SHOULD non-anglers pay to walk around fisheries?

It’s a bit of a hot topic among many anglers, particularly matchmen.

And after a few recent trips where I have witnessed plenty of bank walkers my view is firmly in the court of those who think those not fishing should cough up. Or better still stay at home.

We pay our £5, £6, £7, £10 (or even more) for a day’s sport. In most cases, particularly on commercial fisheries, we get value for money.

Club books can cost anything for £30 to more than £100 for a year’s sport. We expect nice surroundings and decent sport.

So why can others who have not paid for a ticket or a book be allowed to walk the banks?

The noise they create, their shadows over the water and general bankside disturbance is unwelcome.

If I am sitting quietly trying to catch down the edge – or anywhere in my swim for that matter – I don’t want some big heavy booted idiot stamping down to ask me what I have caught.

I don’t want to be shadowed out, with fish scared from my swim by people standing on the skyline.

And I certainly don’t want them walking around leaving their litter – or dog muck!

Some bank walkers are fine - but those disturbing me or my swim, and not even paying to be there, are not!

Some bank walkers are fine – but those disturbing me or my swim, and not even paying to be there, are not!


Some match anglers have moaned when their runners have been asked to pay to walk the banks at commercials. I can sympathise with that.

It doesn’t happen so much now as many teams communicate by mobile phone – another pain in the backside on the bank!

Last week I had five bird watchers, a couple pushing a pram, a dick head swearing down his mobile phone and some suspicious looking hippies hopping along the bank. All in one session.

Why were they there? Why did the fishery owners not seem to care that they had trespassers?

My reaction to most of these interlopers is to try and switch off. I also blank them (I know, rude, miserable bugger…but it has to be done).

Say nothing and they go away. Chat and they won’t leave you in peace.

I don’t mind other, thoughtful anglers. Those who approach with caution, make little noise, think about not disrupting your day. These are usually fellow club book holders.

I’m not against others asking for advice either. In fact any beginners or kids who seek a bit of help will get advice freely.

I got help when I was younger and it is great to encourage others in our great sport.

Even though the guy on the other side of the lake – remember other side – had his young daughter with him and encouraged her to fish, he deserved a slap (no, I didn’t as he was much bigger than me!).

His mobile had a rubbish ringtone (other side, remember) and I am not keen on parents who swear down their phones like troopers in front of their kids.

Not keen on those who drop decent bream back into the water either. It’s easy to lower them back in with the landing net you used to land them. Are you reading mobile phone man?

Angry? You bet I was. The lip had to be bitten hard.



A handy tip..

Re-sealable freezer bags are dead handy, I find.

Re-sealable freezer bags are dead handy, I find.

My wife uses a lot of re-sealable freezer bags to put food into cold storage.

When they come out of the freezer they can’t be used again for food so I wash them out and use them for various fishing tasks.

Left over bait and groundbait can be stored in them, maggots can be frozen in them, and the bags can even be used for rubbish.

And here’s a top use: they can be used a poop scoopers. You put your hand in the bag, turned inside out, scoop the dog muck, seal the bag…and then hand it to the inconsiderate pooch owners that let his animal foul the fishery. Just slap it in their palm.

Top result!






Our Sunday blogger is  coarse fishing all-rounder Colin Mitchell. 

For many years Colin was a senior Angler’s Mail magazine staff man and he has enjoyed a long, interesting journalism career.

He understands match fishing, pleasure fishing, carp fishing – the lot.

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Related post

Last week’s Colin Mitchell pleasure fishing blog 






This week's magazine includes a free rod licence.

This week’s magazine includes a free rod licence.



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