During the 15 years that I have been involved with Exe Valley Fishery, firstly as an instructor and then as the manager, the only option available has been to catch & kill any Trout caught.
However times are changing rapidly and increasingly I talk with anglers who don’t want to dispatch fish and fill their freezers. I also meet plenty of anglers who are put off by the thought of reaching their limit and then having to head home prematurely, cutting short their enjoyment & experience.
Therefore after a number of successful catch & release events, such as this one in December 2016, I have decided to introduce a new trial permit.
The Catch & Release options will start on Tuesday 7th February 2017 and will be available until Sunday 9th April 2017. During this time we will listen to your thoughts and welcome feedback. If the fishery is well supported during these changes the options will be made available throughout the year, other than during periods of high water temperatures. Full details will be available at the fishery regarding the rules applied to catch & release. The key points include:
- Catch & Release available on Anchor Lake only
- Rubber mesh nets only (we can loan nets)
- Barbless flies only (not debarbed – barbless flies will be available for purchase in the shop)
- Fish to be released must not be removed from the water.
- No Boobies.
- Kill tickets – Fish limit must be killed prior to Catch & Release.
Catch & Release Permit Options & Prices (07.02.17 to 09.04.17)
10 Fish Catch & Release Only - £25
2 Fish Kill & 2 Fish Release - £30
3 Fish Kill & 3 Fish Release - £35
4 Fish Kill & 4 Fish Release - £40
5 Fish Kill & 5 Fish Release - £45
Although there is an increase in permit prices, the first for several seasons, the new structure with the inclusion of catch & release offers some of the best value small stillwater fishing in the West Country if not the UK.
The option to share a bag limit with a young angler, age 14 or under will continue as usual and I am also considering a concessionary ticket for over 60s, under 17s and the disabled.
Meanwhile our new cafe is close to fully functioning with a range of hot & cold food plus we have also introduced a new FREE Tea & Coffee facility for anglers. More news to follow and meanwhile if you have any questions or would like to comment on the changes so far please call me on 01398 323008 or use the comments section below.
Moving on to how the lakes are fishing I am pleased to report that the mild weather conditions have attracted plenty of anglers during January. 117 visited in total, catching 370 fish for an average of 3.2 per rod.
Top flies include Black Nomads, Blue Flash Damsels and some anglers have been finding success with Buzzers. Fish are being caught all over the lake and even when the weather has taken a turn for the worse the fish have been biting such as this perfectly conditioned Trout weighing 8lb 9oz, caught by John Ratcliffe using a Black Nomad on 2nd Feb.
We hope that the Wistlandpound club enjoy such good sport when they bring one of their club competitions to our shores tomorrow, Sunday 5th February 17. Please note that the lakes will be closed all day for this event. Apologies if this will cause any inconvenience.
The fishery will also be closed on Monday 6th February while we stock and get ready for the introduction of the new catch & release permit on Tuesday 7th February 2017.
Yesterday the phone also began to ring as competitors booked into our Troutmasters Fish off which will be held here on Sunday 26th February 2017. If you caught one of our big fish last season, winning a Troutmaster badge, a letter should have arrived this week so please give us a call to book in on 01398 323008.
This is going to be a big week for Exe Valley as we open up the opportunity to Catch & Release fishing. Please come and support the fishery and look out for more news on these pages soon.
Many thanks for reading & good fishing, Nick.
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