Do we ask too much from natural venues?

Zerkalo

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This was a question posited by @smiffy in another thread I made and I thought it was a good one.

My answer...

My dad is similar to me and prefers natural venues but I always have to tell him not to expect too much when I take him. You can't expect 40 or 50lb of Barbel every time you go to the Severn. 100lb of Tench every time you fish an Estate Lake. A 3lb Crucian most times you fish the Park. 30lb+ of Roach from the old Furnace lake. Or good catches of Bream from Reservoirs.

Fortunately I think most seasoned anglers are aware of this and also aware what makes a decent catch when they do rise to the challenge and meet expectations.

I was quite lucky I started on predominantly natural venues and canals with my Junior Club so have always been aware of this.
 

paul m

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Absolutely. I love my local river Soar. I was brought up on it. When commercials came along, it changed a lot of anglers expectations,for sure. I am partial to a bit of commercial fishing every now and then,but the river always wins,and I do prefer to catch fish that have lips!

a couple of weeks ago,I fished five different swims on the backwater. I had a lot of small roach and dace ,and chublets too. However, I also had a three pound chub,and a five pound bream. I lost a perch late on,and that was a couple of pounds too. It all put a bend in the rod and a smile on my face.
 

Silverfisher

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Some people do without doubt as I think their perceptions get warped either by commercials or memories of yesteryear or a bit of both. I don’t think proper natural venue regulars do though as they know what such venues actually produce so set their expectations accordingly.
 

gingert76

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look on the bright side! a massive plus is the instant fisherman and / or those who expect a 3lb chub or a 4lb bream every cast are soon bored and will not be heading back to the river or lake anytime in the near future.

I love natural venues and especially bream on the tip, same as my canal fishing, loved fishing the canals back in the day

its also one of the downsides of social media and you tube etc. as people see anglers catching lots of fish but you dont see the 60 mins waiting for the bite or the fact its a red letter day that happens once in a blue moon.

But on the flip side i am not knocking commie anglers or instant anglers, commercial venues are a brilliant way to get young anglers and disabled anglers on the bank with easy access, nice platforms, bait, tackle and food onsite - commies are a massive plus for fishing in general
 

Shadrack

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I find most people I’ve met on natural venues tend to be specimen hunters who don’t expect to catch a lot of fish but are after a small number of good sized fish. These people know to expect blanks and low numbers of bites.

The people expecting too much from natural venues, as others have said, tend to be those who usually fish commercial venues.
 

Zerkalo

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I think one thing to factor is that not all natural venues are equal, they factor venue difficulty into the Drennan Cup, as some are undoubtedly higher stock than others. I always try to explain that when I write my reports. Some can be absolutely stuffed full of fish.
 

Zerkalo

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One of my favourite catches was a humble 6lb Bream but it came unexpectedly from the Worcs Stour. It's not going to be winning any prizes but I still think a good catch and was very pleased with it.
 

alsur

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Haven't fished a commercial since I stopped match fishing 2 years ago, and yes you have to adjust your expectations dramatically in some cases. I don't break 20lb on most sessions now but I'm happy with that, club does have one lake which is full of small carp which fishes more like a commercial with good weights almost guaranteed I go there occasionally if I feel like bagging up but wouldn't like to do it all the time, although I did enjoyed match fishing on commercials.
 

Steve57

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I never fish anywhere with great expectations, be it natural or commie. Unfortunately I never had anyone to help me when I was a kid so for me if I had three or four hand sized roach in a day's fishing I was over the moon. I think the biggest fish I've ever caught from a river was a chub about 11/2lbs around 30 years ago. Doesn't stop me wanting to fish though.
 

rudd

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Depends on what you are trying to achieve or want to achieve, catching or relaxing?Approach with an open mind, may be a day when gut tells you no chance of Tench/Crucian/Carp but you can see Rudd on surface or Perch feeding in margins.
 

