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Are Our Venues Getting Peggier?

Browning backed match ace Adam Richards debates whether our lakes are as fair as they used to be.
After a local open match a couple of weeks ago, I sat in the café with a few of the venue regulars discussing the day’s events and the venue in general. None of us had the best of days, but rather than rush off home a few had stayed behind just to talk fishing, it seems us anglers can’t help it!

Eventually, the conversation turned to how venues have changed over the past few years, and in particular how there seems to be a lot less pegs that you can win from now than there was three or four years ago. We were talking in particular about winter, when venues become peggier as fish shoal up in certain areas of the lake.

Even in the summer in recent years, certain pegs seemed to throw up big weights much more than others. Three or four years ago, there were perhaps as many as half the pegs in the bag that you felt you could frame from in winter. Once the warmer weather came though, you really didn’t mind what peg you drew, this could clearly be seen looking through the results with the same five or six names constantly cropping up.

We all seemed in agreement at the time that the venue (and many others) had become more peggy over time as the fish had grown and become wiser.
On the way home from the fishery I began thinking about this situation again. Could a venue really change so much in such a short time? I began thinking of the anglers sat in the café at that time. There were five or six people in there, and any one of them was more than capable of winning the match that day yet all of us had poor days. Add to these the anglers who framed, and other star names on the match and you have loads of anglers who are easily capable of winning.

It suddenly dawned on me that we were fishing a 30 peg match where pretty much every angler on the bank had the ability and knowledge to make the best of his peg.

I am not so sure that this was the case three or four years ago, when the same names popped up time after time no matter what peg they drew. This brought me to the conclusion that possibly certain pegs have always been considerably better than others, however when the better anglers drew a poorer peg they still caught lots of fish, as competition was not as great. Moreover, a lesser angler back then would not make the most of a good peg allowing the better angler on the poorer peg to beat him and still frame.

With the amount of information now available through magazines, internet forums, and social media websites, the average standard of angler seems to have improved massively. This means that the angler on the best peg is generally going to make the most of it, making him much more difficult to beat from a poorer area. So perhaps venues are becoming slightly more peggy. This is to be expected as the fish grow, but I’m not sure that it is the only reason that there seems to be less pegs that it is possible to frame off. The combination of slightly peggier venues and an improvement in the standard of anglers has lead to it. Of course this can only be a good thing; it improves competition and makes everybody strive to better themselves. So next time you hear someone complaining about a venue becoming more peggy, just stop for a second and think. Is it really?

Adam Richards is a 23 year old youth worker from Billingham in Cleveland.
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