Colin Mitchell, delves into the secrecy into revealing successful fishing spots. Read him every week - only on this Angler's Mail website.
THERE’S something that always used to bug me when I reported on people catching fish. But it’s something I have to confess that I too have been guilty of in recent years… a refusal to say where the fish has been caught.
Now I don’t get many whackers that are worthy of reporting or that could get people chasing all over the country to try and repeat capture. But I do sometimes feel a bit guilty when I do not reveal which waters I have visited.
So let’s look at some options here and where it may or may not be right to reveal venues.
No need to be really vague
First – I absolutely loathe people reporting fish from a Midlands gravel pit, a Southern river or an East Midlands venue. You don’t have to name where you are fishing if you want to report a catch from the rivers Nene, Thames, Trent, Severn etc…
They are so big that you can name those waters and probably even a town nearby. There’s no way a million anglers are going to turn up on your doorstep to fish. In fact, as its flowing water you may still not see a soul challenging you for your favourite fishing spot.
Onto club waters where many used to insist you never named venues. One of those clubs was Godalming AS, where I have been a member for years. Now, realising the commercial gain and security to be had from new members they encourage people to report captures.
Yes, it has led to the likes of Johnson’s and Marsh Farm becoming Meccas for crucian hunters but it’s not meant people being frozen out of the waters and it’s not hit the quality of fishing either.
Forward thinking…If your club does have a ban, well you have no options but to tick the no publicity box!
Public waters and commercials
Public waters belong to us all. And these are venues where you should not hide details of where you caught fish… you don’t need to name the swim, just an area is nice.
Commercials aren’t noted for specimens but some do hold big fish of various species and you can do the owners a favour by reporting them. Remember, these are businesses. If they keep getting custom they stay open and, in many cases, invest cash to make the places better for us to fish. More fish in many cases!
The fear about naming venues is that poachers move in or that fish get heavily pressured. First, poachers will always find out where the fish are so the more members or legal anglers about the better the chances of the fish staying put and/or not getting eaten!
Second, heavily fished waters don’t produce the goods and anglers who have moved in to try and catch a quick prize specimen soon go away. It’s a temporary thing, in the olden days when there were fewer venues around, and certainly less with big fish, shoals of anglers would descend on a venue when they heard it was fishing well. That simply does not happen nowadays. Most anglers know where the big fish live or can get easy access to that knowledge.
It’s also not just about knowing where the specimens live, it’s also about being able to catch them!
Full marks to Angler’s Mail magazine men Andy Little, Gary Newman and Steve Collett for naming the venues they have been fishing.
When I can and when it might be worthwhile to others knowing the waters I too shall be naming waters where I have been.
And on that note this week I’ve been to Ashmoor Copse near Basingstoke, a day ticket venue which is always good for a few fish. There was also a short trip to the upper River Loddon – I failed to catch but I wasn’t there long and it was more of a swim finding mission.
* If you want a few more fishing tips Colin Mitchell has a new book out this Tuesday, June 30. You can check it out here.