My Greatest Angler

markg

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
5,757
Reaction score
1,260
Location
South East England
Fame means money in a lot of cases so I don't begrudge anyone if they can make some from their fishing. The point is they aren't going to do it by being shrinking violets or too sniffy about it. It never bothers me, if they are in fact not very good anglers they might not make much and the better ones will make more, the same as it is in all walks of life.
 

theartist

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
Messages
3,304
Reaction score
534
Location
On another planet
Not sure about that Rob,the fame side is nothing,an awful lot of anglers avoid that for purely selfish reasons,when people are in the great category,others sing their praises,not taking a picture of a capture,or even noting captures is often down to just a lack of zip,you know,laid back,like a heavy pot smoker,personally I believe some fish deserve a photo,whether many see them is another matter,some take great delight in plastering it over the angling press,then lying about where it was caught,imo you don't make it public then,chasing fame is a sad epitome to your life....
Yeah I agree about the photo bit, I like holding a fish up for a photo as it presents it better and is easier to draw but that's another story. However people are only 'great' and have their praises sung if they are in the public eye. Many of the greats in all walks of life have had it thrust upon them and have mastered the modest "OH me really!" approach. Others have sought it at all costs. I don't believe that not taking a photo or journal reflects a lack of zip, some like to keep to their own. We all know someone in our circle be it a fishing club or elsewhere that catches loads, far more than are chronicled on here or facetube, but just likes to catch fish nothing else. Maybe we read too much into what or who is perceived as great?
 

whitty

Well-known member
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
6,100
Reaction score
1,665
Location
Luton Bedfordshire.
That is why I think match anglers like Ken Giles and Ivan Marks are true greats,neither of whom I have/had ever heard blow their own trumpet,of course they knew how good they were,when you are consistently beating everyone on a regular basis it is obvious,they were always in the minority group who were expected to win off of more than just flyers....
 
Last edited:

whitty

Well-known member
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
6,100
Reaction score
1,665
Location
Luton Bedfordshire.
These days match anglers,if successful can make big money from big matches/festivals,back in the days of Marksy,Giles and many other successful guys couldn't get more than £3-4,000 on a good year,add that to the fact that they were spending lots of money on travelling,bait and tackle to maintain a level,in specimen hunting there wasn't the level of sponsorship,imagine being sponsored by Dynamite baits today,it would save you an absolute fortune,be it match fishing,or specimen hunting,you could prebait with specific boilies,groundbaits,particles etc,with no prep time required,how easy it would be...
 

markg

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
5,757
Reaction score
1,260
Location
South East England
These days match anglers,if successful can make big money from big matches/festivals,back in the days of Marksy,Giles and many other successful guys couldn't get more than £3-4,000 on a good year,add that to the fact that they were spending lots of money on travelling,bait and tackle to maintain a level,in specimen hunting there wasn't the level of sponsorship,imagine being sponsored by Dynamite baits today,it would save you an absolute fortune,be it match fishing,or specimen hunting,you could prebait with specific boilies,groundbaits,particles etc,with no prep time required,how easy it would be...
Just out of interest Whitty and not on subject but just a question. I know very little about match fishing. I knew a very successful match sea angler once though. he put it down to always digging his own fresh bait or collecting the best peeler crabs for himself. That and the fact he could cast a long way. he did very well, a houseful of TV's and prizes and quite a bit of money as well. I just wondered if it is easier for coarse match anglers now that all the bait is ready prepared for them. Did they back in the day breed their own maggots and prepare casters all to a high degree of excellence, were they called gozzers, big fat clean maggots and prepare all their own hemp and tares, wheat etc.. was it the same then, those that went to a lot of trouble with the best baits won more matches and does that matter anymore.
 

