Sheffield angling: Keepnets and fishery ruleshit headlines yet again

Pauline Hart with her catchPauline Hart with her catch
Pauline Hart with her catch
The issue of fishery rules and keepnets raised its ugly head again this week in the Hogshead match at Lodge Farm.

Two anglers were deemed to have exceeded the fishery imposed weight limit of 55lbs per keepnet and were punished by having their total weight reduced accordingly, thus lowering their catch total by enough to have potentially cost them the match, relegating them down the frame and possibly affecting their season-long aggregate points trophy totals.

Secretary Trevor Robinson pointed out: “How many nets are anglers expected to carry and how can they know what weight is in each net? The solution is for fisheries to provide their own nets. It might be asking a lot of them but there’s only so much we anglers can do. It’s upsetting to see anglers enjoyment ruined by the disappointment when weighing in at the end of a match. This problem is now happening at a lot of venues.”

Boundary AC

Dave DevineDave Devine
Dave Devine

Woodhouse Grange, Ghost Lake

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There is absolutely no reason why lady anglers cannot be successful in match fishing against men. Indeed, considering how few female match anglers there are, the ones that do fish enjoy a remarkably good success rate against the so-called stronger sex. One lady who enjoys more than her share of success is Green Un Finals organiser Pauline Hurt who once again showed everyone a clean pair of heels in the latest Boundary AC match finishing at the top of a frame that included 5 ton-up weights and on a day when the lowest weight was 48lbs. Pauline caught on sweetcorn over micro pellets fished along the margins at Peg 3.

Result: 1. P Hurt 146-6; 2. D Jubb 124-2; 3. N Foottit 112-8; 4. S Beckingham 109-0; 5. G Hurt 100-0; 6. P Butler 98-10.

Hogshead Angling Charity Match

Kiveton Waters

Secretary’s Venue Verdict: Very comfortable and anglers can drive to most pegs well worth a visit. 8/10

On a fine, sunny day it was a case of many big fish being lost that influenced the outcome. Top performer was Colin Primrose who got off to a flying start catching carp on bomb and banded pellet at Peg 1A.


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1. C Primrose 53-6; 2=. C Redfern and D Elliott 47-10 ; 4. L Beresford 45-3; 5. T Ward 44-7.

Hogshead Angling

Lodge Farm Fisheries

Secretary’s Venue Verdict: What a match, what a venue. I cannot praise this fishery enough.

The fishery hit top form for the Hogshead visit; five ton-up bags and 60lbs only good enough for 15th place. Dave Devine won narrowly catching carp on banded pellets switching between pole and feeder to keep the fish coming. The keepnet maximum weight ruling cost at least one of the framing anglers a win.

Result: 1. D Devine 138-7; 2. D Elliott 133-9; 3. L Beresford 130-7; 4. L Flynn 110-0; 5. C Pridmore 102-9; 6. C Redfern 91-7.

Walkley AC

Lakeside Fisheries, Ranskill, Match Lake

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Chris Lee enjoyed a good start to the match catching around 30lbs of skimmers presenting worm over micro pellets with a pole at Peg 6 but he knew carp would probably be needed to win so he gambled with a switch to bomb and pellet. This paid off with more than 60lbs of carp giving him a comfortable winning margin.

Result: 1. C Lee 98-14; 2. J Cowley 78-12; 3. K Buxton 65-4; 4. B Gay 47-10; 5. R Smith 47-0; 6. K Stancil 40-9.

Walkley AC

Swanlands, Thorne, Chestnut Lake

Despite strong winds forcing anglers to fish short, seven weights over 101lbs were recorded as the fish went on a feeding spree. Lol Lax led the way from Peg 1 catching carp on pole and dead red maggots.

Result: 1. L Lax 161-2; 2. G Yorke 136-8; 3. P Stanton 122-0; 4. P Dobson 107-0; 5. S Duggan 103-8; 6. J Stone 101-2; I Ward 101-0.

Everest AC

Woodhouse Grange, Heron Lake

Secretary’s Venue Verdict: 8 / 10

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With Heron hitting top form for the visit of Everest sport was hectic and 80 pounds only good enough for 9th place. Leading a string of ‘tons’ was Ryan Steedon fishing corn over micro pellets in the margins at Peg 1. There was at least some consolation for runner-up Shane Easton. He secured a place in both the individual and pairs knockout final.

Result: 1. R Steedon 143-5; 2. S Easton 134-5; 3. J Moore 123-3; 4. C Cosgrove 117-3; 5. B Moore 109-0.

Homestead AC

Little John Lakes, Robin Hood Lake

Strong winds failed to mar a spectacular match in which the top six all topped 100 pounds. New member Tom Finbow certainly had a debut to remember fishing a pellet scoop feeder to the island whilst his margin line settled and it was from here that he took a procession of carp to 8lbs in a 172lb winning catch, pushed every step of the way buy unlucky Phil Chapman who was less than 4lbs adrift at the weigh-in.

Result: 1. T Finbow 172-5; 2. P Chapman 168-11; 3. P Spooner 155-14; 4. T North 130-13; 5. D Reynolds 105-14; 6. G Herbert 100-8.

