Friday, 16 May 2014

Day to forget and Danny Fairbrass New Organisation...

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update and after a week trying to sort out the camera for last weeks update and me being laid up in bed all this weekend with a bug i thought it best to just recap the past two weeks in one update which gets everything nicely up to date and in order.

I normally start with an introduction and then move onto the fishing but this week i am going to be a little different and get the fishing out of the way first and then move onto a few topics i wanted to discuss.  The only time i have been out fishing in the past week or so was a Sunday morning trip to Little billinge where i was hoping to connect with a tench or two.  It always great to see a friendly face on the bank and Sunday was no different and i was really pleased to bump into Ade Green who had chosen Little billinge as his destination on this fine morning as well.

The fishing on this venue has been slow to say the least of late and those anglers targeting tench and bream have saw bites hard to come by.  The morning session brought a solitary bream for Ade and a lost tench, for myself I had a screamer of a run on my left hand rod, so violent it had the rod bent in half and pulled off the rest, lifting the rod i was met with nothing at all, how is that even possible?  The rod reset it was not long before it was off again and i was connected with a hard fighting tench that had me all over the place, under and over my other rod and then back into the middle, eventually it came into the edge and just about ready when the hook pulled, again it baffles how a fish can be on for so long and fight so hard all over the place for a good 2 minutes to then part the hook at the last minute.

Come 1pm the action had ceased completely to the point there were 7-8 anglers all staring lazily at floats or tips that stubbornly remained inactive.  I decided to call it a day and head off to the small pond for some roach action hoping to spend the rest of the afternoon bagging up on fat roach.  A quick nip home to change set ups i was on my way armed with my seatbox and pole and half a pint of maggots and corn for bait.

The seat box positioned and a new rig made up i took my time to make sure i was comfortable and ready.   My aim was to put together a net of quality roach so i started off on corn.  The float settled and no sooner had the bait hit the bottom the float was under, i lifted and the float stayed in the water and my pole lifted, using blue hydro i was perplexed, the bottom? then the bottom realised it was hooked and with that a strong solid run to the heavy weed in the middle of the lake where all became solid, on light elastic there was literally nothing i could do to stop it.  Some may say it was careless angling but from my point of view i was fishing a pond where i had only ever caught roach, rudd, perch and bream so my elastic was perfect in my opinion for the quarry.  This was almost certainly a carp or big tench in the way it went solidly to the weed and really shocked me.

Left connected with weed i managed to get hold of the elastic and began to pull for a break and eventually back came the elastic, only problem was it came back with no connector! Great, could this day get any worse, 2 lost fish and my only top kit i had brought roach fishing left useless by a big fish.  Tail between legs i wrapped in and headed back home, my dad amazed to see me so quickly.  Maybe i should have quit while i was behind, hey ho that is fishing.

Well that's the way my fishing seems to be going at the moment and as i have said many times on here before, you fish every week of the year, you take the highs and you suffer the lows but its all part of this blogging diary of an angler.

Danny  Fairbrass's New Venture

  Without doubt the biggest news of recent times in the angling world has been the announcement by Danny Fairbrass around him setting up an organisation to protect waters all across the UK and help preserve fishing from otters for generations to come so they can enjoy a sport he loves so much.  First of all I think we need to take our hats off to Danny for using his own money to get this project off the ground as to begin with this project will have no way of making money to pay the people he needs to, to complete the work.   I also think it is refreshing to see someone come up with an idea to tackle the issue of otters in this country that doesn't involve anglers being stood outside the houses of Parliament trying to get laws bypassed to cull 'problem' species like otters and cormorants.  I think these, as much as they are well intended, do nothing to promote angling in any better light than the mindless barbarians who recently gained a right to deal with a TB problem by culling countless numbers of badgers and look how well that has sorted out this initial problem, so from that point of view i think his idea is a really refreshing.

Now in the past week or so Danny has come in for some flack from some quarters and i have to think that he must have expected this when he first decided to go public with the idea.  The main areas he has come under scrutiny from are:

- The purchasing of waters, fencing them all off will see many waters across the country out of the reach of many anglers and will turn them into venues for Fairbrass and his mates ala fairbrass mere. 

