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Beginning of a decline do you think?

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Read a report earlier in the week about the decline in sales of EA licenses this year. Could be down to the new 3 rod license or could be down to fewer people actually buying one , and still fishing, who knows...… Also picked up on this from a group I follow (pictured below)……….. Do you think we are starting to see a decline in anglers?...… Can't say I've noticed on the banks yet, although the number of members at my old club were steadily falling , there were once 1800 odd members, now, more like 1200.... Can't say I'll be too sad to see a drop in numbers on the bank...……. But have we reached a point now where the huge growth in angling through the 90's and 00's is long past it's peak..? Are we about to witness a steady decline in numbers over the next decade or so?  Seen a lot of tackle companies trying to diversify a bit over the last few seasons by selling products that they are not normally associated with.. Are they doing this in a bid to grow or just to stay afloat?...…..  

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I think angling reached it peak over ten years ago, you've only got to look outside the box to see angling is a declining sport. The EA have been pushing the initiative with getting kids into fishing for free, Country File has even promoted this on one of their programmes not so long back. Forums are shutting down one by one, there just isn't the interest out there anymore. I predict the bigger retailers like Angling Direct and Fishing Republic will start to close a few of their stores to try and thin out profit loses, I presume they'll end up scaling all the way down to their head offices and just working with online sales. The number of kids just aren't there anymore, the rise in online stuff has sealed that.

One of the club's in the Cotswolds lost half of its waters a couple of years ago, you'd expect they'd find more but the decline in members has halted that idea. I think companies who already have their fingers in other pies will be ok, like ccmoore who also retail pet feeds.

To many fingers in the tackle trade has had its affect, their all taking a slice of that ever decreasing pie, Nutrabaits, Kryston and others have suffered, mitchell, shakespeare, and the like have all been bought out by bigger conglomerates.

Yes banks will be clearer, but gear will also be harder to purchase, nearly all the little independent shops are gone which just leaves the mail order only companies.

I think it'll end up as it was 10 to 20 years ago, just a few tackle and bait retailers to hand. 

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young people aren't taking up fishing like they did when I was younger

ive got 9 nephews and took them all fishing but only 1 kept it up into their 20s where as when I was a kid everyone I knew went fishing and a lot still do in 1 form or another

so as the old guard die off they aren't being replaced due to the amount of time nippers spend on internet games (fortnite for my grandson) your lucky to get them out the house never mind fishing

22 minutes ago, Gazlaaar said:

but gear will also be harder to purchase

imo theres way to much choice, just look at all the different rods reels and bivvies are out there

with a bit of luck the tat will die off and the quality brands will remain

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The decline in license money is twofold: 

1. They reduced the cost of it for us carp anglers. That’s £9 lost per 3 rod angler who since the change. 

2. The lack of resource to actually check licenses means it’s easier than ever to get away with not having one. The impossible but best way to solve this is all fisheries are registered to an online system whereby to purchase a ticket (day, night, club book, syndicate) you have to use your license number. Fine the fisheries heavily if they don’t and they will bailiff it for you. But like I said, they can’t pay a 25k salary for a bailiff so how can they invest millions to create that system. 

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Angling has been in decline for decades now , look back at the history of match fishing some open matches on the big canals would have a 1000 anglers with people turned away . The 70' and 80's where probably the peak in fishing numbers  . Carp angling has grown massively in a short space of time with a lot of 'instant anglers' and as in many things these days a lot have just seen it as a money making exercise even to such an extent that kids can't nip to their local lake for a few hour FREE fishing .

The sad thing is UK fishing is in decline , will it change probably not .

When I've got more time I'll bore you all with my views . 

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In my opinion UK fishing is not in decline. It's changing for sure, but you just need to go down to your local day ticket and try getting a decent swim to see it's as popular as ever.

Tbh I'd be perfectly happy if it was in decline as getting access to fish for big fish on waters which aren't absolutely hammered is nigh on impossible these days.

