When choosing a venue to fish, a location near to home is the most important factor for anglers, followed by good access paths and pegs, good fishery rules, peacefulness and attractiveness of the venue and secure car parking, according to the results of Fisheries.co.uk's 2009 Summer Survey which was completed by more than 400 visitors to the site.
Carried out between August and the end of September, the survey asked anglers to say what they considered to be the most important factors when choosing a venue to fish.
Other major factors when selecting a venue include opening times, friendly and knowledgeable fishery staff, good toilet facilities and safety.
Surprisingly, the cost of day tickets and the provision of concessionary tickets for OAPs, juniors and the disabled were only considered to be important for less than half of the 414 participants in the survey, whilst the provision of night fishing and the availability of an on-site café or tackle shop were relevant to about a third.
Only five per cent wanted fisheries to provide on-site tuition by a qualified coach whilst only two per cent wanted fisheries to provide tackle hire or loan.
When it comes to catching fish, over half the anglers who took part said the quality of the fish they catch was the most important factor (52.2 per cent) whilst only 18.5 per cent said size was the most important factor, slightly ahead of the number of fish caught and the variety of fish on offer.
Asked how much they expect to pay for a day ticket, nearly half (47.8 per cent) said between £5.00 and £6.50 whilst slightly over a third (34.6 per cent) said they were happy to pay up to £10 for a day's fishing. The majority of anglers (66.8 per cent) said they also preferred to pay for their day ticket on the bank whist just under a third (31.2 per cent) said they were happy to pay in an office or café on arrival. Only eight of the 414 respondents said they preferred to use an automated ticket machine.
The majority of those questioned said they preferred to fish either from dawn until dusk (42.2 per cent) or from 9.00am until 5.00pm (26.0 per cent) with less than a quarter opting to fish early in the morning and less than 10 per cent choosing to go fishing just for an evening session.
Despite the dramatic increase in the quality of Britain's rivers over the past 30 years or more, over 90 per cent of survey respondents said they preferred to fish stillwaters (92.5 per cent) with only 30 of the 414 respondents (7.5 per cent) saying they would rather fish rivers.
Not surprisingly, the most popular fish species were common and mirror carp followed by tench, then bream, crucians and roach and rudd. Barbel and chub were popular with a third of all respondents, well ahead of perch, pike and zander.
The majority of the anglers who took part in the survey - just over 50 per cent - regarded themselves as of average ability with 44 per cent describing themselves as experienced. Only 18 of the 414 classified themselves as novice anglers and only four were beginners.
Of those who took part, over half (54.5 per cent) were pleasure anglers with the next largest proportion (29.5 per cent) being carp anglers. Eleven per cent classified themselves as match anglers and five per cent as specimen anglers who targeted fish other than carp.
On average most anglers fished only once a week or two or three times a month (69.1 per cent) whilst 21 per cent fished two or more times a week. Just under 10 per cent (9.8 per cent) said they fished only once a month or less.
Looking at the make up of anglers, the overwhelming majority of those who took part, 98.3 per cent, were male with well over half - 56.1 per cent - being aged 41 to 64. Just over a quarter (26.8 per cent) were aged between 26 and 40 with nearly 10 per cent being between the ages of 17 and 25. Only five per cent were under 16 and only three per cent aged 65 or over.
When asked what sources respondents most used to find information on new venues or angling techniques, it was not surprising that the majority (58.1 per cent) said 'The Internet'. The next most popular at over 18 per cent each were weekly angling newspapers and monthly angling magazines followed by TV programmes (2.5 per cent), DVDs and videos (1.5 per cent) and books on angling (one per cent). A total of 406 respondents answered this question out of the 414 total.