This idyllic park lake has this week been branded the most dangerous venue in the UK as the number of ‘angler no-go zones’ rockets across the country.
In the past 10 days Chorlton Water Park, in South Manchester, has witnessed two savage attacks on fishermen.
The first attack saw two anglers confronted by a gang of machete-wielding thugs in the early hours of the morning, who escaped with all their carp fishing tackle.
However, Angling Times understands that an even more sinister incident took place just a few days earlier when a bivvy was doused in petrol and set alight by tackle thieves while the carper slept inside. The man is said to be in a serious condition.
One Chorlton regular, who refused to be named, said: “It’s now a no-go zone.
The place is a good fishery but the level of violence means it is now lost.
The thugs have clearly started to see anglers as an easy target. I certainly won’t be going back down there ¬ no fish is worth risking your life for.” Chorlton Water Park also hit the headlines a year ago after an angler, Peter Smith, was robbed of £1,200-worth of tackle and beaten senseless by another former fisherman who was banned from using the lake and had drunk 15 cans of lager before the attack.
Violence on the banks has swept the nation in recent years and even high-profile, well-managed lakes such as the Linear complex in Oxford has been subject to angler attacks and tackle theft.
Among the other venues branded ‘too dangerous to tackle’ are numerous inner-city canal stretches once popular with anglers, among them various stretches of the Grand Union and Regents Canals in and around London.
AT columnist Keith Arthur knows both stretches well. “There are a couple of areas on the Slough Arm of the Grand Union that can be dangerous territory for anglers. In the old days, on the Regents Canal around King’s Cross, we had a lot of problems with local youths vandalising property, and then throwing what they had vandalised at us.
“It go so bad that the club gave up the rights and the area is now virtually unfished. It used to be a great stretch as well - we often had 120-peg sell out matches,” he said.