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UK Fisherman

Sunday, 02 August 2020 14:23

Royal Berkshire Fisheries Review

Royal Berkshire Fisheries has a fantastic feel to it and everyone there is friendly.

Brad is such a nice guy and the guys that work there are always happy to help. Another mention is Kev who was really helpful in setting me up after not fishing for over 40 years.

Prime example of this place is I lost my sunglasses while fishing & Brad found them andlooked after them for me until I next came.

I catch great fish there (26 caught one day after only my third week).

The cafe along with the tackle shop makes it an all round success.

I travel up from South London and highly recommend this place. Thank you for making me so welcome.

View submitted by Bob Burrage, July 2020

View venue details

View venue website

Angling Cymru update: 13th May 2020
Angling is now a permitted form of exercise but please remember to observe the following regulations:
Angling Cymru

Stay local:
You can drive to go fishing but only locally - the shortest distance you can. If you live in Newport, you fish in Newport. Use common sense.

Stay Safe:
Maintain social distancing. Sanitise hands regularly. Avoid dangerous fishing venues or those where you cannot maintain social distancing.

Stay Legal
Fish alone or with one other person from your household. No fishing in closed areas of land or property. No boat fishing. No overnight fishing.

Please remember this is just the first stage of a return to angling. STAY LEGAL and don't be the one responsible for getting angling stopped in Wales.

Source: Angling Cymru

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Kilnsey Park Fly Fishery is situated in spectacular surroundings. The two spring fed lakes are both approximately 1 acre in size and are open all year round, fishing well throughout the winter. The lakes are well stocked with hard fighting Rainbow, Blue, Brown and Golden trout from 2lb to 20lb+, all from our own Trout Farm. They are a TROUTMASTER water.Canal and River Trust angling news

The car parks, shop and cafe are adjacent to the lake, with lakeside fishing access for all abilities. They hold various fishing courses and events during the year (please note that these are suspended whilst coronavirus restrictions are in place).

Kilnsey fly fishing lakes will reopen to anglers from Monday 18th May 2020.

They appreciate that everyone is eager to start fishing again as soon as possible, but they need a few extra days to prepare properly for safe opening. They're going to need to do certain things differently to make sure they comply with the new Angling Trust guidance and support the national effort to defeat coronavirus.

You are advised to book your fishing ticket before travelling here if you can. To enable this they will be launching a new online booking system in the next few days. In the meantime please email if you want to reserve a place next week.

Revised opening hours for the fishing lakes will be 8.30am - 5pm. Please note that the café, family fishing and nature trail will remain closed for the time being. Thy look forward to welcoming everyone back here very soon.

Source: Kilnsey Fishing

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Today, anglers across England will be able to fish once again on their local canal, reservoir or other stillwater, following changes to government guidance during the current coronavirus pandemic.

As the guardians of 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales, the largest owner of fishing rights in the UK, Canal & River Trust is welcoming back anglers to its waterways for the first time in seven weeks.  It is also calling upon their help, following an unusually high level of callouts to help fish in distress during the last seven weeks.

Anglers are only permitted to visit the waterway if they are either alone, with members of their household, or with one other non-household member and importantly they can only fish where strict social distancing can be maintained.  This applies in England but not yet in Wales.  

The announcement of changes to government advice is welcomed by the waterway and wellbeing charity as it reports a staggering 300% increase in the number of fish distress callouts compared to this time last year due to decreased levels of oxygen in the water.

Fish in the canals, rivers and reservoirs looked after by the Trust are estimated to be worth around £40 million.  They are protected under law and some species are critically endangered . Thanks to calls from alert members of the public, Canal & River Trust have helped to save at least 100,000 fish in the past seven weeks.

Peter Birch, national environment policy advisor at Canal & River Trust explained: “Fish are sometimes overlooked by visitors to our canals, but they are integral to the ecosystem and a vital part of the wider food chain on our waterways. The joy of spotting a kingfisher, otter or heron is very much down to what’s going on below the water level.  Fish are a great indicator of good water quality – if the fish are thriving, so will other waterway wildlife.  The canals are generally healthier than ever and we’re keeping a close eye on the particular circumstances that are causing problems right now and taking action to support the fish.”