whitty

Well-known member
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
6,100
Reaction score
1,665
Location
Luton Bedfordshire.
Well I prepped my own casters,as back then there were only two shops within thirty miles that did quality caster(now none,as myself and Chevin4 have recently discussed),one particular match at Newport Pagnell the river had been high with snow melt and I had struggled to turn caster,the temperature was too low outside,so I brought them in,a recipe for disaster,but caster was THE bait on the river,even indoors they weren't turning,until the Thursday evening when I got a small handful off,poor,soft shelled,elongated things,but they were fresh,by the Sunday morning I had a quarter of a pint,I really needed at least three quarters of a pint,I took my riddle,and caster maggots with me,I drew a very long walk,so my gear hurt me lugging the riddle and the casting bait,to cut a long story short I caught 9lbs 14ozs of quality roach and won by around 3lbs,I must have put those maggots through the riddle six or seven times during that match,the casters were all like the first soft and long,but they were freshly turned,I couldn't buy a bite on a maggot and they were quality maggot,we as a team had a designated driver(we subbed his petrol)who used to drive thirty miles for those,squats were always fattened up with a piece of sliced bread dampened with milk,I have no doubt the top anglers had either sources of top quality bait,or people to prepare it,I prepared gozzers most weeks during the summer for canal matches,those guys did too,as I say I was not great,but they would have spent more time in prep than me,combined with their superior knowledge and skill,we had no chance more often than not...
 
Last edited:

Mark Wintle

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2002
Messages
4,063
Reaction score
180
Location
Azide the Stour
Ivan Marks persuaded a series of 'apprentices' to sit in front of his fire hand-picking his casters for him whilst he was out gambling/playing 10-pin etc. back in the 60s. Having great bait is important but it's what you do with it that matters, a bit like gearHe also won £800 way back in 1961 from 5 huge wins which was close to his wages for the year.

As for videos, I'm personnaly getting far more of a buzz from the challenge of trying to make a watchable video, whilst trying to catch a decent fish, than just fishing, though in the current lockdown just fishing would be nice! Yet to catch a fish in 2021....
 

rob48

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
231
Reaction score
81
Interesting reflecting on winnings and bait preparation from the past days and now.
I'd say expenses were proportionately greater back in say the eighties than today. You couldn't fish the same thirty peggers on commecials every week and often faced a 150/200 mile return trip just to get to the venue. The venue (for big matches) being a stretch of a large river, Severn, Trent, Welland, Witham, or a large stillwater like a reservoir. Due to the nature of these venues the potential bait requirement was quite extensive, large quantities of maggots, squatts, pinkies, casters, seed baits, worms, bread, corn, plus groundbait, much more expensive than a few pellets or enough particles to fill a couple of pole cups. The "specialist" baits included home-bred gozzers for bream venues or sour bran specials, more usually on canal matches. I used to breed my own hook-baits, turn a few casters from left-overs, and prepare all my own seed baits.
The biggest difference were the anglers themsleves. The likes of Ken Giles and Ivan Marks, mentioned above, and others of their ilk, fished all these different venues, rivers, stillwaters, canals, and were successful on all of them. And these matches were very often 200+ peggers. These days there are anglers who live on a couple of venues and never fish more than two or three methods, win 30 peg knock ups and are inundated with sponsor's products.
I often wonder how the anglers of yester year would fare today, and how today's sponsored stars would manage on say, a river championship.
 

theartist

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
Messages
3,304
Reaction score
534
Location
On another planet
As for videos, I'm personnaly getting far more of a buzz from the challenge of trying to make a watchable video, whilst trying to catch a decent fish, than just fishing, though in the current lockdown just fishing would be nice! Yet to catch a fish in 2021....
This is an attribute those famous TV anglers have which sometimes goes under the radar I reckon. To have the ability to catch and present to the camera in a manner that entertains the audience whilst under pressure from a film crew, the elements, not to mention costly deadlines.
 

