that sitting by the water alone with your thoughts makes a
nice change to the rat race or the goggle box.
 

Dave Spence

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Have to admit I felt the same about bream for years, not anymore and I`m not sure why. I suppose it could be down to fishing with
spliced tip rods and fishing rivers more so that they do put up a fight of sorts. I would rather catch a net of goer roach on the float than
a thirty pound pike or carp but for years ignored redfins in favour of the bigger stuff, strange how things change, can never say never
regarding fishing.

Have commercials ruined match fishing or have they been the saviour?

The media are saying fishing is becoming more popular because of covid restrictions, will these people still be on the bank when its
perishing? I would like to think so but I doubt it but a few might realise that sitting by the water alone with your thoughts makes a
nice change to the rat race or the goggle box.
Even if I am not fishing I can sit for hours by the side of a stream or lake, leaning over a bridge and dropping tiny bits of bread in to try and attract a few chub used to be my favourite close season hobby.
 

Pompous git

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Even if I am not fishing I can sit for hours by the side of a stream or lake, leaning over a bridge and dropping tiny bits of bread in to try and attract a few chub used to be my favourite close season hobby.
Yep same here, I`m lucky I have a small stream a ten minute bike ride from me and I regard the shoals of dace as my own, how
dare people try to catch them!
 

Flathead

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Never met the great man, but always felt like you was there when reading his writings....RIP Mr Barlow...
I met Frank a few times....he often used to fish matches on the Trent and Mersey canal near Derby in his later years and worked at Wotsit’s tackle shop in Stapleford for a while.....coincidently, I was just looking at a rod, this afternoon, that I bought from him at the shop quite a few years ago now.
 

tipitinmick

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Oy what's wrong with my hat, it matches the contours of my funny shaped head perfectly. I fished a lot of the same matches as Frank but never actually spoke to him, he seemed a real character RIP.
You mean you’ve never slept on his sofa or had one of mo’s fry ups ? You’ve never lived. ??
 

tipitinmick

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I was very shy in the 70's:geek:
How things change. ??

Frank was a lovely chap. He gave me two Shakespeare presidents bless him. You wouldn’t want to get between him and mo when they were arguing though. There wasn’t much that didn’t get thrown. God bless you Frank.
 

NoCarpPlease

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Some great posts so far.

I only fish opens and leagues on "natural" venues (mostly rivers) - but I'd be surprised if it's that different on the "commercial" side of match fishing.

some observations
  • The numbers (after declining for 20 years) have pretty much stabilised over the last 10 years
  • BUT it's the same faces (generally now 50 and over) with very little recruitment of youngsters
  • Team fishing has split to a small top end (Starlets, Dorking, Barnsley etc) and local "fun" leagues
  • Individual competitions (fisho, festivals, riverfest) are now where most of the interest is - but it's a relatively small pool of anglers fishing those matches
  • The average skills are high - much higher than in the mass participation era when I started out 30-40 years ago, partly because the "pools fodder" have dropped out. You have to draw a good peg now - because few pegs will be wasted.
  • This year the numbers have been a bit higher - the smallest match I've fished is 32 pegs - but it's old faces reappearing rather than new blood.
  • The rivers in the midlands have changed over the 35 years I've been fishing opens, but I wouldn't say that they've declined from a match fishing perspective (except Evesham)

sadly - I suspect that Riverfest will be the lust hurrah, given the aging population - fifteen more years of decent sized matches?
 

IanG1

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I have great memories of Frank Barlow that I will always remember. As a young spotty teenager I drew what I didn't know was a flyer on an open at Long Higgin. On passing me on the way to his peg, along with Ade Seddon they talked me through the peg, told me the best way to approach it and left me too it. Though my skills back then weren't good enough to make the most of the peg I still framed though I spent most of my winnings buying them both a pint in the magpie pub after the match. Happy Days
 

Flathead

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When I was in my early 20’s I moved to Radcliffe on Trent and started to fish the Burton Joyce regular open matches.

In those days there would be a hundred anglers, or so, at every match.....that was in the days of Johnny Rolfe, Roy Toulson, John Dean et al.

I thought I was pretty good, having had a fair amount of success in the Oxford area on the Thames...but used to get hammered most matches pegged next to the likes of Don Slaymaker or the likeo_O

Anyway I soon stuck to club matches but, even then we would have anything up to 40 anglers on a match.....these would all be on the Trent apart from a few trips to the fens.

What I remember is having to lug my gear miles up the river and very few anglers had trolleys in them days....but we used to carry much less tackle. Even the top anglers would only carry a hold-all, two or three rods, Plastic or wicker seat box, nets and maybe a separate bait box.....and we were much younger.

