I have never really thought about how us anglers talk about their results before, but receiving text after text I noticed some interesting similarities. There is a definite ‘lingo’ that anglers use, and seeing how other people phrase things made me take a very critical look at how I talk (and think) about my fishing. Here are a few examples of the texts that I received over the last few weeks, when people have done well:
“125lb. Lake win. Peg 18 Jennys”
“Won section, 2nd on lake, top ten overall mate. 1pt from winning”
“Won section mate with 88lb”
“Nice day yesterday mate, won it with 53lb on the chop”
“B team won A team second mate”
Notice anything? They are all very brief and matter of fact, there is rarely any detail about how people have caught (or how pleased they are). But things get far more interesting when people haven’t done so well:
“Not very good mate but drew the wrong end of the section. Denty was on 84, I was on 85 and Lee was on 86, fished a good match but 88 and 89 dominated the section”
“3rd mate terrible at Porth. End two pegs beat me.”
“Back down to earth today, 10lb 8oz at Woodhouse Grange, and that beat everyone around me.”
“No, not really, 69lb from peg 10 on Twin Oaks, watched them all catch a ton to my right.”
“Nowhere mate, 3 s*$*t draws on the trot saw to that”
There is always an excuse – and it is usually to do with pegs. Of course the draw does play a massive part in match fishing, but surely it is in our own hands too? It is almost as if people are scared to admit that they haven’t got things quite right on the day.
I had a look at the text messages, that I have sent and received lately, and I’m as bad as anybody else. I sent this when asked how I had got on after a recent match:
“No good love, 51lb. Got beat by ten ounce for the section the fish were at the other end of the lake. 108lb won.”
When I read this text back to myself, I couldn’t help but feel a bit silly. Do I honestly believe that I couldn’t have caught another ten ounces? Shouldn’t I have been focussing on where I went wrong, rather than blaming the peg? Of course I should. It is almost as if we always like to put ourselves across in the best possible light, rather than admitting our shortcomings.
How many times do you hear people who have come somewhere near the bottom of their section say “I beat two” rather than “seven beat me.” Reverse psychology at its finest. From now on, I will try and be a lot more critical when it comes to thinking about my results, as it surely must help you improve as an angler. I am going to start by talking about this Sundays match at Woodland View – and there are no shortage of weaknesses in how I fished my match to focus on!
I drew next to the winner, Adam Rumble who fished an exceptional match to end up with a 66-2-0 net of carp. He caught big carp up in the water, I tried to fish shallow too but really struggled for bites. The fact of the matter is, I fished the wrong bait and fed far too much- and basically didn’t do it half as well as Adam did.
Fortunately, he was good enough to tell me quite openly how he caught after the match, and even gave me a few of his hooker pellets. Hopefully I will be able to avoid making the same mistakes on the Drennan Knockout Cup a week on Monday!
Tom Scholey is Pole Fishing magazine's Editorial Assistant, and a keen match angler.