whitty

Well-known member
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
6,100
Reaction score
1,665
Location
Luton Bedfordshire.
Rob,there are highly rated anglers out there,like say Mark Pollard,he is really a canal and drain specialist,moreover a small roach specialist to boot,however Polly is capable enough to get a win or two on any venue,that is now,years ago he would have had little chance in a chub match where 20-40lbs might be required,these matches today are fished by guys who carry two or three poles,plus whips,a feeder rod and one float rod(which they hope not to use),they have lost the knowledge of where chub pegs are and how to fish for them,the only river that seems to have escaped this transformation is the Wye around Hereford,but when the river is up and coloured it becomes a whip job for bleak,as you cannot get through them with any bait but meat....
 

whitty

Well-known member
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
6,100
Reaction score
1,665
Location
Luton Bedfordshire.
Sadly videos rarely show great anglers at work(no insults intended),even when greats were on camera it doesn't really give anything away imv,mainly because the greats don't see themselves as great,nor therefore do they see the things they do that give them that edge,so cannot pass that onto us,we must be observant and grab the snippets on offer,even if we don't have the ability to carry it off...
 

John Bailey

Well-known member
Feature Writer
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
59
Reaction score
203
I’m still contributing to the My Greatest Angler thread because it has so obviously struck a nerve, and because I am so fascinated in this myself!

First, as theartist says, there are those anglers who always catch and always will. It’s a gift, almost a sixth sense that’s impossible to explain. I’ve known thousands of anglers in my fishing lifetime, and I have met a few whose successes are all but inexplicable, verging on magic. These anglers are “great” in their own way.

I can only repeat that I think the whole concept of great anglers will wither away as traditional literacy declines. Anglers my age remember Halford and Skues because of the books they wrote. Anglers in their twenties would not dream of reading these, or any of Walker’s books, come to that. My three stepsons don’t own a book between them. Their life is spent scrolling the here and now on their phones. Today’s sensation is forgotten in a week.

The concept of “greatness”, as we have known it, is quickly being replaced by a succession of “celebs” that come and go like distant shooting stars. On this week’s University Challenge, students from an Oxford college hadn’t heard of Roy Orbison, the Everly Brothers, or Buddy Holly. Soon it will be the same for Fred J Taylor, Frank Guttfield, and all the rest of us.
 

Crystal Bend

Active member
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
34
Reaction score
15
Location
Australia
"Today’s sensation is forgotten in a week."
That about sums up the modern day.
"Town Life & Modern Ways" seems to be consuming the Country Way of Life.
Old ways of life are being forgotten which is very sad............
 

chevin4

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 27, 2020
Messages
192
Reaction score
149
Location
Herts
Well I prepped my own casters,as back then there were only two shops within thirty miles that did quality caster(now none,as myself and Chevin4 have recently discussed),one particular match at Newport Pagnell the river had been high with snow melt and I had struggled to turn caster,the temperature was too low outside,so I brought them in,a recipe for disaster,but caster was THE bait on the river,even indoors they weren't turning,until the Thursday evening when I got a small handful off,poor,soft shelled,elongated things,but they were fresh,by the Sunday morning I had a quarter of a pint,I really needed at least three quarters of a pint,I took my riddle,and caster maggots with me,I drew a very long walk,so my gear hurt me lugging the riddle and the casting bait,to cut a long story short I caught 9lbs 14ozs of quality roach and won by around 3lbs,I must have put those maggots through the riddle six or seven times during that match,the casters were all like the first soft and long,but they were freshly turned,I couldn't buy a bite on a maggot and they were quality maggot,we as a team had a designated driver(we subbed his petrol)who used to drive thirty miles for those,squats were always fattened up with a piece of sliced bread dampened with milk,I have no doubt the top anglers had either sources of top quality bait,or people to prepare it,I prepared gozzers most weeks during the summer for canal matches,those guys did too,as I say I was not great,but they would have spent more time in prep than me,combined with their superior knowledge and skill,we had no chance more often than not...
The lack of decent casters is impacting on my fishing Alan over the last 9 years Des Barkers casters encountered for three of my PBs. The stuff they pass of as casters in sealed bags is not worth the money IMO. Ever thought about going into production I could be your first customer.😄
 

whitty

Well-known member
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
6,100
Reaction score
1,665
Location
Luton Bedfordshire.
:ROFLMAO: Huh,the wastage and time needed is prohibitive at best Hugh,it is ok when the tackle shop has big riddles,lrge quantities of bait and large fridges,I will pass your feelings on to Des,expect a demand for royalties in the post,lol....
 

john step

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
6,117
Reaction score
1,239
Location
There
Anglers in their twenties would not dream of reading these, or any of Walker’s books, come to that.

