CANALS ON THE RISE AS AN­GLERS FLOCK BACK TO FISH THEM

Bet­ter stocks and eas­ier ac­cess send ticket sales rock­et­ing

Angling Times (UK) - - THIS WEEK -

A RE­SEARCH project has re­vealed that the num­ber of an­glers fish­ing the UK’s canals has dou­bled in the last four years.

Hun­dreds of stretches had been left de­serted in re­cent times as a re­sult of the com­mer­cial fish­ery boom, but the lat­est sta­tis­tics have shown a re­mark­able turn­around.

Of­fi­cials from the Canal & River Trust have an­nounced that sales of their Wa­ter­ways Wan­der­ers per­mit have rock­eted by 100 per cent since 2012.

The ticket al­lows an­glers to tar­get hun­dreds of miles of canal for a small fee each year, and na­tional fish­eries and angling man­ager John El­lis be­lieves there are a num­ber of rea­sons for the re­vival.

“Gone are the days when an­glers saw canals as venues ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing small fish and noth­ing else, with the aware­ness of their in­cred­i­ble po­ten­tial,” he said.

“Whether you’re a preda­tor, match or gen­eral plea­sure an­gler, there is cer­tain to be a stretch close to home that will ap­peal to you.

“Add to this, im­proved ac­cess and peg­ging in many ar­eas and it is easy to see why canals have drawn back a lot of an­glers.”

A na­tional surge of in­ter­est in lure fish­ing and drop shot­ting is also thought to have aided the come­back.

Ko­rum-backed spec­i­men an­gler Gary Knowles said: “No mat­ter where you are in the coun­try, a cheap and af­ford­able stretch of canal that is home to perch, pike or zan­der will be on your doorstep.

“At the drop of a hat, with prac­ti­cally no prepa­ra­tion and car­ry­ing just a light rod and reel, shoul­der bag and land­ing net, you are ready to go.

“You can walk for miles fish­ing a very ef­fec­tive method and catch some crack­ing-look­ing fish from both in­dus­trial and ru­ral set­tings. Given all this, it’s no sur­prise to me that the pop­u­lar­ity in fish­ing canals has in­creased rapidly.”

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