An angler's journal

An angler's journal

Monday, 6 January 2014

Rain, more rain and litter

The new year has seen nothing but rain, rain and more rain. Locally it's causing all sorts of issues with many routes in and around the Warks Avon flooded. Of course any hopes of a productive angling trip seem to be a long way off and my planned pike sessions have been forced to the back of queue. With more bad weather forecast it does not seem like there is going to be any let up in the coming week so stillwater and canal sessions seem to be the order of the day if you fancy wetting a line.

Fladbury weir

The Avon at Nafford
On another note, I was lure fishing for pike before the floods when I was distracted by the amounts of litter in the meadow I was fishing. Unfortunately, BAA waters are no stranger to litter and when the nettles die back during winter it reveals the full magnitude of this anti-social behaviour. With the pike not showing I decided to be a good citizen and tackle the problem myself. I have, in the past, contacted the BAA only to be told that clearing up the mess is not worth it as it will only return later. Whilst I find this attitude deplorable I also realise that the club will not do anything proactive to tackle any of the issues faced on their waters. So with this in mind I started to make piles of empty corn and meat tins, groundbait  bags, plastic bottles, drinks' cans, food wrappers, etc.
The mark of idiots
I then walked the bank to gather the several piles I had made which left me with a black bin bag bursting at the seams. If I'd had more bags on my person then I could have no doubt filled more.

I find it desperately sad that people find it acceptable to bring these possessions to the bank but cannot return home with the litter it produces. Unfortunately, this behaviour is not reserved to just angling and a trip around our countryside will see examples of fly tipping, unwanted McDonald's packaging and the best of all, dog poo that has been bagged but then tied to a fence. I always find it most strange when people go to the trouble of bagging up their rubbish yet still dump it.

The other unfortunate by-product of the loutish practice is the reputation it brings towards angling. In a generation where many of our waterways are pressured through various factors, public support may be more important than ever. What chance of this is there when 'Joe Public' sees the effects of a minority which in turn tarnishes a whole sport? A fine example of this is the seal issue on the Severn. Most members of the public are oblivious to the damage that a seal could cause and are seduced by a 'cute' creature in a town near them. A look at some of the opinions on the internet show that it has been turned into a war against angling and the opinion is that anglers do not respect their surroundings. Pictures like the one above do nothing to quell such opinions. As always, the minority spoil it for everyone else.


  1. As you say Lee there's no excuse whatsoever in not taking your litter home with you, after all it must be lighter on the return journey. Can't think of a better reason, looking at those photos, for the rise of syndicated river stretches.

    First week off since last March and the Lower is six miles wide. Hope it goes back within its banks by middle of Feb in time for my next week, and then it'll be perfect for the last couple of weeks of the season.

    Mother hen

  2. Can't agree more about the rubbish on the banks. I also sea fish and have found the upper Bristol Channel and lower Severn Estuary to be covered in a monstrous amount rubbish. This time of the year is really bad as the Cod anglers are around in large numbers.

  3. Mother Hen - Use your week off to sort us out with a lake to fish during such conditions! Might see you Feb if your week coincides with half term.

    Pat - Thanks for the reply. It's a disgusting habit but indicative of how society has changed and the lack of respect people have for their surroundings.

  4. Lee poultney teacher, angler and now womble! !

    Good on you, typical BAA response!


  5. Hi Lee, living uo North, I have only fished a BAA water on one occassion. It was a stretch of the river Teme. I have been to lots of fisheries and day ticket stretches on rivers but I have to say that the BAA stretch on the Teme was the worst I have ever seen in respect of litter. I endorse your comments re their negative attitude and feel sorry for the decent, responsible members amongst their ranks who sadly, through the actions of mindless idiots,may be tarnished with the same brush

  6. Thanks for the reply Jim. Agree totally.