We hand over to Alex Smith – known online as part of brother duo Carl & Alex, young YouTube angling legends. Read Alex's blog below on what he learned during his recent Fishery Management course.
FOR the last year I have been on a Fishery Management course at Plumpton College. And because of this I needed to find a work experience placement in the fisheries industry – luckily Tanyard Fishery have had me on board for one day a week for eight months.
Previous to my work experience I have fished at Tanyard on many occasions, but never seen the ‘behind the scenes’ as it were of running a fishery. Whilst fishing you take in the beautiful surroundings but you never quite realise the time and effort it takes to manage a fishery to make it look so good.
Of the many jobs I was involved in, I’ve mucked in by cleaning the toilets, cutting the grass, seine nettings, bank clearance, taking day tickets… and catching the moles that destroy the banks!
Of course, some jobs were better than others but it just taught me that fishery management isn’t all about playing with fish all day…
Understanding good and bad anglers
You also get to understand people better when working on a fishery as you meet all sorts of personalities.
I couldn’t believe how some people minds must work – when whilst cutting back some bushes I find about five drink cans and a couple of plastic bags all wrapped in fishing line tangled up in the branches. I cleared it up yet cannot get my head round how someone could possibly bring themselves to do such a thing?
On the other hand I met some really kind people and had many lovely conversations, which certainly made up for the disrespectful behaviour that fishery managers sometimes have to put up with. It’s not all good fun working on a fishery but working at Tanyard also had its perks.
Sneaking in some fishing myself
Every day whilst working I had a lunch break of around 30 minutes. Now I could have sat down in the cafe had a bite to eat and relaxed but no, I was at a fishery full of loads of big and beautiful carp to be caught.
Each lunchtime I would walk around the fishery with a single rod and a waist pouch full of bread and hunt down the carp, I would walk till I found some feeding fish and normally once I had found them, the action wasn’t too far away.
On one of my recent days of work experience the weather was perfect and all day I watched big carp swimming around in the surface layers. It was a hot day and I was shattered after bending down, painting a fence all day. I didn’t get round to fishing in my lunch break, but after the work was done for the day I shot down to the water edge and fished for a couple of hours.
I managed a few from the coarse lakes and even a bigger mirror from one of the specimen lakes. I have lost count of all those extra fish I managed to catch and looking back I’m glad I made the most of my time!
I learned loads whilst working at Tanyard fishery, many skills that will definitely help me in later life and now I look at fisheries in a different way.
Whereas all I used to see was the fishing available, now I look a lot broader and see the landscaping, how different fish stocks affect catch rates, water quality and more. There’s more to a fishery than fish!
But if you are like me and interested in fishery management, or aim to get a job fishing, then definitely look into maybe enrolling on a fishery management course and finding a work experience placement on a fishery.