- This is just a publicity stunt to generate more money for his company Korda in the way that more waters across the country that are associated with Danny means more people look at what he sells which means bigger profit margins for Korda. 

- This is all about Carp and preserving carp fishing and does nothing for coarse anglers and this will just mean the protection of waters that contain many silver fish being out of the reach of silver anglers as they become overrun with carp anglers sighed up to the this organisation in that area. 

These are the main points being aired against Danny at this moment in time, some of them i feel are unjust as lets face it the fact Korda will see an increase in profits from this in the long term is inevitable.  Part of this vision is to offer fishing to the next generation of anglers in this country, this will no doubt involve tuition's being held on these waters and lets face it anyone working for Danny Fairbrass is not going to be using Fox products in their tuition's.  I feel this point is null and void in the fact that i feel profit margins of Korda are the least of his worries i would imagine that company makes vast amounts of money already and as said its inevitable that he will see further increased profits as a result of this for the company, his own personal finances in the short term may even take a hit if as he says it is self funded by himself.

Some of the points do hold some validity though,  Danny has made no attempt to hide the fact that although this organisation wants to help clubs by educating them on how to protect waters and also help out with fencing them off that a big part of his plan is to bid on waters where the leases are coming to an end.  We only need to look at the buying power of clubs like Prince Albert to see how a club with the right backing can basically buy a huge proportion of waters from other clubs as they become available and even they have a massive waiting list given the huge portfolio of waters they own.  If this club does get off the ground and leases are bought as they come up we could see a lot of clubs that rely on there one or two prime carp waters for members being left with little to attract anglers to their club.

Put it like this, for arguments sake Warrington Anglers don't own any of their waters and the lease on Sandiway (a jewel of a carp water for any carp anglers and currently open to otters) and Grey mist mere (a venue with massive history in carping) come up for lease and the club loses these waters to this new venture.  The club if in a good financial state could probably take the hit and try to buy other waters but good carp waters are hard to find, especially with the ever increasing competition form this bigger venture as it snowballs.  I think we would see a huge reduction in membership, its a scenario that is not impossible for many clubs and could soon become a reality.  This purchasing of leases and waters makes it impossible for this venture not to become a Danny fairbrass angling club that you have to join to fish waters that has the added benefit that your money goes towards preserving the fish in its waters with the club and some of the money goes towards fighting predation in the court.

"This Dannys' Problems with it and concerns.."

Now i will move onto a point that has not even been mentioned at all in any shape or form in any of the discussions i have seen and this is around where the otter problem originated, our rivers.  This club promises to fight otter predation and preserve fishing in this country for generations to come, surly this involves protecting our most delicate of ecosystems, our rivers and i am sorry Danny but this problem cannot be solved with fencing.  The idea of fencing off waters in my opinion could be all well and good for preserving stocks in the waters his team fence but i think it could speed up the problems on our rivers, how is that possible you say well...

Lets take for example the River Weaver, a good example as it holds numerous carp stocks, is currently having a otter nature reserve built on its banks and also has a few carp waters along its length.   For arguments sake we will say the river is in a state where like many rivers the fish stocks are just enough to sustain the growing otter population but the otters also dip in and out of the local carp lakes along its length as their easy prey.  The organisation then fence off the five large carp waters along its length completely meaning there is no access to the stocks by the otters.  These otters are not going to just keel over and die over night from starvation, what will happen initially is you will put more pressure on their main source of food which is the river.  Now on the weaver we are blessed with high numbers of silvers but on other river like the ones down south where barbel stocks are being decimated you put even more pressure on these stocks thus speeding up the process of these fish numbers being reduced. 

This speeding up of the process in some eyes might be seen as a good thing, the quicker they starve the quicker their numbers drop and that would be the case if all waters where lakes that you could fence off but we are dealing with rivers here so what you will see is the speeding up of the spread of otters through our rivers as the species spreads along their lengths for food.  The rivers are the arteries of the country as are our canals as such and this pushing of the otters away from still waters simply puts more pressure on rivers and pushes them away from the protected waters but what does it hold for the rivers and the other unprotected waters along their lengths??  

Rivers by their nature are wild and free the anglers that fish them love them for the fact but its this fact that will provide this new venture with the biggest problem.  That is if they even intend to deal with the otter problem on rivers as there has been no mention of rivers so far,  I look forward to hearing their plans for this as it is not as simple as fencing them.  His venture will certainly not loose any momentum or backing by not having a plan for rivers but i do feel it faces loosing credibility by not including them. 

