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When it comes to going fishing there are many different types of fisheries and knowing which to pick depends on the type of fishing you want to do, the frequency and amount of time you want to spend fishing and – as with most things these days – the amount of money you want to spend.
Perhaps the most common are commercial Day Ticket fisheries which offer ‘Pay as You Go’ angling. Here you pay a fee to fish all day, part of the day or for being able to fish overnight or for longer periods. The longer you stay, the more you pay.
As their name implies, day ticket commercial coarse fisheries are run as out-and-out businesses and range from smaller venues with three or four waters and few or no facilities up to bigger venues with a dozen or so lakes, on-site tackle shops, a cafe, toilet facilities and car parks.
They also vary in the types of fish they offer. Whilst some of the smaller venues simply cater for pleasure anglers looking for a pleasant day’s general fishing, the larger ones also cater for match anglers by holding competitions and for specimen carp anglers. Indeed, some of the more specialised venues offer fishing for carp to over 40lbs and even bigger catfish.
There are also many day ticket stillwater trout fisheries where anglers fly fish for trout. Unlike commercial day ticket coarse fisheries where anglers pay for the amount of time they spend at a venue, trout fisheries have a different charging system. This is split into different categories and is usually based on the number of fish caught or the time spent fishing.
Typically, stillwater trout fisheries allow anglers to pay to catch two, three or more trout which they can take home to eat. Anglers who buy one of these tickets are usually asked to complete a catch report at the end of their session so that the fishery owners can replace the number of fish which have been taken.
Most also offer a cheaper ‘catch and release’ ticket – sometimes known as a Sporting Ticket – where anglers pay to fish but agree to return to the lake any fish which they catch.
In addition to fishing ‘commercials’, many anglers also join their local angling club which offers the opportunity to fish a selection of rivers and pools which the club controls for a set annual fee. Having paid your membership fee you can fish any of the club’s waters as often as you want.
Membership costs vary widely. Smaller clubs which control just one, two or three waters often charge as little £30 or £40 for a full year’s fishing whilst bigger clubs which offer angling on a much wider selection of lakes and rivers in some cases charge three or four hundred pounds a year.
Many of the more popular clubs have a limit on the number of members they allow and once this limit is reached prospective members have to join a waiting list which, in some cases can be several years long!
In addition to all the above there are also Syndicate waters. These are similar to angling clubs but generally have a limited membership and are usually aimed at more experienced anglers who want to catch large specimen fish or want to fish more exclusive waters such as lakes or rivers on private estates or stretches of famous rivers such as the Hampshire Avon.
Joining a syndicate can be more difficult than joining an angling club. Many require you to be introduced by an existing member and many have a waiting list. Costs can vary from a few hundred pounds a year to a thousand or more – so for the average angler these are probably best left to another day.
The choice of which type of fishery is best for you comes down to what type of fishing you want to do, what species of fish you want to catch and how experienced you are. If you are a beginner or class yourself as an average angler who simply wants to enjoy a few hours’ by the waterside or a day’s pleasure fishing then a commercial day ticket fishery is probably a good place to start.
In addition, you may also decide to join one of your local angling clubs and fish a selection of their lakes and rivers. The added benefit of this is that over time you may well get to know other members who will usually be happy to pass on the benefit of their experience.
In addition to searching for fisheries in your area on our website, one of the best starting points for finding venues near where you live is to visit your local tackle shop, many of which will be happy to suggest suitable venues, give you tips on how to tackle them – and sell you the right equipment and bait for the job!
When using our website you will see a search panel at the top of this page ‘Where do you want to go?’ Simply type in the county or town where you want to find a fishery and off you go. Alternatively, at the bottom of this page is a panel where you can get an overview of the fishing which is on offer in each county.
We visited Alcott Farm and I fished peg no.44. I had to pack up at 4pm because my arm ached so much. I just didn’t stop catching all day, it was the best fishing I’ve had for 10 years.”John Petterton