In the last 10 years

Line Clip

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To Match, and Pleasure Anglers, that have fished regularly over the last ten years or more.
Would you say your fishing skills have got better in the last ten years,

Do you catch more, or bigger fish. ?
Do you win more money in Matches ?
If so what do you base your success on. ?
 

Silverfisher

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I’ve undoubtedly got better as 10 years ago I was still 3 weeks short of being an adult so still fished with a fair degree of child like incompetence. I gradually got better over the next 5 years but I would say I’ve only been a remotely decent angler for the last 5 years or so. Before that I just did stuff rather than put much thought into it and unsurprisingly as soon as I started thinking more I fished better.
 

Line Clip

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I’ve undoubtedly got better as 10 years ago I was still 3 weeks short of being an adult so still fished with a fair degree of child like incompetence. I gradually got better over the next 5 years but I would say I’ve only been a remotely decent angler for the last 5 years or so. Before that I just did stuff rather than put much thought into it and unsurprisingly as soon as I started thinking more I fished better.
Do you think modern day tackle and baits, has played a big part or not.
 

Northantslad

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Great question again mate.
For any fishing i do, i base it solely on number of blanks, so what i catch really if you look at it that way. If it's a match then the money comes with catching.

The knowledge bit that can only come from experience and learning in whatever that preferred method is (for me its reading, here and the odd video), in addition to being out trying which in my opinion there is no substitute, has helped over years in reducing blanks by:

Knowing when to fish and where.
Taking conditions and fish responses into account.
Knowing how to fish it based on the above, in terms of tactics and with what and what amounts of bait.

I do feel i have become a better angler in the last ten years' blanks have become less and yes as measured by my output (fish on the bank or in the net) to input, over what targets i set myself.
 

Silverfisher

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Do you think modern day tackle and baits, has played a big part or not.
Definitely not baits as I use traditional baits. Tackle definitely has to a fair degree but nothing like to the extent of knowledge and experience. The more fishing you do and the more you study fishing the bigger strides you’ll make.

Even outside of fishing I think what sets apart youngsters that get by to those that thrive is mental maturity and knowledge. For example I’d never have made a professional sportsman at anything but if I had the knowledge and ability to think at 18 that I have now just shy of 28 I’d have got a lot further than I did as so much of everything is down to what goes on between your ears 👍🏻
 

Browner

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The one thing I have learnt is that I don’t need to take masses of kit. I’ve slimmed it down to a small bag with the end tackle in it, net, handle and rest strapped on top, small bait bucket for bread and likky, a light chair and a couple of short rods max.
Sold my box, rod holdall, keepnet etc.
Enjoy my fishing more than ever.
 

alsur

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Match fishing worse I don't fish as many matches as I did and it shows. General fishing not much as changed apart from it takes me longer to tie hooks etc. Saying that I've been fishing for 60 years seriously for 40 years.
 

Line Clip

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Great question again mate.
For any fishing i do, i base it solely on number of blanks, so what i catch really if you look at it that way. If it's a match then the money comes with catching.

The knowledge bit that can only come from experience and learning in whatever that preferred method is (for me its reading, here and the odd video), in addition to being out trying which in my opinion there is no substitute, has helped over years in reducing blanks by:

Knowing when to fish and where.
Taking conditions and fish responses into account.
Knowing how to fish it based on the above, in terms of tactics and with what and what amounts of bait.

I do feel i have become a better angler in the last ten years' blanks have become less and yes as measured by my output (fish on the bank or in the net) to input, over what targets i set myself.
The lads I fish Matches with, have a great all-round knowledge, and that's at club level. some have fished high end matches, and have a wealth
of natural talent, very interesting to listen to in the car park after the Match, about how they approach things, great learning curve for us lesser
morsels.
 

Deejay8

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Having stopped fishing back in 1998 and about to start again, I feel like I'm a total beginner again, because of all the new methods and baits that have arrived during my hiatus. In the 16 years of fishing that I did in the 1980s and 90s, I definitely became a more skilled angler.
 

Northantslad

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Got to be a listener, but also a filterer, of which i am both, when it comes to brekky before hand or in the car park afterwards.

The reason i felt great question is that the learning curve processes can apply to any preferred angling, for me the process and that measurement applies to matches across various disciplines, specimen fishing, coarse non match etc etc. In terms of all of those which i tend to do over a full season, they have all come on well since i adopted doing the various disciplines over a season for a few years now. Hence, whilst i am happy with results, i will remain i suspect, ok at them all, but never excelling at any of them.......time is one thing you cannot control and ensure you dedicate, without doing it full time i suppose.
 

Zerkalo

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I only started fishing again regularly 2 years ago, but had pretty good results from the start, I would say I've came on a bit, had a lot to pick up again, but for me a lot of it was like riding bike in terms of the basics. But I have always had as a good motto, constant improvement...
 

Line Clip

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Definitely not baits as I use traditional baits. Tackle definitely has to a fair degree but nothing like to the extent of knowledge and experience. The more fishing you do and the more you study fishing the bigger strides you’ll make.

