The angling sector has finally bucked the economic downturn, with many fisheries and tackle shops reporting record spring takings.
After one of the coldest winters in decades, many in the industry feared a tough 2011 but the unseasonably warm weather during the extended Bank Holiday has renewed hopes of a recovery.
Cudmore Fisheries in Staffordshire reported a record-breaking spring, and Bury Hill Fisheries in Dorking, Surrey also saw more day-ticket anglers come through the doors during April than ever before. Oxford’s Linear Fisheries was another complex that experienced unprecedented day-ticket sales.
But it wasn’t just venues that enjoyed the surprising boom. Fishing Warehouse, one of the UK’s biggest online tackle shops which is based at Llyn Y Gors Fishery, says that sales are 53 per cent up on this time last year and it has recently had to dedicate all its staff to its online and on-site shops to keep up with demand.
“The winter weather hit our sport hard and understandably anglers have been praying for better weather and are raring to go. This has resulted in a great start to the spring for many people within the industry,” said Cyril Brewster, Cudmore owner and chairman of Premier Fisheries.
“Not only my complex, but many others have seen a big increase in day ticket sales. I’m in constant contact with many key players in the fishing trade and they have reported some outstanding sales too,” he said.
Owner of Lyn Y Gors Fishery and Fishing Warehouse, Kevin Coe, said: “We’ve been up every month since the beginning of January and there has been so much demand for tackle and bait that everyone employed at the fishery has had to lend a hand just to get the tackle out and keep stock on the shelves.
“It’s really starting to feel like the sport is finding its feet after a difficult winter.”
Despite experiencing record day-ticket sales and admitting to being ‘immensely positive’ about the recent upturn in both the tackle and fishery industries, David De Vere, owner of Bury Hill Fisheries, is of the opinion that the sport still finds itself in a very fragile position.
“The warm start to the spring is just what angling needed and it’s great that people are getting out on the bank,” he said. “But it’s still very tough out there and it’s vital that every angler does what they can to support the industry and their tackle shops.”