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