A decision to stock more tench and silver fish has seen day ticket sales soar at one of the Uk’s most popular commercial fisheries.
Notts bagging venue Hallcroft Fishery has always been regarded as one of the best match fisheries in the country, attracting some of the finest anglers on the circuit.
But despite a new complex record being set with 196lb of carp, and the biggest weight ever being lifted on to a set of scales on the Canal Lake at 92lb, less emphasis on big weights and large stockings of tench and skimmers are attracting more day-ticket anglers.
Late last year the owners reviewed the stocks on the five-lake complex near Retford and decided to move 250 large carp from the popular Croft Lake to neighbouring Moat Lake, replacing them with 1,600 tench and thousands of skimmer bream.
And it’s a policy that’s proved a massive hit with pleasure anglers as stocks that aren’t dominated by carp have brought consistency, variety and, more importantly, the chance of plenty of bites, with good catches possible from all 28 pegs.
“Day ticket sales are better than they have ever been in my six years at the fishery and that’s because we’ve worked our hearts out to improve the quality of fishing and the condition of the fish here at Hallcroft,” said Terry Sears, who runs the fishery with sons Luke and Nick.
“All the lakes here are true mixed fisheries and it’s possible for any angler to use maggots and casters to get bites ¬ they don’t have to sit it out with catmeat or paste and catch carp, carp and more carp.
“When we first took over the complex the fish were in a right mess and the carp didn’t even fight, but now we get anglers coming up to us and saying how well-conditioned the fish are.
“That’s what keeps them coming back, and I think that every fishery should inspire this type of pleasure and reaction ¬ but sadly there are many fishery managers out there who just don’t have a clue what they’re doing,” he claimed.
The emphasis on mixed, balanced stocks, coupled with good fishery management, has vastly improved the consistency in open and club matches, in turn boosting back-up weights and giving more anglers the chance of making the frame.
“Who wants to go to a fishery where if you don’t draw one of the fliers, you might as well forget your pools money and go home?” Terry continued.
“The skimmers and tench ensure that anglers get bites throughout the year, and during those often difficult middle periods of a match when the carp aren’t feeding.”