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Croc hunt - Blagdon 18th October 2018

 
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:03 pm    Post subject: Croc hunt - Blagdon 18th October 2018 Reply with quote

Tony Lakefisher and I shared a boat on Blagdon after pike today and after bringing 2 x 20+ fish to the boat last year with anther half a dozen big jacks were hoping for a good day. The weather, although a little bright at times, was very good with enough wind to move the boat and the water temperature was 14 degrees. Clarity at the dam end was excellent and although there was a little alge in the water towards the top of the lake it was nothing to worry about.

We started off at the Butcombe end where I was surprised to get a hit in shallow water on my first cast before it latched onto cast no.2 but it was tiny, barely a pound! Laughing I had another hit on the hang from another small Jack a couple of casts later in deeper water but that was it for the next couple of hours until something hit my fly hard and hung on just before 1pm. Very Happy

I knew it wasn't a particularly big fish but boy did it give me a run around before coming to the net! Then disaster struck. As I attempted to weight it in the net over the side of the boat, the fish slipped through one of two holes in the net and disappeared into the depths. It was not a great loss but it means no pics or an official weight, although Tony suggested 12lb which sounded about right to me.

After that we tried various areas around the lake but it was hard going with only a couple of hits between us which failed to stick although we suspected at least a couple could have been Trout or possibly Perch. We had two or three more small Jacks to the boat before we both had enough.

As always it was a real pleasure to share a boat with Tony again and it was just a shame that Blagdon's big pike continue to be in a dour mood. Sad

Until next time ....

Alan Wink
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Last edited by Allrounder on Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My fly after being munched by a pike. yesterday .. Laughing




Alan Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hard luck Al - as mentioned on my Chew report 4 Italian lads had had 4 days fly piking for just a couple of Jack's. The dead bait fishermen spread around the lake didn't seem that active so the fishing is dour (for some) on all fronts. The clarity on Chew was mostly excellent with just some staining at the bottom of the wind from Wick to Herriots and across to Stratford.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your participation in a great day afloat at Blagdon Alan Cool

After wrestling with my camera software, which is acting up when used in windows 10 Rolling Eyes - I am now able to post a couple of reminders of our day.

Best I've got of you scrapping the "12" (ish) -



and just before netting it Wink At about 12 secs on the video you posted on the FB page of the forum Wink



Enjoy ........ Tony Very Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:10 pm    Post subject: Supply/Demand Pricing vs. Sleeping Tight at Night Reply with quote

Hi Alan, it would be insightful to get your perspective on value for money of Blagdon vs Chew fly piking. As a pro BW supporter how would you justify the pricing of the different experiences to potential visiting anglers. And where should they ultimately spend their life savings?

I ask the question for two reasons.

1. BW senior management dictated all pike were slaughtered until 2012. After which point the company realised they may one day need the revenue. And ceased culling. But little was done to monitor effects on populations afterwards.

Now anglers are spending considerable sums of money in good faith for a fish of a lifetime. That might be in there. But the management don’t know if they are. But one could be in there. Maybe. That’ll be £450 please!!!!

2. In house exploitation of Blagdon during the culling years clearly indicated there was a specific area and method for catching large pike. That area is not easily fished used fly fishing techniques. 25 feet of water. North Shore, opposite the Lodge.

Does the fly fishing experience at the wee pond justify the price point considering the population has been artificially managed? In recent history?

And should BW be charging a premium for fly fishing when the majority of large fish are out of the range for the average fly angler?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:04 am    Post subject: Re: Supply/Demand Pricing vs. Sleeping Tight at Night Reply with quote

Hi Tony
Good to hear from you and I hope you are keeping well.

TDonnelly wrote:
Hi Alan, it would be insightful to get your perspective on value for money of Blagdon vs Chew fly piking. As a pro BW supporter how would you justify the pricing of the different experiences to potential visiting anglers. And where should they ultimately spend their life savings?


'Value for money' is in the eye of the beholder and while BWF can sell their Blagdon pike boats at least twice over for £450 a day, they don't have to justify themselves to anyone. In fact I would be surprised if John Harris didnt have to justify why he isn't charging even more to his superiors, given the demand! But to answer your question, if I only had £450 or so to spend on pike fly fishing I would book 11 boats on Chew for £451 rather than one day on Blagdon! Laughing
My personal ambition at Blagdon was not a British record pike but simply to enjoy a great days fishing in good company. Last year I managed 2 x20+ fish and another 5 or 6 big singles which by my low standards was a great days pike fly fishing. This year it wasn't as good, but that's how it goes sometimes. Smile

TDonnelly wrote:
I ask the question for two reasons.

