A Million Voices for Angling

Paul Boote

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What a fishing trip....

Anglers can start by becoming a little more user-and public-friendly, by ceasing to be angry and outraged by the least media-created "threat" to their own little concerns and interests and much more connected with the rest of humanity and the real world, become a lot less Us and Them confrontational (not to mention sad-old-git paranoid). Get rid of the deadwood spokesmen, too - send them into retirement somewhere and never allow them to do more damage to Angling's cause in five minutes on the telly than any number of fantasy Antis could ever do.

Connect and engage positively with the public and wildlife organizations far more sussed and savvy than we are, not forever niggle and carp and build trenches to fight a war that will only end in our slaughter. Forget the "glorious" past; live in the present and build a better future.

So, off you go.
 

tdrozdow

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This is an article which is absolutely spot on. If Angling does not get organised and develop a voice that counts it is doomed to a long slow death. I run a small syndicate and its easy to see that we get very very few young anglers interetsed and those that do get interested dont stick with it. The allure of an urbanised lifestyle and the internet seems to win every time. As a result of the previous article, i signed my syndicate up for group membership of the AT so there is one success that can be attributed to these writings! What are you waiting for, get signed up and look to a bright future not a dwindling one!
 

Peter Jacobs

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I think you are failing to differentiate properly between “defeatism” and “reality” to be perfectly honest.

The “reality” is that when we (I’m of a similar age to you) were young we only had the choice between, Saturday morning Football or Cricket or a day on the river, or maybe even a day on a lake somewhere.

The local angling club would run monthly coach trips to famous venues if we were really lucky, but money being so scarce would mean that we only got to go on possibly 2 or 3 of those trips a year, but then there were hundreds in the local club so the coaches were always full.

Today, the youth of this Country are, for starters, far more culturally diverse; many hailing from Countries or cultures where “fishing” is only done for the pot when there was little else left to eat and to whom the idea of fishing for pure sport or fun is totally alien to them.

Moreover, today’s youngsters have amazing alternative possibilities to fill their time, and money is far more readily available, (generally) for parents to be able to encourage their children to participate more widely.

Think back, when we were “that age” we would have had the chance to go on a school trip to the Isle of Wight, or maybe to Cornwall; two years ago my daughter went on the school trip to Whistler, Canada for a 10 days school skiing trip.
Back in our day that would have been totally unheard of; times change.

Take a good look at the current Drennan Team England squad and you will see that they range from, what, early 40’s to Stevie Gardner at 61 years of age. My local club, and my syndicate, has an average age of well over 40 and with what was once a thriving junior section is now little more than a handful of youngsters who, mostly, leave by the time they reach 14 years of age.

The truth of the matter is that Angling simply does not appeal to the youth of today, they would far rather sit in their electronic wonderland bedrooms (if parents allow it) and play on their X-Boxes, I-pads and I-phones while watching their 40 inch flat screen TV’s and “tweeting” or engaging in mindless interaction with Facebook.

Such is the “reality” of today’s youth culture ably encouraged by some parents!

I too can easily foresee a time, in the not too distant future, when fishing on a river becomes just a distant memory for many and for others they will be confined to reading about river adventures on their tablets rather than going out and experiencing it for themselves.

As for a “Million Voices for Angling” well, that would probably mean for everyone who buys an annual license to come together with one accord, and that is about as likely as Yeovil town FC winning the EUFA Champions League, not a defeatist attitude but simple logical reality.

As far as the Angling Trust is concerned then you have to accept that, given the huge diversity of opinions over key issues such as Otter and Cormorant predation, EE anglers taking fish and not to even mention paddlers, then I honestly fail to see how they can bring together such diversity under one “church”
To be perfectly honest I personally doubt that I’ll be renewing my membership for the coming year following Mr. Salter’s ill-informed “wading in” on the issue of Hydraulic Fracturing.

Notwithstanding, there are some things in today’s modern life that we can turn around but there are many others that simply will not change regardless of how we might strive to achieve it, and altering the youth culture of today is just one of those things.

I believe it was Salman Rushdie (in his book Shame) who said “Realism can break a writer’s heart”

Maybe he was right . . . . . . . .
 
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geoffmaynard

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This is an article which is absolutely spot on. If Angling does not get organised and develop a voice that counts it is doomed to a long slow death. I run a small syndicate and its easy to see that we get very very few young anglers interetsed and those that do get interested dont stick with it. The allure of an urbanised lifestyle and the internet seems to win every time. As a result of the previous article, i signed my syndicate up for group membership of the AT so there is one success that can be attributed to these writings! What are you waiting for, get signed up and look to a bright future not a dwindling one!
Spot on. I hope Rod reads that to encourage him to write more. I suggest you also have a read of his previous articles; all very good stuff in the same vein.
 

