For several years angling clubs right across the country have been struggling to attract more anglers back onto natural venues.
Looking at figures even from the really big associations they show that huge numbers of anglers have left clubs and chosen to fish stillwaters and in particular commercial fisheries.
Many of these fisheries are heavily stocked, have easy access and parking and these days some even have cafes and tackle shops on site.
All that has made for difficult times for long established clubs that control waters on canals, rivers and in our area Fenland Drains. Some clubs have moved with the times and one of those is without doubt Tydd Gote Angling Club. They have managed to get good parking along some of the clubs waters making it much easier to get to the pegs. Many pegs have been refurbished to a good standard too. A few weeks ago with the help of the Environment Agency they started fish surveys and electro fishing to determine fish stocks and indeed now have an ongoing fish stocking program. Many club officials have spent a lot of time and trouble looking to improve everything to do with the club and only last week Dave Williams went over to Rookery Waters after getting permission to remove fish from the fishery and after tests introduce them into the North Level Drain.
Fishery owners James and Claire German and fishery manager Alex Bates kindly offered Tydd Gote AC 10,000 fish from one of their lakes. Before that could happen though the fish had to be health checked to be placed in a different water body.
Dave said: “I am very pleased to tell all our members that I received the email yesterday that all fish were in wonderful condition with no parasites or problems found at all, so members, 10,000 fish made up of Rudd and perch will be stocked in Tydd Gote waters in the coming weeks. We as a club would like to thank all involved at Rookery Waters, their lakes are second to none, the site has a wonderful cafe and a tackle shop that is without doubt becoming one of the best in East Anglia.”
Already the Tydd Gote waters are responding, in the mid week open on the North Level, despite ice and a bitterly cold wind on the water some cracking sport saw anglers rewarded for their efforts. Top rod was Paul Spriggs with a fine 19lb 12oz net of roach, then came John Taylor with 12lb 6oz and Mick Asker on 10lb 7oz.
On some waters carp have not been easy to tempt in the wintry weather conditions, but those that have persevered seem to have found a few. Over at Buttonhole fishery Bev Smith showed a few of the hard core carp boys how its done bagging a fine double figure carp when all around her struggled for bites. The fishery is also showing good form for silver fish, well worth a visit over the holiday period and if we get more mild weather I am sure the carp will feed too.
There was a good turnout for the pre Christmas Pairs match at Buttonhole Fishery which saw Sam Hawkes and Colin Begbie taking the honours, in fact it was a very good day for Sam as he also took the individual honours putting 21lb 10oz to the scales, a net of roach and perch taken on the pole with maggot. Runner up was Pete Ashdon with 16lb 8oz, then came Liam Wagg on 11lb 6oz.
If you are looking for some fishing over the holiday period then why not give Townsend Lakes a try, all the lakes are full of fish and should respond to maggot or a pellet approach.