Instances of fish distress and fatalities (known as fish kills) occur when oxygen levels in the water decrease.  The Trust is aware of two key factors causing this in the waterways at present.

  1. High levels of sunlight during April helped algae blooms to flourish much earlier in the year than usual. These naturally occurring organisms grow in nutrient rich waters and are encouraged by warm weather and increased sunlight. Algae can cause water quality issues by reducing the amount of oxygen in the water during the night which, if left to its own devices, can impact on fish and other aquatic creatures.
  1. A rise in pollutants in the waterways, from accidental spills or even deliberate illegal disposal of pollutants.

As these conditions could persist throughout lockdown as we move into the summer, the Trust is asking anglers returning to enjoy fishing on their local waterways as well as members of the public who are already visiting their local canal to enjoy their daily exercise, to help support the Trust’s frontline operational teams and report any instances of fish in distress or any other unsociable behaviour on their towpaths or waterways.

John Ellis, national fisheries and angling manager at Canal & River Trust said: “Thanks to the public getting in touch we’ve been able to prevent two major incidents from escalating any further.  With oxygen levels in the water on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and the Lancaster Canal close to zero before we intervened, around 50,000 fish were estimated to be at risk of dying on each waterway.  Thankfully we lost only 200 fish in total because we were able to intervene in time and increase oxygen levels in the water with aerators and pumps. 

“Our fisheries and angling experts, ecologists and environmental scientists are all working closely with operational teams to look after our precious canals and rivers during this difficult time. With reduced staffing on the canals at present, the Trust’s operational teams are helping to monitor oxygen levels in some locations as a precaution, but we need the public and the angling community to help. 

“We know how much people enjoy spending time by water, it helps us to relax, unwind and boost our happiness levels.  If you are taking a short walk to your local waterway as part of your daily exercise, please keep an eye out and, if you see something unusual, then please contact our customer service team on 0303 040 4040.

“Fish gulping for air at the surface and not moving away with great haste when you approach them is a classic sign of serious distress.  This is occasionally confused with fish gasping at the surface or basking close to the surface on warm sunny days but scattering when you approach.”

The charity is also asking people to limit their use of canal towpaths and stay local.  Everyone should abide by the government guidelines, share the space along the narrow towpaths, respect social distancing and reduce speed if cycling.

Source: Canal and River Trust

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This year the Angling Trust will be hosting the Building a Brighter Future Angling Conference on Saturday, 30 November, 2019 at West Midlands Golf Club, Solihull. Angling Trust fishing news

Whether you are a member or they we would be delighted if you could attend.

Conference highlights

  • Meet Jamie Cook, the incoming CEO of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, who will give his first address since being announced in his new role for the sport.
  • We'll hear from Adam Brown from Substance on the latest National Angling Strategy, launched earlier in the year by the Environment Agency, on the way forward to grow our sport.
  • Our guest speaker Amy Crow, Participation Manager at British Triathlon, will present some great insights on how another sport has seized the opportunity to grow membership and wider participation in their sport.

Make sure you attend this key conference to find out about the work the Angling Trust are doing to help grow and develop the sport we all love.

Source: Angling Trust

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Monday, 03 September 2018 15:58

Best Carp Fishing Baits for Winter

If you are looking to benefit from the fact that not as many anglers bother during the winter months, you will find it a lot harder to tempt carp. Not only are they lazier, but the fact is that their metabolism slows down to compensate for the lower temperatures under the water.

As a result, they need less food, but although it is trickier to land fish at this time of the year, it is not impossible. It does require that you take a different approach to feeding and you need to choose the best bait.

In the following post we will look at 6 of the best fishing baits for landing carp during winter.


Let's start with one of the ultimate cold-water carp baits - maggots. By far the most reliable way to ensure you still land carp when the temperature drops is to have a PVA mesh bag of maggots and some grubs on a hair-rig or maggot clip. Carp absolutely love maggots, because they are incredibly easy to digest. The best approach is to cast often and tightly to create an area and make sure you use some grubs on your rig to balance the hook's weight better.


