One of the UK’s most popular commercial day-ticket waters has stopped selling its own line of pellets after the owner claimed fisheries that do so are guilty of ‘ripping anglers off’.
John Raison, who runs Gold Valley Lakes in Aldershot, Hants, has this week called for other owners to follow suit as he believes that ‘own brand’ pellets sold at commercials are over-priced and no different to shop-bought bait.
In the past, the trend towards ‘fishery pellets’ was borne out of concerns that the use of high-oil, protein-rich baits, especially trout pellets, was detrimental to both the welfare of fish and water quality.
But due to the high standard of modern ‘off the shelf’ bait, John believes that anglers should be able to use their own pellets at any water, and venue bosses should be doing their best to reduce the cost of fishing for anglers in the current economic climate.
“The quality of pellets has come a long way in the last few years, so much so that I just can’t justify selling my own fishery pellets any more. I can’t see how other fisheries can either,” said John.
“The sole reason that venues insist anglers use their own pellets is to make money, because all the pellets from reputable companies sold in tackle shops are perfectly safe for use at any fishery. I know match anglers who have 10 different bags of pellets for 10 different venues, which is ridiculous, not to mention very expensive.
It’s our duty to be doing our best to offer quality, affordable fishing. Charging anglers for their own pellets is not the way and it’s about time this changed.” The vast majority of coarse fish pellets available in the UK are made by Skretting. The company’s product development manager, John Roberts, fully supports John Raison’s decision.
“We supply pellets to all the big bait companies and they are all specifically developed for coarse species, especially carp, so everyone can be assured in the knowledge that their bait is 100 per cent safe for the fish and the environment,” said John.
“These days, anglers are much more clued up and know what pellets they can and can’t use, so there’s no reason why they can’t take their own to a fishery.” Despite the rule change at Gold Valley Lakes, many fishery owners still insist that making anglers use a specific pellet is the only way to guarantee the safety of their stocks.
One such owner is Phil Briscoe, owner of the popular Maver Larford Lakes in Stourport and boss of Maver UK.
“I’m very surprised that John has made this decision and I think he’ll regret it in the long term because fish health and water quality hang in a fine balance. In my opinion, it’s just too dangerous to rely on anglers to use the right pellets,” said Phil.