GOOD-VALUE CLUBS HAVE SO MUCH TO OF­FER

Improve Your Coarse Fishing (UK) - - Youriycf -

ALAN BAKER, KENT

Dur­ing my con­ver­sa­tions on the bank, I have de­tected a steady trickle of an­glers com­ing back to our rivers. Many ap­pear to have be­come dis­il­lu­sioned by what com­mer­cial fish­eries of­fer, par­tic­u­larly those stuffed with carp and F1s where ev­ery­thing you catch is more of the same. At my own club – Pen­shurst AS – which con­trols six miles of fish­eries on the up­per Med­way and the Eden, its trib­u­tary: "We aim to re-in­tro­duce the back-to-ba­sics an­gling that re­cap­tures the kind of fish­ing un­avail­able on com­mer­cial lakes." There is no cafe, tackle shop or toi­lets. It is a long walk across the fields to get to the river. There are 15ft high over­grown banks where you have to de­scend on a rope and clear your own swim. Real back to na­ture fish­ing, where a mo­bile ap­proach, stealth and wa­ter­craft are para­mount. The re­wards are the usual river species – bar­bel, bream, chub, dace, roach, perch and pike. There are a hand­ful of carp and tench too. For­get cast­ing a heavy swim feeder into a shal­low peg. It's much bet­ter to free­line, fish a light leger rig, or use a float for long trot­ting or stret-peg­ging. And avoid us­ing mag­gots and worms dur­ing sum­mer. Buy a large sack of hemp. Four pints soaked and cooked is suf­fi­cient ground­bait for a cou­ple of short ses­sions. My top hook­baits are bread, cheese, corn, lun­cheon meat, prawns, tares and deads for pike.

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