White Acres Fishery Manager, Clint Elliott has introduced a new rule, that will see anglers who don’t attend the presentation without good reason have their winnings donated to charity.
The rule comes after a string of poor presentation attendances, culminating in this years Parkdean Masters Final – where just ONE competitor –Phil Ringer - watched Harry Billing picked up the bumper cheque for the second time in his career.
Clint has also had enough of the big-name anglers fishing the various festivals failing to attend the nightly presentations where daily lake prizes and section winnings are handed out. In a bid to generate a little more respect for the presentations, anyone fishing this year’s festivals will be forced to sign a declaration that if they are in the top 10 they will have to turn up for the payouts or their cash will be given to charity.
Clint, 54, revealed his revolutionary new rule for the first time in an interview with Stan Piecha, that will be appearing in the January issue of Match Fishing Magazine. Clint explained: “When someone has done well in a festival I feel it is only right and proper that the anglers they have fished against should show some respect for the achievement. There was a reasonable turnout for the Parkdean Masters presentation when the top 24 fishing the final were announced but the turn-out by the stars to see Harry presented with his cheque was disgraceful.
“There were plenty of anglers there who had NOT fished the final but from the 24 qualifiers only Phil Ringer hung around. That sort of indifference by the sport’s big names is something that’s been building for a while, whether they have money to pick up or not. In future, anyone in the top 10 not turning up for the presentation will see their cash given to Children’s Hospice South West.
“One angler last year – and I don’t intend to name and shame anyone because they know who they are – landed the biggest weight in one of the festivals. There were around 300 anglers and their families at the presentation and as we did the build-up to his £100 cheque I was informed he was sitting in his caravan… watching Coronation Street!
“There are loads of anglers who fish our events who would have loved the thrill of going up and collecting the winnings. I also feel the top anglers – ones who have a healthy sponsorship – who snub the presentations are not giving their backers value for money. Lesser anglers want to see them at these gatherings and they would also like to be congratulated by the anglers they look up to if they are fortunate enough to win something.
“The daily payouts have also been hit by a total lack of interest. After each match we hand out 45 envelopes – plus the super pool – and sometimes only SIX anglers have bothered turning up, the rest preferring to collect their cash at the draw the following morning.”
Clint’s decision to do something about the apathy came after he took part in a French sea fishing lure competition held in Brittany’s fashionable seaside resort of Benodet. A total of 81 people took part, trying to catch an assortment of species from the estuary and the harbour. Afterwards there was only one competitor missing from the prize giving and that was an Italian who had to leave early because he had a 1,200-mile return journey ahead of him.
He added: “That really brought things home to me and made me realise something has to be done at our presentations. Maybe the top names have become a little blasé these days but it never used to be like that. I remember fishing the West Midlands Winter League and going back to the pub with virtually the entire field cheering the top anglers as they collected their cash.”
Read more on Clint’s views in the Big Interview, appearing in this months issue of Match Fishing, on sale this Friday, 28th December!