Clifton Lakes boss explains why he chose the 'members only' route

Clifton Lakes Farm Fishery boss John Daleman banned day-ticket fishermen from his 10-lake Rugby complex three years ago after experiencing countless problems. And he has now released a comprehensive document revealing what he thinks about the worst day-ticket anglers, including the reasoning behind his life-changing decision to switch the fishery from day-ticket to members only.

“Day-ticket anglers caused me no end of problems. They broke rules consistently, took drugs and drank large amounts of alcohol on the bank – they even stole fish for their garden ponds!” claimed John.

“I used to get visitors fishing for 30lb carp on the pole and unsupervised kids smashing windows and throwing stones after they had been dropped off. It was chaos,” he added.

Some critics of such ‘syndicate, member-only’ fisheries believe they unnecessarily penalise the majority of fishermen, but John is adamant his experiences back up his decision.

“My lakes often used to be littered with dead fish, undoubtedly due to poor handling, but I haven’t seen a single one since the change- over. We never have any rubbish left behind anymore and my members respect the rules and I consider them friends,” explained John.

“My quality of life has also drastically improved as a result. It was impossible to remain happy or relaxed without prescribed medication as the security of the fishery was constantly preying on my mind. Those worries have now disappeared,” he added.

More than 200 anglers have signed up to the syndicate since it began, with anglers travelling from as far afield as Doncaster and London for a day’s sport.
Local rod Peter Goodchild has been a regular at the site for several years and has noticed numerous key differences.

“The changes that have occurred are amazing. Litter is no longer a problem, the troublemakers are not welcome, and all the fish are now in brilliant condition. John has made an angling haven here and we all support him to the hilt,” said Peter.

Fellow member Mervin Hammond, of Nottingham, offers similar praise: “I bring guests along and a fair few of them have enjoyed it so much that they’ve joined. There are plenty of fish and you can catch them in perfect, peaceful surroundings. It’s fantastic.”