One of the UK’s premier commercial fisheries has banned a bait because the angler using it was winning too many matches.
Matchman Paul Newell has won hundreds of open competitions at Tunnel Barn Farm thanks to his prowess with a simple ‘bread slop’ feed. But now the venue has outlawed the approach following complaints from other competitors, resulting in a drop in attendances.
The move has angered Redditch, Worcestershire-based Paul to such a degree that he is now boycotting the venue, which he has visited every week for the past 16 years.
He told AT: “When fish are coming in for the bread slop it’s awesome, and it can seem like every carp in the lake comes into your peg. But some of the other regulars think of themselves as ‘purists’ and like to poke their poles to islands and pot in small amounts of bait. If I didn’t keep winning money they wouldn’t be bothered how I was fishing. These same backstabbers have now convinced the owner that my results are keeping people away and hitting him where it hurts, in his pocket.”
“In truth other anglers do just as well as me fishing worms, maggots, pellets and groundbait, so that tells you that bread is just another bait that works - it’s not the be all and end all,” he added.
A statement from the fishery confirmed that they have taken the decision because of ‘the number of anglers who do not like the method’. It also claimed that competitors have gone elsewhere, presenting a ‘significant drop in revenue to Tunnel Barn Farm’. Fishery representative Sarah
Hamlington said some midweek matches had seen nobody turn up at all.
“Paul may feel victimised but it’s nothing against him personally, it’s purely because anglers don’t like what he’s doing and they’re voting with their feet. It’s put us in a difficult situation and it’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly. We don’t like to restrict anglers and we pride ourselves on the minimal amount of rules we have here,” she said.