It is fair to say that I don’t take much care of my fishing tackle. I can buy new stuff and within a few months it is messed up. I just am not a neat angler, I will spend hours making up rigs only for them to be all busted up when I use them. How on earth I could be an Angling Coach I don’t know, but then I don’t think it is all about how good your tackle is, it is how you use it, so to speak! I truly believe that confidence plays a big part in success whether it is in a match or if you are after a specimen fish. Confidence in all things, self, tackle methods and bait. Of course luck plays a part but the odds can be reduced if you have confidence. There is though nothing like also having an edge and so to my story. I was reminded the other day on speaking with my friend and long time adversary Mr. Darler of a story told to me by Lacy Anderson. The story centres on his brothers, Percy and George and I guess over time it has altered a little but the crutch of the matter is that Percy always looked to gain an edge. Combine this with total confidence almost bordering on arrogance and you get a lethal force. You see Percy, George and Lacy fished as a team with the likes of John Hurst and others. The leagues at their height were massive and to win then was truly a feat. Percy would surely scoff at the so-called feats of modern day league anglers who pat each other for coming second in a section of 10! The leagues I am talking about were 200 strong affairs with sections of 25. Any way one such league was to be held on the Cam and the Pimpernels were in the race for top spot. They needed to sort out a method and so Percy devised a plan. George was off to practice on the section; Percy though had to pull out at the last minute. Undeterred though he told brother George “Look brother fish a 6 x 6 stick float you know the ones Benny made us (no not Benny of Crossroads, but the legendary Ashurst) Fish small sloppy balls of ground bait with squat, feeding regularly the fish will come up in to the water. You will have a day to remember. Those of you who knew Percy would know he had this authoritative voice. He would raise and lower the tone to signal authority and confidence. Yes he sure installed this in Brother George. Convinced he was going to have a good day off he went. Bear in mind this method was devised 40 years ago and you will understand why I smile at some of the “New” tactics our youngsters come up with! Anyhow 4 or 5 hours later George re-appeared in Percy’s tackle shop having spent his time practicing on the Cam. Percy appeared form the back, having just riddled some casters. George looked glum “How did you do brother?” Percy enquired. “I really did not do very well, I tried and tried but just could not get the method to work.” Percy paused, placing a bag of casters on the counter and said, “I knew it wasn’t going to be the method.” We will fish casters down the edge of the margin weed.” George’s jaw dropped, his brother had convinced him to fish a method, but only to rule it out! Confidence you see. Mind you it would have been no good as a practice if he had not instilled confidence in his brother. Not only had Percy sorted out an edge but the cheeky so and so had got his brother to eliminate a method and on his brother’s day off! These mind games are still played out between his apprentices well, Compo Darler and Batersby Tweed but we ain’t half as good as Percy. Mind you Mr. Darler is getting a bit worried he has even asked to do the Match Reports because he is worried what might next be printed. Bloody cheek I say.