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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!

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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Angling insanity?

I feel very privileged to have been able to call, the late & great, Alan Wilson a friend.  He was an awesome character, a gentleman, yet little more than a very average angler, who's PB list read like the wish-list for A Passion for Angling! He was the original "Time Bandit" - fishing was a 24/7 way of life. He'd earned it? Retired, for medical reasons, at the age of 47, he'd payed his dues into the system that was to continue to support him as he re-wrote angling history. His name sits proudly on The Drennan Cup, and rightly so. He was a pivotal figure in the angling world, at that time.

Alan with a, Startop's End, Roach of 3 lbs 12 oz - Summer 1992
(Oops! - apologies for the original weight - that was Bill Pennies record fish!)
I find it rather irksome, that today I have very different feelings about the recipients of this prestigious accolade. Out of work, social scrounging, tramps - never done a day's work in their lives yet seen to be heroes by the angling media. What an example to set the next generation?

Another shot of that same roach - He was truly a visionary "Time Bandit"
If I am wrong, then it's of no consequence what I think, however, if the cap fits? Then wear it! There is a supporting article to the 2017 award which says "There is no substitute for time on the bank" YES THERE IS! It's termed ability - Dick Walker had a job, three record fish (only one claimed), Pete Stone, Fred J, Pete Drennan, Jim Gibbinson, Kevin Maddocks, Rod Hutchinson etc, etc, They all went to work in order to fund their passion - surely we owe it to them to keep specimen angling's top prize a realistic goal for the "ordinary working guy"?
Full time angling might well be a job in today's angling industry, but it isn't a realistic option for the majority. Pete Drennan is a prodigy of the Dick Walker school of angling - please let's get this ethos reinstated at the hub of angling achievement. It's not about time, but results per rod hours - that is truly the measure of angling ability!

4 comments:

  1. Well considered and well put.

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  2. Must admit Dyl, it was AW moving into the swim I had only vacated the previous day and catching that record Tench from it that finished it for me.
    I'm of the Walker school of thought. Full time job, family responsibilities and then fishing, fitted in and around those.
    My reaction on being told that the only way to succeed in angling was to go 'full time', was to stop fishing full stop.
    I wanted a normal balanced existence, not an AW or Ray Webb job.
    It was my need to compete at the time which was also behind that decision. I couldn't compete, so stopped bothering.
    Anyway, catching fish isn't a great arena for competition. Too many factors outside our control.
    As far as Tring is concerned, my hit rate was pretty good. I had over 100 2lb Roach and 2lb Perch, plus the slabs. Someone like a specimen fish for every day and a half I fished there.

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    Replies
    1. Rich, I am fully aware of how competitive you were, and bloody good at it too! I'm not sure about Ray Webb, I only knew of him through others. Alan was a real person, someone whom I was able to spend considerable time with. It was through this experience that my own angling was shaped. However, just like you, work and family commitments have always been major influences in my life. Mortgage and bills to pay ensured my requirement to earn money far out weighed the importance of another wet fish! I was also incredibly lucky to have managed to put together a rather impressive PB list (for the period) It looks a little sad in these modern times, but no worries! If I wanted angling competition, beyond the father and son caper that Benno and I indulge, then I'd take up match fishing - all very straight forward. The ability to spend inordinate amounts of time in a bivvy, whilst awaiting a bite alarm to sound, doesn't constitute any level of skill beyond that of avoiding social responsibilities. It's a very sad state of affairs that angling has gone down this avenue - I blame Kevin Maddocks and that bloody book!

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  3. Ah, Maddocks!
    Did I really read a comment which stated, "Lack of time and money is no excuse not to get ahead in carp fishing"?

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