Sunday, 22 August 2010

Good Commercial Sense?

Commercials eh? Horrible places by and large, I'll grant you; but they do have their uses.

Every few months I am compelled to suspend my boycott of commercial fisheries. The blame for this falls squarely on the shoulders of a friend of mine, Sarge, who refuses to fish anywhere else. The reason for this is simple. He's really not any good at fishing, and baulks at the prospect of a river, say, or anywhere else that presents a challenge. The upshot being that we end up at a commercial fishery situated equidistant between our homes, chatting of this and that, while he tries (and often fails, incredibly) to catch carp and I try to avoid them.

Why, you may ask, do I try to avoid the carp? Because, to any reasonably sensible angler, this kind of fishing is entirely pointless and devoid of any merit whatsoever. Reeling in one suicidal hand-raised, pellet fed five pounder after another does not constitute my idea of fun, or sport.

However, the fishery does contain specimen roach, rudd and perch. I know this because I've seen them caught . I reckon the place offers my best chance to make my 30-odd year old dream of a 2lb roach a reality, so roach are my target when I go there.

My method entails using a waggler at long range. Hemp is fed regularly into the area and the hookbait - tares, maggot, or those jelly pellet things - is allowed to sink slowly down through the depth of the swim to the bottom.

Of course, the problem of nuisance carp is ever present, and the inevitability of hooking a few must be borne with a patient shrug. The fishery in question is typical of many commercials in that it is free from any meaningful snags - lily beds, overhanging trees, that sort of thing - which might otherwise compromise revenue potential by restricting valuable peg space. This means that lightish tackle can be used in the knowledge that, should one hook a carp, it can be easily (but tediously) played out and released before getting on with the proper fishing.

Yesterday I caught the fish pictured (1lb 12oz - getting closer, the previous best was 1lb 10oz). It was roach shaped and had a red roach eye and a roach mouth, but I can't help thinking it had a bit of a golden ruddish tint to it. I'd welcome comments.


phil-k said...

I just hope its not an ide.I've had them to 3lb 4oz on my local commercial.They can easily be mistaken for big roach until you have caught a few.

Sarge said...

I've never been so insulted in all my life. Although it has compelled me to withdraw the dirth of savings reserved for a rainy day and purchase some shot and some rather nice floats! This non fisherman is determined to right the wrongs of this article!

Anonymous said...

Phil - hadn't crossed my mind, but I think you may be right - doh.

Sarge - you know I hold you in the highest possible esteem - just not at fishing.


Anonymous said...

Don’t be too quick to right off all commercial fisheries, although having said that I’m not sure I’d we can be classed as a “commercial fishery” as our coarse lakes are on a private estate, intimate and although man made it were created so many years ago that we’re having a job to keep nature at bay. My husband and I are proud of what my father in law created and re-stocked with some fantastic mirror and common carp from the Glastonbury Abbey ponds earlier this year. The fish are shy, the lakes are under-fished and the surrounding countryside is rural, unspoilt and difficult to beat. ...not that I’m biased or anything! We’re on a steep learning curve and owe a lot to the likes of John Aplin from Casterbridge fisheries, who’s friendship and advice has been invaluable. So I’d like to extend an invitation to you to come and spend a day with rod in hand and sample something that I would say easily rivals those rivers your so fond of. Have a look at our website:

Retiarius said...

Dear West Compton Manor,

Thanks for you comment.

Having looked at your website I would say that your fishery does not come under the category of commercial that gets on my pip.

What concerns me are the large number of commercial fisheries who's sole purpose appears to be to generate profit at the expense of good practice.

I do not write off all commercial fisheries, as I hope the piece makes clear, but there are a great many that are not run along the sensible lines that yours appears to be. I feel that the preponderance of badly run commercials is issue should be discussed, and plan to write a less flippant piece, outlining my concerns, at some point in the future.