Club fishing is a fantastic way of learning and improving your fishing.
You will always learn and improve your fishing by mixing with other anglers on the bank than by reading any magazine. There are plenty of angling clubs up and down the country and these a great place to start if you're getting into fishing.
Some of these clubs will be roving clubs where they don't actually have their own waters and these generally fish matches at local venues to them. Then there are clubs with their own waters which cater for pleasure fishing and club matches.
Many of these clubs tend to be associated with local workingmen's clubs and places of work and were formed many years ago. Back in the day, fishing was one of a few past times available at the weekend and many clubs and societies had a strong following. These days there are many other pastimes available to all at the weekend and many of these club are fading away due to the lack of numbers fishing.
If you are lucky you may have a strong club local to you. I have been very lucky, living in Evesham which has a very strong fishing tradition with several fishing clubs still going in the area today. This will be mainly because Evesham has the Warwickshire Avon running through the town.
The Evesham fishing festival which has been running since the late 70's on the August bank holiday weekend attracts around 30,000 spectators every year and it considered the FA Cup final of river fishing. So Evesham's has very strong fishing history.
My club Evesham Jubilee Angling Society was formed in 1897 and is as strong today as it's always been.
This is probably also due to the club having its own fishery these days as club river fishing is generally in decline due to club anglers not wanting long walks, prefuring to park their cars behind their pegs these days.
If you can find a fishing club like this you will benefit from a great social side and make many new friends. This is where you can learn a lot about fishing from the other members. Many of our matches have plenty of banter during the clubs fishing matches, there are all levels of angler from novices to the more experienced angler. Plenty of Cups of trophies are up for grabs every year. We have some Barbecues and social occasions during the year and new members are always made very welcome.
With club fishing the match fees/pools are generally very low and the prize monies are generally spread out. This tends to stop the more dedicated open match type angler from joining, so club matches can be won by any member.
The draw time and after these club matches are the key times to pick up angling tips.
Quiet often the winner of the match will be happy to share his knowledge on how he won the match. You will also often picking up a few tips from just overhearing anglers talking between themselves. If you have been unlucky and not pick up any tips at the draw you can still learn plenty by just watching the other anglers during the match and noting their feeding etc.
An even better way to learn is not to fish the match but to just watch it from the bank. As long as you stand well back from the anglers fishing so you are not spooking any fish most anglers don't mine you watching them. By watching different anglers fish on the same match with different methods you can soon figure out the best tactic your next match.