Is this the UK’s most expensive day ticket?
That’s the question being asked after a single day’s boat fishing on Somerset’s Chew Valley Lake fetched £880 on eBay.
A fierce bidding war broke out on the popular online auction site as pike anglers fought for the notoriously-difficult chance to get a fishing permit for the famous water.
The Bristol Water-run fishery has grown a reputation for its population of pike to 44lb 6oz. Limited tickets go on sale each January via a first-come, first-served basis over the phone.
However this year the water put a small number of boat-fishing tickets on the website, which prompted a bidding war. The anonymous winner secured the date for February 1. At face value the tickets for two anglers would cost between £100 and £120.
So would you pay almost £900 for a day’s fishing? Top piker and venue regular Neville Fickling said that he wouldn’t.
“I couldn’t afford it. There are some things in life money can’t buy, but there are an awful lot it can! And to people who can pay this, I say good luck. My view on Chew is that those who try very hard on the phone do eventually get tickets to fish there. Those that do it half-heartedly don’t!” he said.
And Angling Times columnist Des Taylor said that although he wouldn’t pay such an amount either, he could see why people would.
“Chew is an incredible place to fish and there is always the chance of a potential record pike,” he added.
John Harris, acting fisheries officer for Chew Valley, said that the February 1 ticket had proved so popular because it will be the first day pike anglers get on the water since November 2015. The first few weeks of each set of trials are traditionally the most productive as the fish have had a rest from pressure.
“We weren’t expecting a ticket to go for this much and the bidding got a bit silly! People may not have realised that there were other tickets up for auction for that day – this was the first one to go on. The introduction of the eBay tickets is an alternative way to get access to the water, because lots of anglers are left disappointed initially due to the massive demand. The extra revenue raised will go back into improving the fishery,” he said.