The cost of Match Fishing

bagpuss

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I keep a spreadsheet of my matches, below are the results from 2017 which was a good year for me in terms of numbers of matches fished and results. The matches were split between opens and clubbies with average £20. pools, bait would average £10, add terminal tackle, petrol and food then the minimum per match would be £40. So 77 x £40 = £3,080 not to mention clothing, topkits, section repairs, landing nets etc, I guess I would've spent in the region of £4,000.
Quite frightening really especially if the wife was to find out! But like others have said the money doesn’t come into it I just match fish because I enjoy it and gives me a reason to keep going in work knowing I’ve got a match at the weekend.

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baggy

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There are no open matches within an hour’s distance for me. I spend a lot on my kit because I like to have good kit, I will never win enough to cover my expenditure but fishing isn’t about trying to recoup what I spend. Of course I love it when I pick up and I’ve had some really good ones.

In the past my other half and I talked about moving to Italy and I think I would be happy just to win trophies as they don’t have pools in their matches.
 

Marker50

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I had this discussion many years ago.

Most sponsorship deals are tackle at trade plus VAT. If you're lucky you may get groundbait or pellet thrown in at around £3 a bag.

Bait for a standard carp match is around 6 pints of pellets, if it's a method venue you may want a bag of groundbait and if you're fishing for silvers you'll need maggots/caster and groundbait. So lets say £15 in bait if you buy pellets in bulk.

Add getting to the venue and most will use a gallon or so of fuel so lets say £5 minimum.

Pools down here are £25 so there's a £40 minimum per match with some spending significantly more. 40 x 48 = £1, 920 if you fish a match a week on average. If like me you top up your hooks, floats, feeders, lines etc over the course of a year you'll spend £2,500.

Add a rod, reel, waterproofs etc in any one year and it's easy to spend £3K

If you chase Fisho, Golden Reel and you're looking at over £100 a match minimum when you add accommodation. Fish a festival and you can add £600 minimum if you're staying in accommodation.

Going back to the £25 pools take £8 minimum pegging fee out, leaving £17. Lets say the match attracts a good turn out of 40 anglers giving a total pool of £680.

4 sections by default @ £30 work out at £120 leaving a £560 total pool to pay carp and silvers. This would give a £360 / £200 split.

Pay out would be top 4 of £120, £100, £80. £60. Silvers would be £80, £70 and £50 plus 4 sections by default giving 11 anglers from 40 being paid out approximately 25% of the field which helps to maintain attendances, keeping the majority of the field happy.

The winner recoups 3 x his investment. 2nd approximately 2 x his investment, however on the reverse side of the coin the section winners haven't recouped their costs but have had a cheap days fishing.

Taking the above into account how many anglers win every third match to break even over the course of a year? Then ask how matches do they frame in or pick up their sections. A very good angler in a quality field in a good year will pick up in every third match, however if you look at top 3 placings you may be looking at 1 in 4 matches or less.

Over the years I've had some brilliant seasons however when I look back at the money aspect it was a lot easier to recover your costs in the 80's and 90's pre commercials. In those days pools were £5 or £10 with the £5 entry club matches often attracting 80 plus anglers due to their 100% pay out.

Add the monthly club opens, river championships, (often 200 pegs or more, winter leagues, (144-156 pegs) and super leagues, (80 pegs plus), and minimal pegging fees from the clubs involved, (£1-£2, often including 50p to the junior sections), and the pay outs were superb.

If you won an open or big club it was often close to a weeks wages, sometimes more, sometimes less and would cover at least 1/2 a dozen matches.

I've heard anglers quote all sorts of amounts when it comes to winning matches and how much they win in a season however the reality is that the majority of match anglers will fail to cover their costs even if they are having a very good season.

Even the top 10% make very little profit from their angling even with the help of sponsorship which simply helps towards costs particularly when chasing the dream.

The top 1% will have a retainer/salary and contract with free tackle and help towards expenses, however that is off set with promotional work, testing and development, magazine work, tackle shows etc, however now we are talking the cream of the cream and probably less than 20 anglers.

I'd also be surprised if Bob Nudds original contract with Browning has ever been bettered, now that was a masterstroke in a time when you could win a fair bit of money on the open circuit, unlike today where it's a lot more difficult to cover your costs, particularly when you throw venue experts into the equation.
Wish my grammer was like yours dave.
 

