Anglers ‘not up to scratch’ says fishery owner


The owner of one of the most popular fisheries in the UK is giving away free fishing lessons after admitting some pleasure anglers just aren’t good enough.

David De Vere, who runs the popular Bury Hill Fisheries in Surrey, is adamant that his forward-thinking initiative will improve the overall standard of day-ticket fishermen, which he currently believes is ‘very poor’.

To this end, fishery bailiffs at Bury Hill now patrol the lakes at peak times armed with terminal tackle, bait and years of experience to try to help boost the catch rates of those who buy a day ticket.

Far from it being just a quirky idea, David is of the opinion that the scheme should be rolled out to other established fisheries in an attempt to improve the standard of anglers nationwide.

“It’s virtually impossible to have a poor day’s fishing at this complex, yet the tactics employed by the average pleasure angler are often miles off track,” David told Angling Times.

“Too many anglers get the basics wrong. I’ve seen people that think they’re fishing on the bottom and they’re actually presenting their rig at half-depth and wondering why they’re not catching bream and tench. I just think that something needs to be done.”

David is also a firm believer that it’s not just individual catch rates that can suffer as a result of poor angling practice, but the image of the fishery as well.

“When anglers don’t catch they blame the fishery and that isn’t good, because we all know that bad news travels fast. That’s just so frustrating because I just want every angler that comes here to have the best day possible,” he continued.

“Anglers are sometimes their own worst enemies and can be very pig-headed. They don’t like it when people approach them to offer advice, even if it’s done politely with the best of intentions.

Fishermen used to learn the ropes from their father or grandfather, but fishing has changed so much and many of the tactics, baits and feeding pat terns are now outdated. I am confident we can change this.”

One Bury Hill visitor who has already taken advantage of the free coaching at the fishery is Maurice Vickery, from Surrey, who has been a venue regular for around three years but until recently had always struggled to catch a big net of bream. After receiving advice on waggler fishing from on-site tackle shop manager Russ Evans, Maurice has returned three times and banked over 80lb of fish on each visit.

“The help I’ve received at the fishery has totally transformed my fishing,” said Maurice.

“I have no doubt that if other anglers just took the time to listen and take a bit of advice they’d be amazed at the results.”