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jh92

Unfenced lakes

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I've seen a lot of people online saying if the lakes you are fishing aren't fenced, there's no point in fishing it cos of otters. If they ain't there now, they soon will be.

A lot of lakes around me have had problems with otters, but they haven't emptied the lake and fish still get caught. 

Do you fish unfenced lakes? 

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Can you  compare America with our tiny country ?.... the anglers over there are't fishing fisheries for starters & the rivers they are fishing are rammed with carp so they won't see a  issue just the odd dead fish & also there supposed to knock carp on the head anyway , you can bow fish for them, completely different scenario. 

It really boils down to what sort of lakes your fishing, if it's very low stock like one of my lakes & your losing  fish then yes it won't take long for it not to be worth fishing as otters need to eat there own body weight in food  every day & considering the will take a 20lb + carp and only eat the offal you can lose a few big fish a day  , like many others around the Cotswolds that have been hit hard & were tough waters anyway there now devoid of fish & anglers .

There is a reason why so many lakes are having to fence & the more that do will obviously put the ones that don't or can't at bigger risk . 

If you search back years on here I had a similar view to cm's as I fished along side otters on the Wye for years , unfortunately there are to many people interfering with otters these days & numbers are getting silly . Eventually there will be a cull on them i reckon but it will be to late for many fisheries. 

The problem will be getting on lakes in the future that are fenced busy will be an understatement & certainly not what I look for in my fishing. 

 

 

 

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Sooner or later an unfenced lake will be victim to an otter and become barren. 

Example; a club pit, 28 acres, about 75 fish, if that. Otter was taking 1-2 fish a winter for 3 years...not nice but no impact on the fishing. Suddenly we were 6 fish down in Dec to Jan, including two 30s. And those were the ones we found. Following year the lake fished so poorly as the fish were in the weedbeds out in the middle and reluctant to venture out to feed for fear of being eaten. Another 8 went the following winter. I dropped my ticket. From what I gather similar numbers went winter 2016/17 and more this winter. It's also fished equally as poor as my last season. It'll soon be ultra low stock with 10-20 carp left which are super wary. The otter will move on to easier hunting grounds but those fish will still be spooky as. 

It becomes a different challenge, a different lake. Likely the tench population will explode and it'll be producing more big tincas than it has done in recent years. One mans loss, another mans gain as they say. No doubt some hardcore guys will enjoy the challenge of a handful of carp amongst hundreds, if not thousands of tench. 

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Even on fenced lakes, if there is a break in the fence, or a tree falls over it, an otter can get in very quickly.

 

One night and in the morning I found 2 dead carp, both doubles.

This is in a lake with crayfish, which I would have thought would have offered an easier challenge.

 

I know a lake near to RAF Fairford lost the majority of the carp stock, and some big tench as well. Andy52 is the one who got me up to date on the place when I mentioned I knew a very cheap fishery in that area.

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2 hours ago, greekskii said:

Sooner or later an unfenced lake will be victim to an otter and become barren. 

Example; a club pit, 28 acres, about 75 fish, if that. Otter was taking 1-2 fish a winter for 3 years...not nice but no impact on the fishing. Suddenly we were 6 fish down in Dec to Jan, including two 30s. And those were the ones we found. Following year the lake fished so poorly as the fish were in the weedbeds out in the middle and reluctant to venture out to feed for fear of being eaten. Another 8 went the following winter. I dropped my ticket. From what I gather similar numbers went winter 2016/17 and more this winter. It's also fished equally as poor as my last season. It'll soon be ultra low stock with 10-20 carp left which are super wary. The otter will move on to easier hunting grounds but those fish will still be spooky as. 

 

This does seem to be the pattern on many lakes Vic. Get the odd visit over a period of time , can be months & months apart . Then bang get a big hit & lots of loses , my thinking is this is down to them emptying another lake somewhere else so the kills on your lake will increase .

Not sure about carp being safe in snags / weed though Vic, but suppose they might think they are & hold up ,  even easier target for the otter, open water they stand a better chance but the otter is the apex preditor & nothing is safe tbh unfortunately they are incredibly good at catching fish . 

 

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2 hours ago, chillfactor said:

Not sure about carp being safe in snags / weed though Vic, but suppose they might think they are & hold up ,  even easier target for the otter, open water they stand a better chance but the otter is the apex preditor & nothing is safe tbh unfortunately they are incredibly good at catching fish.

The fish think they are, I reckon to a degree they are safer. all those underwater highways in the weedbeds. I'm talking 7-8ft of canadian. Proper dense. sure they can find routes and hideaways. Never totally safe but these fish dont have the instincts associated with this predator. Maybe in time fish will have learnt the evasion methods and less will be getting killed? who knows.

