To quit or not to quit

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Wily Coyote

Regular member
Site Supporter
Apr 30, 2003
That is the question

Having just read the post by Dave it seems that others are feeling as I do at the moment.

After a good many years of specimen and pleasure fishing the last few years have been spent mainly on friendly and not too serious matches and although I like a challenge and enjoy the company I'm seriously thinking of not taking part next year.

A succession of seriously rubbish matches this year has left me thinking that I'm beginning to find them extremely restrictive, I've never won a match - not even close and probably never will and don't think I have the match mentality ( or perhaps the skill ) to succeed.

Part of the attraction of specimen fishing was the anticipation of maybe a personal best, the solitude and the experimentation of differing baits and tactics to outwit your target over a period of 24 or 48hrs.

Fishing in a match doesn't allow such flexibility both in time and variety as most venues impose a vast array of rules and regulations - no floater fishing, no method feeders, fishery pellets only, no particles, minimum hook-lengths, no this, no that, etc etc.

Most matches that I fish involve a round trip of at least 150 miles and as I sit like the proverbial garden gnome watching all around me sack up again I ponder whether it's all worth the effort, time and expense as at the final whistle all I can think is "thank god that's over" and await the ignomy of weighing my meagre catch once again [:(]

Next year I might just concede defeat.


Regular member
Aug 18, 2008
Sounds like you bit too much off.
Venues all have their 'venue experts' and unless you are fishing those regulary you will never beat them and end up being pools fodder.
There is no way you can travel that sort of mileage and compete. If you still want to fish matches, pick a local club that fishes its competitions on local waters where you can go and practice.


Regular member
Jul 5, 2002
Get back to a bit of pleasure fishing!!!!!!! That's what its all about.Back to basics[:T]


Regular member
Site Supporter
Jun 9, 2010
life is to short to be not enjoying what you are doing and theres no medals for enduring a match ,like everything nowadays match fishing is extremely competitive and you need to be heavily commited to be succsesfull and you have to ask yourself is it really that impotant to you ? try and remember what it is that you really enoy about your fishing ang go with that but dont torture yourself it is after all only fishing

kevin o connor

M.O.G. member
Staff member
Site Supporter
Jan 1, 2010
I am sure a lot of people feel the way you do. Match fishing has never appealed to me, I am purely a pleasure angler. I get to decide when I will go fishing, where I will go fishing,how long I will go for, what type of fishing I will do, etc. I know people will say you will miss the banter, but the banter is for a half hour before, and a half hour after the match. With 5 hours of pressure in between. If that is what floats your boat well then fair play to you, but it is not for me. Oh yeah, I also decide when I will have a cup of tea, or take a break to answer a call of nature without feeling I am at a disadvantage.
Get out do some pleasure fishing and see if you enjoy it.At least if you are not enjoying yourself while pleasure fishing you can just pack it in for the day when you feel like it. Most of my sessions last a lot longer than 5 hours and I would hate anyone to tell me I have to stop just when my swim is coming good. I am sure a lot of match anglers will miss you at the matches, cos they need the likes of you to boost their pools.


Life Member
Site Supporter
Jul 8, 2003
Originally posted by Wily Coyote
... and don't think I have the match mentality ( or perhaps the skill ) to succeed.

Me neither, but I still go to enjoy myself.

Firstly, it means that I'm guaranteed a peg on a good venue, many of which would be "matched up" on Sundays.
I like the company and the craic.
And I fish for pleasure rather then pounds, so if I have the opportunity to catch 20lb of good roach rather than 100lb of identical stocky carp, that's what I do.
But at the end of the season, I'm usually not far off breaking even on my pools money. (The cost of tackle and bait is something else).

Just don't take competition seriously, and you might find matches less restrictive.


The Big Fella

Regular member
Jan 11, 2007

My advice would be get one or two "fishing mates" they may be friends, family, relatives, or people from the matches you been fishing who's company you like....

Then if you do like the competitive side have a knock up 1 v 1 or 1 v 2 and keep a track of the knock up results and what you caught when?

Set realistic targets:

1/Try and win your first knock up against your mate!
2/Try and win 2 knock ups on the trot
3/Try and catch a barbel or chub from a river
4/Try and catch a 20lb+ weight of bream
5/Try and catch biggest fish over 7 knock ups
6/Try and catch 25lb+ weight of fish
7/Try and catch 50lb+ weight of fish
8/Try and catch 100lb+ weight of fish
9/Try and catch 4 species of fish in one day
10/Try and catch 6 species of fish in one day
11/Try and catch a 5lb+ fish
12/Try and catch a 10lb+ fish
13/Try and catch a 15lb+ fish
14/Try and catch 10lbs plus of silvers only from a river on a float etc

This way you have a variety of mini challenges to aim for, and should be able to knock a few off relatively quickly giving confidence you going in teh right direction.

It appears that you are getting disheartened as your benchmark is in realtion only to what others are catching.....

This way you do have that to aim for, but you can also target a secondary aim.

I know after various matches fishing just one venue alone I almost knew what I was going to be doing before I saw my peg and i got bored etc.

Then i changed for 4-5 seasons and made choices of venue depending on the conditions.....

