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Now, as an established Angler I have always been aware of the fact that between 15th March - 16th June no fishing is allowed because of the fact that many UK fish species are spawning.


**Now, this ban does not include some Canals and all stillwater fishing venues.**


Throughout my life I have always respected this closed season ruling. However, I am beginnning to feel that it may actually be a decision that actually removes a great benefit to UK fish.


Anglers on any water deposit foodstuffs into the water over and above the hookbait. This allows fish to in a sense feedup.

When fish are actively spawning they use up vast quantities of energy and in some cases become severely weakened by the whole process of reproduction. Yet the ability to recover and replenish themselves, I feel, becomes much harder for them with the absence of Anglers.

The fish must rely only on natural foodstuffs, which can on occasion be in short supply.

I feel that perhaps the coarse fishing closed season should be abolished for all UK rivers.



I would appreciate anyone elses opinion on this.

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Fish have survived for thousands of years on just the natural food available to them. I don't think we can make an argument that the food items we introduce are important to them during the close season and use this as a reason to abolish it. If any one thinks they are, they could all ways take a walk along the river and feed them with out wetting a line and do there good bit for the fish and also gain some good information for the new season ;)


I think the close season should stay as it is and I struggle to come up with any valid reasons to remove it, although maybe the timing of it could be adjusted.



Species Caught 2014

Zander, Pike, Bream, Roach, Tench, Perch, Rudd, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Eel, Grayling, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout

Species Caught 2013

Pike, Zander, Bream, Roach, Eel, Tench, Rudd, Perch, Common Carp, Koi Carp, Brown Goldfish, Grayling, Brown Trout, Chub, Roosterfish, Dorado, Black Grouper, Barracuda, Mangrove Snapper, Mutton Snapper, Jack Crevalle, Tarpon, Red Snapper

Species Caught 2012
Zander, Pike, Perch, Chub, Ruff, Gudgeon, Dace, Minnow, Wels Catfish, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Ghost Carp, Roach, Bream, Eel, Rudd, Tench, Arapaima, Mekong Catfish, Sawai Catfish, Marbled Tiger Catfish, Amazon Redtail Catfish, Thai Redtail Catfish, Batrachian Walking Catfish, Siamese Carp, Rohu, Julliens Golden Prize Carp, Giant Gourami, Java Barb, Red Tailed Tin Foil Barb, Nile Tilapia, Black Pacu, Red Bellied Pacu, Alligator Gar
Species Caught 2011
Zander, Tench, Bream, Chub, Barbel, Roach, Rudd, Grayling, Brown Trout, Salmon Parr, Minnow, Pike, Eel, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Ghost Carp, Koi Carp, Crucian Carp, F1 Carp, Blue Orfe, Ide, Goldfish, Brown Goldfish, Comet Goldfish, Golden Tench, Golden Rudd, Perch, Gudgeon, Ruff, Bleak, Dace, Sergeant Major, French Grunt, Yellow Tail Snapper, Tom Tate Grunt, Clown Wrasse, Slippery Dick Wrasse, Doctor Fish, Graysby, Dusky Squirrel Fish, Longspine Squirrel Fish, Stripped Croaker, Leather Jack, Emerald Parrot Fish, Red Tail Parrot Fish, White Grunt, Bone Fish
Species Caught 2010
Zander, Pike, Perch, Eel, Tench, Bream, Roach, Rudd, Mirror Carp, Common Carp, Crucian Carp, Siamese Carp, Asian Redtail Catfish, Sawai Catfish, Rohu, Amazon Redtail Catfish, Pacu, Long Tom, Moon Wrasse, Sergeant Major, Green Damsel, Tomtate Grunt, Sea Chub, Yellowtail Surgeon, Black Damsel, Blue Dot Grouper, Checkered Sea Perch, Java Rabbitfish, One Spot Snapper, Snubnose Rudderfish
Species Caught 2009
Barramundi, Spotted Sorubim Catfish, Wallago Leeri Catfish, Wallago Attu Catfish, Amazon Redtail Catfish, Mrigul, Siamese Carp, Java Barb, Tarpon, Wahoo, Barracuda, Skipjack Tuna, Bonito, Yellow Eye Rockfish, Red Snapper, Mangrove Snapper, Black Fin Snapper, Dog Snapper, Yellow Tail Snapper, Marble Grouper, Black Fin Tuna, Spanish Mackerel, Mutton Snapper, Redhind Grouper, Saddle Grouper, Schoolmaster, Coral Trout, Bar Jack, Pike, Zander, Perch, Tench, Bream, Roach, Rudd, Common Carp, Golden Tench, Wels Catfish
Species Caught 2008
Dorado, Wahoo, Barracuda, Bonito, Black Fin Tuna, Long Tom, Sergeant Major, Red Snapper, Black Damsel, Queen Trigga Fish, Red Grouper, Redhind Grouper, Rainbow Wrasse, Grey Trigger Fish, Ehrenbergs Snapper, Malabar Grouper, Lunar Fusiler, Two Tone Wrasse, Starry Dragonet, Convict Surgeonfish, Moonbeam Dwarf Angelfish,Bridled Monocle Bream, Redlined Triggerfish, Cero Mackeral, Rainbow Runner
Species Caught 2007
Arapaima, Alligator Gar, Mekong Catfish, Spotted Sorubim Catfish, Pacu, Siamese Carp, Barracuda, Black Fin Tuna, Queen Trigger Fish, Red Snapper, Yellow Tail Snapper, Honeycomb Grouper, Red Grouper, Schoolmaster, Cubera Snapper, Black Grouper, Albacore, Ballyhoo, Coney, Yellowfin Goatfish, Lattice Spinecheek

