Dying breed

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Chris Bishop

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I reckon I've seen a noticeable decline in the number of people on the bank, even over the last few years. Great to be able to fish some of your favourite waters without being elbow to elbow - but it can't be good over the long term.

What does everyone else think..?
 
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TERRY PORTER

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Chris,

Over the last few years I have noticed a decline in the number of angler young and old who have given up angling. With respect to the older generation it’s mainly due to:

1. The run-down on the lack of fish on our rivers which as we all know is due to the black plague, the cormorant, which have been allowed to decimate our waters. But who is to blame for this problem?

Of course, if we allow the French & Spanish fishermen to fish our inland waters, and they in turn take all the fish from these areas, what and how will the Black Plague feed? By, of course, coming inland to the freshwater fisheries.

We have, by allowing this, upset the food chain. Don’t for one moment think that I love the black b’s, far from it, only today we found a dead BP, and on gutting it we found that it had a tench 12 inch long in its guts. But the most amazing thing was that from the mouth of the tench crawled out about 12 tape worms that had come from the stomach of the dead bird. Not a pretty sight and one that turned my stomach over. Are these worms going to cause future problems?

2. Regarding the younger generation we all know that in this day and age that the younger element don’t want to sit on the bankside, they want to sit in front of a computer and play games on the Playstation. Gone are the days when a day out with your dad was great and enjoyable, and at the end of the day stop at a pub for a bag of crisps and lemonade.

I cannot see these days returning unless we all make a concerted effort to get the young ones back to the waterside. But to be honest how will this be achieved, and the major tackle dealers must take notice of this because, if they don’t they are not going to sell tackle to a generation of none fisherpersons.

That’s my opinion and I have been fishing for the last 62 years boy and lad.
 

GrahamM

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There has most certainly been a reduction in the number of young anglers, and much of what Terry says is true.

But as well as playing computer games the younger people are also surfing the net on a regular basis. Which is where we come in. Perhaps they'll surf over to FISHINGmagic and other fishing websites and find something that will persuade them to give fishing a go.
 
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Alan Cooper

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I noted the decline in angling in my first posting to this site "The LAA and the State of Angling." When I returned to fishing early this year I was quite literally shocked when I saw how few anglers there were on the banks. Even now I can't really believe it. On the 16th of June last, I had Billericay AS stretch 1 mile+ of the Suffolk Stour to myself for most of the day! I went to the Hampshire Avon LAA stretch at Britford on August Bank Holiday Sunday and there are about 5 other anglers there! Beautiful rivers - and no-one fishes them. I love the ease with which I can get any swim I want - but it makes me feel very a sad for the future of angling.
 

GrahamM

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Rivers definitely seem to be 'suffering' the most. The popularity of the so-called 'carp holes' and their bite a chuck and guaranteed catches are much to do with it.

But let's not be too negative about the 'carp holes', they're ideal for taking youngsters and beginners to, to get them hooked on fishing in the first place.
 
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peter webber

Guest
I too have noticed a decline of people on the river bank. When I go I rarely meet anyone else fishing. It seems to me that most of the people that do still go fishing do so in carp puddles where they are allmost guaranted to catch fish, and can do so next to there car.
There seems to be more and more people that are not prepared to have to walk down the river banks to find fish and have to do a bit of work to catch them when they can go to a carp puddle, fish by there car and catch fish all day no matter how they fish.
Give me the river and a bit of work to catch anyday.
----(*}}}}<
 
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John Toohey

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A lot of people say that the absence of anglers on the rivers is a bad sign for our sport but I dissagree.If you go to one of these Carp Puddle fisheries such as Cudmore for instance the car parks are chocker block and they are even queing up hours before the gates are open.These people are even fishing in these places right through the winter months as they are guaranteed fish so this can only be doing the tackle trade good.If these fisheries were not there I think a lot of these anglers would put there gear away when summer ends.Also I think a lot of peoples attitude has changed as only this morning as I was checking our local stream for level an old friend passed by and we got chatting about old times on the rivers.He informed me that he now only fishes commercial fisheries where he is guaranteed to catch,he also told me that he has'nt got a rod of any description anymore he now only possesses a pole.Personally I think it is great that I can take the long drive to certain winter pegs on the Severn and I don't have to worry if anyone is on them.
John.
 