Anyhow thank you for reading this weeks angling blog i hope it all came across on paper how i wanted it to sound and i look forward to hearing you points of view.

till next time 

tight lines 



  1. Firstly: on losing tench. I have lost quite a few tench this season, usually well into the fight. On one occasion losing three consecutive good fish, each at well over a minute into the contest. Were they grayling I would understand. Losing tench, with their thick lips...I have no idea of the cause.

  2. On otters. I have, in over 50 years so far, only ever seen ONE otter. It was a wonderful minute or so. Many anglers are moaning that the introductions of otters are the cause of the "massive" increase in numbers. This is, according to the EA, whose views I respect, simply not true. The EA say most of the increase has been by natural causes, and the inevitable increase of the wild population since pesticides and hunting were reduced. I don't quite agree with that view myself though. A fair bit of the increase in otter numbers may well be due to the fact that anglers are providing them with easy "take-out" ready meals, pre-packed in a nice coating of big shiny scales. The number of carp in our waters has increased since the 60's by far more than the increase of otters, in percentage terms. Anglers have been providing fish farmed carp in club and commercial waters in such vast numbers that the otter population has been able to take advantage. It is at least in part our own fault! And when they get bored of Kentucky fried carp, we have also provided the otters with MacDonald's barbel burgers. The barbel: another fish that has increased manyfold. These fish have been stuffed with pellets and more. Even barbel are not as fit and as slim as they used to be. Pictures of barbel I caught 40 years ago show them to be far fitter looking than the plump specimens I catch these days. Plumper=slower=easier to catch or to predate!
    Artificially increasing otters by a hundred or so animals is a no-no, but artificially increasing carp numbers by the many millions is desirable?

    As to the fences. I for one would not want to see many of our waters surrounded by fences, machine gun turrets etc, with otter hounds patrolling the perimeters. I dislike too the implication that the this fencing is predominantly aimed at carp waters. To deflect the animals away from carp will cause them to seek food elsewhere, and long term might reduce their numbers of course. But the losers will be anglers sitting outside those fences, catching crucians or roach. Losers will be clubs that cannot afford the fences.

    The devil in me is asking how much otter fence production and/or sales will be done by Mr. Fairbrass's company? But I do like his assertion that we should be buying, rather than leasing lakes and rivers. I have always thought along those lines.

    The truth fairy in me says that if we lose a few thousands or tens of thousands of carp, then that is all to the good. Far too many of them these days. Almost a plague. Like zander and topmouth gudgeon, like ide and goldfish, they are not truly native fish, and are having far too much of a negative effect on our natural waters. I have a feeling that I may just have annoyed an angler or three there. But I like crucians, I don't like catching the various dayglo products of the aquarium trade, and I do like to fish nice clear water, un-muddied by massed ranks of carp. ;-)

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  4. Thanks for your interesting blog. One point, Warrington AA own Sandiway outright, it was purchased in the nineties iirc for £250,000.

  5. Hi guys,

    Thank you for taking time to comment on this post,

    JAYZS i think you are right on your comments mate, as i have said in many blogs on here most of the problems we face in angling are of mans own doing andas you say simply building fences around the waters is not the way forward and i hear this week that also included in the plans is a plan to remove all "nuisance" fish from these waters and move them to the same water where they cannot annoy the carp anglers which for me to hear was disserpointing and showed the true meaning behind this venture.

    Hi dave, in the blog i was just really searching for an example that people could relate too although asthis club grows and the financial backing it gets increases then huge bids for waters like sandiway could be hard for clubs to turn down, just look at PAAS paying 85,000 for two fields of fishing on the river Dee, my point, money speaks and big waters like sandiway would be prime real estate for this venture in the north.


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  7. Your day with the pole would have been saved if you had known how to tie a Crow's Foot knot in the end of your elastic and then you could have simply carried on fishing. Tie a simple overhand loop in the end of the elastic, moisten thoroughly and pull tight. This leaves you with a knot, a loop and one loose end. Cut the loop and the loose end to leave three tags around 1/4" long, tie your rig on behind the knot and away you go!