The credit crunch claimed its first high-profile fishery this week, sparking some venues to reduce their prices or offer incentives to put anglers on the bank.
Lakeview Fishery, in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, has gone into administration and is soon to be sold, despite being set to host important Fish O’Mania and Maver Pairs qualifiers in 2009.
Manager Emily Purssglove has assured anglers that the prestigious events will still go ahead, although she refused to comment on the financial state of Lakeview.
“The venue is to be restocked with F1 carp before being sold. Several offers are already on the table,” said Emily.
Elsewhere, other fisheries are taking matters into their own hands to combat the credit crunch with money-saving offers for anglers. Lemington Lakes, in Moreton-in-the-Marsh, Gloucestershire, is rewarding its regulars by giving away a free day’s fishing for every five day tickets they purchase. Boss Andrew Ellis has set a number of ‘target fish’ to catch, such as a 20lb-plus carp, 2lb-plus roach or 3lb-plus perch from its Westminster Lake, with anglers winning Dynamite Baits prizes.
Top Welsh commercial fishery White Springs is offering a ‘buy one, get one free’ scheme, whereby anglers booking a week-long holiday at the Pontarddulais, Swansea complex in March or April 2009 will get another free of charge. People must quote ‘Angling Times White Springs Special Offer’ when booking.
And Partridge Lakes owner Dave Ikin admits that he has been giving clubs booking a series of matches at the Culcheth, Warrington, venue the odd ‘freebie’ and is planning some free fishing days for youngsters.
One commercial fishery which tried drastically reducing the price of its open match entry pools was Gold Valley Lakes, in Aldershot, Hampshire. But venue co-owner Will Raison said that the changes had little effect.
“Our pools were changed from £25 to £10, with the option of a £5 extra pool.
But our most popular event this winter has been the Rushmoor league, which costs £30 to enter, and an individual angler can win £1,000. It seems that matchmen still want to pay big to win big,” said Will.