Never been so sin­gle-minded

Angling Times (UK) - - THIS WEEK -

OB­SES­SION like that shown by Phil Smith (pages 28/29) is one trait that I’ve man­aged to avoid.

My fish­ing, un­til I started Tight Lines, was based en­tirely around match fish­ing and right up un­til then, 1995, I trav­elled far and wide to fish against the best, of­ten in their own back­yard.

I en­joyed it and tried my very best to win but it didn’t pos­sess me, like fish­ing does with some an­glers in the ‘spec­i­men’ world.

I en­joyed win­ning matches, or even fram­ing, on new rivers but never set out a tar­get to win on the Great Ouse, for ex­am­ple, and only fish there un­til the goal was scored. I can’t say I know a match an­gler who has had such a goal.

I have never re­ally ob­sessed about catch­ing a spe­cific fish, al­though it got close with a tidal Thames bar­bel – but catch­ing one within an hour of try­ing helped a bit!

How­ever, Phil Smith now wants to catch a dou­ble-fig­ure bar­bel from 30 rivers... and he’s only got three to go.

I bet when he’s done his 30 he’ll want to do the rest. It’s not some­thing I’d fancy, but good luck to any­one that does.

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