Tom Scholey argues that there are plenty of good young match anglers coming into the sport.
I beg to differ with anyone who says that there are no young anglers coming through the ranks of match fishing. Believe me there are an awful lot, and many of them are bloody good anglers as well!
Matt Godfrey organised a knock up on the Stainforth and Keadby Canal over Christmas, and four young lads who go in the same tackle shop that we use asked if they could join us. All aged between 16 and 20, they usually fish the matches at Aston Park Fishery. They were fully aware of how big a difference tackling a canal was going to be to what they were used to, and seemed to thrive on the challenge!
Seeing them turn up in a small, overloaded car complete with rods on a roof rack reminded me very much of my own experiences four or five years ago.
I used to drive a green Hyundai Getz (and even though I had a clean licence, this worked out at £900 a year insurance). Looking back, I cannot believe that me and Matt used to fit all our tackle inside it. Even when we went to White Acres we would somehow find room for buckets, platforms, rod bags, holdalls, seatboxes and clothes! I will always remember us getting pulled by a policeman on the way to Porth Reservoir. Matt was quite literally jammed in between two rod bags with, two full buckets of mixed groundbait on his knee. Fortunately, said bobby must have been feeling charitable, as after a slapped wrist for driving too fast down the narrow country lanes, he let us on our way. I’m quite sure that if he had wanted to he could have charged us with several offences!
I cannot express in words how good these memories are though. There was an unbelievable buzz that came with being two young anglers with everything to prove charging around the country fishing all the matches that we could. Don’t get me wrong, we are still doing the same now and loving every minute of it, but back then it was all new to us and those first couple of years of being able to drive seemed extra special.
I saw a similar spirit in the lads who joined us on the canal. They are all extremely keen with fire in their bellies and ambition to make a name for themselves. They put up a good account of themselves too, all catching respectable nets of fish considering that it was their first visit. If they keep going with the same positive attitude and enthusiasm, then I’m sure that all will have very bright futures ahead of them.