Mark Downes and Match Fishing

chris1967

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Just to clarify, I don’t have any issue with club anglers or small knock ups, fished them myself, but I wouldn’t be crowing all over FB if I won a 6 pegger, it’s nice to win, even a head to head, but doing well in big matches is much more satisfying - and more of an achievement. The quality of angler on the match circuits, both club and open, is probably as high as it’s ever been. Shame social media have made some forget a bit of self-deprecation - especially when they win off a peg that has won the last half dozen matches, yes you still have to put the fish in the net from fliers, but many are capable of doing it.
Anyway, that’s enough typing, I have a match to get to.....


and i have a knock up to get too also bud lmfao
 

MarkW

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I’m with Maesknoll on this one, Downesy is speaking the uncomfortable truth And people are getting far too offended.
crikey ... if you read the intro to Kevin ashurst’s 1978 book he regarded anything under 100 pegs as a little sweepstake.
We all know that match fishing has diminished in numbers and cleaved to almost two (or more) separate disciplines.
30 years ago used to be able to fish A 100 pegger every week or two. Nowadays I fish two a season!
yes ... the average standard is also higher than back then but it is different and the buzz is less than on a big match.

having said all of that, I’ve always found Mark to be a slightly odd fish - perhaps even a little socially awkward. His brother Paul was always more gregarious and also a really top angler.

Anyway ... off to a sixty peg match on the Trent this morning... almost like the old days :p
The truth is that open match fishing has been declining for a very long time. The peak in size of matches seems to be the early 50s when some matches like the Trent Championship had 2,000 competitors. In the 70s, until the fishing on the Fens fell off a cliff, the attendances were still huge; the Bass Charrington match on the Welland squeezed in 1150 pegs on the 850 permanent pegs, and Dave Downes opens (circa 1973 to 75) were usually 300 to 500 pegs on the Welland with sections of 60 to 100.

The truth about declining match sizes started to hit home in the late 70s when Anglers mail started their Matchman of the Year contest with qualifying matches being 100 pegs. Anglers like Pete Warren, John Dean, John Allerton and Dave Thomas who were regularly winning/framing in 300 peg matches on the Trent (got a feeling John Dean scored something like 105 points one year on the basis of 5 points for a win from 300 peg matches!) had no problem, but it quickly became apparent that the West Midlands circuit was on a smaller scale as few of the Severn/Warks. Avon matches made the grade. Anglers Mail dropped the qualifying matches to 80 pegs though the West Midlands river anglers still didn't get a look in. The burgeoning canal circuit gave anglers like Billy Makin, Ray Mills and later Dave Berrow a chance to shine.

As anglers moved to commercials match sizes continued to decline with Anglers Mail dropping the size of qualifying matches to 60 until it got to the stage that very few matches made the grade at all.

The Nationals and winter leagues followed suit with small teams - winter leagues in the 50s didn't have fixed teams; you turned up with a coachload of 35 anglers and your top 12 anglers' weights counted. By the 70s this was down to fixed teams of 12 and now it's less than that. Ditto the Nationals with the divisional system peaking at 6 divisions of up to 90 teams of 12 down to the Div 1 match being about 500 anglers.

John Essex put together a match record for the Likely Lads and apart from KO finals it was the norm to fish huge matches.
 

mickthechippy

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published another post this morn,

semi retracting, now saying clubbies who fish 20 peggers are cool
 

davej1981

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Winning a 6 peg match maybe a huge achievement to some, perhaps no different really to winning a section. Match fishing in my area has declined massively and a 20 pegger could be seen a a good turn out. When i was a junior on inter club matches there would 30/40 of us, from what i can gather now they dont even run them as a junior turn out on a club match is 2-3, and with an attitude like that why would a youngster want to get into it. Yes there are alot of matches that could be considered a knock up as they only seem to be known about by a select few and not widely advertised. However, no one should feel like they cant share their success with others , no matter how small it may seem, just because someone who has the opportunity to be in the bigger events thinks its insignificant. We should all be encouraging each other’s successes or match fishing will eventually be seen as something for an elite few
 

Arry

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So the Essex Club League matches were knock ups? Two teams of 6 going head to head... sounds like a match to me... they were hard fought affairs with 3 divisions when it started... 2 by the time I captained my side to a div 2 championship and runners up in div 1 the following year...
Clubs fish matches... end of... his elitist rantings have no place, either vocalised, or on social media... he's a twunt
 

MarkV

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Woooah steady on chaps lol. :) I come in peace.

If we can put personalities to one side for a moment. I'm quite surprised how a really innocuous piece of journalism for want of a better word, can set off ...such a firestorm.

These sorts of things/polls are all over the place but this one seems to have touched a nerve.