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I respect your views Yonny  but you can't compare modern carp fishing with the general all round fishing from the 70's , 80's even the 90's and say its not in decline .

Fly fishing , sea fishing and coarse fishing are and have been in decline ask any tackle dealer or manufacturer and if answering honestly they will all say the same .

Busy day ticket waters are probably more to do with a change in the way anglers are fishing , some would view the day ticket waters as the type the modern instant carper goes to .

The types of water that you want to fish are still busy with waiting lists ,but these aren't fished by the majority .

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59 minutes ago, yonny said:

I think many of the sea, course, fly and match anglers are all moving over to carp fishing mate. Carp angling is certainly bigger than its ever been imo.

Im with Yonny on this. Is fishing in Decline? No i dont think so, More people are just moving over from other forms of angling to carping, Its trendy, You dont see pictures all over social media/mags etc of roach, You see carp, From all corners of the globe. Bait companies pulling out of the UK...Well look at the amount of bait firms now, Look at the amount of knowledge at peoples finger tips enabling them to make thier own mixes with stuff in thier own kitchen, meaning they dont spend £4 on a small amount of groundbait. Obviously britexit plays its part.

It terms of angling companies Angling Direct are pumping money into the trade at the moment opening stores and buying small stores out, Theres a huge market abroad for them to move into.

Kids fish, I have friends who ask me to take them and show them how to fish, kids see carp being caught, They want a carp....You cant pick up a £10 rod and reel and turn up to a lake anymore. Its an expensive spot. Its a risk to buy all the kit they need and find they dont like it.

Edited by Ginger9991

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Kids dont want to leave the house as they all want to play on the xboxes or playstations.

Probably more people not buying the license as well.

if you look around the time they are due to be bought theres loads moaning about the price and saying they wont be buying.

i havent had my lisence checked in nearly 20 years

Edited by framey

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I laugh at these people who say they haven't had their licence checked in years, for 5 years on the trot I was checked at least once a year on various waters. In Suffolk on the Park Lake when I still had Post Office receipt, then in Dobbs Weir and around a month later at Nazeing.

 

Is fishing in decline?

I think to some extent carp fishing is, thank goodness, maybe partly due to the older genuine anglers getting fed up of the current bull of the carp record, which I think before long will not exist due to the legal imports, what weight a fish is stocked at, grown on, basically the Big Rig scenario or even a dubious import like Oak Lodge and the catfish record. It was silly for a record to go from 50lb to 108lb, someone was bound to take notice!

Is that licence sales or licence money?

One carp angler buys a 3 rod licence now, instead of two 2 rod licences, which counters both the decline in licence sales and money.

 

I think other 'disciplines' are on the increase, I for example now do more fishing for other species than I used to. From 1992 to 2010, I pretty much fished only for carp. Yet now I am back chasing roach, pike and other species.

 

However as a whole there are fewer younger anglers coming into fishing. The joys of X-box, PS4 etc, take them away from an outdoor life, as does the fewer male parents (in most cases) taking their sons (and daughters) fishing.

In addition to that, there is still a 'push' towards carp fishing, yet a youngster blanks and the kit does a trip into the cupboard never to cone out again.

If they were catching fish, like roach and perch then they would want to continue going.

 

Don't forget children under 12 don't have to pay for a rod licence at all. I also bet bet a few 3 rod set-ups include the 'sons rod'...

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1 minute ago, salokcinnodrog said:

I laugh at these people who say they haven't had their licence checked in years, for 5 years on the trot I was checked at least once a year on various waters. In Suffolk on the Park Lake when I still had Post Office receipt, then in Dobbs Weir and around a month later at Nazeing.

 

 

Whys that?

i was fishing the old deep lake at willows farm or rather bowmans in hertfordshire as it was then 

2 of them came round and as they came close i had a run and they said its ok we can wait.

and thats the last time it was checked 

time before that i was over fairlands in stevenage and it was the old NRA ticket or whatever it was then i cant remember

cant remember before that so lets say twice in 25 years

but to be fair most of my fishing is on club waters so whether or not they actually can get on those i dont know

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Is fishing in decline........ not yet,but will be in 10/15years time almost definitely. 