Paul Boote

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I believe it was Salman Rushdie (in his book Shame) who said “Realism can break a writer’s heart”

Maybe he was right . . . . . . . .


And long before and far greater than Rushdie....


“Humankind cannot bear very much reality.” - T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
 

Graham Elliott 1

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Peters post is one if the most rational I have seen on FM.

Just interupted by a nice barbel on kennet....11.13.


No one has to like what he says.. but its true.
G
 
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Dominic Garnett

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I share some of Rod's fears about the future, but from what I've seen angling is not exactly going to hell in a handcart. There are one heck of a lot of clubs and individuals doing good things for the sport. As you rightly say, headlines are usually made by big sensational news, not those small acts of good will which are vital yet often invisible.
I would perhaps also look at the shift in our fishing practices. There is a lot to be said for traditional angling clubs, where members are part of a community and feel an ownership and responsibility for their waters. Commercials have given fishing a big economic shot in the arm, but what have the effects been on grass roots fishing?
From my own experience, I worry that we are so obsessed with young people's rights and safety, anglers are unwilling or even afraid to get involved. Yet the answer is so simple- just give something back. If every angler spent just a single day getting a child fishing for the first time this season, what a huge difference that would make.
 

hunters moon

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:)WHAT AN INSIGHTFUL PIECE,
PETER JACOBS HAS HIT THE NAILON THE HEAD I CANT THINK OF A SINGLE
MEMBER IN ONE OF THE CLUBS THAT I BELONG TO THAT HAS A MEMBER UNDER 40 AND IN THE VILLAGE WHERE I LIVE OUT OF ALL THE YOUNGSTERS
I CAN THINK OF ONLY ONE BOY WHO GOES FISHING WITH HIS FATHER.
HUNTERS MOON:):).


at the end of your fishing trip leave only footprints.
 

Graham Elliott 1

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Another sensible post from Dominic.

In many respects commercials are fishings x boxes.

And I also agree that actions by individuals can really have a significant effect in improving the future.
I remain wary of big organisations . Look at what the RSPCA has become.

Graham
 

Paul Boote

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:)WHAT AN INSIGHTFUL PIECE,
PETER JACOBS HAS HIT THE NAILON THE HEAD I CANT THINK OF A SINGLE
MEMBER IN ONE OF THE CLUBS THAT I BELONG TO THAT HAS A MEMBER UNDER 40 AND IN THE VILLAGE WHERE I LIVE OUT OF ALL THE YOUNGSTERS
I CAN THINK OF ONLY ONE BOY WHO GOES FISHING WITH HIS FATHER.
HUNTERS MOON:):).


Well, look at "us", the mid forties to early seventies age-group. With our cheaply bought homes and our sense of entitlement, our fine tackle and our memberships and our nice little syndicates well away from the horrors, real or otherwise, beyond, our "Doing quite nicely, thank you, but will grumble nevertheless" take on the country, the world, their occupants (particularly the conspicuously foreign and the young), and the state of our pastime....

All a bit like a certain daily newspaper doing the classic "best form of defence is attack" thing at present ... with our own version being "It's your fault ... if you'd just get off Facebook and Twitter and stop doing self-obsessed Selfies for a moment and get outdoors a bit...."

Where outdoors, these days? I ask. And at what price? And why bother with the bunch of had it so easy, farmer-grade miserable, old farts you will find on the banks if you ever get there?

We made our beds, have lain in them pretty comfortably in most cases, but now that time seems to be running out for us we mount a massive guilt - and blame-transference operation. But then I suppose we can't be blamed - we're only human.
 
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john step

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I agree that we should all be Trust members even if we don't all agree with all the policies. I also feel that times have changed regarding the numbers of young anglers. The consumer society and the advertisers strive to convince them that they must have the newest/next best thing ever invented. They live in a different world of expectations. That doesn't mean we shouldn't plug the fact that angling is a wonderful lifetime experience.
I don't agree with Paul's comment about sitting back in our cheap houses and being old fart types though. I certainly struggled especially when interest was 15%. We didn't expect university/higher education as we left school at 15 having been one of 45 in a class. University to most of us meant a dark blue and a light blue bunch of toffs rowing up the Thames once a year. We have paid taxes and National Ins ever since and now the media types seem to be suggesting we are too expensive now the government has milked us and our savings.
On a brighter note my local club (which I help run) is hosting a match tomorrow between two very talented and enthusiastic local youth teams.
 

