Is it Luck or Skill

Line Clip

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Early last winter when we could Match fish, I received a phone call from our Club match organizer, telling me he had booked a match on
a local commercial, mid week, he also had opened it up to other clubs, to boost the numbers, so it was going to be worth winning.
I was really up for it spending time preparing, making sure everything was right, bait sorted,rigs rods, all the usual prep.

Morning of the Match weather was cold strong easterly wind, with heavy rain forecast for lunch time on , arrives at the venue to see all
the usual lads, puts money into bucket your on peg 12 was shouted, apparently nice 35 mtr chuck to an island.
Considering the stock levels on this lake are high, it was fishing very poor, anglers struggling all round the lake, but it was cold,

Edit: By Maesknoll, post tidying error, I deleted the punchline....

14lb carp, foul hooked, won the match.

.
 
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Maesknoll

Chris
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A foul hooked fish winning a match is pure luck, unlike this example of one fish winning a match..... skilfully caught, out smarting the field 😀

 

Line Clip

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A foul hooked fish winning a match is pure luck, unlike this example of one fish winning a match..... skilfully caught, out smarting the field 😀

Well done Chris good Angling (y)
 

Maesknoll

Chris
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Well done Chris good Angling (y)

Seriously, that was a bit of luck, sometimes in the winter that’s what it comes down to, especially on a day where one big fish wins a match. If we took the best and worst angler in a club, over the length of a season, skill will out weigh luck, but luck will always play a part, as performance in match fishing is to some extent governed by the draw, the best angler will be very unlikely to win off the worst peg, but the worst angler can (but doesn’t always) win off the best peg, what averages it out, is the average pegs that the best angler will frame and win from, when the worst angler will very rarely achieve either from his average pegs.
 

dave brittain 1

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A foul hooked fish winning a match is pure luck, unlike this example of one fish winning a match..... skilfully caught, out smarting the field 😀

Well done Chris, mind you need to be careful after the Mark Downes thread as you may fall into disrepute for being elitist and mentioning that dirty word "knock up" :ROFLMAO:

Going back to the OP, in all fairness the draw plays a big part and it's rare to win off a bad peg, however those who convert poor to mediocre pegs and get a result deserve the credit on the day. It wouldn't be the first time I've made a hash of a good peg however it's all part and parcel of match fishing as those at the top seem to have a knack of framing consistently over a period of years regardless of the venues they fish.
 

Line Clip

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Seriously, that was a bit of luck, sometimes in the winter that’s what it comes down to, especially on a day where one big fish wins a match. If we took the best and worst angler in a club, over the length of a season, skill will out weigh luck, but luck will always play a part, as performance in match fishing is to some extent governed by the draw, the best angler will be very unlikely to win off the worst peg, but the worst angler can (but doesn’t always) win off the best peg, what averages it out, is the average pegs that the best angler will frame and win from, when the worst angler will very rarely achieve either from his average pegs.
When your fishing venues like Viaduct, you must come up against the best in the business Andy Power, Des Ship, Jon Arthur, etc are they beatable
on the day, whats it like competing against them. ? (genuinely interested )
 

Maesknoll

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When your fishing venues like Viaduct, you must come up against the best in the business Andy Power, Des Ship, Jon Arthur, etc are they beatable
on the day, whats it like competing against them. ? (genuinely interested )

Aye, they can be beaten 😀

 

Maesknoll

Chris
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When your fishing venues like Viaduct, you must come up against the best in the business Andy Power, Des Ship, Jon Arthur, etc are they beatable
on the day, whats it like competing against them. ? (genuinely interested )

Serious answer - I ( and @dave brittain 1 ) fish against them so regularly, I don’t really consider it, the SW circuit has many good anglers, there are no easy opens, these guys fish for a living, that definitely gives them an edge, as well as being talented and hard working, they are one step ahead much of the time, info, mood of venues, just the actual act of fishing - if I fish a 5 day festival, I’m fishing better by the last day than the first.
 

Dave Spence

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Early last winter when we could Match fish, I received a phone call from our Club match organizer, telling me he had booked a match on
a local commercial, mid week, he also had opened it up to other clubs, to boost the numbers, so it was going to be worth winning.
I was really up for it spending time preparing, making sure everything was right, bait sorted,rigs rods, all the usual prep.