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I think the close season should stay as it is and I struggle to come up with any valid reasons to remove it, although maybe the timing of it could be adjusted.

I have to agree that it should be maintained however due to the erratic nature of spawning times for different species and also the effect the weather has on this the timing could not really be adjusted to ensure the spawning was over. I believe the fish should be left alone to spawn and because the timing of when they do so can be vastly different from year to year based on environmental conditions a long closed season is essential. Where I go at the moment there were still fish spawning 2 days before the new season!

For any web design needs check out http://www.chiptenwebsites.co.uk

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I'm in favour of getting shut of the closed season. It allows undesirables to fish in peace and do whatever they like. when the gates open again any birds etc which have chosen to nest in a potencial swim will be desturbed or even have their nests destroyed. Also without the closed season there wouldn't be a lot of sudden pressure on fish which may well be in the worst conditon of the year due to their romancing activities. Lets face it it hasn't done any harm to still water fish...or not to my knowlage any how. You only have to look at the ammount of trout caught by course anglers during their closed season and they don't seem any the worse for it.


Don't forget, the game anglers are still on the rivers and often catch lots of chub etc so in my opinion the closed season is just another daft rule needing to be abolished.

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Fish dont need anglers bait full stop on a natural water.


For me the real benefit of the closed season was that it allowed the bank side to recover after the trampling it got in the wet months! I remember how pristine and lush the banks looked on the 16th compared to when we last left them on the 15th.


I dont think that actual spawning fish need protection from anglers as in my experience they are just not interested in feeding whilst spawning.However being caught whilst they contain spawn/milt may or may not be a bad thing Im not sure but why risk it.


The big thing that concerns me with Now theres... suggestion is that after spawning the fish are indeed worn out and hungry...............so the last thing they need is to be caught (which they easily are during this post nuptial period!) And of course anglers introducing this supposedly beneficial extra food are going to catch them!


A lot of rubbish is spoken about fish spawning outside of the old closed season period.Many (due to them being so obvious when they spawn) base this around carp. Carp are a non indigenous species and their reproductive cycle is based upon different stimulus and conditions to our own native cyprinids.These inevitabley spawn (near as dam it) within the period. That said I do think that on well run waters a "rolling" closed season enforced by the management is a good idea to allow anglers more time on the water yet protect the fish at their most vulnerable (post spawning) Also on some waters there is so little pressure that it affects neither the fish or the bank side.


What Tigger says about our waters being "unguarded/un watched" during a closed season is totally correct but surely this is better (all though probably impractical) corrected by better bailiffing/policing of waters?


The old/present closed season system may not be perfect but maybe it was/is the best practical option.


I dont however hold with the train of thought that having a closed season or not has any bearing on how non anglers view us.

And thats my "non indicative opinion"!

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The merits or otherwise of a closed season is a subject that comes up frequently, and this is what I normally post:


"The closed season was brought in to protect stocks at a time when it was common to take fish for the table. These days the situation is very different with the vast majority of stillwaters (and I'm not talking about just commercials here) being grossly overstocked and thus not needing such protection. Thus there's no scientific reason to have a stillwater closed season to protect the fish themselves. I'll come back to the other issues later.


On the other hand the stock density on rivers is much lower. In fact, unlike most of their stillwater cousins, these fish need to breed to sustain their populations. They therefore need protection at spawning time, especially as on many rivers the fish travel to the same areas each year, where they're particularly vulnerable to angling pressure.


For the above reason I'm in favour of a closed season on rivers.


Additionally on rivers the fishing rights on adjacent stretches, or even opposite banks, may be owned by a multitude of different people/organisations, and what one does will effect his neighbour. It's therefore impractical to have different closed seasons imposed by different owners. Thus there's an argument for a national closed season with fixed dates on our rivers.