Rob F

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I very rarely fish commercials, got a great selection of naturals on my various club tickets so that's where you'll find me.
I don't expect too much, if anything. But I find myself feeling less pressured on natural venues, and I suspect the fish would perhaps say the same.
 

Zerkalo

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The only place I know fairly local with Rudd is Napton Reservoir and that's an hour and 20 away. I can dream. I'm going to have to start putting more effort into finding and travelling to new places if I want to keep things fresh. In the other direction Stafford is about the same distance/time from me.
 

bezzer

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The only place I know fairly local with Rudd is Napton Reservoir and that's an hour and 20 away. I can dream. I'm going to have to start putting more effort into finding and travelling to new places if I want to keep things fresh. In the other direction Stafford is about the same distance/time from me.
Spot on there Steve. Napton has some huge shoals of Rudd. 100+ in a session isn't uncommon.
 

Chris Calder

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The only expectation I ever had on a natural venue was to get that first bite and first fish, then take it from there, a lot of naturals I used to fish could be grim if you were in the wrong location for the time of year.
 

Sam Vimes

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I'm absolutely positive that commies have skewed expectations of more natural venues. More natural stillwaters tend not to be well fished unless they contain big fish or the stocking levels are high. The increasing number of clubs trying to make existing stillwaters resemble commies, or even creating brand new commie style pools, tells a story. The number of anglers that no longer fish (and the number of younger anglers that have never fished) anywhere other than commies should also say a lot. I can't say that I blame them. I often get to wondering why I bother when I'm scratching around for bits on my local rivers or sitting it out for a handful of bits, or a single lump, on my syndicate lake

However, I'd also propose that the previous lack of otters in many of our rivers also produced skewed expectations for river fishing. I believe that stocking levels in many rivers went beyond natural for a while. Sadly, in fairly short order, we ended up with the number of predators going beyond what could be considered natural. Hopefully, we'll get to a natural equilibrium one day. Whether there will be enough fish left to breed properly is another matter entirely. Stillwaters undoubtedly suffered in a similar way. However, stillwaters have a distinct advantage in that they can usually be fenced and they can usually be restocked much more easily.
 

nejohn

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I haven't fished a commercial now for a couple of years though one of the club lakes has stocking levels that are similar to a lot of commercials and I have fished this a few times but much prefer the other lakes, but can I call the other lakes naturals as they were purposely dug by the club as fishing lakes on some waste ground that was gifted to the club however that was around 30 years ago and now they look very natural with sensible stocking levels so my expectations tend to be like the stocking levels...sensible ie a good day for me would constitute a maybe half a dozen bream/tench or F1's with maybe a bonus common and a few silvers to fill the gaps anything more would be a bonus.
However one of my favourite fisheries is an old stew pond from a long gone monastery. It only hold a few tench and wild carp plus shoals of small Rudd, a good day for me there would be one of either the Tench or Carp plus as many Rudd as I could catch on the whip. Why do I like it so much with such a low catch rate? it is the solitude and atmosphere of the place as it is 1.5 miles down a dirt track in the middle of some old woodland, it is just a very nice place to spend a day fishing, unfortunately access is very limited and I only get a few opportunities each year to fish it
 

badgerale

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However, I'd also propose that the previous lack of otters in many of our rivers also produced skewed expectations for river fishing. I believe that stocking levels in many rivers went beyond natural for a while. Sadly, in fairly short order, we ended up with the number of predators going beyond what could be considered natural. Hopefully, we'll get to a natural equilibrium one day. Whether there will be enough fish left to breed properly is another matter entirely. Stillwaters undoubtedly suffered in a similar way. However, stillwaters have a distinct advantage in that they can usually be fenced and they can usually be restocked much more easily.
I agree with this.

I'm not sure catching big nets of barbel or even multiple double figure fish is an entirely natural state of affairs. Seems more the result of past stocking and lack of predation.

Personally, I'm happy to catch one or two fish over a couple of pound in a session. Much more than that and I feel it's 'too easy'.
 
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