Morning of the Match weather was cold strong easterly wind, with heavy rain forecast for lunch time on , arrives at the venue to see all
the usual lads, puts money into bucket your on peg 12 was shouted, apparently nice 35 mtr chuck to an island.
Considering the stock levels on this lake are high, it was fishing very poor, anglers struggling all round the lake, but it was cold,

.
Am I missing something here. You don't say how it ended.
 

dave brittain 1

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When your fishing venues like Viaduct, you must come up against the best in the business Andy Power, Des Ship, Jon Arthur, etc are they beatable
on the day, whats it like competing against them. ? (genuinely interested )
The North East river circuit is one of the hardest river circuits I've fished, however when I first started fishing the Wye winter league, with the likes of Dave Harrell, Hadrian Whittle, Dave Roberts, Lee Edwards, James Robins, Spud Murphy, Steve Sadler to name a few, it would have been easy to think it would be much harder to win, it wasn't. They were both similar and the quality of anglers on both circuits are difficult to beat.

Taking the above apart the South West commercial circuit is possibly the hardest circuit I've fished. The first time I met Des, Steve Mayo and Ben Leech was when the money wagon, (they travelled together), turned up at Viaduct. They called it the money wagon for a reason however when you add anglers to the equation like Tony Rixon , Alex Murray, Andy Lloyd, Mark Harper, Gary O'Shea, Craig (Trig) Edmunds, Ben Hagg, and Andy Power, plus loads of others Chris or I could add, it's a hard circuit where you have to be top of your game however it's not always black and white and the draw always plays a big part.

I used to love Stafford Moor when Andy Seary owned it because everybody used to travel there and with all the lakes in, including Josephs the matches were always sell outs. Viaduct can be a hard mistress as the fish are big, however the enigma for me when I start match fishing again once we get out of lock down will be Todber Manor. In 18 months I fished it, I still didn't get to grips with it as you never know what method will win, although last year when I didn't fish it was nearly all top 4 and margin work.

I don't think fishing against Des and Andy is any different to when I used to go down to the Stainforth and fish against Alan Scothorne, Dennis White, John Allerton, keith Hobson, Tom Pickering etc or to the Tees and fish against Alan LePatourel, Dave Smiddy, Ken Golightly, Ronny Wilkinson, Pete Nicholson, Andy Harker, Mick Lovelass etc. however I'll bet a lot of anglers haven't heard of the last group of anglers because for some reason the North East was always a wilderness when it came to match fishing despite having some of the best attended river matches in the UK.

I think the way most of us look at it is if we like the venue, like the banter and the anglers fishing, picking up or winning is simply a bonus. However when most of us fish once a week or twice if we are lucky, you have to draw your socks off and hope you don't make a hash of it when you do draw a good peg because there are too many good anglers fishing 3-5 times a week and that gives them a distinct advantage. If you don't get it right at Todber in the first hour, you're too far behind to catch up and you are resigned to making up the numbers.
 
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Total

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Bloody hell, that’s my fault, he put it in a separate post, I copied the end into the opening post and tiedied the thread, looks like it didn’t save for some reason 😡
^^ :giggle:.......Don't worry about it Chris!......We appreciate you was prolly metaphorically playing a foul hooked fish on the tip at the time and you was concentrating! ;):p:ROFLMAO:
 

Dave Spence

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Bloody hell, that’s my fault, he put it in a separate post, I copied the end into the opening post and tiedied the thread, looks like it didn’t save for some reason 😡
Do you want to borrow my WD40 and hammer mate?😝😝😝
 

Maesknoll

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The North East river circuit is one of the hardest river circuits I've fished, however when I first started fishing the Wye winter league, with the likes of Dave Harrell, Hadrian Whittle, Dave Roberts, Lee Edwards, James Robins, Spud Murphy, Steve Sadler to name a few, it would have been easy to think it would be much harder to win, it wasn't. They were both similar and the quality of anglers on both circuits are difficult to beat.

Taking the above apart the South West commercial circuit is possibly the hardest circuit I've fished. The first time I met Des, Steve Mayo and Ben Leech was when the money wagon, (they travelled together), turned up at Viaduct. They called it the money wagon for a reason however when you add anglers to the equation like Tony Rixon , Alex Murray, Andy Lloyd, Mark Harper, Gary O'Shea, Craig (Trig) Edmunds, Ben Hagg, and Andy Power, plus loads of others Chris or I could add, it's a hard circuit where you have to be top of your game however it's not always black and white and the draw always plays a big part.

I used to love Stafford Moor when Andy Seary owned it because everybody used to travel there and with all the lakes in, including Josephs the matches were always sell outs. Viaduct can be a hard mistress as the fish are big, however the enigma for me when I start match fishing again once we get out of lock down will be Todber Manor. In 18 months I fished it, I still didn't get to grips with it as you never know what method will win, although last year when I didn't fish it was nearly all top 4 and margin work.