Even outside of fishing I think what sets apart youngsters that get by to those that thrive is mental maturity and knowledge. For example I’d never have made a professional sportsman at anything but if I had the knowledge and ability to think at 18 that I have now just shy of 28 I’d have got a lot further than I did as so much of everything is down to what goes on between your ears 👍🏻
Yes the bait comes into the equation more with carp I suppose, Pellets, ground-bait,waffters, flavors etc.
If you look at fishing for silvers, and using traditional baits, the transition is not so great, so as you say more the knowledge and experience (y)
 

Ken the Pacman

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Skills have not changed but I am more relaxed about competition fishing so results have suffered a bit due to lack of preparation and effort.
 

smiffy

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Since quitting the circuit I definitely catch fewer fish but that is my choice. I can’t sit down and have a net of Roach, despite knowing lots of pegs that will produce that, like I used to in my matchfishing days to perfect rigs,efficiency and general confidence.
I don’t know about the money. Commercials take a bigger cut out of the fees so I would guess it’s relatively less. The opportunities must be more though with smaller fields. It’s a difficult one because although the fields are smaller they must be more competitive with the venues used nowadays. There’s probably many more specialist venue and species experts around now rather than the all rounders of years gone by.
The fish I catch nowadays are all based on what I learnt through the years nothing more. Any success I have during a days fishing is purely down to experience and, hopefully😉, a bit of watercraft. Trying to second guess where my chosen quarry will be dwelling👍 I still like to think about my angling and try to take something away with me every trip. It’s normally “There aint nothing in that peg”😂
 

gingert76

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Still the same for me, still learning and still adapting though now there is 1000 times more info and 1000 times easier to access it so you can broaden or specialise as much as you like
 

squimp

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For me it is about incremental improvement as time goes by.

Like ‘northants lad‘ says it is about effort and reward. I keep records of every trip and also relevant trips and fish caught by others on the same waters. If I’m not catching as quickly or quicker than others then I want to know why....it could be lots of reasons. I just have to work out what is making THE difference.

These days I think more and actually fish less than I used to. A lot of that is down to the record keeping and over time working out when to go fishing and when to stay at home. But you need data to work out those trends.

Modern tackle and bait helps - but even with good bait you still have to cast it in the right place ( and at the right time) and use a decent rig. With tackle, the only bits that really matter are the line, hook and bait. The rest is fairly irrelevant as long as the bait is presented in the right way. My 25 year old reels don’t stop me catching fish.

Not losing fish is a big thing for me. Being a specialist angler most of the time I can get away with using reasonably heavy gear. That provides some insurance when that big fish comes along. I’m also a knot geek. But once I hook a fish I do tend to land it (famous last words!).

In terms of actually technique I want to keep improving all the time. some things just require practice - there is no other way.

As an example, with saltwater fly fishing it is all about accurate casting and then watching the body language of the fish. If the cast is rubbish the fish doesn’t see the fly - game over. Once the fish does see the fly you have to move the fly so that it is attractive rather than threatening to the fish. If you do it wrong the fish won’t eat the fly. Simple as... So you have the opportunity to learn quickly because you can actually see what is going on. When my pal and I are permit fishing we score every cast out of 10. We rarely hook fish on casts that score less than a 9. A score of 7 or below and you can forget it.

Chucking a boilie into a murky gravel pit is a bit different. You don’t know how many times a fish has looked at/tried your bait and not given you a bite; you only know you are doing it right when you actually hook something. So the onus is on using the best available bait/rig to covert those ‘enquiries‘ into proper hittable bites.

One key thing I’ve learnt (from one mate specifically) is the need to experiment. Most specialist anglers are set in their way eg 3 rods with the same rig on each all the time. He does the opposite- as soon as he gets a bite he then changes something (and records it). That way he is trying new things when he knows the fish are biting. If you try a different rig after 5 hours catching nothing and still catch nothing, what have you learnt. Answer nothing.

Another way to learn quickly is to fish with anglers who are better than you. I’m lucky enough to fish with some top quality anglers (both specialist and fly) and some of their knowledge, skill and advice rubs off on me.
 

Capt Birdseye

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Definitely improved, down to ..
More time spent on preparation
Better set up at seat box , everything to hand, more comfortable.
Thinner, stronger lines
Listening to other anglers on the bank, on here ( cough) and YouTube
Learning from past mistakes
Not being afraid to experiment and try new methods
And the main thing, loving every minute on the bank
 

Cobweb

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To Match, and Pleasure Anglers, that have fished regularly over the last ten years or more.
Would you say your fishing skills have got better in the last ten years,

Do you catch more, or bigger fish. ?
Do you win more money in Matches ?
If so what do you base your success on. ?
I think that in terms of bigger fish I have been increasing both the number and frequency of catches. I've done very little float fishing during the last 10 years, so, in terms of silvers, I haven't bettered my 2lb roach caught in Pevensey Haven on a Drennan stick float, and a 13ft Daiwa Whisker rod in '93 I think. I'm a little saddened by not float fishing so much (except for carp and F1s) as I think I've lost a lot of the "river" craft I once had, but in terms of how I feeder fish I have definitely improved through a change of tactics and equipment, both on mostly method on commercials, and on cage and hybrid on natural and bigger waters. Much of this improvement, is due to a learning process and to the acquisition of better rods with good through/playing actions developed in recent years, and better reels. Spending that extra bit of dosh on my gear has helped me land more fish and targeting specific species/sizes has given me a greater sense of achievement as a pleasure angler.

Watching how others fish, and what with on videos, talking to other anglers on the bank, and picking up tips from forums such as this, has not played an insignificant part either
 

Krh57

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Without going into chapter and verse, in the last 3 - 4 years I have vastly improved my commercial venue fishing. This is due to the methods and tips shown to me from two Maggotdrowner members from this site, namely, Chefster and Rob6709. These two members have with their knowledge and teachings made me a much better angler on commercials and I greatly appreciate their help and assistance. Thanks Gazza and Rob (y) (y)
 
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