Line Clip

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I had this discussion many years ago.

Most sponsorship deals are tackle at trade plus VAT. If you're lucky you may get groundbait or pellet thrown in at around £3 a bag.

Bait for a standard carp match is around 6 pints of pellets, if it's a method venue you may want a bag of groundbait and if you're fishing for silvers you'll need maggots/caster and groundbait. So lets say £15 in bait if you buy pellets in bulk.

Add getting to the venue and most will use a gallon or so of fuel so lets say £5 minimum.

Pools down here are £25 so there's a £40 minimum per match with some spending significantly more. 40 x 48 = £1, 920 if you fish a match a week on average. If like me you top up your hooks, floats, feeders, lines etc over the course of a year you'll spend £2,500.

Add a rod, reel, waterproofs etc in any one year and it's easy to spend £3K

If you chase Fisho, Golden Reel and you're looking at over £100 a match minimum when you add accommodation. Fish a festival and you can add £600 minimum if you're staying in accommodation.

Going back to the £25 pools take £8 minimum pegging fee out, leaving £17. Lets say the match attracts a good turn out of 40 anglers giving a total pool of £680.

4 sections by default @ £30 work out at £120 leaving a £560 total pool to pay carp and silvers. This would give a £360 / £200 split.

Pay out would be top 4 of £120, £100, £80. £60. Silvers would be £80, £70 and £50 plus 4 sections by default giving 11 anglers from 40 being paid out approximately 25% of the field which helps to maintain attendances, keeping the majority of the field happy.

The winner recoups 3 x his investment. 2nd approximately 2 x his investment, however on the reverse side of the coin the section winners haven't recouped their costs but have had a cheap days fishing.

Taking the above into account how many anglers win every third match to break even over the course of a year? Then ask how matches do they frame in or pick up their sections. A very good angler in a quality field in a good year will pick up in every third match, however if you look at top 3 placings you may be looking at 1 in 4 matches or less.

Over the years I've had some brilliant seasons however when I look back at the money aspect it was a lot easier to recover your costs in the 80's and 90's pre commercials. In those days pools were £5 or £10 with the £5 entry club matches often attracting 80 plus anglers due to their 100% pay out.

Add the monthly club opens, river championships, (often 200 pegs or more, winter leagues, (144-156 pegs) and super leagues, (80 pegs plus), and minimal pegging fees from the clubs involved, (£1-£2, often including 50p to the junior sections), and the pay outs were superb.

If you won an open or big club it was often close to a weeks wages, sometimes more, sometimes less and would cover at least 1/2 a dozen matches.

I've heard anglers quote all sorts of amounts when it comes to winning matches and how much they win in a season however the reality is that the majority of match anglers will fail to cover their costs even if they are having a very good season.

Even the top 10% make very little profit from their angling even with the help of sponsorship which simply helps towards costs particularly when chasing the dream.

The top 1% will have a retainer/salary and contract with free tackle and help towards expenses, however that is off set with promotional work, testing and development, magazine work, tackle shows etc, however now we are talking the cream of the cream and probably less than 20 anglers.

I'd also be surprised if Bob Nudds original contract with Browning has ever been bettered, now that was a masterstroke in a time when you could win a fair bit of money on the open circuit, unlike today where it's a lot more difficult to cover your costs, particularly when you throw venue experts into
Brilliant feedback Dave great detail Thanks
 

mickthechippy

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I had this Idea once that I was a far better match angler than I was

and I joined another Match fishing website that had on average a far better stamp of competative angler than what I normally fished with

over a period of about four years, I was found out, rarely making any impression on the payouts, the best result I ever had was a section win by default (winner of the gig was in my section)

I was earning well, being an assistant site manager-site foreman at the time and had a fair bit of free cash, but the travelling, lodge, bait, beer bills soon became to much for me, every other weekend Id be off, driving 100's of miles on return trips just to get battered royally each time