With the exception of large waters like the Broads, stillwaters normally have just one owner. Moreover there's a wide variation in stocking policies, angling pressure etc. On some waters a closed season would be beneficial, on others it wouldn't.


Therefore on stillwaters I'm very firmly of the opinion that any decision on whether to have a closed season should be decided by the fishery managers themselves - and certainly not the government.


For instance, on my own gravel pits at Wingham (that I also run as a nature reserve) there's so little pressure by anyone, let alone anglers, that a closed season has little practical benefit to the fish, the bankside or the wildlife. I know this to be true because when the statutory closed season on stillwaters was abolished I kept it for the first year. The second year I had a winter closed season on one lake, a conventional closed season on the other. There was no measurable effect on either the fish or the wildlife (we do wildlife surveys, including a monthly bird one). Indeed, there was a benefit in not having a closed season as, although the overall population remained unchanged, birds didn't nest in the few popular swims and thus didn't have a sudden disturbance on June 16th.


Having said this, I do reserve the right to impose a short closed season on the Coarse Lake at Wingham if water temperatures get too high. The dates will vary from year to year but will always be for the 2 weeks immediately after the bream spawn. This is because at this time (not before they spawn), big bream are especially vulnerable, and there is often some natural mortality at this time if it co-incides with high water temperatures. The problem though doesn't seem to happen with other species.


All of the above is based upon science rather than emotion.


Of course there's the emotional argument in favour of a closed season from those who like the romance of opening day and the break itself. If they choose not to fish then that's their loss and their choice. Having said that it's a view I have some sympathy with and certain respect.


What I won't tolerate though is any attempt by them or anyone else to change the law so that my own choice is restricted. In particular I'll fight tooth and nail to be able to manage my own fishery in the way I think is best. In fact, such interference is one of the few things that gets me hot under the collar!


I feel that the present situation is a very workable compromise, as well as being good science. The romantics have a closed season on the rivers, whilst most stillwaters are open for those of us who want to coarse fish through some of the best months of the year."

Edited by Steve Burke

Wingham Specimen Coarse & Carp Syndicates www.winghamfisheries.co.uk Beautiful, peaceful, little fished gravel pit syndicates in Kent with very big fish. 2017 Forum Fish-In Sat May 6 to Mon May 8. Articles http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/steveburke.htm Index of all my articles on Angler's Net

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1. They're only reliant on angler's baits if they are present in unnatural densities anyway, which obviously isn't healthy.

2. In nature they stock up on fats and carbs prior to starting their big shagging-session so they have no need to eat during it!


Just my two cents. ;)

"Man is his own worst enemy"

-Marcus Tullius Cicero

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The "banks need time to recover" argument is a bit daft. Everywhere looks better in the middle of June than it does in the middle of March regardless of whether anyone's been going there or not. The field I walk the dogs round every day, along with loads of other people is always a muddy mess in March, but even by the middle of May it's in rude health again, even the paths which are walked on all day long are covered with grass and the mud of winter is gone.


Rivers that used to get match fished heavily tend to have historically held more fish in the match stretches than other areas, and since the decline in real match fishing the levels of fish on those sections tend to have reduced, giving some evidence to the fact that the fish do indeed come to rely on anglers freebies to supplement the natural feeding on offer.


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Personally, I'm for lifting the ban.

I suspect that there are more fish being removed during the closed season than anyone yet realises and the apparent reduction in Pike stocks around Bewdley on the Severn is alarming.

Getting rid of the closed season would be goog from a comercial perspective, it would keep eyes on the water to see set lines and the like, it would ensure bailifing through the year and ensure that the wildlife nests away from any pegs that are going to be disturbed on the 16th of June.

I could however be convinced of the need for a keepnet ban from February to May.

Species caught in 2020: Barbel. European Eel. Bleak. Perch. Pike.

Species caught in 2019: Pike. Bream. Tench. Chub. Common Carp. European Eel. Barbel. Bleak. Dace.

Species caught in 2018: Perch. Bream. Rainbow Trout. Brown Trout. Chub. Roach. Carp. European Eel.

Species caught in 2017: Siamese carp. Striped catfish. Rohu. Mekong catfish. Amazon red tail catfish. Arapaima. Black Minnow Shark. Perch. Chub. Brown Trout. Pike. Bream. Roach. Rudd. Bleak. Common Carp.

Species caught in 2016: Siamese carp. Jullien's golden carp. Striped catfish. Mekong catfish. Amazon red tail catfish. Arapaima. Alligator gar. Rohu. Black Minnow Shark. Roach, Bream, Perch, Ballan Wrasse. Rudd. Common Carp. Pike. Zander. Chub. Bleak.

Species caught in 2015: Brown Trout. Roach. Bream. Terrapin. Eel. Barbel. Pike. Chub.

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