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Competition angling
 
Loch style competitions
 
Like it or loathe it, competition is a fundamental part of the human make up and the reason we as a species are the most successful on the planet. That anglers want to compete against each other is therefore no surprise and provided that it is done in a spirit that is conducive to the good name of fishing and the good health of the quarry then we cannot and should not decry it.
By all means choose not to take part - freedom of choice is our greatest gift.
If you choose to take part please try and do so with at least an understanding of the "Olympic Spirit" that once prevailed in all British sport.
 
Winning at all costs is to be detested as is the current trend for cash incentives and high value prizes. The glory and recognition of winning is what you should fish for, not the financial rewards.

I only fish a few selected competitions these days: the England team eliminators, the Grand Max floating line at Bewl Water in September, the Police nationals and the especially the Major Clubs (AMFFC) league, which retains the friendly attitude lost in so many other competitions
 
I gave up on the big national competitions some years ago, following an England final at Rutland. The rules were completely ignored by a substantial majority boats were crowding each other out and the fishing was not in the least bit enjoyable. We were then verbally abused by members of the winning team as "just a bunch of losers". These types of competition have unfortunately attracted the win at all costs brigade and frankly I don't want to know.

Competition entries for this type of event are dropping and the reason can only be that sensible and fair minded anglers like me are not prepared to put up with the cheating and rule bending that goes on. The fact that almost everyone has a cheating story about major competition but to my knowledge no one has ever been disqualified and or publicly denounced speaks for itself.

On the plus side I'm encouraged by the trend towards catch and release competitions and hope this takes off.
In addition, techniques and methods continue to develop as the competition gets harder. That said, who ever invented the orange blob should be shot.

If having heard all this you still you fancy learning loch style competition fishing, do get in touch.
 
River competitions

The main issue here is fish welfare. If run correctly, with skilled controllers handling the fish and a fast and efficient measuring system coupled with sensible size limits there can be little difference between a competition and a busy day on the river as far as the fish and environment are concerned.

I'm all for silly competitions that make fishing more difficult, such as the "One fly" event held on the Test and Itchen. This promotes the sport and doesn't allow one to become too serious.
 
River competition has developed and promulgated some of the most effective tactics currently in use and this has added to the enjoyment of the sport but also sadly increased the pressure on the fish.