What I’m trying to say here is how often do you pick up money at the end of a match? And are you happy being high up in sections each week or do you gamble for the big win? With the introduction of the big-money matches like Fisho and Match This, there seems to be trend to go for the win every time, as you have to do so in these two events.
Even in the Angling Trust Winter League division that I fish, the pools lean heavily towards the winners. It’s a seven-teams-of-10 70 pegger but only the top four are paid, meaning the winner will often top £330 (until I won one, that is!) so it’s a big carrot dangling each match.
It may seem strange to most of you out there who don’t regularly fish team events, but I personally never aim towards the win in this event, only getting high up in my section of seven, for which the top two receive money. If I happen to draw in the best section then the big payout could be on the cards – but you often don’t know that you’re in the best section til after the final whistle.
Each week I see a lot of anglers fishing for fish that aren’t there; looking for the bonuses that will get the big payout instead of catching what’s in front of them! Does just fishing for roach make me more negative or more consistent? Hopefully without sounding like a trumpet blower? Over the five winter league matches I fished this year (I couldn’t get the day off work for the other one) and the six practice matches, I won close to £600. OK, the win on the final match boosted that up by £280. (The lowest payout of the series!) but it was the section wins, section seconds and occasional defaults that kept the pot ticking over nicely.
Now the big question, has it been achieved by fishing negatively? Or, could I have won even more if I had gone for it each week? I will never know, that’s the thing with fishing. I do know that in 2012 I will continue to fish the same way, as I like to get plenty of bites and fish for the fish that are actually in front of me.
Now some more cynical of you would say that this winter's results have been due to good draws but I don’t think so (I can imagine most of the Upper Thames Winter League guys who are reading this, spitting tea over the keyboard right now!) as I have only drawn TWO end pegs in the whole of 2011!
With my team being involved in the southern AT Semi Final on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Great Bedwyn, the next few weeks will see me on my favourite canal. Leading up to the big match on the 1st of April. Hopefully I’ll have some good stuff to write about in the coming weeks. I especially want to be writing about how my ratio of end-peg drawing has increased! We’ll see...
Richard Chave fishes for Garbolino Blackmore Vale and loves bagging up with silvers on his beloved canals and rivers in the southwest of England.