The nature of angling, including match fishing, means that almost everyone can have their day in the sun so to speak. 'Ordinary' / pleasure anglers, carpers. match anglers of all levels will have their stories to tell. It makes us feel good :). and that's great. It doesn't necessarily mean we are good anglers or that the achievement is significant other than to the individual/team.

Winning a small knock up or club match can mean an awful lot to someone, i've been delighted myself, but i'm under no illusion as to the scale of the achievement in reality at times. It's fun, its brilliant, it really can give a sense of achievement.

The problem is when we take it all a bit too seriously.
 

mickthechippy

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Im fishing a clubbie tomorrow

probably 20 attendees, and I can gaurantee that every one thats fishing will put thier heart and soul into doing the best they can to win it, the prize money will be nowt, but theres a trophy and club champ points on offer,

each of us at the draw will be joshing each other over pegs and such, but everyone there will be hoping that the way they fish and the swim they get is gonna be dead right

another bunch of match group mates are off to the fish-0 at monks lakes today, draw was done yesterday, some good some bad, but they will still go and give their all, hoping for a netfull

the core of angling
 

Silver fan 82

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Facebook strikes again

Mark Downes, manager of the English angling team has posted that in his opinion, most of us oiks, clubmen and amatuer anglers, those who are not in the elite class of match angling, do not in most cases when we go out to pit our wits and skill against other anglers, actually fish matches

it is in his opinion that we merely fish knockups,

he bases this skewed view of the world of ordinary joe on the basis that

all matches with 20 or less filled pegs are mere knockups between mates

those with 20 to 50 anglers are matches proper

and those with 50 and above are opens

now Ive heard some utter claptrap regarding match angling in my time, but that is down right pretentious and discriminatory, for a man that leads our national team to cast such views as to the core support of the sport, your average clubman is just as entitled to fish those matches his club or match group put on each week and be just as determined to win or place and be proud of the fact that he participated and gave his best regardless of the numbers fishing

presumably in his upper echolon sponsored world, mere mortals dont exist, and this man that expects our money that we pay into various organisations and buy equipment from manufacturers to support his international teams is from those who just fish knock ups, 3rd class matchmen, he also seems to forget that without those clubbies turning up to fish gigs on commercial venues, the income they gather would fall and those venues may not survive that drop

I wasnt very happy the way the Angling trust treated thier long time international supporter "Drennan" in the past, and now hearing and seeing the replies to his controversial post, it makes me, and a lot of others realise, the way we are looked at from on high
Someone posted a post earlier in the week about are fly or carp anglers more annoying.
As I said at the time if your a t**t then your a t**t a bit like this elitist knob!
People like this with this kind of attitude do my head in!
 

Arry

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Its like saying local leagues or div 3 of the footie league ain't really football... there is a grass roots aspect of nearly every sport and as such he should acknowledge that... especially for a man in his position.... a knock up is a for lads who have a quid or a pint on the biggest fish or weight... if an outing is pegged and drawn with prizes and/or points its a match... end of...
 

DevonDangler

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This is how he followed it up this morning........



MARK DOWNES

30m ·

Thanks to everyone who contributed to my "knock up, Match, Open" post yesterday. And I mean every one as each is allowed an opinion.
I read some sensible arguments, both from agreeers and disagreeers,
I agree totally that everyone should fish exactly where and what events they choose....its all about enjoyment.
The consensus was that it was a relevant question sadly a few appear to have taken it as a personal attack on their match approach....it wasnt.
It is now the norm that many events are probably 20 pegs or less.....when I was a youngster many years ago !!!! The club circuit was huge we all fished club matches every week.....15 to 30 pegs......then we fished association events which were up to 8000 pegs....the BAA annual.but opens were infrequent but big prestigious events.
Time moves on....the inception of the commercial venues changed all of this.....convenient, great sport, and easy access.
People say match fishing is on a decline...
I disagree there are now hundreds of matches every week.....and you never know how many will turn up but overall competitors remains constant
So if you fish small events, qualifying events, national events.....The object remains the same
Try to win and enjoy it.
MD??
 

Scribe

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He wouldn't last long at an MD match, he would soon be raw from the slating he would get. I'd set @notneeded and @chefster on him, not to mention joining in myself. :mad:
 

Arry

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Love the way he spins it so that those who took HIS words as offensive to be somehow to blame...
His comments were dismissive to every angler at club level and for that he should wholeheartedly and unreservedly apologise...
people in his position should be careful what they post, as he is supposed to be in a prominent position in the match fishing world and should recognise that all his comments will be under scrutiny... especially on a social media platform such as Faeces-book...

Any respect I had for Downes disappeared into the ether this morning...?
 

alsur

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The truth is that open match fishing has been declining for a very long time. The peak in size of matches seems to be the early 50s when some matches like the Trent Championship had 2,000 competitors. In the 70s, until the fishing on the Fens fell off a cliff, the attendances were still huge; the Bass Charrington match on the Welland squeezed in 1150 pegs on the 850 permanent pegs, and Dave Downes opens (circa 1973 to 75) were usually 300 to 500 pegs on the Welland with sections of 60 to 100.

