Coarse fisheries gear up for the 2011 season

In the wake of the devastation caused by the recent big freeze, fisheries across the UK are beginning a campaign of work to ensure sport in the coming year isn’t affected.

Health checks on current fish stocks, restocking programmes and the relocating of fish are happening at venues around the country in an attempt to make sure anglers’ summer sport does not suffer following one of the worst winters in living memory.

One such fishery to adopt this proactive approach is Stafford Moor in Devon. 
Following one of the biggest netting operations in its history, bosses are predicting that 2011 will be the complex’s most prolific year ever.

As well as moving over 2,000lb of bream and 1,000lb of carp up to 7lb from the fishery’s specimen water to its match lakes, the huge project has also seen 50 double-figure carp stocked into its big-fish waters in an attempt to further improve sport. And the operation’s mastermind, boss Andy Seery, is confident that anglers will start to reap the rewards of the transformation very soon.

“We’ve all worked really hard to make this happen and I’m confident it will be worthwhile,” he told AT. “The mass moving of fish will help improve growth rates, while the standard of fish welfare will also improve, all of which will lead to more prolific sport for our visitors.”

Another venue already proving that tackling the affects of the Arctic winter head-on can pay dividends is Brookside Fisheries in Cheshire.

Following a dramatic decline in sport towards the end of 2010, including some match-winning weights of just 7lb, the fishery’s bosses decided to take action in the form of a large-scale stocking programme.

Several thousand F1s and carp to 3lb were introduced to the venue’s waters, and the move did the trick with sport returning to form with a bang, including numerous 70lb-plus match bags having been taken in the past fortnight.

“We’ve placed almost £10,000 of fish in our Snake Lakes and Willow waters,” fishery owner Noreen Timmis explained to AT.

“It’s led to the anglers getting a lot more bites as well as stirring the more established fish into feeding. Things are definitely now on the up.”