Keith Arthur: It makes sense!

The media, and even the public, seem these days to always make a negative out of any subject rather than take a positive line. The latest ¬ and remember, this is my opinion ¬ revolves around the decision by the organisers to make applications for Fish O’Mania tickets available only to members of the organising body, namely the Angling Trust.

Of course the Angling Trust will benefit by people joining just to enter the event but the knock-on effect of that is that all anglers will benefit by joining and it may, although I doubt it, encourage others to join too.

I will state here and now, in case those of you with long memories remind me, that I refused to subscribe to the NFA when it became compulsory in order to be able to fish in the National Championship. I refused ¬ and may even have left if I had been a member ¬ because Nationals are club team events not individual matches.

I have been a member ¬ and staunch supporter ¬ of the ACA for nearly 30 years and every year individual anglers joined simply to fish the ACA Masters at Mallory Park. This year’s event, to benefit the Angling Trust, attracted a good number of teams, most of whose anglers were already Angling Trust members, possibly as a carry-over of ACA membership.

So, just to remind you, one of the benefits of subscribing to the Angling Trust is that you can apply to fish the biggest match in Britain.

I read in last week’s Angling Times that one fishery owner: “...supported the Angling Trust...”. He then went on to say that he felt paying £400 to subscribe as a commercial fishery owner didn’t seem value just to run one match.

I wonder how his fishery supported the Angling Trust, then, if it wasn’t a member already?

Let’s take his comments and do a simple sum. For the Fish O’Mania match itself a fishery gets 130 peg fees, negotiable with the Angling Trust competition committee. It also gets the opportunity to organise as many ‘practice’ matches as it can fit in. Even if these fisheries don’t organise specific matches as practices ¬ and if they don’t, they need advice from someone ¬ numbers on regular matches will be swollen by those ticket-holders who do want to practise.

I could, but I won’t, give you a list of fishery owners who would pay a large sum of money to host a Fish O’Mania event and would consider £400 cheap at the price ¬ especially considering the other benefits of subscription.

I agree with Steve Ringer’s comment that match anglers seem to be picked on when it comes to coercion, but he has to remember that they are the only ones who can win big money, not only on Fish O’Mania but on other events organised by the Angling Trust.

If anyone feels that £20 isn’t good value when the benefits of membership are considered then I suggest they review their priorities, because as a member of the only organisation representing anglers and fighting pollution, you can even fish big matches exclusive to you!