I enjoyed the banter,, the meet ups, the matches etc, but the costs were hitting hard, hard enough for the wench to notice, and when that happens you know your getting in too far, as she's as good as gold most of the time, never normally quibbling the costs of my hobby

packed it in and now mainly fish my club, and local group matches, the clubbies are the cheapest as theres no peg fees, just the pools and they rarely go above a tenner for the day, travel is less than a £5, baits about a £10 note if its a maggot match, and Ive got a far better chance of framing due to I know the waters

most money I spent last year on a gig was around £50 on the kent champs, £20 all in will cover most club gigs unless we are travelling for an inter-club match

and Im happier with my performance, being able to rate each gigs catch against the regular attendees
 

NoCarpPlease

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I had this Idea once that I was a far better match angler than I was

and I joined another Match fishing website that had on average a far better stamp of competative angler than what I normally fished with

over a period of about four years, I was found out, rarely making any impression on the payouts, the best result I ever had was a section win by default (winner of the gig was in my section)

I was earning well, being an assistant site manager-site foreman at the time and had a fair bit of free cash, but the travelling, lodge, bait, beer bills soon became to much for me, every other weekend Id be off, driving 100's of miles on return trips just to get battered royally each time

I enjoyed the banter,, the meet ups, the matches etc, but the costs were hitting hard, hard enough for the wench to notice, and when that happens you know your getting in too far, as she's as good as gold most of the time, never normally quibbling the costs of my hobby

packed it in and now mainly fish my club, and local group matches, the clubbies are the cheapest as theres no peg fees, just the pools and they rarely go above a tenner for the day, travel is less than a £5, baits about a £10 note if its a maggot match, and Ive got a far better chance of framing due to I know the waters

most money I spent last year on a gig was around £50 on the kent champs, £20 all in will cover most club gigs unless we are travelling for an inter-club match

and Im happier with my performance, being able to rate each gigs catch against the regular attendees
You've definitely got to find a level that you're comfortable fishing at, including costs - unless your goal is to improve a lot!

Looking back at @dave brittain 1 post - in some ways you can plot the death spiral of match fishing from:

From large, peggy river matches where you could win a bonanza if you drew a flier, and attendances were large because anyone could draw that flier. 100 peg match would pay top 5 and 20 peg sections.
To small, less peggy, matches on commercials with venue experts and top class anglers vying for a much reduced pot. Very rare that anyone else gets a look in .... but a 30 pegger still pays top 5 places and 5 peg sections, with default winners. So the winner's prize isn't the same bonanza.

Don't get me wrong - I agree with spreading the money around.
As many have said - nobody does it for the money.
 

abbo27

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As with most sports, I guess most people's main competitor is themselves. I don't get to fish very often and fish about 7 or 8 opens a year, costcutters. I only started fishing again after not having done so since my teens about 8 years ago and at first I just didn't want to get embarrassed. The best I have ever done, and my only brown envelope I have ever won was third on the lake the year before last. which got me £15, £3 more than the entry fee! It was actually one of my proudest achievements as there are some really good anglers who fish the venue every week, I would be more than happy to fish for no prize money, but then again, I may think differently if I stood a chance of winning some.
 

Maesknoll

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You've definitely got to find a level that you're comfortable fishing at, including costs - unless your goal is to improve a lot!

Looking back at @dave brittain 1 post - in some ways you can plot the death spiral of match fishing from:

From large, peggy river matches where you could win a bonanza if you drew a flier, and attendances were large because anyone could draw that flier. 100 peg match would pay top 5 and 20 peg sections.
To small, less peggy, matches on commercials with venue experts and top class anglers vying for a much reduced pot. Very rare that anyone else gets a look in .... but a 30 pegger still pays top 5 places and 5 peg sections, with default winners. So the winner's prize isn't the same bonanza.

Don't get me wrong - I agree with spreading the money around.
As many have said - nobody does it for the money.
I don’t think I have ever fished a 30 pegger where 10 payouts were made, payouts must not be worth having.
 

OldTaff

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I never considered the costs when I used to match fish - for me it wasn’t about the winnings it was always the competition buzz, bragging rights over my mates, getting my name on the club match trophy.

As I’m looking to get into a club at some point this year to fish a few matches again it’s for many of those same reasons - I’ve always had an inherent need for competition in all the hobbies I’ve undertaken, now much less so than when I was young, so as long as getting back into matches doesn’t hurt financially any winnings would be a nice bonus.
 

