At the 2021 National Celebration of Young People and Fishing, several coaches picked out Cyrus Solgy as a youngster with natural ability and great future potential. This is Cyrus’ fishing journey, brought to you with a little help from Let’s Fish.
In the beginning
I was born in Sheffield, a hotbed of angling. My fascination for fishing started when I was younger than I can even remember. I’ve always loved spending time by the water with my net and bucket catching newts, tadpoles and frogs. I was probably only two or three when this first started. I was always intrigued by what could be found in our waters and so I decided to take up fishing as a new hobby when I was 10.
I didn’t have any fishing gear and didn’t really know where to start. I bought a simple set up and went out fishing not really knowing what to do, but found people in the fishing community were really helpful. They would often stop by to help and give advice. It wasn’t until sometime later that my mum found out about free Let’s Fish coaching sessions held on the Sheffield Canal near Tinsley and booked me on there and then. The coaches provided me with all I needed to go fishing, bait, equipment, permits etc so all I needed to do was bring myself along!
Let’s Fish experience
It was amazing how much I learnt in such a short space of time, such as unhooking the fish using a disgorger, how to hold the fish and how to identify the several different fish species I was able to catch such as roach, perch and skimmer bream. I had loads of fun and the knowledge I gained from those early Let’s Fish coaching session inspired me to do more fishing.
I would use what I’d learnt from these coaching sessions and apply it when I was fishing without a coach. I like to fish whenever I get the opportunity and I keep practising in my spare time. I also booked on to more Let’s Fish coaching sessions and met a great coach called Kevin.
Kevin would always spend time teaching me new things. He also encouraged me to sign up for the national celebration of young people and fishing.
I’d never heard of this fishing celebration before Kevin mentioned it. He described it as a fun event where young people who like fishing come together from different parts of the country and try and catch as many fish as they can. There are prizes for everyone.
We were up bright and early and, courtesy of Mum’s taxi service, the two-hour journey to the Shropshire/Staffordshire border commenced. When we arrived, I released there are a lot more cows and a lot less people than you find around Sheffield. I was about to spend the day fishing alongside 120 young people on the Shropshire Union Canal.
Come on the fishes
My peg number was 57, located not far from bridge 52 at Soudley. For the first 90 minutes, we all had to fish close, making it nice and even for everyone. I caught road, skimmers, perch and lots of gudgeon, a species I had never caught before. That first gudgeon was enough to earn me a special mug.
The bites slowed down as time went on but I kept concentrating hard and apart for a short shower, the weather stayed quite sunny. The tactics I used throughout the match were to feed little and often to keep the swim active and I fished close in for the whole match, keeping it nice and simple A few minutes after the fishing time ended, the stewards came around to weigh all the fish in the keep net.
My weight was 1kg, 300g. I was really pleased with this result as I’d been told that around 800g would be considered a very decent performance. Back at the village hall, even though I didn’t know anyone other than coach Kevin, there was a brilliant atmosphere. The packed crowd were brought to order. To my amazement, my name was called out as the winner of the trophy for the most promising newcomer!
I was so pleased to win my first ever fishing trophy. I then listened intently as the individual results were read out in reverse order. The 50th placed catch was just around a kilo so I knew I’d finished in the top half. My 1.3 kg took 34th spot overall. It was an incredible experience and great fun filled day. I certainly hope to do it all again this year.
Catch of the month
Just recently, I entered the Canal & River Trust catch of the month competition, I sent in a picture of a lovely perch that I caught on the last Let’s Fish session before it came to an end for winter. I was blown away when I won first prize, a 7 metre Colmic pole.
I’d been coached on part of that day by another Sheffielder, Tom Scholey who taught me fishing on a long pole. At the next peg was former WBC light welterweight champion, Junior Witter. It goes to show that Let’s Fish is open to juniors of all ages.
Why I love fishing
I find fishing very peaceful and I like being outdoors by the water. Spending time in nature gives me time to think and it stimulates my mind and helps me concentrate. I like hearing nature around me whilst I’m fishing like the sound of the birds and other wildlife. I especially like the fact that you never know what you’re going to catch next.
Future fishing ambitions
I hope to take part in the national celebration of young people and fishing again and I would also like to take part in the angling events being held as part of the Commonwealth Games community celebrations taking place this summer.
Most importantly, I feel passionate about learning more and fishing at every opportunity. My mum is brilliant at encouraging me and driving me around. I continue to learn so much from coach Kevin too. I hope that one day I can coach someone as well as he has coached and supported me.