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9 hours ago, carpmachine said:

yep, and go to the American posts, Otters not a problem , natural balance, they are a nuisance at the moment but it will balance out.

OK CM I hear what you're saying and thats true they don't eat every fish necessarily so the lakes may well hold fish and find a balance of some sort, HOWEVER they usually take the biggest fish which in business terms is immediately enough to kill their business or clear their waiting lists.

Once the main target fish are gone the lake is dead anyway IMO, and we all know they are usually the first to go!!!

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What you have to bare in mind is that the carp are a major problem in these areas you speak of cm . Because of the warm conditions they breed like you wouldn't believe... hence why there are plans to mass cull carp .

We get a small breeding window & the % of them don't make it .... so that's why we have lakes & rivers  being emptied & they don't.

It all boils down to numbers at the end of the day + the sheer size of the countries .

Horseshoe is still a great tench water. 

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2 minutes ago, carpmachine said:

I appreciate what you are saying Kev, but years ago there probably was no target fish, bill, joe, or the parrot, and the challenge or in my case the occassional lucky capture became something you would remember for years, it took the Northampton Specimen Group 2 years to catch a carp from Billings Willow lake in the sixties, probably the finest group of specialist anglers ever assembled, invitation only based on previous captures, the list is a who is who of angling at the time nationally of all disciplines. Now, is fishing for carp a commodity to further big business or polish egos of guys that could never have caught one back then, BB at Redmire, 20 years without a single carp. We have proliferated a non native speceis to a degree where the EA call it invasive, Zander, Cats and Sturgeon fall in to the same category, i venture to add the question, wasnt the Lechlade mentioned as a great Tench fishery back in the seventies by Bob  Church and company so regularly as the great tench mecca, the Horseshoe of today, i reckon it was, and where are we know. Dont know Kev, i need a crystall ball, but when you play with nature, eventually you get burned.

You put a positive spin on the issue and that's great because most other people like me are a bit doom and gloom, I'm a big fish angler so me and the otters are after the same fish unfortunately.

You can have a special 40 in a lake full of 20's and doubles and I will fish it, loose the 40 and I'm gone full stop.  If there's no chance of beating a PB of some kind or getting the killer trophy shot of an absolute stunner why am I there, yes I enjoy fishing and catching any size carp but there HAS to be the potential to make my year worthwhile with that one target fish.

I know you'll hate that but it is what it is, when I started a 20 was massive and where I live they were very few and far between, times have changed and I now have different expectations.  If I'm going to blank it will be fishing for dream fish not run of the mill that I've done a thousand times before.

 

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Found this whilst walking along a local canal:

otter-kill.jpg.8f3d035b237f2bbd4072d8ed19608bdf.jpg

Quite surprised to find so much of it eaten, normally find them with just their bellies missing. IMO ist's not so bad when they eat most of it, it's when they have a bite and leave the rest.

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11 minutes ago, ianain said:

Found this whilst walking along a local canal:

otter-kill.jpg.8f3d035b237f2bbd4072d8ed19608bdf.jpg

Quite surprised to find so much of it eaten, normally find them with just their bellies missing. IMO ist's not so bad when they eat most of it, it's when they have a bite and leave the rest.

Thing is Ian... once it's left out the water others clean the carcus  until there's nothing left . So your never sure how much the original culprit took .

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Thanks for the replies, very interesting. I'm starting to feel pretty snookered with my carp fishing, like I said most of the lakes around me are unfenced and have had some problems which leaves me with less confidence when fishing them. The river and canal I fish has also took a good hammering so I'm not bothering with them anymore. There's 2 venues that I know of that have fences but one of them the lake was built 5 years ago and it just wouldn't feel the same fishing it because the fish are new if that makes sense lol. The other is a more of a pond about half an acre at most which is syndicate only that costs £500 a year.. Its too small for my liking. If it gets any worse I'm gonna have to travel a lot further which I'm not keen on doing really. It wouldn't be so bad if I'm going for a few nights but shorter sessions like after work or something would hardly seem worth it..

 

 

Edited by jh92

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7 minutes ago, chillfactor said:

Thing is Ian... once it's left out the water others clean the carcus  until there's nothing left . So your never sure how much the original culprit took .

yep, we had one on the estate killed with little eaten. 2 weeks later just the teeth left. fox, rats, birds of prey.

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7 minutes ago, chillfactor said:

Thing is Ian... once it's left out the water others clean the carcus  until there's nothing left . So your never sure how much the original culprit took .

