Mark Downes and Match Fishing

Arry

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Tis... not too far from me
 

NoCarpPlease

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There is no shortage of good all round match anglers to join the England set up but the ability to catch 200lb of carp or F1s does not give you a chance as you need to be very good on all rod and line float and pole skills mostly on moving water to get considered because of the nature of the venues.
Not saying that all commercial anglers cant fish a slider or suss out a flat float but many of them have never encountered the methods and the use of bloodworm which means they are behind the curve with those who were brought up on these styles.
Match fishing is so fragmented now with so many small matches over most of the country several times a week I can see where MD is coming from but the golden age of 200+opens has gone forever so most are happy with a match wether its 10 pegs 20 pegs restricted to members or over 50s etc, its still a match however you look at it and somebody will win which is why they go, what you call it sweep,knock up match etc. is irrelevant.
As so often ... Ken speaks the truth!

but this Thread does show what a sensitive bunch of snowflakes so many posters are :D
 

bushey

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I think most top sportsman can be mistaken for being arrogant when the truth is they are just focused.Back in the day I was going to the Warwickshire Avon for a courage qualifier and asked the legend who is Kenny Collings what to expect.He gave me Marks phone number and said ring him,he will put you right.It was a bit daunting for me because he was a household name and had never heard of me.However,I rang him and spent 2 hours on the phone with Mark giving me the lowdown on every peg.I managed to qualify and at the final went over to thank him and was surprised at his cold response.I have since seen this in many anglers at an important competitions and realise that they are like any top sportsman.There to win.Talk to them after The match and 9 times out of 10 they will be only to happy to tell you everything they have done.What some club/open match anglers do not realise is the dedication it takes to reach the very top.
 

JLK

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That's utter tosh. There is no need to be rude at any level. Even more so by the ones at the top. They should be the ones setting the example.
 

R0B

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Wasn't he very involved with Starlets at one point? I only ever met him a few times with the Junior Starlets Team. Surprises me that he would write something like that but I have not seen the post.
I remember when the DAM Starlets rocked up in their entirety to practice on the RMC whilst I was already fishing. I was about 15 and it would have been mid/late 80s. The gods smiled upon me that day as a bonus tench made sure they all came round to have a look and congratulate me. Unforgettable fishing memory.
 

bushey

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That's utter tosh. There is no need to be rude at any level. Even more so by the ones at the top. They should be the ones setting the example.
You are missing the point.You do not get to the top of any sport without being focused on winning.
An example.On a Wednesday open at Willow Park I called into Raisons to get my bait.William who was a team mate at the time served me and totally blanked me as if in a trance.Suddenly he came around and said.Sorry Steve didn’t realise it was you.
I took no offence.His mind was on the match.
 

Deejay8

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I think most top sportsman can be mistaken for being arrogant when the truth is they are just focused.Back in the day I was going to the Warwickshire Avon for a courage qualifier and asked the legend who is Kenny Collings what to expect.He gave me Marks phone number and said ring him,he will put you right.It was a bit daunting for me because he was a household name and had never heard of me.However,I rang him and spent 2 hours on the phone with Mark giving me the lowdown on every peg.I managed to qualify and at the final went over to thank him and was surprised at his cold response.I have since seen this in many anglers at an important competitions and realise that they are like any top sportsman.There to win.Talk to them after The match and 9 times out of 10 they will be only to happy to tell you everything they have done.What some club/open match anglers do not realise is the dedication it takes to reach the very top.
Actually, a lot of top sportsmen are like that before competing. It's not just concentrating on the match, but also wanting to psyche out the opponents, and as a fellow competitor, you were an opponent, hence the cold shoulder. If you weren't fishing in the final, he would probably be have been a lot more polite. Afterwards they are usually a lot more approachable.
 

JLK

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What a load of tosh 2.
Jamie Hughes rocks up to a match and Jon Arthur is sat on the next peg. Jon Arthur says hello Jamie. Is he going to ignore him?
Is he heck. Why would he. Hell.. they'd probably have a little chat before/while they are setting up.

It's arrogance. Plain and simple.
 

Deejay8

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What a load of tosh 2.
Jamie Hughes rocks up to a match and Jon Arthur is sat on the next peg. Jon Arthur says hello Jamie. Is he going to ignore him?
Is he heck. Why would he. Hell.. they'd probably have a little chat before/while they are setting up.

It's arrogance. Plain and simple.
Of course established anglers on the circuit are going to be friendly to each other. They know each other, and their skills, and they know that trying to play mind games is a waste of time. But if they are pegged on a section with a few less experienced anglers, they want them to be in awe of the big name in their midst. Because Jon Arthur having his backside handed to him by Jamie Hughes, or vice versa, isn't a big thing. But getting beaten off the next peg in a final by an unknown angler wouldn't look good.
I don't agree with Mark Downes statement about match fishing. But I don't think it's always arrogance if sportsmen appear aloof to some of the lesser known competitors.
 

dave brittain 1

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Like many top anglers when they put pen to paper they can be taken out of context. The forums used to have their fair share of top anglers posting. They spent their time helping anglers but were often pulled apart by keyboard warriors who without being too blunt couldn't put two sentences together.