You could be drawn a mile or two from the draw point and have to climb over stiles and gates....but the matches were still sell outs

Anglers today carry far more gear and just not physically manage those long hikes to sit on an uneven bank, or more likely, stand for 5 hours.
Things have changed for ever as it has now become to norm to carry everything and the kitchen sink.....and many are not prepared to go to all the trouble to scratch for a couple of pounds of fish.
 

davej1981

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My local clubs used to attract 40+ every week, junior matches were run independently and several venues running opens 2/3 times a week. Club matches now have 15-20 max plus 2 or 3 juniors which are fished alongside the adult matches, no separate fixture. 1 local fiahery run a monthly Wednesday open and god knows about the others nothing is ever advertised. I asked around a few Facebook groups and local tackle shops about opens and all could tell me nothing! I know some opens go on as occasionally i see reults posted, but noone ever knows about them! I suspect given its always the same names in the results that they are knock ups amongst friends on a need to no basis rather than true opens
 

Maesknoll

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I have great memories of Frank Barlow that I will always remember. As a young spotty teenager I drew what I didn't know was a flyer on an open at Long Higgin. On passing me on the way to his peg, along with Ade Seddon they talked me through the peg, told me the best way to approach it and left me too it. Though my skills back then weren't good enough to make the most of the peg I still framed though I spent most of my winnings buying them both a pint in the magpie pub after the match. Happy Days
Stayed at Franks’ house when we were fishing a match in the Trent, great craic, the guys I fished with then had the same attitude as Frank, win or lose, have a booze.......
 

Flathead

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Stayed at Franks’ house when we were fishing a match in the Trent, great craic, the guys I fished with then had the same attitude as Frank, win or lose, have a booze.......
Edit: not relevant
 
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Dave Spence

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Stayed at Franks’ house when we were fishing a match in the Trent, great craic, the guys I fished with then had the same attitude as Frank, win or lose, have a booze.......
I still have the same philosophy, don't let things get you down. If owt bad happens today it just gives you something to laugh about in the future.
 

Northantslad

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Had a decent club going a couple of years back for 3 years, but that fell foul of some not grasping that the value of their 'input' being proportional to the effort they were willing to put in, the usual really, those that sat back and were quite happy to let the hardcore run it (the hardcore being happy to also), but then having an opinion or at times stirring things up to suit their agendas. So that club went, where i am sure a good few do too. No brainer, put in alot of effort before, during, after and in the following week of a match, only to have people sniping, or take up pleasure fishing? The latter for me, when regular matches ceased becoming a pleasure also.

Future wise, simple, younger generation just aren't the types in all cases to grasp (or need with the other distractions) any importance of extending their friendship boundaries beyond a handful of good mates and the other 50 odd they communicate with on technology. Simple to see where the issue is, not so when it comes to where they get that mindset from and who is to blame directly, culture yes, but also parents in those cases.

I look at a local football club in a town not far from me, loads of age groups, yet instead of the traditional mens reserves and also a first team, the club have cut down to just a first team now, as they were struggling for players, unheard of ten years ago, but now very few hang around and can't give it the time and drop out when the real commitment is needed. Yes the 1hr junior training sessions were heavily attended and to a degree the matches, but where a drop in numbers available for match days was evident, especially when it involved an away trip requiring half a days commitment. Training simply was a child minding service, where half of the parents just cleared off after dropping them off and had no interest in the team or the club, so not too hard to see where the younger generation get their commitment levels from at times. Looking at individual cases, the commitment and effort of a parent could be seen as mirrored exactly in their child.

And that is football, something you would think far more glamorous than fishing, so what hope is there for fishing. Back in the day Grandad would introduce Dad and Dad introduce son to the match scene/club and there was your generational feeder as it were, with two maybe 3 generations in the club at anyone time.

Open days half the time, whilst good in intention and thinking of the same town and types i got the football club example from, look well attended, scratch the surface however and its just a day out and step up for the pond dipping brigade and that sounds a bit of a whizz for an hour or so.

Too much change in culture and lifestyles gone on now, sad as it is. Seeing juniors out on the bank doing any form of fishing got to be a positive, no matter how rare.

The only glimmer may be the recent uptake, which is why it is so vital to be welcoming to the sport whenever you can.
 

Pompous git

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The new 'old' house we are buying has this as the rear boundary
1602005408316.png
Wow Dave, if you introduce a small amount of feed every day at the same time you will soon have a pet shoal.

A number 4 dry fly outfit.

A freelined lob at dawn or a piece of breadflake at dusk, if its only you fishing it you can ration so as not to overdo it if you
get my drift.
 

Dave Spence

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Wow Dave, if you introduce a small amount of feed every day at the same time you will soon have a pet shoal.

A number 4 dry fly outfit.

A freelined lob at dawn or a piece of breadflake at dusk, if its only you fishing it you can ration so as not to overdo it if you
get my drift.
1602007332294.png

This is how it looks at the moment, the river is at the bottom where the trees/brambles are. I will need a lot of strimmer line. :p
 
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