Angling Blog 20th March 2015
Fri 20 March 15
A very busy week for me this time around… I’ve managed a few hours fishing (blanking!) but I’m also quite excited by a meeting I’ve had this week. I won’t go into details, but suffice to say, a major retailer is set to invest a huge amount of money into the trade, and I really think it will make some waves…
Angling is in dire need of investment. Many of my contacts within the trade reckon that things are hard at the moment, and the fall in licence sales seems to reflect a reduction in the number of anglers on the bank, and therefore those putting money into the circuit. The licence sales figures make pretty grim reading; take out the few who choose to take the risk and not purchase a licence (shame on you) then the only growth sector is in concessionary licences. This means that basically, according to the statistics, anglers are getting older, and within a few years, fishing will be the preserve of pensioners up and down the land unless action is taken!
As usual at this time of year, the critics will question the commitment of staff at the Environment Agency, bemoan the perceived number of angler taking fish for the table, the mayhem caused by otters, cormorants and other predators, the apparent lack of licence checks and the need for a three rod ticket. I’ve heard it all before, and I’m bored with it. So you don’t think a licence, a small contribution is required? Tell you what, let’s disband the EA then so you can save your few quid and everyone wins… No? Damn right; it’s a stupid idea put forward by short sighted anglers who will be amongst the first to moan when a farm accident pumps tons of sewage into the river, or an oxygen crash causes the loss of some prime carp, or their club folds due to availability of sound advice about water PH values, micro organisms and countless other things. Wake up, buy your licence and keep ‘em in business!
So, back to the original reason for this weeks scribblings. This particular retailer is set to invest an awful lot of money into making their stores a real ‘one stop shop’ for all your angling needs. They also recognise what makes a tackle shop special, so in addition to wallet pleasing prices, they will have ample staff who are knowledgeable about the local area, the latest products and techniques, areas for customers to try out new tactics, new methods, and new tackle, and also hope to become a meeting place for anglers of all abilities to share stories and shoot a line! Charitable links, regular ‘celebrity’ guests, tuition and coaching, events, matches and much more are set to become available under one roof, and the future is very bright. I agree, there is a retail element involved, after all, every business has to be profitable, but the emphasis will be on promoting angling as an inclusive pastime, encouraging youngsters to become interested in fishing, and more importantly, giving them the opportunity to do so! This will have a beneficial effect for the trade, and the future of fishing, and many manufacturers have already subscribed to the idea of this new venture. As an angler, you should look forward to the future, this will be successful, it will bring in new blood, and it will surprise existing anglers with a host of benefits, pleasing prices and much more. Keep your eye out for updates, there is a new sheriff in town, and he won’t be taking prisoners…
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