Adding salt to your baits is a great way to attract fish throughout the year. It is especially effective though, when the conditions are much cooler and you are trying to build up a small and tight area of attraction. Rather than using salt full of chemicals, use a good quality rock or sea salt. This can easily be mixed into ground baits and pastes and can even be sprinkled over corn, hemp, pellets, casters and maggots.


Winter fishing and spices mix well together. Thanks to there being many Asian stores up and down the country, you have the option of a wide variety of spices to try. Try Garam masala on ground bait, turmeric with maggots and even chilli-flavoured hemp to get those all-too elusive carp.


Highly visible and incredibly easy for carp to digest, corn is one of the best baits. We'd say it's even better than maggots, because it is resistant against small silvers that can easily steal maggots.


Odd choice for many, but you simply can't knock its effectiveness. Even though it is a tad on the oily side, this is attractive to barbell, chub and crucially, carp. It's easy to work with as it can be cut down to small chunks.


Those solid PVA bags you might be using can be filled with liquids. Liquids are a great way to produce a high level of attraction without using any of your precious feed. You need to trial and error with liquids to get a mix that works, but chocolate malt and condensed milk is a great one to start with for carp.

There you have it, 6 great baits to try when you are out there fishing in the winter and trying to land those carp. There are many others you can use, but the 6 above are along our favourites.

If you want some more carp fishing tips check out

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Conservation groups give hope for endangered eels by providing them a new home at Cyfarthfa Park Lake, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales

Salmon & Trout Conservation

S&TC Cymru and South East Wales Rivers Trust, as joint lead partners for the European eel in the Wales Environment Link (WEL) species champion initiative, have come together with National Resources Wales to help protect critically endangered eels in Merthyr.

As part of the initiative - which also involves removing barriers to migration - an abundance of young eels (known as elvers) are being released into Cyfarthfa Park Lake. Witnessing the release of the first 15 on Thursday 26th July were Dawn Bowden (Welsh Labour Assembly Member), Gerald Lewis (of Merthyr Borough Council) and the Trustees of Cyfarthfa Park.

Richard Garner Willams of S&TC Cymru says:

"Initiatives such as this play a crucial part in conveying the concept of protecting the welfare of future generations, and leaving the natural world in a better state than we currently find it."

Why is the European eel important?

Historically the European eel constituted 50% of the total freshwater fish biomass in Europe, though recently their numbers have declined by 90 - 95%.

Small eels, such as those released at Cyfarthfa Park, feed mainly on insect larvae, molluscs, worms, and crustaceans, but as they grow larger they will also predate other fishes and scavenge on fish carcasses, helping to recycle nutrients.

They are also important food for otters and birds such as herons, egrets and bitterns, and the consequences of their decline will be felt at all levels of the freshwater food chain. The loss of this key species will undoubtedly have a direct impact on the ecological integrity of entire rivers and the survival of many of our precious wild fish.

Aside from their role in the ecology of freshwater, European eels are a fascinating species with an extraordinary life cycle. They start as eggs in the Sargasso Sea near Bermuda and spend 18 months floating on ocean currents towards the coasts of Europe and North Africa. They enter rivers and lakes and spend anything from 5 to 20 years feeding and growing into adult eels. They then return to sea and swim 3000 miles for over a year, back to spawn in the Sargasso Sea.

Just like our beloved salmon and trout, they undertake an immense journey and depend heavily on having a clear route to make their migration. Sadly, their routes have been blocked; the implications of which are also suffered by many other freshwater creatures.

Barriers to migration = critically endangered

The lake, and other waters off the upper Taff, have had no eel population for over a hundred years, since multiple weirs were constructed along the length of the river during the industrial revolution, blocking their upstream migration from the sea.

1.3 million similar barriers across rivers in Europe mean that the eel can only access 10% of the habitats it used to. Numbers of the once common eel have been reduced by 90 – 95%, meaning the species is now classified as ‘critically endangered’.

Barriers to migration have severe consequences for all migratory species, and those that rely on them as a food source.

New eels in a new home

As part of this new initiative eels were sourced by the South East Wales Rivers Trust. They were part of a programme of placing batches of 50 baby eels in fish tanks in 8 schools and 2 education centres – the Welsh Water Education Centre, Cilfynydd and the Millennium Centre, Taf Bargoed, where the eels for Cyfarthfa Park were raised.

