Mark Barnes has fished since the age of six and started match fishing at the age of eleven. He was there at the zenith of match fishing when 100 peg sell-out opens were the norm and even club matches attracted coach-loads of eager competitors.
With low prize-payouts and costly outlays, it’s difficult to attract the same level of interest these days but Mark is not satisfied with seeing professional match fishing relegated to a side-line sport.
Determined to bring back the halcyon days of fishing, Mark is planning a new competition structure that would guarantee a payout of £1,000 for the winner of a 100 peg match and automatic entry into a £5,000 match – the winners of each ten peg section would also qualify to fish in the £5,000 match.
Sponsored by Hyper Car Leasing, the outlay for anglers will be minimal, with an entrance fee of only £40 for each qualifying round and an optional pool of £20; the equivalent of the £10 entry and £5 pools that we were all paying way back in the ’70s and ’80s!
However, Mark and the Hyper Car Leasing team don’t want to stop there. They’re planning much bigger competitions for the future, with prize payouts that most anglers could only dream of – “We believe we have the right format that enables the best anglers the highest chance of qualifying for the big money matches whilst still being affordable for high class club anglers too”.
Hyper Car Leasing Managing Director Ian Meek said, “We’ve recently rebranded our company and were looking for an innovative way of reaching out to our target customers. Having worked with Mark in the past and knowing of his passion for match fishing, we felt that this was the sport to invest in.”
“We attended a number of matches and were impressed by the level of commitment, professionalism and preparation, but we were surprised at the low winnings in relation to comparable sporting events.”
“We feel that by supporting Mark’s endeavours we’ll be creating one of the premier fishing competitions in the UK and return match angling back to a sport where winners are properly compensated for the skills they’ve taken years to develop.”
“Mark’s unique competition structure will appeal to all anglers and the fact that a complete unknown can compete against the very best in the sport simply by entering these competitions, must be a feature unique to angling!”