The Compleat Angler Store

Mugs and Stuff for Anglers and Fishing Tales For Everyone


Fishing Rambles

Today I was thinking about venturing out for an afternoon’s fishing but the skies opened up and I succumbed to the allure of a warm living room and my laptop computer. Tomorrow, DEFINITELY going fishing. Two days in a row with no fishing (and three with no fish if you count yesterday’s River Dee Blank) isn’t really an option for This Compleat Idiot Angler.

Something that I’m always asked is “Do I prefer fishing on Commercial fisheries or do I prefer fishing on natural venues such as canals, non-commercial lakes and rivers/streams. Actually this is not true. No-one has ever asked me that question but I always answer the unasked question with “I slightly prefer natural waters.” Let’s look at the pros and cons of each:


Commercial Fisheries Pros: (a) Always stuffed with fish. (b) Often accompanied by useful facilities such as cafe, tackle and bait shop. Toilets too which can be useful. (c) Often much easier to fish when the weather is really windy or wet. (d) Pegs are almost always properly set up custom made ready to make fishing really comfortable. (e) Pegs are never too far from the car park. (f) No chance of a rogue pike messing up the fishing.


Commercial Fisheries Cons: (a) Most won’t allow keep nets. (b) You almost always have to pay to fish. (c) Often have quite restrictive hours and most prohibit night fishing. (d) No chance of catching a rogue pike.

Farndon bridge

Natural Venues Pros: (a) Often stuffed with fish but you have to find them. (b) Sometimes near useful facilities like pubs. (c) Rivers, lakes and canals feature whereas commercials are almost always fishing ponds.  (d) There is a lot of free fishing on commercial venues. (e) Night fishing, especially on free venues, is often allowed.

telfords1Natural Venues Cons: (a) Sometimes you don’t find the fish. (b) Often near no useful facilities whatsoever. (c) The fishing can seem like it’s miles away from the car park. Even as I type this on a Tuesday evening with Storm Barney wreaking havoc all over the U.K. there are still anglers trying to find their cars after finishing their fishing on Sunday. (d) Pegs often treacherous to access and fish from, especially on rivers, sometimes on canals it’s just you fishing along with cyclists cycling, joggers jogging, walkers walking, dogs pooping and eating your bait and, on really bad luck occasions, yobbos being yobs just at the exact time as the cyclists, joggers, walkers and dogs are nowhere to be seen.

Overall, as I mentioned earlier, I like natural venues. But tomorrow I will venture out into fairly foul weather and I’ll hunker down on the banks of a commercial fishery. After blanking yesterday on the flooded River Dee (admittedly a very short fishing session), I fancy hooking into some actual fish.

If you like The Compleat Angler blog you’re invited to Spread The Word with the same efficiency rats and fleas spread the Plague in the Dark Ages. With your help we’ll soon have more people fishing all over the U.K. as they leave their homes and computers in a desperate effort to avoid having to read this column.