I have been involved in the Talent Pathway for a while now, and in my experience I’ve found it to be a great way of engaging with talented young anglers. The main aim of the Angling Trust England Talent Pathway is to raise the standard of sporting achievement in angling and improve international performance.
The Talent Pathway has evolved considerably since its introduction in 2010 and looks to be heading in the right direction. The pathway looks at increasing opportunities for young people to excel and achieve their ambition of fishing for England by providing coaching and competition, as well as increasing young people’s opportunities in angling and developing their skills. What a fantastic idea! It’s very refreshing to see a programe like this that looks at developing angling’s future stars.
The most recent stage of the pathway was held at the famous Thorne canal. The canal was in great form, so everyone had plenty of bites throughout the day.
There were 17 budding young anglers all itching to get fishing and learn some valuable lessons along the way. We had some great support for the day with Nick Speed, Matt Godfrey, Tom Scholey and myself all ready and raring to share some of our knowledge.
We started the day by demonstrating the general principles of bloodworm and joker fishing. Things like mixing groundbait and soil, going through rigs, shotting patterns, hooks, hooklengths, elastics, hooking bloodworm – basically, the general things that we all thought the young anglers would benefit from. I then did a quick practical tuition, showing the simple techniques of this style of fishing. Then the young anglers headed off and started fishing themselves, putting what we had just taught them into practice.
The day was a huge success. Everyone had loads of bites, they all loved it! Matt, Tom and Nick were fantastic, they offered some great advice and expertise. I felt really motivated after this event and I can’t wait for the next one!
It was really encouraging to see anglers like Matt, Nick and Tom giving up their time to help out the future of our sport and, in my opinion, this is exactly what programes like the Pathway and the sport in general needs, a fresh image to increase the attraction to new anglers!
It was also very refreshing to see the enthusiasm to this style of fishing. Commercial fishing has taken somewhat of a lead role in young anglers' development, but I can assure you the demand for natural fishing is there. I just don’t think there is enough going on for young and new anglers!