American Pairs: Achieve more together!

I love team fishing, be it pairs or part of a bigger team, and often find myself enjoying it far more than an individual match! I am always very motivated when I’m team fishing as I’m always trying to achieve a result for a group and don’t want to let my friends down!
Pairs matches are very popular in France, but they are not based on the same system as English ones. We call them “American Pairs”, meaning that the two anglers are sharing the same peg!

Sharing Is Everything
I jumped into match fishing more than 30 years ago now and very quickly wished to have a go at American Pairs. As a youngster, I have to admit it was very difficult to find a regular partner, so I had to make do with who was available and nice enough to pair with a beginner. By chance, I met some true gents and really nice people who took me under their wings. I learnt a lot in this way so the first thing I could say about the American Pairs is how beneficial it is for the least experienced angler.

By fishing these matches regularly, sometimes two or three times a month, I can say that it is a good way to keep an open mind and learn more and more. Secondly, if I put aside the match fishing scene, it’s a very friendly way to share a day fishing. I cannot keep count of the number of crazy laughs I’ve had with my different partners!
Back to the serious side, as soon as you find your “alter ego” you can achieve some fantastic results. The fact is that in France, a lot of big-money matches are American Pairs.

Together We Achieve More
Travelling together, formulating the strategy, sorting baits, mixing groundbait and being together from the start of the match to the end; it’s like having two brains working together. Sometimes we agree, occasionally we disagree; it doesn’t matter! The most important thing is the communication between the partners and a good pair is essentially two mates fighting to get the best result.

Now I am older and more experienced in fishing and of course life, my current partner is younger than me – 15 years exactly. I gave him his chance to pair and learn with a more experienced angler in the same way that I had been given mine in the past. When we first fished together, Florian Muller was already a really good angler: smart and with a huge fighting spirit. After 15 years together, we now know each other perfectly, both our strengths and weaknesses, which makes us a perfect pair. Not only was I was happy to share my skills, but I learnt plenty from him. In fact, we “grew” together and improved our fishing together. For example, I wasn’t as interested in feeder fishing as he was and even though I still prefer float fishing, I can’t deny the feeder’s efficiency. Florian is now pushing me and helping me with my feeder work.

A Very Good Complement
As I often travel to the UK and talk to anglers, I can easily imagine what English match anglers are thinking of the tight pegs we have. Imagine two guys sharing a peg and two other pairs sitting 15 metres left and right!

Don’t think of it as fighting over fish, you must think of it in a different way! It’s simply a more intensive way to tackle a peg! Each one can use a different technique and explore different swims or even fish the same line at the same time! By trying each to sort out the best way to catch fish, you are able to learn very fast. The more you practise together, the more you will be able to find solutions. Also the more you practise on different kinds of venues, the more proficient as an angler you will become.

American Pairs matches are staged on commercials such as our “carpodromes” or on natural venues which are still very popular in France. Canals, lakes, rivers – there are so many playgrounds! In all cases, the most difficult thing is your setups. You have to spend time on it because you can’t fish alongside if your poles are hitting, your line is crossing your partner’s swim and so on. Not too far away, not too close: everyone has to find their own way. Me and Florian have spent a lot of time finding the perfect complementing setups. Now we are proud to say that our fishing duo works like an orchestra!

We might not fish as many pairs matches as individual ones, but they are still very worthwhile. I have to say that American Pairs are a very good complement to individual match fishing and helped me a lot to progress and it still helps me.