I don't think fishing against Des and Andy is any different to when I used to go down to the Stainforth and fish against Alan Scothorne, Dennis White, John Allerton, keith Hobson, Tom Pickering etc or to the Tees and fish against Alan LePatourel, Dave Smiddy, Ken Golightly, Ronny Wilkinson, Pete Nicholson, Andy Harker, Mick Lovelass etc. however I'll bet a lot of anglers haven't heard of the last group of anglers because for some reason the North East was always a wilderness when it came to match fishing despite having some of the best attended river matches in the UK.

I think the way most of us look at it is if we like the venue, like the banter and the anglers fishing, picking up or winning is simply a bonus. However when most of us fish once a week or twice if we are lucky, you have to draw your socks off and hope you don't make a hash of it when you do draw a good peg because there are too many good anglers fishing 3-5 times a week and that gives them a distinct advantage. If you don't get it right at Todber in the first hour, you're too far behind to catch up and you are resigned to making up the numbers.

Interesting Dave, before the advent of commercials, there were two distinct circuits - The Bristol Avon / Kennet and Avon canal and Somerset, (Devon & Cornwall had there own, but as they had no close season, we used to have decent sized matches down there on the Exeter canal and the Tiverton canal to name two).
It was nearly, never the twain shall meet, as the river boys wouldn’t venture onto the drains in Somerset and vice versa, there were a few of us who did and when Pete Hodge used to hold his big matches on the Huntspill then the Bristol Avon boys would venture down as Pete’s matches were very lucrative and very social after, the cider always flowed.

The two did start to mingle with a super league, but before that there were two successful winter leagues, the South. West which was in the Avon and Canal, the Somerset which was Huntspill, Axe, Taunton canal amongst others. For a few year the Avon was dominated team wise by Topper Haskins Bathampton side and Clevedon Veals had a few successes in the Somerset league.

Some of us did venture to the Warwickshire Avon, - May Vinci’s Twyford Farm, with its cafe was a revelation - at that time I travelled with Mark Harper and we had some great times, both team and individual events.

I had a break and when I returned the scene was no longer split into those distinct circuits and commercials made huge in roads, the river circuit was in decline and it was all a huge learning curve for me, I went to a commercial with one angler early into my venture back into coarse fishing and I was amazed when he was fishing expanders, I’d never seen one before. It took me a long time, far too long really, to get my head round using pellets as feed and hookbait and I tried to stick to the river circuit, but the killer for me was the canals, now so many people on the towpath and boats moored I couldn’t stomach it.

It made a decision to stick with commercials, but as we have a silvers pool in most matches, that’s what I did and with some success, the trouble is after a while, you question that as well, as if it’s a 30 pegger and 3 or 4 are fishing for silvers, what have you really achieved? So leaning heavily on my mate and travelling partner (Tony Rixon) who is a damn good all rounder, but excels at hard pellet fishing, I have tried to drag myself up to the required standard and now go to matches with the aim of competing and maybe only fishing for silvers if the draw/conditions make a frame in the match unlikely. In the winter, I switch to as many silvers matches as I can.

I just hope matches come back before too long as these lockdowns seem to come just as I start a little run of pickups.
 

dave brittain 1

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Interesting Dave, before the advent of commercials, there were two distinct circuits - The Bristol Avon / Kennet and Avon canal and Somerset, (Devon & Cornwall had there own, but as they had no close season, we used to have decent sized matches down there on the Exeter canal and the Tiverton canal to name two).
It was nearly, never the twain shall meet, as the river boys wouldn’t venture onto the drains in Somerset and vice versa, there were a few of us who did and when Pete Hodge used to hold his big matches on the Huntspill then the Bristol Avon boys would venture down as Pete’s matches were very lucrative and very social after, the cider always flowed.

The two did start to mingle with a super league, but before that there were two successful winter leagues, the South. West which was in the Avon and Canal, the Somerset which was Huntspill, Axe, Taunton canal amongst others. For a few year the Avon was dominated team wise by Topper Haskins Bathampton side and Clevedon Veals had a few successes in the Somerset league.

Some of us did venture to the Warwickshire Avon, - May Vinci’s Twyford Farm, with its cafe was a revelation - at that time I travelled with Mark Harper and we had some great times, both team and individual events.

I had a break and when I returned the scene was no longer split into those distinct circuits and commercials made huge in roads, the river circuit was in decline and it was all a huge learning curve for me, I went to a commercial with one angler early into my venture back into coarse fishing and I was amazed when he was fishing expanders, I’d never seen one before. It took me a long time, far too long really, to get my head round using pellets as feed and hookbait and I tried to stick to the river circuit, but the killer for me was the canals, now so many people on the towpath and boats moored I couldn’t stomach it.

