Don’t Judge A Book By Its Bivvy

Craig Butterfield reflects on a recent feature with a difference.

What is a match angler? I’m sure like me the idea you have of a match angler is someone sat on a fancy box with all the trimmings, holding an expensive pole and dressed head to toe in fancy coloured Gore-Tex clothing.

On Saturday I was lucky enough to be on the bank with Dean Winsbury shooting some angling videos, now I’m sure all of you are thinking, “Who the hell is Dean Winsbury”? Well he’s a match angler, and a good one at that! He’s a master at bagging on prolific commercials and boasts match catches from venues such as Barston of over 800lb!

You may be wondering how a match angler can have such huge catches and never grace the pages of Match Fishing magazine, well he’s a carp angler, or is that a specimen angler, after all, 90% of us fish for carp every week and would never dream of labeling ourselves carp anglers! We’re match anglers!

Spending time on the bank with Dean and talking to him about his own style of match fishing was fantastic, you could tell as soon as I mentioned his match fishing a spark was ignited, he began to talk about matches he’s won and the ones that agonizingly slipped through his fingers due to a bad decision on his part. As he reminisced over the near misses and the “if onlys” I realized I could have been talking to absolutely anyone in the pub after one out our “normal” matches.

As we spoke I was utterly intrigued by the rules Dean fished to, the tactics, preparation and also the punishing time limits!  I found the thought of a 48-hour match completely fascinating and I must admit a little daunting but on the other hand It’s something I think I’d really enjoy.

The reason I’m sure I’d enjoy it, and it’s the same for all match anglers, myself included, is that I’m competitive. Match fishing in any form is a competition; it’s a chance for us to pit ourselves against fellow anglers and try to come out on top.

Dean’s screaming bite alarm disrupted our conversation but on the long drive home I couldn’t help but wonder if quite often we get too engrossed in our own match fishing circle and are unable to appreciate other aspects of match fishing. Although the rules maybe different the mentality of a match angler is consistent between all disciplines.  I’m sure there are lessons to be learnt in these other areas if only we could bring ourselves to admit that maybe…… just maybe…… we’re not too different from carp / specimen anglers.