Shock at business antics

In the absence of angling, the Tackle Shop talk has been almost wholly relating to commercial fisheries.

Some rapidly making themselves unpopular with clubs booking matches have a disturbing record on both the way prices are administered and the overall quality of catches.

Most venues appear to charge a full price for juniors and OAPs in matches.

Almost outrageous was a local fishery attempting to charge another full price day ticket for the man and his daughter who wanted to stay on in their swim another hour or so after the match, on a largely vacant pool, where members are now refusing to return for pleasure or a fixture.

Taking the top 'greed' spot is the Suffolk fishery which not only charges a visitor's guest fee of �2 but extended this to a most irate mother who was asked to pay when she brought her two lads their sandwiches.

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Even then that was not an extreme situation. When an ardent match secretary, being unable to fish his club event, arrived to weigh the match in he was also asked to pay the visitor's fee. He coughed up but is looking to cross the fishery off his list of venues.

The Fish O'Mania at eliminators nationwide, whose entrants ventured forth and incurred with pools, petrol, bait etc, in excess of �100 for the day's privilege is dubious too.

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Many say for three years they have not even had a bite.

At the Notts commercial venue for the Veteran's National this year some anglers had more than 20 cocky ruffe on worms for their �50 entry… and no carp bites.

At a two-match lake in Norfolk, several anglers have visited three years on the trot without a bite.

Probably the advent of big carp has rendered many venues hit or miss but most potent is that looking at club match results, while there may often be a good first four weights, many venues now only produce an average 1 to 2lb with blanks at the tail end.

As prices have escalated to a questionable �8 and �10 further south; anglers ask if the death knell looms?

The widespread presence of the F1 and F2 species made a great deal of this form of angling acceptable, and guaranteed catching but now anglers feel a serious lack of their restocking appears to pertain.

With substantial unfair national sponsorship deals, and in some local tackle shops, destroying the level playing field, things do not look set to get a lot better.

Frustrated clubs set about creating their own popular carp and prolific silver fish venues – Harleston AC, Beccles AC at Haddiscoe and the Bungay Club being good examples where reasonable membership gets a good range of options.

The Quay at Beccles shone brightly with quality fish often being caught within a few inches of the pilings on the pole.

Surprisingly, tench moved down from the dredged area have shown amid the snow and two 6lb beauties, at the river end, really made the day alongside a 2lb 11oz perch for Lowestoft's Derek Minns' worms fishing that way.

Elsewhere, the roach are tightly shoaled as the river rose a foot on Sunday, and it has been essential to pick the right spot for a stone of roach on the caster with flood water and salt starting to sour swims.

Broome's biggest pits showed odd areas fishable as they thawed but needed a walk round to find them.

The Ocean Pit at Weybread remained the best option, being open enough for a breeze to keep the surface turbulent and mainly ice free.

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