In his popular Sunday pleasure fishing blog for Angler’s Mail, Colin Mitchell talks rules…




Fishery rules that I do not like…


RULES are always going to be part and parcel of angling. Fact.

Blog MitchBut some of the restrictions we are now being handed have become a bit tedious.

Many of these rules are – no surprise – on commercial fisheries.

And the only way to beat them if you don’t like them is not to visit these venues. No one will force you onto a commercial and they wont want you there anyway if you break rules.

There are a number of places I love to fish and many others I would love to visit. But I have taken the decision not to visit the venues that go over the top with the restrictions.

First on the top of my list of possibly banned waters are those that say that you must use only their own pellets.

When I feel this is a deliberate money making operation and one where I get ripped off, I wont be fishing.

I don’t mind using any pellets they want, so long as they are offered to me at a reasonable price – one that competes with the shop down the road or a normal fishing tackle retail outlet.

Fishery-own pellets are, in a lot of cases, something we may already have in our carryalls, just bagged by a different manufacturer.

One offered me pellets at £2.50 a bag and even confirmed they were exactly what I had with me and which had cost me less. Despite accepting I had the same pellet they wouldn’t let me use them.

Likewise, if the fishery has a sponsorship deal with a bait company whose products I will use (and that covers an awful lot of firms) I am happy to go along with that – providing I can buy on site for the usual prices.

I’m more than happy to go along with rules that safeguard the quality of the fish and fishing. No fixed rigs, safe rigs only, safe landing nets and keepnets – especially when they provide their own, as it also means mine do not get wet and stink the car out on the way home.

But if I am restricted to size of hook or strength of line for no apparently good reason the fishery will be on my blacklist.

harryenfieldshowI’ve seen one water where you can’t use a hook below a 14 or above a 10. I don’t have a problem with them having to be barbless but a 14 for silver fish and a 10 for big carp? No reason.

Likewise, why am I restricted to lines of no less than 6 lb on at least one venue I looked at and a staggering 10 lb on another?

I’ve landed some specimen fish on 4 lb line and am more than happy to use that if there are no snags around.

Then there are the bait restrictions. Nil by hand, cup in only.

What about those anglers who don’t pole fish or even have a pole?

No problem with a sensible restriction on how much bait can be fed – although bare in mind that carp and bream, our two main quarries, can shift an awful lot of food.

In well stocked venues I bet that very little food gets left on the bottom to rot. I know that what goes in has to come out and that can cause a problem…but do we know how much of a problem?

My biggest gripe in this department is where you are allowed to feed NOTHING.

That’s right, no grains of corn, not a few pellets, not even a single maggot or caster.

Where’s the sense in that? You then have problems attracting the fish and catch less…so the venue gets a bad name.

The fish also don’t get the benefit of a free feed. Surely it would be nice to give them more than the natural bait in the water and the few scraps on hooks.

There are plenty of good commercial fisheries around which have a number of sensible rules, ones that most anglers realise are for the benefit of the fish and the fishermen.

So there is no need to fork out your hard earned to fish places where the rules stack the odds heavily against your chances of catching.


Related links

Colin Mitchell on choosing the right fishing lines

Colin Mitchell on changing your fishing tactics in spring

Why ticketless bank walkers wind Colin Mitchell up!


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