Dont be fooled that the X Box generation is to blame,it isn’t. The home video game exploded in the early to mid 80,s the thing that changed the next generation to get off there backside and back fishing was commercials..... No more club ticket needed just pay ya fiver and catch plenty of 1-5lb carp all day. If said before where I grew up a small town in the N/W there was at least 5 places you could get maggots/tackle etc in the 80,s by the end of 2,000 there was one poorly stocked shop.

I also disagree that fishing for other species is on the up...... if that was the case why are most tackle shops 80%.   carp based 🤔probably because carp kit is the biggest seller.

Fishing is cheap,very cheap. Gone are the days 30years ago when you was forking out £60 for a decent rod. For £100 you could rig your nipper with a half decent set up that will see them catching fish all day. On the few occasions I go a home match at Anfield I’m lucky if I’ve got much change out of £150....... that’s quite a few fishing trips !!!!

When I was younger Our local pools was full of my mates and lads around my age as well as the grumpy older ones 😆😆 but as I fish my various waters in my club waters the youngster just ain’t there.... and it’s free fishing for anyone under 16 as long as there with an adult ! 

I think the main problem is this current generation the teenagers/early 20,s just aren’t interested in fishing as crazy as that sounds. Whether they just don’t ‘get’ it or there’s far more appealing things to do (and don’t give me the X Box excuse) because trust me I was rarely off my Atari/Spectrum at there age,the only time I wasn’t was when I was fishing !!!!! Gaming NEVER stopped me angling,I just truly believe that the youth of today just ain’t that interested in angling as much as we was at there age. Everything changes per generation...... footy changed,computing has changed everything has change,including fishing. 

Of course there will ALWAYS be Angler’s just not the numbers we’ve known for the last 50 years,which is sad really.

Thats my two peneth anyway 😬

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During the early to late eighties every canal and council lake were full of match/coarse anglers, I know, I was there fishing amongst the grumpy old gits who didn't have time for anyone younger than 150 years of age. All my mates went, and their dad's or uncles or more. 

Now, the local council lakes and canals just aren't the same, you might see a few over the weekends but nothing compared to back when I was coarse fishing. 

Yeah, I think carp fishing has a bit more appeal, and as a consequence a few more do it, maybe some of the coarse anglers have gone into carp fishing but you only have to look at the industry as a whole to see its only going in one direction. The industry has been saturated with tackle and bait companies, I just don't think the current situation is sustainable, take a look at ebay, I bet that in itself has done a lot of damage to sales. Simple fact is, money is a bit thin on the ground so new tackle just isn't being bought. I bet most of the particle we all buy isn't from any bait company it's all bought from animal feed shops, purely and simply because it saves us a bit of money. 

I genuinely just don't think a lot of kids want to go out in the cold and go fishing. Gaming has played it's role but social media has also had an affect.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Gazlaaar said:

During the early to late eighties every canal and council lake were full of match/coarse anglers, I know, I was there fishing amongst the grumpy old gits who didn't have time for anyone younger than 150 years of age. All my mates went, and their dad's or uncles or more. 

Now, the local council lakes and canals just aren't the same, you might see a few over the weekends but nothing compared to back when I was coarse fishing. 

Yeah, I think carp fishing has a bit more appeal, and as a consequence a few more do it, maybe some of the coarse anglers have gone into carp fishing but you only have to look at the industry as a whole to see its only going in one direction. The industry has been saturated with tackle and bait companies, I just don't think the current situation is sustainable, take a look at ebay, I bet that in itself has done a lot of damage to sales. Simple fact is, money is a bit thin on the ground so new tackle just isn't being bought. I bet most of the particle we all buy isn't from any bait company it's all bought from animal feed shops, purely and simply because it saves us a bit of money. 