The truth about declining match sizes started to hit home in the late 70s when Anglers mail started their Matchman of the Year contest with qualifying matches being 100 pegs. Anglers like Pete Warren, John Dean, John Allerton and Dave Thomas who were regularly winning/framing in 300 peg matches on the Trent (got a feeling John Dean scored something like 105 points one year on the basis of 5 points for a win from 300 peg matches!) had no problem, but it quickly became apparent that the West Midlands circuit was on a smaller scale as few of the Severn/Warks. Avon matches made the grade. Anglers Mail dropped the qualifying matches to 80 pegs though the West Midlands river anglers still didn't get a look in. The burgeoning canal circuit gave anglers like Billy Makin, Ray Mills and later Dave Berrow a chance to shine.

As anglers moved to commercials match sizes continued to decline with Anglers Mail dropping the size of qualifying matches to 60 until it got to the stage that very few matches made the grade at all.

The Nationals and winter leagues followed suit with small teams - winter leagues in the 50s didn't have fixed teams; you turned up with a coachload of 35 anglers and your top 12 anglers' weights counted. By the 70s this was down to fixed teams of 12 and now it's less than that. Ditto the Nationals with the divisional system peaking at 6 divisions of up to 90 teams of 12 down to the Div 1 match being about 500 anglers.

John Essex put together a match record for the Likely Lads and apart from KO finals it was the norm to fish huge matches.

Match fishing has definitely declined in my area, I fished Surrey Winter league 10 teams of 12 with waiting list, first team numbers reduced then league folded. I used to fish Monday evening open on Thames at Molesey 60 pegs most Mondays, no trouble finding 60+ peg matches locally each weekend. First Nation I fish was division 4 on Ancholme 80 teams of 12 they introduced a division 5 a couple of years later.

I only fish a few matches a year now and they are all over 50 pegs, the league started as a company league BT and consisted of BT employees only, had to open it up to friends to keep it going.
 

mickthechippy

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And I haven’t seen anyone knocking that, it’s just that some of the ‘names’ post about it like they’ve just won Fisho.

maybe that is their fisho ?

remember the days when I scooted around the country attending the MFS gigs,

that cost me more money than was sensible being as I was only ever poolsfodder, I went because I liked many of the lads who fished those gigs, I have never been under the illusion that unless by a massive slice of luck and chance I would ever pick up an envelope

it was for the social side mainly, the banter and the chance to fish against others that were far out of my normal league, to pick thier brains and watch how some of em done what they do week in and week out, none of em ever held it against me that I was pretty rubbish in the overall angling skills, they welcomed me and I hope enjoyed my company too, but none ever denigrated me, alright I was caled some names, mainly true, but they always made me welcome
 

notneeded

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He's so far up his own back side along with many other want to be's I have meet on open matches ?
My answer to them is - Go and stand in the city centre and see how many people ask for your autograph ? Your no one out side of fishing 99 0/0 of people have never heard of you and don't give a flying fig who you think you are .
 

minkyandbear

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I know of Mr Downes but don't know him so can't get my head around his stance in making these comments. However I do have a few friends who know him very well and have their own opinion.

Personally I have never been a matchman but from childhood have fished and enjoyed club matches, normally as an individual but also in interclub teams and no way did anyone consider any of these matches as knockup.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but when a person is in the limelight they should be more circumspect.

A bit of "off on a tangent waffle" but here are three great memories as to why I've enjoyed fishing matches, all of which I've done my best to win. Strangely enough Stan Smith or Dick Clegg never did beat a path to my door...

1. Aged eleven my pal and I were allowed to fish our first senior club match. The early morning start, the coach journey to a new venue, being in the company of grown ups with proper fishing tackle, the excitement of the draw, setting up, catching a few, watching how the adults fished and probably the best bit was being involved in the laughing and joking on the way home. Plus some of the guys on seeing our basic gear gave us some of their floats, line and hooks. Magic.

2. About 7 years ago I fished a winter open match with some club pals at Fennes near Braintree and had the pleasure of being drawn next to Dickie Carr. Great bloke. He saw me fannying about at the start of the match and basically told me how to fish the peg. I followed his advice and won the lake, just pipping him. Two weeks later back for the next round I drew next to the great man again, plenty of chat but no advice this time and sure enough he romped home to win, I tried my best but that day witnessed a pole fishing masterclass.

3. Having turned sixty a few years ago I was invited to fish a six day Veterans festival. Brilliant fun with great guys including a couple of names. Again lots of laughs but from the draw to the weigh-in all 20 of us were out for blood.

A match is a match. End of.
 
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