What follows are some thoughts about a possible method for gauging the relative success of an angling season/campaign?
Based upon an idea originally put forward by The Daily Mirror to encourage angling clubs to report their members “big fish” captures in the 1950’s. It was Ric Francis who, in a recent email exchange, really made me aware of the potential of this system to measure your own angling achievements at an individual level. Because it is such a very personal tool; there is no requirement for judgement, by third parties, for a capture to be awarded whatever score the individual feels appropriate. As anglers we all have our own definitions of what is a “big” fish, generally based upon the venues in our local vicinity. Obviously, someone who is on the circuit, chasing specimens wherever they may be found, is going to have a very different outlook on the relative “value” of a capture compared to that of a local club stalwart, yet it really doesn’t matter. As it is purely a measure of personal achievement, there is no element of competition involved. However, if two, or more, like-minded souls wished to create a playing field on which they could compete, there is nothing to prevent this occurring so long as all parties agree on the scoring system at the start.
What I am proposing to do is use a very similar system to the one which Ric had outlined in our original email exchange, however, with one slight tweak. The most obvious difference between when Ric had been using his versions, and today, is the loss of the traditional close season. It remains my intention to use 16th June as the start date for any version I might employ, but will now have an end date of 15th June the following year instead of 14th March as he was legally bound by. One very interesting spin off from this concept is the likelihood of encouraging me to target various species during the year rather than embarking on lengthy single species projects. As none of this is set in stone, any results only impacting upon my own angling, I can’t see what harm there is in giving it a go?
So my points system will be as follows:-
5 points for each new species, whatever the size.
3 points for a specimen - my definition not that of % of UK record weight
2 points for a “good” fish
1 point for a lesser fish, although it must be of a size above the minimum I decree worthy of merit.
The tweak involves the score of 10 points for any new PB taken during a year although, as I can only have one PB, if I subsequently better a weight with another capture, those bonus points will be transferred and not doubled up!
As I haven’t landed a single fish since 16th June 2021, I’m very happy to get this idea up and running as of now. I have still to construct a weight table for the various species that are likely to be encountered on my travels. One thing is for sure, I will continue to weigh any carp or pike which I feel might break the 10 lbs barrier. As I’ve kept records of every “double” I’ve ever captured there’s no way I’m stopping now. If I can be bothered to stick a hook in them, surely they deserve the respect of being weighed, not guesstimated?
|In 2012 this Chub would have scored 10 points|
|Might only warrant a single point - this caper doesn't factor in enjoyment.|
The species which I feel will be involved in this experimental season are Carp (only one species not Mirror, Common, Leather, Koi etc) Tench, Bream, Perch, Roach, Eel & Pike. Chub and Barbel are also possibilities, later in the year, but haven’t featured in my angling since 2014.