I genuinely just don't think a lot of kids want to go out in the cold and go fishing. Gaming has played it's role but social media has also had an affect.

 

 

thats about my thoughts as well !! its was just like this in the sixties and seventies as well as later. theres the issue of people generally wanting everything NOW and instant success ,being partly driven by  imported fish and larger stocked weights, in the 70's/80's there were more naturally stocked fish and having to work harder for them created more of an achievement ! now it seems that possibly because of the easy dissemination of information via social media and the internet that achievements are much shorter lived and not worth as much ! " just my thoughts! there are also other thoughts lol"

signed 

"grumpy old git" lol 

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When I started fishing 50 or more years ago, I was "naturally" drawn to it. No video's to watch, maybe Jack Hargreaves on the telly showing you the basics, but that was about it. 

We learnt how to make do with the tackle we had, starting off catching minnows and gudgeon, and progressing on to bigger (hopefully) fish. If you were lucky, you'd catch a 5lb Tench!!

Carp fishing was almost unheard of as a "branch" of fishing, and the guys that used to fish solely for them were looked on as some kind of "weirdo", moving in the shadows or only seen at night. You imagined them carrying out some form of satanic ritual using baits that were completely foreign to us lads.
No internet in those days, you'd spend your spare time trawling around your local tackle shops buying bits and pieces as you could afford them, collecting a variety of floats as you went along, with always one becoming your favourite and you'd almost be in tears if you lost it.

Fast forward 50 years and anybody with a few bob to spare can become an instant carper. You can go onto ebay, and buy a "complete" carp kit for less than £50.00. Add a £3.00 bag of boilies from Decathlon, and you're away.  Tip up at your local hole in the ground, pay your money and pull out a 20lb Mirror that looks like it's just landed from the planet fugly.  Now you consider yourself an expert in the field, not knowing (or caring) that some old boy, years ago, spent his fishing lifetime trying to catch a fish that big,

There are more people on the bank fishing today thanks to the carp industry. But there are a lot less "anglers" than there used to be.

 

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1 hour ago, smufter said:

When I started fishing 50 or more years ago, I was "naturally" drawn to it. No video's to watch, maybe Jack Hargreaves on the telly showing you the basics, but that was about it. 

We learnt how to make do with the tackle we had, starting off catching minnows and gudgeon, and progressing on to bigger (hopefully) fish. If you were lucky, you'd catch a 5lb Tench!!

Carp fishing was almost unheard of as a "branch" of fishing, and the guys that used to fish solely for them were looked on as some kind of "weirdo", moving in the shadows or only seen at night. You imagined them carrying out some form of satanic ritual using baits that were completely foreign to us lads.
No internet in those days, you'd spend your spare time trawling around your local tackle shops buying bits and pieces as you could afford them, collecting a variety of floats as you went along, with always one becoming your favourite and you'd almost be in tears if you lost it.

Fast forward 50 years and anybody with a few bob to spare can become an instant carper. You can go onto ebay, and buy a "complete" carp kit for less than £50.00. Add a £3.00 bag of boilies from Decathlon, and you're away.  Tip up at your local hole in the ground, pay your money and pull out a 20lb Mirror that looks like it's just landed from the planet fugly.  Now you consider yourself an expert in the field, not knowing (or caring) that some old boy, years ago, spent his fishing lifetime trying to catch a fish that big,

There are more people on the bank fishing today thanks to the carp industry. But there are a lot less "anglers" than there used to be.

 

I’m of the same opinion and broadly of the same generation.

I’ve fished since before I can actually remember; my old man started taking me as a 4 year old. We fished on a local club water for just about anything that came along but occasionally Dad would break out his old MKIV and target the Carp population. There were lots of kids my age on the same water doing exactly the same. By the age of 11 I was targetting Carp with my 9ft solid glass spinning rod, Mitchell CAP and fairy liquid top indicators......