Noah’s Ark AC Weekender

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A good weekend was enjoyed by the Ark members on two contrasting venues. The Decoy matches featured some very big carp, a number of which were far too big to be landed on conventional match tackle and consistently high weights. Day three saw a switch to a different venue and disappointing weights with only one angler topping 26lbs

Day 1: Decoy Lakes, Beastie Lake

1. Jess Brotherton 127-9; 2. A Johnson 114-6; 3. J Speechley 107-5.

Day 2: Yew Lake.

1. A Hopkinton 134-8; 2. S Ogden 117-1; 3. R Crosby 115-1.

Day 3: Foston Fishery.

1. Jack Speechley 41-8; 2. A Hopkinson 25-5; 3. G York 21-13.

Sothall AC

Woodhouse Grange, Ghost Pool

Ghost Pool fished its socks off for the visit of Sothall AC but one man stood head and shoulders above the rest as Mick Buckler racked up almost a double-ton and a half and despite three other 100lb-plus weights, recorded a winning margin that was just one fish short of a hundred pound winning margin. He caught carp fishing shallow with casters.

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Result: 1. M Buckler 248-13; 2. A Bacon 151-15; 3. J Cheshire 146-13; 4. P Nicklin 106-10; 5. G Marsden 96-10; 6. D Staniland 97-6.

Lord Nelson AC

Messingham Grange, Heron and Osprey Lakes

All the leading weights came from Osprey where Kev Parkes won from Peg 6 fishing pellets short and down the margin.

Result: 1. Kev Parkes 116-15; 2. M Burkinshaw 105-15; 3. N Cooke 97-4; 4. T Shaw 65-11.

Lord Nelson AC

Lakeside Fisheries, Ranskill

A very comfortable win for Wayne Nelson fishing bomb and 11mm pellets to the aerator on Peg 39 for carp

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Result: 1. W Nelson 95-12; 2. S Allen 54-8; 3. D Woodhead 54-5; 4. N Hogg 49-11.

White Lion AC

Little John Lakes, Robin Hood Lake

(Image: Dave Caton lands a carp)

Result: 1. Dave Caton 216-4 (Winner had carp on meat fished down the margin at Peg 17); 2. M Holmes 194-8; 3. D Tomkinson 177-4.

Woodseats Angling

Little John Lakes, Maid Marion Lake

Result: 1. M Holmes 273-5 (Winner had carp on casters fished shallow at Peg 7); 2. D Tomkinson 230-0; 3. K Pinder 199-6.

Woodseats Angling

Lindholme Lakes, Laurels Lake

Two wins on the bounce for Mark Holmes employing a hybrid feeder to present ‘Speedy’ Washters. He caught carp and F1 hybrids at Peg 14.

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Result: 1. M Holmes 130-5; 2. J Royston 80-8, 3. G Muscot 69-2.

Anger As Closed Season Is Retained

When the angling closed was introduced in 1878 there was no scientific reasoning behind the Act, indeed the start and finish dates were a compromise between what was wanted by the London AA and the large Northern Associations. It also has to be remembered that this was a time when all fish caught were killed and taken for the table. Keepnets hadn’t even been invented.

As recent as 50 years ago the closed seasons were different in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the rest of the country. Nevertheless a widespread closed season remained in place until 1995 when it was lifted from most stillwaters. It was then lifted from canals in 2000 leaving only rivers affected.

Since then, canals and stillwaters have thrived. Last week’s National Championship on our local canals was the best one ever. Clearly lifting the closed season did no harm there.

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Unfortunately the dates of the river closed season rarely cover the spawning periods of species like chub, barbel, carp and tench and it is almost inevitable that these species will not have finished spawning by the time the river season opens, a day known by traditionalists as, the glorious 16th.

It is not glorious and it is plain wrong, but having been barred from the bankside for 3 months, the majority of anglers are unlikely to show much restraint.

When the Environment Agency announced it was holding a consultation into the closed season it was expected changes were afoot. Thirteen thousand, six hundred license holders completed the EA’s survey.

49.8% of these supported removing the close season altogether.

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9.2% supported retaining a close season, but changing the dates to 15 April to 30 June

2.2% were undecided

A mere 38.8% of anglers supporting retaining the current close season

Kevin Austin, Deputy Director of Fisheries at the Environment Agency commented:

“We are really grateful to the people who took the time to respond to the consultation. We have analysed the many comments from the 13,680 responses to understand the evidence and opinions around the close season. Given the limited further evidence on risks to coarse and other fish stocks, we have decided to retain the close season.”

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“We recognise that some anglers will be disappointed in this outcome, while others will welcome it. This reflects a shared passion for fishing.

“We will continue, working with partners, to consider any new information on the close season as and when it becomes available.”

The decision has angered anglers who had little trust in the Environment Agency to start with. Many believed the consultation as some kind of referendum. It wasn’t. But it does beg the question as to why the EA bothered with a public consultation if it wasn’t going to act upon the answers it was given.

Perhaps it was just a tick in the box exercise, or another case of the public coming up with the wrong answer and getting ignored. Soon they’ll be telling us we didn’t know what we were voting for...

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