On this week’s University Challenge, students from an Oxford college hadn’t heard of Roy Orbison, the Everly Brothers, or Buddy Holly. Soon it will be the same for Fred J Taylor, Frank Guttfield, and all the rest of us.
That reminds of the time a couple of years ago I enquired of arlesey bombs in a major tackle chain. I was met by a blank stare. After saying "you know the pear shaped leads designed by Walker" it was obvious that was a mystery also.
It was carp bombs I should have requested apparently!
I notice Dinsmore still call them by the correct name on their packaging.
 

theartist

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
Messages
3,304
Reaction score
534
Location
On another planet
The concept of “greatness”, as we have known it, is quickly being replaced by a succession of “celebs” that come and go like distant shooting stars. On this week’s University Challenge, students from an Oxford college hadn’t heard of Roy Orbison, the Everly Brothers, or Buddy Holly. Soon it will be the same for Fred J Taylor, Frank Guttfield, and all the rest of us.
Therein lies the quandary of what is perceived as greatness within our gentle pastime, I also watched that episode of University Challenge and was taken aback that they hadn't heard of those artists who to us are famous, but would we call them greats and why, because they were mainstream? My music collection is largely made up of artists who very few have heard of who I consider great yet that's subjective on every front. It would be more worrying if those students had not heard of Planck, Bacon, Bohr, Blake etc yet how many of our so called 'celebrities' have? There's so many true greats out there in every field yet most are not mainstream to the general public or even within their field..

I think it's understandable that a young angler would be more familiar with a modern youtube sensatation than the names of yesteryear, but to be considered great in most walks of life you have to do it for many decades and yet you can still be relatively unknown, but those that matter know, but then does it really matter? After all it's just a bit of fishing
 

grayson

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
83
Reaction score
190
Location
North Yorkshire
References to 'fame' in the context of fishing always make me smile. A famous sportsman, or woman , is somebody whose achievement, notoriety, bad behaviour or willingness to appear on tv chat shows makes them familiar to the public at large - in other words they transcend their sport. I know nothing about football or , indeed, any other ball game , but I've heard of Paul Gascoigne , George Best , Geoff Boycott and Ian Botham . There are no angling equivalents , and never have been . And that's a good thing as far as I'm concerned - I am very happy to enjoy a niche sport.

Of course it is now possible for everybody to star in their very own, carefully curated soap opera by using social media but if any young youtube carper thinks any sane person who isn't an angler themselves is remotely interested in them they are deluding themselves. Inhabiting the echo chamber of social media can give the unwarranted impression of celebrity - the reality is that nobody outside the sport knows , or cares anything about its practice or practitioners. Long may that continue .
 

whitty

Well-known member
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
6,100
Reaction score
1,665
Location
Luton Bedfordshire.
The only reason the sportsmen mentioned are known to you is the media coverage,shovingbthem up your nose on a daily basis,greats within angling there are,it would be like saying I don't like motor racing,so Lewis Hamilton isn't great,obviously not,his record and opinions of his peers show you,trouble is most anglers will have never seen Ivan Marks,**** Walker and a plethora of others,so have no clue of how good they were,but I saw Sir Ian Botham,Sir Geoffrey Boycott,Bobby Charlton,Paul Gasgoine,Lewis Hamilton and on and on,weekly,as in any sport the run of the mill angler is miles away from the greats,on a different planet,we may catch a few,some may think being successful within angling is all down to luck,sorry to say that is only a small part,dedication and application,together with a natural gift makes these people what they are...
 
Top