Me and my lad

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In my club days I managed bait sponsorship, we had a angler of the year league in the local paper and I did alright. The pools were £5 and max winnings would be £50. My winnings would sit in a pot and be used as holiday money when the time came. However the money for breakfast, fuel and sundry tackle was just a little less than the winnings when they came along.
 

NoCarpPlease

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I don’t think I have ever fished a 30 pegger where 10 payouts were made, payouts must not be worth having.
very approx.
£20 all in plus £1 winner takes all
total income £600 ex wta
5 default section winners (6 peg sections) £30
5th place £45
4th £55
3rd 65
2nd 75
1st 90 plus 30 from winner takes all = £120
Total out = 480
Therefore peg fee = £4

as I said ... don’t fish matches for the winnings!

equally i’ve won a 12 pegger with £15 pools and taken home £120
 

62tucker

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Maybe a daft question but don’t fish matches. Say day ticket is £10 for pleasure fishing. What does lake charge for peg fee for match. The same or reduced for a group and would it be even less for say a series.
Some day tickets are £12 up here on a commercial. And matches on Wednesday Saturday Sunday.
 

Maesknoll

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very approx.
£20 all in plus £1 winner takes all
total income £600 ex wta
5 default section winners (6 peg sections) £30
5th place £45
4th £55
3rd 65
2nd 75
1st 90 plus 30 from winner takes all = £120
Total out = 480
Therefore peg fee = £4

as I said ... don’t fish matches for the winnings!

equally i’ve won a 12 pegger with £15 pools and taken home £120
£4 peg fee, wow - Most peg fees I would be paying are £8-£10.
 

Maesknoll

Chris
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Maybe a daft question but don’t fish matches. Say day ticket is £10 for pleasure fishing. What does lake charge for peg fee for match. The same or reduced for a group and would it be even less for say a series.
Some day tickets are £12 up here on a commercial. And matches on Wednesday Saturday Sunday.
Most fisheries offer a £1 or maybe £2 off, the other way is most fisheries that hold regular matches have a price for booking the whole lake, that’s what I do when I run matches.
 

mickthechippy

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The Match groups I belong too, book the whole lake when they have a gig, nowt worse than having carpers or pleasure anglers spread between match pegs

it useally is cheaper than if you add all the pegs up singly, example lake fee will be £200, against 30 x £7 to £10, might not be much, but it all helps

its easier for the fisheries too, as they normally put up signs saying lake closed for a match today

on average there is 20 to 30 anglers fishing the gig and we divide the lake fee between how many are there on the day
 

dave brittain 1

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rivers innit!

to be fair I think it's £5 for that example club's opens (ie sections are £25)
On two others that I fish - club members don't pay a peg fee for the opens.
Alex Leeds and Yarm club matches were always 100% pay out and were 60 often pegs plus. The only downside was that all of the Leeds matches were on the Yorkshire Ouse, possibly the hardest river in the UK :)
 

Simon R

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Here's a question for you all, I'm led to believe that Gambling/Pools/cash prizes isn't or wasn't allowed on French matches and that the only rewards on offer are medals and cups in most instances.. (This may be a thing of the past, so apologies if I'm wrong)
If that was all that was on offer over here how many of you would continue to fish matches?
That's all we fish for in the majority of our club matches Peter - and that's been the case for a number of years.
Never struggle to fill the pegs even on venues that are sometimes less than prolific
Think we had 19 members last year, paying £15 / year and a couple of quid (and peg fees) each match - that covers the engraving of two dozen trophies, replicas that the anglers keep and a shed-load of prizes at the Christmas Cheer match - everybody who braved the weather at a rain lashed Dromonby in December got a load of groundbait, beer, wine or spirits, sweets for the missus and lots of other tackle prizes. If we ever get to hold a presentation night it'll also pay for the pie & peas.

We get a reasonably high standard of angler taking part (former World Championship contestants for a start(y)) but not fishing for big bucks makes the whole day much more fun and relaxed. For newcomers to match fishing it's an inexpensive way of getting a taste for the sport without seeing £20 or £30 vanish every weekend - and every year we get someone winning their first match which, with or without a monetary reward, is undoubtedly one of the best feelings in fishing.

Simon
 
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