As you say, no one knows what had it or a share in it. Just blaming the poor old otters, might not have been one.

14 minutes ago, carpmachine said:

Fox finished him off.

I doubt fox involvement as they would drag something so small off with them, it's a busy stretch of canal and there are far too many 'scent trails' going on for foxes to stay around too long - so I supposed it may have been inquisitive hounds? but again they would just rip it apart?

 

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9 minutes ago, greekskii said:

yep, we had one on the estate killed with little eaten. 2 weeks later just the teeth left. fox, rats, birds of prey.

It's how cleanly eaten it is that's odd, rats is a good call; thought birds of prey would peck randomly and fox would carry away or rip to pieces?

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No, Cropredy.

I've walked a lot of the canal last 5 / 6 months (drop shotting, just looking) from Napton southwards and that's the only sign I've seen. There are loads of people walking / cycling etc. them these days; hard to find somewhere to fish sometimes, found a couple of potential places.

Still haven't caught anything drop shotting :oops: , but it really is a nice way to fish in the cold :) you get to see so much.

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6 minutes ago, carpmachine said:

You know that place puzzles me, being an avid historian i went in search of Crpredy Bridge, a famous battle in the civil war, butthe only bridge was over the canal that was built a hundred years later, enlighten me prof, puzzled of Northampton.

Did you have your glasses on steve??? The canal over the Cherwell is about 20 yards along the same road as the canal bridge!!!!

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1 hour ago, jh92 said:

Thanks for the replies, very interesting. I'm starting to feel pretty snookered with my carp fishing, like I said most of the lakes around me are unfenced and have had some problems which leaves me with less confidence when fishing them. The river and canal I fish has also took a good hammering so I'm not bothering with them anymore. There's 2 venues that I know of that have fences but one of them the lake was built 5 years ago and it just wouldn't feel the same fishing it because the fish are new if that makes sense lol. The other is a more of a pond about half an acre at most which is syndicate only that costs £500 a year.. Its too small for my liking. If it gets any worse I'm gonna have to travel a lot further which I'm not keen on doing really. It wouldn't be so bad if I'm going for a few nights but shorter sessions like after work or something would hardly seem worth it..

 

 

At the end of the day mate there are still going to be special fish in all the waters your concerned about for sure.  I've seen pictures of incredible fish from canals, rivers and unknown waters that shows there's still hope.

I guess you've got a really good chance to go out there and catch these fish whilst everyone else has gone onto new waters because of these concerns.

I'm a bit doom and gloom just because I don't want waters all fencing it looks pretty ugly but it's necessary.

My mate showed me canal carp that we fed like pets last year so of which I would love to catch so give it a go I say 😊

If I wasn't in a syndicate I would see this as poop or bust time go catch them sharpish before the numbers dwindle more.

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12 hours ago, jh92 said:

I've seen a lot of people online saying if the lakes you are fishing aren't fenced, there's no point in fishing it cos of otters. If they ain't there now, they soon will be.

A lot of lakes around me have had problems with otters, but they haven't emptied the lake and fish still get caught. 

Do you fish unfenced lakes? 

I think it depends what you want out of your fishing and how much the ticket costs.....

If they are getting caught, then why not have a go for them.

If it's one particular fish you are targeting and you are not sure if it is still in there, that could mess with your head.

If you are looking for a bite a chuck, probably not the best place to fish either..(but who want's that anyway?)

Here's the thing, a place gets a reputation for being ottered, loads of anglers drop off, more bank space, still enough fish to go at. It's not all bad.... You'll get a better idea of what's left when they group up to spawn. If it's a big enough water, the otter may have found easier pickings elsewhere having thinned the numbers out on your lake. And just like the otter, the glory hunters will look for easier pickings too, imo, making the few anglers that fish it, easy to be around. A real buzz catching one too, as you don't know what's left. In some ways like fishing for the unknown...:)

So, "yes" to your question. As long as price and expectations are set accordingly imo.

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55 minutes ago, carpmachine said:

You know that place puzzles me, being an avid historian i went in search of Cropredy Bridge, a famous battle in the civil war, but the only bridge was over the canal that was built a hundred years later, enlighten me prof, puzzled of Northampton.

Nige beat me to it.

48 minutes ago, nigewoodcock said:

Did you have your glasses on steve??? The canal over the Cherwell is about 20 yards along the same road as the canal bridge!!!!

 

46 minutes ago, nigewoodcock said:

767573EE-38C7-4D72-A071-94D2F722B91E.jpeg

The field (top right) is where I think the main battle took place, there is a plaque by the bridge giving details. And many happy campers have stayed there for Fairport.

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