Makins: Why I’m selling up

The outgoing boss of one of the country’s oldest commercial fisheries has revealed his reasons for putting it on the market.

Speaking exclusively to Angling Times, Makins Fishery owner Alan McDiarmid admitted the time had come to move on after being in charge at the Warwickhire venue for 11 years.  

“I’m now 70 years old and retiring. My wife and I would like to move closer to our granddaughter in Wiltshire – but it’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly,” he said.

“I’ve loved every minute of being in charge of Makins, meeting so many anglers over the years and watching some huge matches won on these waters.

“Everyone who has fished here has been so nice and I’ll probably miss that the most.”

The fishery – one of the country’s largest commercials with 18 lakes and more than 600 swims – is up for sale for £1.75 million, according to estate agents Colliers International, whose Robert Smithson said: “The current owners have done an excellent job in growing the business and establishing its reputation across the UK.


“This is a rare opportunity for a new owner to acquire an outstanding commercial coarse fishery business in an ideal trading location.”

Makins first opened its doors to the public nearly 30 years ago. It was created by match angler Billy Makin who sold it to British Waterways in 2003 before Alan took over five years later. It remains one of the country’s most popular commercials and was most recently sponsored by Guru.   

During his time there, Alan opened a bait shop and café, as well as an adjoining caravan park with 35 pitches, three high-specification holiday lodges and a three-bedroom bungalow.

Top match angler Phil Ringer, a regular visitor to Makins since it opened, was full of praise for the fishery and its owner.

“Alan has done an amazing job in the 11 years he’s owned it,” said Phil. “It’s a fantastic fishery and hopefully the new owners will keep it that way.”