At the time I was most definitely in the minority and the majority were general coarse anglers and ‘match’ types. I was always quite proud to tell people I was a Carp angler-it was a sub culture with very little exposure and next to no commercial value. How things have changed! Now I’m almost embarassed to call myself a Carp specialist because of the atmospere and associations with commercial tie-ups, and desperate wannabes. 

A long time friend of mine has all but ‘retired’ from fishing for the same reasons. He is a fantastic, gifted angler who, if he chose to, would be a ‘household name’; I know a couple and have fished alongside a few. Sad really.

I’ve gone a little off topic here and no longer fish locally but I occasionally drive past the old club waters and rarely see kids or even general coarse anglers, just bivvies and barrows.

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1 minute ago, Pete Springate's Guns said:

I was always quite proud to tell people I was a Carp angler-it was a sub culture with very little exposure and next to no commercial value. How things have changed! Now I’m almost embarassed to call myself a Carp specialist because of the atmospere and associations with commercial tie-ups, and desperate wannabes.

I know exactly what you mean mate.

Most of my closest mates don't fish at all and they're always sending me links to articles about places like Holme Fen and ridiculous captures of 10 x 50 lb imports in a single session. It pains me to think that they believe I'm into that scene. It is embarrassing, it makes my cringe.

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2 hours ago, smufter said:

Fast forward 50 years and anybody with a few bob to spare can become an instant carper. You can go onto ebay, and buy a "complete" carp kit for less than £50.00. Add a £3.00 bag of boilies from Decathlon, and you're away.  Tip up at your local hole in the ground, pay your money and pull out a 20lb Mirror that looks like it's just landed from the planet fugly.  Now you consider yourself an expert in the field, not knowing (or caring) that some old boy, years ago, spent his fishing lifetime trying to catch a fish that big,

I am so glad that it is not just me who uses that term 'fugly'.

 

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12 hours ago, snowmanstevo said:

Fishing is cheap,very cheap. Gone are the days 30years ago when you was forking out £60 for a decent rod. For £100 you could rig your nipper with a half decent set up that will see them catching fish all day. On the few occasions I go a home match at Anfield I’m lucky if I’ve got much change out of £150....... that’s quite a few fishing trips !!!! 

£100 isnt cheap if you dont know if your kid will like it, see it from the point of view of a parent that doesnt fish.

Another point people have mentioned was council lakes and rivers. I dont know of many free areas for kids to turn up and fish anymore (not in my area anyway), another issue for kids is access to get to the venues. I think its fair to say that a kid can only get into fishing if they know someone who already fishes and are able to take them (some lakes now dont allow kids under a certain age due to insurance).....

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I think people are looking at this from a carp fishing view only. 

When I started fishing every lake, canal and river was solid on Saturdays and Sundays, the river and canals with match anglers and the lakes with pleasure anglers, then in virtually every harbour in the UK there would be dozens of boats taking anglers out.                                                                                                 This reached its peak in the 1970s with a few exceptions, a hand full of lakes in the country were quiet, either because they were private or just unrewarding to the average angler, Wraysbury  and surrounding pits comes to mind as does Swarkestone gravel pit.

Pits and lakes were dug out in the 1960s and stocked with trout for the close season, most are now closed down used for coarse fish or shooting etc.

The number of specimen hunters at that time was very small numbering in the hundreds!

Move on to 2018, the number of match and pleasure anglers is a fraction of what in was in 1970 and has not been replaced by carp anglers, although their numbers have massively increased. And virtually every harbour in the UK now has but a handful of angling charter boats and a lot of these sit idol.

I well remember seeing every drain and ditch in EA full of anglers, miles upon miles of the Nene, Trent etc full both banks, and sitting in Whitby, Aberystwyth, Southwold  and Brixham waiting our turn to leave the harbour in a cue of boats full of working class men hoping to catch some cod or such for the freezer.

Over all In the numbers game, there is no comparison the only increase is the number of Carp/specimen anglers.

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