Commercials respond to silvers boom

Millions of silverfish are set to be stocked into a host of the UK’s biggest commercials in a bid to keep anglers catching this winter.

Huge catches of carp dominated the headlines during the summer and several venue bosses have now shown their commitment to keep the prolific action going by intoducing large quantities of roach, bream, tench and perch.

Officials at Woodlands Lakes in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, were among the first to alter their stocking policy after calls from match and pleasure rods to bring in more silverfish. Fishery manager Jimmy Kent told Angling Times: “It’s all about keeping anglers busy and it’s not uncommon for visitors to take 30lb nets – even on the coldest days.

“We have regulars that used to put their tackle away for winter but the abundance of roach and skimmers in our waters means they now fish all-year round.”
Further south, Oxfordshire specimen complex Linear Fisheries has placed hundreds of quality tench and perch into Hunts Corner Pond, with Devon’s Stafford Moor undertaking a similar process on Tanners Lake.

Staff at Surrey’s Bury Hill Fisheries have stocked large numbers of roach to 2lb and owner David deVere said: “There is a bigger demand from anglers for quality silverfish now than ever before. Only last week a visitor had a brace of 2lb-plus roach and the more word gets out about such catches, the more people want to have a go for them.”

Other venues have taken even bigger steps to promote silverfish action, with Staffordshire’s Baden Hall and Berkshire’s New Farm Fisheries both opening new lakes where carp will barely feature.

The increase in demand has seen numerous fish farms struggle to keep up with the sudden surge of interest and Quiet Sports chief Steve Barnes claims he and his staff are working at their limit.

“Quality bream and roach are as popular as ever and last year we ran out of fish,” he said. “We anticipate the same problem this year and urge people to get their orders in quickly to avoid disappointment.”