At the schools and centres, the pupils fed and looked after the eels for 3 months and learnt about the eel’s fascinating life cycle. Now bigger and stronger, the eels are ready to be stocked into their new home.

This is part of a huge programme of work which is underway across Europe to help restore eel populations by restoring wetlands and removing barriers to the eels’ traditional migration routes.

Cyfarthfa Park is ideal habitat for eels. They will grow there, become part of the ecosystem and will migrate in 5 – 20 years to sea to spawn and continue the species.

Dawn Bowden, Labour AM for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, said:

“The eel is a fascinating fish that needs our help. I am delighted to see how local conservation groups have worked together to educate our children and give eels a new home in Merthyr.”

Dawn Bowden AM, was made European Eel Champion this year, as part of the Species Champion project run by Wales Environment Link (WEL).

WEL members – including Salmon & Trout Conservation Cymru – pair AMs up with endangered species in Wales so they can help recover and safeguard them. Dawn is part of a group of 37 other AMs in the project.

Above, from left to right: Tony Rees (South East Wales Rivers Trust); Dawn Bowden (AM, species champion for European eel, Wales Assembly Member); Richard Garner Williams (Salmon & Trout Cymru); David Bunt (Sustainable Eel Group).

Richard of S&TC Cymru says:

"We are facing the very real prospect of our rivers and lakes becoming totally devoid of European eels and it is therefore incumbent upon us to act with urgency if we are to reverse their catastrophic decline.

One means of achieving this is to highlight their plight via the Wales Environment Link Species Champions initiative, which takes the cause of our many threatened species to the very heart of government.

I am delighted that Dawn has agreed to act as Species Champion for this fascinating yet little understood creature and am grateful for her enthusiasm and support."

Source: Salmon and Trout Conservation

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In what is believed to be a first, fish21 is conducting three surveys on recreational fishing baits and sustainability, each aimed at a different audience and accessed via the below weblinks:

Angling Trust fishing newsAnglers survey:
Bait manufacturers survey:
Fishery managers survey:

The current bait situation

It is increasingly recognised that businesses have a critical role to play in delivering more environmentally-friendly production and consumption, otherwise society will not be able to contain climate change; resources will become increasingly scarce; and ecosystems further damaged. For all manufacture, including recreational fishing baits, this means making products which minimise negative environmental impacts during production and subsequent use.

Sustainable target fish populations remain the lifeblood of the angling trades. But, fish can only thrive in an environment with good water quality and healthy aquatic habitats. Therefore, one of the first things to think about is bait ingredients. For example, how digestible baits are by fish and other aquatic life, or do they leave undigested remains which beyond a certain amount could negatively affect water quality and fish health? Alternatively, baits could be formulated not just to attract fish, but to additionally supplement their natural diet, contributing to healthy weight gains which will increase a fishery’s asset value, as well as benefit other aquatic life.

Another question to ask is whether or not the ingredients themselves are responsibly sourced? For example, whether seafood is supplied from a certified sustainable fishery. It is also important to consider whether the production, packaging and distribution processes can be rethought to minimise environmental impacts (e.g. designing out waste or making use of more easily recyclable packaging materials).

Many of these issues haven’t generally been considered, publicly at least, by bait manufacturers. These surveys are designed to be thought-provoking and findings are intended to provide a useful starting point to further discussion. Groundbaits are also considered, but not hard and soft plastic lures. All comments will be treated in the strictest confidence. The closing date for the surveys is 25th September 2018. In Autumn, an executive summary report will be published and outline the main findings. Please share this information across your social networks. Thank you.

About fish21

fish21 advances sustainability in the recreational / commercial fishing sector. A Global Ghost Gear Initiative partner working to develop solutions to discarded fishing gear worldwide, leading national initiatives to reduce marine by-catch and promote successful catch and release. fish21 also provides the secretariat for the Eden Sustainability Declaration - a voluntary signatory-led initiative for the global tackle sector. Founder, Stuart McLanaghan is a business sustainability professional, with 16 years’ executive experience advancing sustainability for major public and private clients, including the UK Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office. He is a sustainability feature writer for Tackle Trade World and ran a related talk and workshop at Efttex 2018.

