Match fishing, it's a funny old game and that's why I love it so much. You never know what's going to happen and I think that's what keeps us going week after week. You can be the best angler in the world but if the fish aren't in your peg or they're not feeding, World Champions can blank like the rest of us. Of course this doesn't happen very often as they usually have enough tricks up their sleeves to extract a fish or two or turn a mediocre peg into a winner. I've drawn next to some top anglers over the years and normally get my bum spanked but occasionally you beat them and leave the bank on a real high.
As I said earlier it's the unexpected, the not knowing that makes it exciting, we've all fished matches where a certain peg was expected to win and if we didn't draw it we might as well just all go home, but it doesn't always go like that for whatever reason. I've drawn fliers and won and also drawn the hot peg and either the fish haven't fed or I've cocked it up. I've won matches thanks to bonus fish (notably a 28lb 4oz carp at Chard Reservoir) and done well off not so good pegs thanks to other people messing up the flier. I've drawn a noted roach peg and then gone on to win the match with six chub and I've won a match on the river with a single trout plus a few minnows.
I've sat it out in atrocious conditions hoping and praying for a single bite but whether I got it or not, I'm always back the next week because it might be different then. I've been out in heavy snow and rain, wind so strong it was almost impossible to fish and days so hot, all my bait has died. Even if you fish the same venue every week, it's always different. You never stop learning in this game and there's always new gear or bait that you hope will put extra fish in your net, most of them hook more anglers than they do fish but that's another story.
First and foremost I love catching fish but I do love the buzz of fishing competitions and doing well gives me real satisfaction. I enjoy the banter of fishing a match around a pond but equally I love the solitude of fishing on the river, miles from the next peg where I can be left to my own thoughts. I'm also quite anally retentive and keep quite detailed records of my competitions and catches and I'm always trying to beat the previous years winnings total or increase personal bests or catch new species. I suppose this blog is a fairly detailed record since I started it in 2006 and I thought I'd list my top ten posts so far. They're in no particular order, I've just gone through them from the start.
10 - The Post That Started It All
My first post, way back in July 2006, was very short and announced my arrival into the blog-o-sphere. I never really imagined I'd still be going nearly seven years and approaching 65,000 hits later. I hope my posts have improved in that time and if nothing else, this blog has enabled me to meet some really nice people and realise an ambition of appearing in Match Fishing.
9 - The Chris Patten Memorial Match
I knew Chris quite well and he was an excellent angler and all round nice guy who was taken from us far too early. I felt privileged to be invited to his memorial match the year before and then I won it on my second attempt and it still remains one of my favourite match wins.
8 - My Biggest Isle Match Weight
The hot peg on the river was 125 and I drew it with some colour in the river and enjoyed a fantastic days fishing on the waggler.
7 - A Bit Of A Bonus!
I was looking forward to a nice days bream fishing but they had other ideas but just to show what 'a funny old game' fishing is, one bite changed my day from a disaster to sheer delight.
6 - One Of My Favourite Match Wins
Barney Crockett, along with Adrian Green, was one the people who got me into match fishing and took me under his wing, he was a lovely man and a great angler and it was a really sad day when he passed away. Ilminster AA held a pairs match in his memory and I managed to win it on the individual front which meant a lot to me.
5 - The Perfect Day?
We used to fish Chris Haines's pond at Clivey quite a bit and my results were getting steadily better every time, it was also my birthday and the last day of the footy season where Chelsea needed to win to be crowned Champions. See how the day went
4 - A Great Little Run
I'd just won three matches on the trot on the Isle and the next match was on Ilminster Canal, one of my favourite venues. I'd won a few matches on the canal but this one is the best of the bunch so far.
3 - Paradise
I couldn't not put a post in from my trips to the wonderful Gillhams Resort in Thailand and to be honest I couldn't decide which one to use as they're all been fantastic. In the end I chose my second trip with Scotty where we caught some fantastic fish and also had a couple of days in Bangkok with Stuart where he showed us the sights.
2 - A Long Time Coming
I hadn't won a match at Perry St for a fair old while but when I drew peg 10 I knew I had a chance and I had a cracking day catching carp up in the water and also beat my biggest ever match weight on the pond.
1 - My First Win At Summerhayes
I love fishing at this venue and have had some lovely days fishing for the silvers, I'd framed several times but never won, until now! Everything went right and it was nearly the perfect match for me.
I've really enjoyed looking back over my old posts and to be honest there were several posts I wish I could have put in and could have done a top twenty! There were my first trips after grayling and mullet, mine and Andy's pairs win at Summerhayes plus several great days on the river. Maybe another time.
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