One of the top anglers I know, answered a few posts giving great info but his grammar wasn't the best and as a result he got slated and never wrote on the forums again.

It's a fickle world however when I served my match fishing apprenticeship there were distinct levels and given that Mark who's a bit older than me will have served a similar apprenticeship, I can see where he's coming from, although the way it has come across may not read well.

In the early 80's through to the mid 90's, you had club anglers and open anglers. Not to mention the various competitions and leagues associated with club and open anglers.

Club matches were open to one and all and if you were in a big club some of the matches could be huge. Pools used to be £5 and 100% pay out unless there was a 50p levy to support the junior matches. 100 peg plus club matches were par for the course and were entered by both club and open anglers who were members of that club.

Many clubs would have 2 teams in the local winter league, the A team usually formed by club members who were open match anglers and the B team, club members aspiring to be good enough to make it into the A team and then there could even be a C team of club anglers just making up the numbers hoping for a chub flier to give the more prominent A team members a run for their money. Each team consisted of 12 anglers and most winter leagues were 144 -156 pegs with 12 or 12 teams.

In most areas the clubs used to get together when there was an open and make sure that their club diaries were clear so the opens and big events didn't clash so attendances were high. Add Nationals where there could be up to 100 teams of 12 competing and match fishing was totally different to what it is now.

Kamasan set the bench mark when they bought in the ruling whereby you only qualified for the Kamasan Matchman of the Year final if you scored 20 points or more in a season with all qualifiers having to be an open match with a minimum of 60 pegs. 4 points were awarded for a win, 3 for second, 2 for third and 1 point for fourth. If you qualified for the all winners final it was a feat in itself.

Commercials were the kiss of death for big matches and match angling as we knew it. We also have a new entity known as the venue experts and method experts. Some may argue that it's nothing new, however I would argue the case because in the days when club and open matches were common place, most anglers travelled and fished a variety of venues and rarely fished the same venue week in week out.

For me Mark has simply made a statement based on his view of the decline of match fishing. Nothing less and nothing more.

An open is simply an open where the match is advertised and anybody can book in. Attendance is irrelevant because in the main, most reputable open match anglers will go a) where they know they has a good chance of competing or catching fish and b) where their will be a good attendance as this will ensure a half decent pay out.

Club matches and knock up's for me are those matches where a group of mates or club hold their own matches with limited numbers and a closed entry i.e. the match is quite often kept under wraps, however by the same token I've seen open match anglers do exactly the same so that only those in the know can get in.

I can't disagree with the comments Mark has made because if you asked most match anglers who fished in the 80's and 90's they would probably agree with his post, however what does concern me is the fact that people take exception to a post that is a simple statement particularly when many anglers refer to matches of less than 20 pegs as knock ups to the point when you often see a post of FB stating, "I'm arranging a knock up at X venue limited to 20 pegs due to the size of the lake. So by it's very definition, it's a knock up :ROFLMAO:
 

Zerkalo

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I remember when the DAM Starlets rocked up in their entirety to practice on the RMC whilst I was already fishing. I was about 15 and it would have been mid/late 80s. The gods smiled upon me that day as a bonus tench made sure they all came round to have a look and congratulate me. Unforgettable fishing memory.
It was MAP Starlets when I fished for the Junior Club. 😁 We used to have a Blue Coach with Starlets written on the side that fit about 20 of us in so all our matches were knockups except when we fished in Nationals. My memory of meeting Mark Downes was when I was selected for a weeks training with Team England anglers. He asked me, what makes a good angler? I said "ability to learn and if you're not catching then always ask why". It got me selected and stays with me to this day. I think he turned up to a few of our fortnightly meetings too.
 

Dave Spence

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It was MAP Starlets when I fished for the Junior Club. 😁 We used to have a Blue Coach with Starlets written on the side that fit about 20 of us in so all our matches were knockups except when we fished in Nationals. My memory of meeting Mark Downes was when I was selected for a weeks training with Team England anglers. He asked me, what makes a good angler? I said "ability to learn and if you're not catching then always ask why". It got me selected and stays with me to this day. I think he turned up to a few of our fortnightly meetings too.
I never realised we were in the presence of royalty, lets have some stories from your early days mate:)
 

Zerkalo

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I never realised we were in the presence of royalty, lets have some stories from your early days mate:)
Haha nothing compared to some of the experienced matchmen on here. Like I say, they were just Junior Club knockups. But I do have some stories when I remember them, probably to be repeated proper Fisherman "it was this big" style.
 

Nunachuk

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Elitist tw@t.... how sodding dare he denigrate the grass roots of the match angling world.... we all start somewhere, even the majestic Lord Downes.... man's a twunt... hope all his next outings are bl

Superglue his lips together and slap his face with a wet kipper
Why not superglue a wet Kipper to his lips instead!
 

Stephen sheppard 66

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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
There’s no on high about it, we all come from humble beginnings at some point, I remember us all on the starlets bus, can remember when we all fished proper matches, not gathered round a hole in the ground, like a fish pond, when true skills were developed, he comes from this background so perhaps we can forgive him these comments, and remember what true angling used to be……..
 

Stephen sheppard 66

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Different times nowadays it would have killed us to fish holes in the ground full of carp and call these matches, it’s a different world now I can see where he is coming from……..
 
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