Keith Arthur’s

In my day big cash win­nings were the ex­cep­tion, not the rule

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

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THE amount of money rolling around in the match fish­ing pot these days is truly as­ton­ish­ing.

To a large de­gree it’s sim­ply pools money be­ing re­cy­cled.

Quite a few an­glers will be win­ning more than a bloody good year’s wages and, if the prize is spon­sored and there­fore tax­able, they can claim all their re­lated ex­penses on it!

Most of these matches are re­fined to a fi­nal of around 60 peo­ple... so what was on of­fer in the truly mas­sive events of years gone by?

I can’t tell you about the big­gest coarse event of the lot, the old BAA Big’un that of­ten had more than 4,000 an­glers spread across its wa­ters – I never fished it – but I can tell you that sec­ond on a near1,200-peg Na­tional 25 years ago was worth £1,100 and third on the 1,000-peg Thames Champs the same year was £900.

Only one of those was mine, the other an­gler be­ing Dar­ren Davies, but we shared the spoils.

For win­ning the Thames Champs or three other 800-plus peg events the LAA held, the prize was a gold watch, and I re­ceived a lovely cer­tifi­cate for com­ing fifth in a 1,020-peg Trent Cham­pi­onship... no cash or other tro­phy.

I don’t know if I’d pre­fer things as they are to­day. Usu­ally money brings jeal­ousy and envy... and I’ve had a few four-fig­ure pick-ups to soften the blow over the years, in­clud­ing over £4,000 for the John Smith’s.

I’d do the whole lot again, start­ing to­mor­row, if I could.

Andy Power, the £50,000 Golden Reel win­ner.

Lee Kerry, now 10 grand the richer.

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