If it was overcast and blowing a gale we went for a bream water
If it was scorching hot and still we chose commercials (more chance fo bites)
If it was in the fishing season we could have gone on a river etc....

Each time it was different and it took away the same day approach


Regular member
Sep 2, 2009
The problem is wily match fishing is not for everyone. You probably don't take your fishing as serious as match anglers do so why not do what you do best and go out and envoy it.


Irregular Member
Site Supporter
Aug 28, 2007
There's more to life than match fishing - so by all means go if you want, but similarly try a different branch of the sport if that feels right too.

At the end of the day your fishing, apart a few full-timers, is a leisure activity - consider what you want to get out of it (a challenge, the wildlife, a break, relaxation, reward, sense of achievement, dead maggots, muddy feet etc.) and tune your fishing accordingly. If you're not enjoying it, it probably not right for you at this time.

Match fishing doesnt do it for me (although I am fairly good at it) so I pleasure fish. Occaisionally I been fishing and it just didn't feel right - so I packed up and headed home. There's no shame in that - get some brownie point from SWMBO - and then next time you may enjoy it all the more.


Regular member
Sep 27, 2007
Life is far too short to "suffer" from your fishing...T my mind it is supposed to be and my fishing mates are very mildly competitive...but it really doesn't matter at all & I am just as happy sitting by myself on the riverbank soaking up all of the scenery and wildlife etc.
and if the rod tip bangs round now and again much the better!!!
Mmmmm might skive off for a day later this week !!!!!


Jul 30, 2010
I was in the same boat as you about 6 months ago matey, sat on the bank being destroyed every match not enjoying myself all to try and win a few quid and i asked myself, if i won the lottery tomorrow would I wanna carry on fishing matches. 6 months on I've traded in my match gear for some carp/specimen stuff and Im really enjoying myself again.
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Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
You're just upset that you still haven't been awarded the PINK HAT aren't you? [:p]

Neil ofthe nene

Doing things differently.
Site Supporter
May 4, 2009
If you don't enjoy match fishing then don't do it. I don't think I would enjoy specimen fishing, so I don't do it.

Fishing should be fun, if it isn't then take up golf or some other passtime.

And Banksy, aren't all the roach identical?


Regular member
Aug 11, 2001

Thats just cruel [:0]
Leave Terry alone.


Over the many years i've been fishing i've gone through various stages of being fed up with the waters fished - the matches i've fished - the people i've fished with - being pools fodder week in week out and many other things as well.

Every time i've started to feel that way i've put the gear away, some times it's been for a few months but the longest was for 4 years.

Then i've started up again as i actually REALLY wanted to go rather than thinking i wanted to go when in reality i was fed up with what i was doing. (if that makes sense)[;)]

At the end of the day Terry do what YOU want to do and ENJOY YOURSELF as thats what it should be about.

See you friday for another Gnome episode.[;)]


Life Survivor
Jan 30, 2007
[:)] Had this problem some 16 years or more ago, seriousley considered selling All my gear, thankfully something stopped me, and it all got cleaned and put away in the back of a convieniant cubby hole, some 3 years later totally disillusioned with work and life, suddenly fancied an hour or two's fishing, nipped to the local post office (Those were the Days[:D][:T]) got a day license, and bagged up on a very decent stamp of Roach plus Tench on the local canal, and the Bug was back and up and running again, Not looked back since, think a break once in a while does you good [;)] But Once a fisherman Always a fisherman.[:T]

Geoff P

The MOGerator
Staff member
Site Supporter
Dec 2, 2001
Terry, I drive a very long way to fish the jinx series, I am not a match angler, and also have no hope of ever winning money at it. I fish every jinx match as a pleasure session, if I catch it makes it a very good day. If I cannot catch a carp I am quite happy fishing for the silvers.

It would be a shame for you not to be there.


19/08/02 - 25/08/10
In Memoriam
Aug 19, 2002
Terry, I've felt the same way as you for some time now. I've bought my rod licence each year, and not fished for ages.
In fact apart from one small trip out in nov last year I havent done any fishing of any kind since I was on holiday in Devon in sept 2007 some three years ago.
I did in fact place a small posting on facebook to the tune that after some hard thinking andd self searching that I was going to hang up my rods and retire from fishing for the rest of my life.
This brought a VERY vitriolic and harsh response from someone on here who I've known for years and never met but I count him as one of my best friends [;)]he knows who he is.[:T]
This made me put the idea on hold, well, since then I've watched Catching the Impossible, I've been back on here and now I've come to realise that I could no more give up angling than I can stop breathing, its in my blood and soul, its just a case of finding a different way of doing things.
If necessary take a small break from it and come back again trying something different, try fishing with new friends.
If its in you, you wont be able to give it up.[:)]

I mean I've got two young grandsons who've got to be taught and if I dont teach them then ther will be no fourth generation of anglers in our family.
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Sep 11, 2006
dont give it up terry, you,ll regret it every saturday when theres a jinx match on[:(]. i,ve only ever guested on one and i think about it all day at work whenever theres a match on[:)]. you,ve got a great bunch of mates there and i,m sure every one of them would miss you... chin up mate[:T]
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