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Carp Angler

Guest
A couple of friends of mine fish these carp puddles.
They both work hard thru the week and have families.
They fish one day at the weekend every fortnight, and when they go they want action, they want bites, they want fish, not 2oz roach, they weant something that pulls back a bit.
Not my idea of fun, but I wouldn't chastise others for going to places like that.
Good places for perch though!!!!
 
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peter webber

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I've just got of the phone to a friend who had just got back from fishing. He had taken his next door neighbours boy (8yrs) on his first trip.
Where to? a local "carp puddle" the lad caught 6 common carp upto 4.5lbs.
My mate said that all the way back home he was non stop "when can we go again".
their going next weekend.
So yes they have got a good point to them and if the rivers are still up I might just go with them.
 
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Alan Cooper

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I am certainly not objecting to the "Carp Puddles." Indeed, as soon as I can I am taking my business partner's two young sons to such a place. They have never gone fishing before and I want them to catch! I remember well my first fish (a crucian carp from a Dagenham pit - long filled in) and the exhilaration I felt at the time. Well do I love my rivers, but they are not so easy! On my last Avon trip, I caught one dace and that was because it had hooked itself.
 
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Paul Williams

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Alan, i think you hit on somthing when you said the pit you took your first fish from has long gone, here in the Black country we had marleholes and they to have long gone so in away the carp puddles can be looked on as their replacments and perfect to introduce the kids to fishing, it's up to us to then show them the real challanges and fun that awaits them. It may be great to have empty river banks in the short term but what happens in the long term when that cheap club ticket disapears and an expensive syndicate takes over,or worse still the owner decides it ain't worth it and stops fishing accsess? it's already begining to happen in my area.
 
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peter webber

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CARP PUDDLE: A lake dug out of the ground and filled with fish (mostly carp).
Isan't that the way most lakes start there life?, and then when they mature we stop looking on them as a carp puddle and call them a lake. The carp grow and get thined out, other fish start being fished for. So the carp puddles of today won't be in about 10 yrs time as new ones spring up.
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David Preston

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I think that might be looking at things through rose coloured glasses. Most of these waters will be much as they are now - the carp will have grown and been removed, and thousands more tiny ones stocked to replace them. Match anglers, by and large, want small fish to catch in numbers and not of a size to pose too much of a problem on light gear.
 

David Preston

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If it is, then I fear it may have caught a chill in the Lake District this afternoon.

(And if you've ever caught a chill in your lake district, missus, you'll know what I mean! Oooer!)
 
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Alan Cooper

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Paul's point about expensive syndicates and, even worse, riparian owners stopping access is all too true. At the last report I had, a Billericay stretch of the river Blackwater was lost because the new owner deliberately asked for a nonsensical rent.
 
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john conway

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Chris, I can’t say if fewer anglers on the river bank are going to be good or bad, I suppose it depends on the health of our rivers and access to such for the fisherman in the future.
I’d always intended to return to fishing when I was too old to cave and horse ride, but the death of my young horse made me rethink the timing of my so called come back. Having got myself all excited by watching the videos in the “A Passion for Angling” series as seen on TV, I renewed my membership of the Lansil Angling Club, they have a 1-1/2 mile stretch on the River Lune just above the wear in Lancaster and I couldn’t wait for my first chance to re new my acquaintance with this beautiful river. It wasn’t the best of reunions the river was running very high and after a couple of fishless hours my swim was completely wiped out by someone dumping slurry down an adjacent beck and yes I did phone the Environmental Agency.
However, to get back to your question, are there less anglers on the river bank, well I thing you are probable right, but I don’t think there are less people, it’s just people doing different things and the future will depend on whether we can get on with one another. One thing I have noticed however, are the vast numbers of Carp ponds, and they do seem to be very busy. I don’t have an opinion on these, if that’s what today’s fisherman wants all well and good, but I supposes I’m a bit old fashioned in thinking that part of the skill and fun in fishing is finding the fish in the first place and not knowing that a ? acre pond has just been stocked with 200 3Lb plus carp.

John Conway
Yorkshire
 
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