Paul Boote

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I've paid my dues
Time after time
I've done my sentence
But committed no crime
And bad mistakes
I've made a few
I've had my share of sand
Kicked in my face
But I've come through

And we mean to go on and on and on and on

We are the [self-styled] Victims - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting
Till the end
We are the Victims
We are the Victims
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions / Victims of the World

I've taken my bows
And my curtain calls
You brought me fame and fortune
And everything that goes with it
I thank you all
But it's been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise
I consider it a challenge before
The whole human race
And I ain't gonna lose

And we mean to go on and on and on and on

We are the Victims - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting
Till the end
We are the Victims
We are the Victims
No time for losers
'Cause we are the Victims of the World

We are the champions [Sod the Losers] - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting
Till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the Champions
[Of Our World]
 
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Paul Boote

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It certainly isn't for some, a sharp-elbowed power-playing control-freak few, benny. And it is this few who continue to booger up Angling.
 

bennygesserit

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Having watched my wife run a working men's club for years dealing with "the committee" I now understand that committee was a microcosm for every walk of life and that greedy vile behaviour is simply human nature, for some anyway.

I recently watched "the thick of it" a modern "yes Minister" very funny but a bit bleak and all about those who desperately seek power.
 

mark brailsford 2

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Great thread Ron, thanks,
Have noticed that the ''Gob shites'' that you mention have kept quiet!
Never mind, it will be them that moan when fishing as all but gone!

---------- Post added at 20:12 ---------- Previous post was at 20:00 ----------

Having watched my wife run a working men's club for years dealing with "the committee" I now understand that committee was a microcosm for every walk of life and that greedy vile behaviour is simply human nature, for some anyway.

I recently watched "the thick of it" a modern "yes Minister" very funny but a bit bleak and all about those who desperately seek power.
Benny, I know where you are coming from, my Uncle Colin was a steward in a local miners welfare, he was a big guy that everyone respected and liked, but the ''Committee'' decided that they would blame him and his staff for the club not doing well when all the time it was them ''that was on the fiddle'' it killed him in the end, died at the age of 54 with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Doctors said it was made worse from the stress he was under!
 

Steve Pope

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For Angling to survive it has to be sold as a lifestyle in this day and age.

Peter is absolutely correct, the old days have gone , this is the new world and its only going to become more so.

Whether there is time is another matter.

Even at my age I still see the branch of angling that interests me as "cool" and it can easily be marketed as such, getting agreement on how to market Angling as a whole is where the difficulty comes in.

I notice that Dominic Garnett has posted on this thread, he is in my opinion one of the best young writers out there today, it's the likes of him that has to connect with the youngsters, not I'm afraid to say the Crabtree generation. We do our bit but young role models are needed immediately.

Spending a lot of time in Australia, as I now do, I see how they do things and they know how to make fishing look good, we seem to struggle!

And then there's the "conflict of interests" between the many types of fishing we still enjoy. I like it wild, cannot see how people can enjoy pulling out carp after carp from an overstocked pool but that's what many enjoy, and without them the "industry" would probably struggle to survive.

Paul is also right - as he often is! - when he notes the legacy our generation may well leave.

I am always optimistic, we have to be as anglers, and I'm sure the hobby/sport has a future, it isn't down to the Angling Trust though...............it's down to us!
 

nogoodboyo

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Sorry Rod.
I've read your article three times and I still haven't got a clue what you're talking about. Could you try being a little more concise.
You say angling has no future.
Well I'm going tomorrow and hopefully my float will disappear.
That's all I need.

---------- Post added at 16:39 ---------- Previous post was at 16:32 ----------

PS
Welcome DG
A great angling writer.
 

nicepix

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As Peter Jacobs quite rightly says; you have to differentiate between defeatism and reality. The reality is that sports such as angling and game shooting are declining because not enough younger people are replacing the older ones who leave the sports.

Angling probably had its hey-day in the 1950's and 60's when there were thousand peg matches and thousands more small club matches. This will never be replaced simply because these days there isn't the same organisation that working men's clubs and work's social clubs provided. One steel works would book a whole train to carry their anglers from Sheffield to the Witham or Welland. Every weekend thousands of working men's club hired coaches to carry their members to angling venues. When was the last time any of you went fishing by train or coach? That type of angling provided excitement, comradeship and a family spirit. You would often see three generations setting off together.

That has sadly gone and what has replaced it just doesn't attract the same interest from teenagers. I could probably count the numbers of under 16's I've seen fishing this year on one hand. It was the same back in the UK.

Without new blood the sport will decline. It's no good moaning about it, that is life and life moves on.
 
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