Thursday, 5 May 2011

Challenge 2011 - Acing, Racing, Pacing...

below is a spreadsheet I've come up with to explain what is happening with our challenge and how things might well pan out in the future. There are three competitors listed here, the top three as things stand right now, and that's Keith, myself and Danny. The scores are expressed as an advantage/disadvantage with regards to the entire field rather than as a points total over the nearest rival as that is neither here nor there at the moment, and simply shows who has worked hard/struck lucky.

Orange background = progress
Green Background = other's advantage
Black text = score
White text = top scores other competitors

So. Keith is at a disadvantage of just minus 65 points to the entire field of competitors, whereas I am at a disadvantage of -257 and Danny, -331. It really looks as if Keith has an almost unassailable lead (it's actually + 135 over my 2nd place position) but that is not so - he simply has more species scores on the board than anyone else except me (we are level on that score) but he has worked three times harder than anyone else to fill them with average or slightly above average fish and therefore the gap between his scores and those of others is, on average, less.

He has also been excessively lucky by fluking the capture of the solitary specimen rudd out of a stocking of hundreds of smaller fish that he himself released into the lake just a few weeks prior and by stumbling across a tremendous, but un-targeted silver bream. Such fish are of course perfectly admissible and everyone needs such luck every now and then but in the final analysis luck is useful only as an occasional fillip but must be removed from the equation as much as possible in any realistic approach to the competition - rely upon it, and you are lost.

With few exceptions, angling skill has hardly entered into it thus far and certainly no-one has had to really knuckle down and grind out a few crucial points more by sheer bloody-minded determination - that'll happen end of summer as the summer species go into hibernation and in the last few months of the competition with the all important winter species. In the final stages, the gaps will close, ceilings will be reached, no-one will have big advantages anywhere and it will become a ding-dong battle for small points.

My aim right now is to work steadily to rid myself of green areas on the sheet and minimise my disadvantage with regards to the field rather than compete directly with anyone else. I'll keep a beady eye on those who pose a threat though! Think of this as a long distance race - as the thing progresses the field will string out but a leading pack will emerge who will then jockey and vie for an advantageous position in readiness for the closing sprint. Leading that pack early is not necessarily an advantage!

Luckily I already have a few of the hardest to achieve autumn/winter species such as zander and barbel under my belt achieved under my early positive-split start strategy designed to discombobulate the rest with sheer and apparently reckless opening pace whilst everyone else wasted their time chasing low-return chub points which means that I can use my available time and energy focussing on cleaning up such easy high scoring but unimportant species at a convenient point in the future and still have time to go after personal targets like a two pound roach and a one pound dace!

Then again, I have to pass through the personal pain barrier that is perch, about that time ...



  1. Jeff mate! I myself have gone through ever possible theory re the challenge and conceivable way it can pan out.

    But quite simply it comes down to this. Fill as many boxes as you can with the best fish you can catch, try to fish at an appropriate time for each species and have fun...

  2. ...And oh boy am I having fun.

    Jeff, Since you posted this I'm now 155 points ahead of you. ;)

    To the Tench and Bream!

  3. 155 up, but running out of headroom fast...!

  4. Jeff, with your available bank time I reckon I could give you a proper "run for yer money"

    Instead I'll just have to rely on a steady even pace - Tortiose and the hare stylee ;) !!