Source: fish21

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Local anglers at Wedgwood pools had been concerned that a number of Cormorants and Goosanders were eating the fish and leaving very little behind. The birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, so it was up to the Environment Agency to step in and protect the fish.

Angling Trust fishing newsLast week saw the completion of 2 fish refuge ‘floating islands’ at Wedgwood pools, Barleston, Stoke on Trent. The islands allow fish cover from the birds, through the use of cages beneath the islands, allowing fish to swim in but not the birds.

Environment Agency Fisheries Technical Officer, Mick Buxton said:

This has been a really worthwhile project to be involved in. The Cormorants and Goosanders are having a significant impact on the recruitment of fish, so by introducing these islands, the fish have a greater opportunity to thrive. There is a secondary benefit from the project too. The plants on the island will also help improve the water quality of the pool, because the plants feed off nutrients in the water and this reduces the risk of algal blooms. The floating islands project was funded through the Fisheries Improvement Program, were the money is collected from anglers through rod licence sales.

An annual fishing licence costs just £30 and now lasts for 12 months from the day you buy it. Money from fishing licence sales is invested in England’s fisheries and is used to fund a wide range of projects to improve facilities for anglers including protecting stocks from illegal fishing, pollution and disease, restoring fish stocks through re-stocking, eradicating invasive species, and fish habitat improvements. Fishing licence money is also used to fund the Angling Trust to provide information about fishing, to encourage participation in the sport and to manage a voluntary bailiff scheme.

Children under 13 fish for free. Anyone aged 13 to 16 also fish for free, but do need to have a valid Environment Agency fishing licence. Anyone over 16 must pay for an Environment Agency fishing licence to fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel in England.

More information on fisheries and fishing licences, including how to buy your rod licence is available online.

Source: Environment Agency Fishing News

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A charity called Kids for Kids is holding it's annual Fly Fishing event this year at Park Lake, Albury, the Duke of Northumberland's private lake of which they will have exclusive use for the day. 'Fishing for Goats' will be held on Saturday October 13th and is a wonderful day out for experienced fisherman and beginners alike, with tuition, tackle, and equipment provided. All funds raised for the day will support Kids for Kids Charity, virtually the only organisation helping the forgotten children of Darfur, Sudan. .

Kids for KidsKids for Kids’ Executive Fly Fishing Day
Saturday 13th October 2018
Park Lake, Albury

We invite you to join us for our Executive Fly Fishing Day at Park Lake in Surrey. The day will give exclusive access to a private lake owned by the Duke of Northumberland, as well as tuition and refreshments available throughout, all within the setting of the beautiful Albury Estate!

Proceeds raised from the event will support Kids for Kids in our work helping the forgotten children of Darfur, Sudan. There is famine in Darfur this year because the lack of rainfall has caused the harvest to fail. Children and animals are at risk of starvation, so we must help.

This is a very special day for experienced fishermen and beginners alike! Tuition will be provided by fully qualified trainers who will give you tips on your technique. Tackle will also be provided, and all equipment if required.

Places are available for Morning, Afternoon and All-Day sessions:

All Day tickets (9.30am to dusk) @ £95 each (min. donation) to include breakfast, morning coffee & home made cakes, lunch with wine and beer, and finally afternoon tea (more home made cakes etc!). Hot drinks available all day.

AM session only (9.30 am + lunch) @ £55 each (min. donation) to include breakfast, morning coffee & home made cakes and lunch with wine and beer. Hot drinks available throughout.

PM session only (12.30 pm lunch ’til dusk) @ £55 each (min. donation) to include lunch with wine and beer, afternoon tea with home made cakes. Hot drinks available throughout.

AM only breakfast/fishing/lunch – PM only lunch/fishing/tea – or come for a full day, everything provided. Note: Children 10 or over welcome but must be accompanied by a paying adult at all times. Regretfully we cannot give reductions for children. Places are limited on the lake.

Book early to avoid disappointment! Visit their website for more details on how to book:

Please get in touch with any questions:

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