The long cold winter is now only a memory, thank goodness. The Met Office has announced today that May was the hottest May on record for over 100 years, and the fishing has been fabulous despite the swing in temperatures.
There has been a marked increase in the numbers of anglers enjoying great sport at The Fishery during May, which I’m sure is a reflection of the weather. Almost back to the good old days. Together with Corporate days every week during the month. Often bagging 60 or 70 fish during the day. The staff have had a busy time. We don’t have a catch “limit” on Corporate days, and so we frequently see large numbers of fish caught. It’s been a good month.
For those of you who like statistics, we rear 15,000 fish each year, and apart from a few monsters, which we hold back we are in a simple three year cycle. Because we stock 4lb plus we do have mortalities during the year, but the vast majority of the fry grow on to be stocked for angling. Unlike many other still water Fisheries, we have one third of the River Itchen flowing through our lakes, so from time to time you might well catch a smaller wild fish. But if you do catch a fish of less than 4lbs (pre gutting) keep it, but don’t count it towards your bag. Can’t be fairer than that.
Despite one of our contributors saying that hearing that most people were bagging up was not good news for him, I am pleased to relate that the vast majority of anglers did catch their bag, and only a very few blanked. Occasionally both fishing the same lake on the same day. It is important to note that not everyone fills their bag on every occasion. Technique must be in question, the willingness of a fish to take a fly on a given day, your personal pheromones, etc., But if you are struggling to get into a fish, talk to Aaron or Roger or James, and they will be happy to help with constructive comment on tackle, flies, technique, retrieval etc.
There are some very large, but clearly very elusive fish in all lakes, with any number of sightings, but very few successfully landing double figure fish. There was a time when we had anglers who only caught double figure fish, and would occasionally blank because of their slavish stalking of one particular monster. but sadly most have now passed away. Rest assured the fish are still in the waters as they have always been, but they tend to be in for considerably longer than they once were.
This year we have seen a large number of first time visitors, who are delighted with 4 lb’ ers and thrilled with 7 and 8 lb’ers. But who have not yet grown into big fish anglers, or learned the skills of stalking. But nonetheless recognise the quality of our full finned, full tailed, fighting fish.
A specimen Rainbow of 11 lb was landed by Barry Williamson, with Paul catching a 7lb fish, Clarke also 7 lb. Kev 7.5 lb and Jackson Jones a 7.5 lb and a 7lb. Colin Beddow 7lb 14 oz. Ant 7lb 7lb., 7 lb 14 oz and 8 .25 lb all in one bag.