There’s little doubting the staggering rise in popularity of feederfishing over the past decade, which has seen the method go from just another way of catching fish to a refined art.
It’s spawned a World Championships and countless sold-out big money events on home soil such as Feedermasters and the Golden Rod. Indeed, this amazing growth has even seen some anglers not picking up a pole across 12 months of fishing, instead putting all of their fishing eggs into the feeder basket.
And this rise shows no signs of slowing down. Tickets for the Nufish Feeder King event sold out in minutes and are like gold dust and that’s not a unique example – the story is the same across the board.
The march of the feeder has been staggering, but just why has it struck a chord with so many match anglers?
It’s more technical - Mick Vials (England International)
THE UK match scene is dominated by commercials and fishing the pole, often long at 16m. That’s physically demanding and for a lot of match anglers of a certain age, a turn off. Put a feeder rod in their hands though, and they’re happy!
The feeder is a more technical method than the pole. On the pole, you can read what’s happening in the swim easily, working out what depth the fish are feeding at and reacting to finicky bites for example. On the feeder, everything is on the deck, and that means getting everything right, from the bait, the feeding, the type of feeder, the accuracy of the cast and hitting bites.
Everyone can relate to them - (Tommy Pickering Former England Feeder Team Manager)
Feederfishing was always seen as a ‘chuck it and chance it’ method with not much skill involved. I never thought that and knew that the feeder has as much tactical nous behind it as the pole or waggler does.
Twenty years ago, the focus was very much on fishing the float and the England team, but I think the everyday matchman couldn’t really relate to that and the various rules associated with it so they got a bit of cold feet. The feeder is different. Everyone understands how it works, the kit isn’t that specialised, and at home, every angler can pick a feeder rod up and possibly win the match. It’s much, much harder to do that on the pole or float. Even abroad now there are feeder-only events, so it’s not just in the UK where it’s took off. There is skill to it too – it’s now far removed from being that last resort method that anglers used to think it was!
Feeder matches are a leveller - Rob Wootton (England Feeder International)
Social media has made a big difference in raising the profile of feederfishing and has made people realise there’s more to matches than the pole!
Other attractive aspects are how easy preparation is and how much of a level playing field it is in terms of tackle. You don’t need a £4,000 pole to compete - £100 rods will be fine and see you suddenly on a par with the big names. A big plus is the venues you get to fish – big, open waters that you’d normally not go to if you had to fish the pole. They’re really refreshing compared to snake lakes that all look the same.
Anyone can be a contender - Darren Cox (England Feeder Team Coach)
The rise in the feeder around Europe has been eye-opening! The success at home is down to the convenience of fishing the feeder. Rods are stored ready to go, you don’t have to take anywhere near as much kit with you, prep is minimal, often just replacing shockleaders and tying hooks and you can even fish from a chair if you want!
This means that financially, competing at a high level on the feeder is within everyone’s reach. Once you’ve got rods and reels, that leaves terminal kit like feeders, hooks and so on. You don’t need 10 top kits and 10 rigs tied up in a box just in case you get a tangle. At times, a couple of rods and reels and an assortment of feeders will do.