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For sale

Fisheries and property with fishing for sale

Whether it’s a business you want to run, or just for your own use, owning your own fishery, lake or stretch of a river is often a dream for many anglers. Our goal is to help anglers realise that dream by sourcing the best properties and fisheries across the UK that are currently up for sale.

Buying a fishery or fishing lake

For many anglers, the ultimate dream is to own a fishery, somewhere they, their family and friends can enjoy fantastic sport. Few achieve this ambition, although the demand underpins the health of the fishery market. Others seek to buy fisheries for alternative reasons – on behalf of angling clubs, associations or syndicates, or as commercial ventures which will provide a good income.

Buying a fishery may seem to be a straightforward process, but It is not quite that easy. Doing your research will pay for itself many times over before you actually start spending serious money or, even worse, waste your funds on an unsuitable site.

Location, Location

Firstly, consider the geographic area in which you are interested. Is the fishery suitable for its intended purpose? A small pond will be incapable of generating a substantial income unless it’s enlarged whilst an extensive reservoir is unlikely to provide an ideal venue on which to stage small club competitions.

Water bodies close to home will be easier to manage and to keep secure, considerations which may become problematic at far-away fisheries. Potential issues with poachers, vandals and thieves will be avoided or minimised at well-chosen sites. However, ‘country-retreat’ lakes can make excellent and profitable sites at which to develop holiday fishery businesses, with user accommodation in bank-side ‘pods’, caravans, cabins or lodges. However, living very near or on such sites is usually necessary.

Your local estate agents are unlikely to hold details of many, if any, fisheries for sale. The majority of purchases take place privately and many fisheries are never offered on the open market. This means that you would be best advised to put out as many feelers as possible. Ideas include: scanning the ‘small ads’ sections of the local and regional Press; searching in farming and small-holders’ magazines; contacting land agents and ensuring that they have your details; asking major land-owners; talking to the Environment Agency; and conducting internet searches. Finally, don’t forget to register below on our site.

What to consider when buying a fishery

Although the conveyancing process should reveal many issues that are important when purchasing a fishery, it is essential the check the site has planning consent for recreational use – a legal requirement that surprisingly has been overlooked at some existing fisheries!

A good maxim is to verify that the claims made in the sales particulars are actually true and have not been exaggerated for selling purposes. For example, verify that the site and the fishery are the claimed size by measuring it yourself using the free, interactive, Government mapping site.

Find out whether the site floods in winter or if the water level drops dramatically in summer. Is angling restricted by overhead electricity cables or is expansion handicapped by underground utility services? Are you about to buy a notorious feeding ground for cormorants? Is there a history of poor water quality, fish diseases or fly-tipping? In the case of impoundments, is the dam safe or liable to regular inspections by a qualified engineer?

One of largest obstacles is establishing that the fish stocks are what is claimed. On smaller bodies of still water it may be possible to agree a purchase price that excludes the fish, the cost of which are calculated from a stock-taking netting and/or electric-fishing survey. At the least try to talk to existing anglers to ascertain that their catches tally with the sale particulars.

Buying fishing rights

When buying fishing rights – which are regarded as ‘property’ in law – it is imperative to establish that you have the legal right to gain access to the river bank or lake. Usually, the land and fishing rights are owned together, but sometimes they have become separated in the past. Merely owning the fishing rights does not necessarily mean that others may not have the right to be on site… for example to abstract water for irrigation or to shoot over the land.

It’s The Business

When buying a fishery as a business, it’s a good idea to identify and weigh up the existing competitors. Your ‘offering’ really needs to be sufficiently different to draw anglers to it and to retain their custom. Treat any claimed income from a site with caution unless you can see proper accounts. Commercial fisheries are cash businesses, with all the pros and cons that go with that.

Professional Help

Finally, consider enlisting the help of experienced professionals who specialise in fishery appraisals, preparing business plans and securing finance for fisheries purchase. Their fees are frequently modest but their wise advice usually represents excellent value-for-money. If you have any further questions about buying or selling a fishery, fishing lake or a property that includes fishing, don’t forget to get in touch with our team here.

Want us to help you sell your property?

Do you have a property or fishery that you would like to list on this page? Just get in touch with our team now