My latest interview is with Bait-Tech and Matrix backed England Feeder Squad member, Jamie Harrison.
Against Men and Fish – Hi Jamie, it was great to finally meet you at The Big One and thank you so much for agreeing to this interview.
After talking to you at the show it quickly became very apparent how driven and dedicated you are, it’s obviously paid off with your inclusion to the England Feeder Squad, can you tell us what plans and goals you have for the future and how you intend getting there?
The ultimate goal would be to achieve a paid consultancy but one where I was paid to be heavily involved in product design and all aspects of building the brand through media exposure and business development. I studied product design at college and university for 6 years and have achieved several business qualifications and I’m currently studying an MBA through distance learning with the Robert Kennedy College in Zurich which I feel would make my skills ‘package’ very attractive to a brand who wants to push their company forward.
As regards angling goals, I would obviously love to represent England in the World Championships but as our side is so strong I’m not sure if I’ll ever get the chance but one thing
is for certain, if I can keep pushing hard to achieve World Championship standard then the rest is up to Tommy!
There are plenty of titles I want to achieve but as time is precious I’m a strong believer in only entering events which I can commit to 100% but I think it’s fantastic that we now have so many brilliant events to choose from here in the UK. My fishing / coaching days are taking off a bit now as well which is great and they are a great opportunity to pass on information and meet new friends whilst enjoying a day on the bank and to me that’s a win win!
Above all however is to have a successful angling career which earns me respect from the top anglers in the country. There’s an old saying, I want to make my idols my rivals…
This might sound like a daft question, given your England call up, but is the feeder your favourite method/style of fishing?
Good question! When I was 18 I fished for the England Youth Team alongside Will Raison and that was where my love for pole and waggler fishing began. Fishing the waggler on slow moving rivers like the river Witham in Lincolnshire was my favourite and I have some great memories of many winters fishing there when the river was at its winter level.
When I left school I stayed involved in angling but only very casually at club level until 2010 when
I broke the match record at Pine lakes near Thorne with 119lb of Ide on the pole fishing caster shallow. This was the trigger I needed to try the open match circuit and speed fishing shallow became a way in which I picked up some quick results and was a method I still love to this day.
The feeder however soon became a double-edged sword as once I got involved with the England trials which Tommy initially ran I soon realised how rubbish I was at it! The feeder will remain my favourite as it’s the method which I have had to work hardest at improving and it’s been the vehicle which has put me in this very privileged position.
And what’s your favourite species of fish?
It may sound odd but before commercials became so popular it had to be tench as it was very rare that we caught them and when we did it was always on light gear as we’d never actually fished for them! These days it has to be river barbel. It’s very rare I get chance to fish for them and maybe that’s why I cherish catching them but when I do, it usually involves snaggy swims, a hectic fight and a fish which is purely streamlined muscle…what’s not to love!
Do you prefer commercials or natural venues?
I love the predictably of some commercials especially when planning a match but my heart is reserved for open-water, wild natural reservoirs!
Can you give the readers a top tip that will improve their feeder fishing? And what are your favourite groundbait mixes for feeder fishing?
Easy! Admit and acknowledge when you’re doing it wrong! The first step in improving anything is to know that it’s not right, only then can you decide whether you’re going to change it or not. I can’t emphasise enough how important the basics are in feeder fishing. The absolute basics like
casting accurately and hitting your line clip properly can have a massive effect on your results.
|Accurate casting will improve your results
For general silver fish fishing especially on natural venues it has to be Bait-Tech’s Pro Natural Dark and my current favourite fishmeal mix for Skimmers and Bream on all venues has to be the new F1 mix which is also from Bait-Tech.
|Jamie loves Bait-Tech’s Pro Natural range
|And is a big fan of F1 too
You’re backed by Bait-Tech and Matrix, how much do you get involved with new product development and are there any new and exciting products coming out from either company that you can tell us about? I can’t wait to try out ‘The Juice’ from Bait-Tech!
Ha ha yeah to Juice, it’s certainly one to try! I get involved more now which is great and all through my design studies it was the development stages which I loved most. Yes Bait-Tech are expanding their range and Matrix have several new products being launched between now and October but I’m sorry to say I’m sworn to secrecy! It’s an absolute privilege to be involved with two brands which are so forward thinking and keen on developing their already extensive portfolios.
I really must make a point of saying that I’m in an incredible position with both Bait-Tech and Matrix and there’s not a day that passes that I don’t fully realise how fortunate I am to have the level of support I have from both of the brands. Check out the websites Bait-Tech Matrix
You’ve got a long list of big match wins under your belt but which title would you dearly love to win and have you entered any of the Fish ‘O’ and Match This qualifiers?
I’ve never chased any of the big money titles purely because I haven’t really had the time off work to allow me to do it. I have to choose my time off carefully and my priorities have always been with other events but over the next few years I’m sure I’ll be having a crack at them. I’ve been
loving my ‘feeder’ journey over the last couple of years so my time off has been spent fishing on venues abroad which have a different appeal.
Having said that, team wise I’d love our team to win the Serbian Feeder Challenge in May
and with Steve Ringer as our captain, you can imagine how hard we’ll be pushing to try and top the field! Individually, this year is all about the new Feeder Masters event and qualification to its final would be great and it’s not a secret that I have a bit of a soft spot for the Barston Masters.
Thankfully I’ve already qualified for that this year and with qualification to the Maver Classic at Larford Lakes also secured, at least it’s nice knowing there are two finals already to look forward to regardless of what the rest of the year holds in store.
Along with your match fishing and practising, you have a very popular You Tube channel and write some great articles which must take up an awful lot of your time and somehow you fit in a full time job as well, how do you do it? And have you got any tips for an angling blogger?
Oh it can easily get out of control but thankfully now I’m able to manage my time. I work 60+ hours a week and my full time job isn’t anything to do with angling but it’s strictly a Monday to Friday job so it never encroaches on my weekends which is good.
To be absolutely honest it’s never actually been easier to be a blogger in my opinion because of the technology which we have at our finger tips. I just find ways of using my phone for photos and my Feeder Fishing Channel is so easy to manage because it’s simply a camera filming me what I do when I’m in a match! The blog bits I do only take a few minutes and when I get home I can simply send them to upload onto YouTube whilst I’m doing other things.
From the feedback I’ve had it’s clear what readers want to read, they want honesty and when you admit you got it wrong and made a mess of it they relate to it because we all do it! This keeps them reading and watching future posts.
|Jamie with a lovely bag of carp and skimmers
You can find Jamie’s You Tube channel here – Feeder Fishing Channel
Before I let you go, here are some quick fire questions for you,
What’s your biggest fish?
A 21lb Common Carp ‘lump’ on the pole at Larford Lakes!
And your biggest match weight?
145lb match win in the first Barston Masters Qualifier of 2016…I don’t tend to fish big weight venues!
Your favourite venue?
What’s your favourite drink?
Coffee first thing in the morning!
Chinese food…even though I only have it about twice a year!
Most people’s favourite…Shawshank Redemption!
Has to be Only Fools and Horses. The 26 disc set I have of every episode and Christmas Specials is well worn!
I love reading about international angling events and how they compete from the logistics of travelling, sourcing and looking after bait and above all, the technical side how the international teams formulate their strategy.
What music do you listen to?
And finally, what’s your idea of a perfect day?
Winning a match in front of dad in a manner that earns the respect of the other competing anglers.
|Another skimmer in the bag
Well thank you Jamie, it’s been an absolute pleasure, from Against Men and Fish