It made a decision to stick with commercials, but as we have a silvers pool in most matches, that’s what I did and with some success, the trouble is after a while, you question that as well, as if it’s a 30 pegger and 3 or 4 are fishing for silvers, what have you really achieved? So leaning heavily on my mate and travelling partner (Tony Rixon) who is a damn good all rounder, but excels at hard pellet fishing, I have tried to drag myself up to the required standard and now go to matches with the aim of competing and maybe only fishing for silvers if the draw/conditions make a frame in the match unlikely. In the winter, I switch to as many silvers matches as I can.

I just hope matches come back before too long as these lockdowns seem to come just as I start a little run of pickups.
Chris when I first came down in 1999 Spring. Match and Lodge were the main lakes and Carey was converted into a match lake about a year or so later. That first year I was roped into the winter league fishing for Yeovil and learned a lesson about bread fishing when pegged beside Nicky Collins on the Taunton and Bridgewater Canal, beating me easily. I wasn't too worried as I'd never fished it before and learned a great deal from Nicky. The Huntspill held no worries for me as I'd fished a couple of Pete's opens and I loved the Axe as it was a lovely river that suited me down to the ground, although I only fished it a couple of times. After that first winter league I decided to concentrate on commercials as I still felt I had a lot to learn and commercials were going from strength to strength.

From 2003 to 2005 I had to take a break due to work commitments however when I started match fishing again in 2005, it was like I'd never been away. Campbell had been built and was now where you wanted to draw and it was around this time when I sat behind Tony Rixon and watched him smash the match record at Viaduct on one of Toppers early black styro wagglers. He kept it simple and answered any questions I had. After that I put a lot of time into perfecting it and had a lot of good results using it.

Unfortunately in 2008 when everything was going so well I had to go out to Korea with work for two years and that put an end to what had been a magical 3 years, 2009 Wye festival apart

Coming back in 2010 I spent the summer travelling up to the Trent every week with Shakespeare practicing for the Div 1 National which was a bit of a disappointment after a lot of practice and a poor draw. In 2012 due to recurring back problems I had to pack in. Coming back in July 2018 was great but after a year I started getting back problems again. After a year out and a lot of excercise I'm hoping after lock down I can stay fit. I won't be match fishing every week however I'll look forward to the times I can. I doubt I'll ever hit the form of the last 30 odd years however if I can win a few matches a year that will be more than enough.

Look forward to seeing you on the bank and fishing some of your matches assuming you'll be running a few.
 

baggy

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Interesting Dave, before the advent of commercials, there were two distinct circuits - The Bristol Avon / Kennet and Avon canal and Somerset, (Devon & Cornwall had there own, but as they had no close season, we used to have decent sized matches down there on the Exeter canal and the Tiverton canal to name two).
It was nearly, never the twain shall meet, as the river boys wouldn’t venture onto the drains in Somerset and vice versa, there were a few of us who did and when Pete Hodge used to hold his big matches on the Huntspill then the Bristol Avon boys would venture down as Pete’s matches were very lucrative and very social after, the cider always flowed.

The two did start to mingle with a super league, but before that there were two successful winter leagues, the South. West which was in the Avon and Canal, the Somerset which was Huntspill, Axe, Taunton canal amongst others. For a few year the Avon was dominated team wise by Topper Haskins Bathampton side and Clevedon Veals had a few successes in the Somerset league.
very true, the south west match circuit was very tough during the 90s. Fishing the super leagues/winter leagues with Milo was amazing due to the amount of quality of anglers in those leagues. The Thatchers team, Avon Bait, Veals, Thyers, Bathampton, Avon Angling, Gordon League and Cardiff Nomads just shows how hard it was to win
 

BBear

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The above brings back memories of when I moved down to Bristol from Birmingham for my first job in the late 80’s. A mate at work heard I was into match fishing and asked if I could stand in as they were a man short for a Commercial House league match that weekend. My gear was still in Birmingham and I didn’t have a car but I was told they could lend me some gear.

the match was on the Avon at Fry’s and the river was in flood. The ‘gear’ was a basic ledger rod, reel and dubious looking line. Long storey short I fluked the match with a single Barbel. The reel jammed as I played the fish and I ended up handlining it in. I felt a right muppet!

I joined the team properly after that and enjoyed a few seasons but eventually drifted out of match fishing.
 

Maesknoll

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very true, the south west match circuit was very tough during the 90s. Fishing the super leagues/winter leagues with Milo was amazing due to the amount of quality of anglers in those leagues. The Thatchers team, Avon Bait, Veals, Thyers, Bathampton, Avon Angling, Gordon League and Cardiff Nomads just shows how hard it was to win
I didn’t fish it in the 90’s, my post was referring to the 70’s and 80’s.
 
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