1. BW senior management dictated all pike were slaughtered until 2012. After which point the company realised they may one day need the revenue. And ceased culling. But little was done to monitor effects on populations afterwards.

Now anglers are spending considerable sums of money in good faith for a fish of a lifetime. That might be in there. But the management don’t know if they are. But one could be in there. Maybe. That’ll be £450 please!!!!

2. In house exploitation of Blagdon during the culling years clearly indicated there was a specific area and method for catching large pike. That area is not easily fished used fly fishing techniques. 25 feet of water. North Shore, opposite the Lodge.

Does the fly fishing experience at the wee pond justify the price point considering the population has been artificially managed? In recent history?

And should BW be charging a premium for fly fishing when the majority of large fish are out of the range for the average fly angler?


I agree that BW have a lot to answer for over the recent past management of the lakes and I am also eternally grateful to you for stepping in to stop the indiscriminate slaughter of big Perch at Chew by thoughtless trout 'anglers'. Mad But ultimately it is only the individual angler himself who can decide if it is worth the money to fish a given venue and at the moment there appears to be a more people willing to pay from £450 to £1000 + for a days fly fishing for potentially large pike on Blagdon than there are places available.

That may well change in future if results don't meet angler expectations and if it does then BWF will have to revisit the price structure to reflect the demand for pike fly fishing on Blagdon if they want to fill their boats. Until then I am sure they will simply continue to charge what the market will bear, as most businesses would if they were in the same position in a market economy. Smile

In the meantime if anyone is interest in what we 'Pro BW Supporters' Rolling Eyes and BWF discuss you can find the notes of the meetings on the BRFFA website here although I note the latest notes have not been uploaded yet.

Alan Wink
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Member of ...
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BRFFA
B.A.S.S.
Pike Fly Fishing Association

If you see me on the bank, say hello... from a safe distance! Smile


Last edited by Allrounder on Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The introduction of beginners days must be applauded and seems to have been well executed. Feedback from AT is testiment to this.

On balance, there are many aspects of the proposed improvement plan from BRFFA where progress hasn’t been made or even begun. As a steering group it seems focus has been lost on the job at hand.....Saving Chew and restoring faith in the angling community.

Reading through the minutes, there is a fair amount of back slapping going on at the boys club. Albeit the self congratulating is on one point of the action plan!! What about the rest?

As a steering group, the brief should be to support and challenge BWF where appropriate and put forward fresh ideas outside of the skill set of the BWF team. From what I read and hear it isn’t and doesn’t happen!

The no stone left unturned approach to reestablish Chew isn’t happening....BWF and the handpicked members of the Steering group will ultimately be accountable when the inevitable happens. Repetition of prior actions expecting different outcomes is insanity!
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not going to get into a dialogue on here about BWF because what starts off as sensible discussion can often deteriorate into claim and counter claim and gives BWF and others the excuse to dismiss everyone who contributes to the Forum as 'Trolls' Mad

However just for the record, Tim is quite right to say that the the 'Steering Group' (or 'Users group' as I prefer to think of it) was 'hand picked' by BWF. This was to ensure a broader cross section of their customers was heard including Pike anglers (Carl Garratt), Barrow Tanks (Les Toogood), Season ticket holders (Jeff Hirst) and myself (average day ticket Joe! Laughing ) as well as the Match boys who are already very well represented by the BRFFA both outside and within the Group.

If anyone has any points they wish to discuss I am always happy to hear from Forumites via private message. Smile

Alan Wink
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B.A.S.S.
Pike Fly Fishing Association

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Allrounder wrote:
I'm not going to get into a dialogue on here about BWF because what starts off as sensible discussion can often deteriorate into claim and counter claim and gives BWF and others the excuse to dismiss everyone who contributes to the Forum as 'Trolls' Mad

However just for the record, Tim is quite right to say that the the 'Steering Group' (or 'Users group' as I prefer to think of it) was 'hand picked' by BWF. This was to ensure a broader cross section of their customers was heard including Pike anglers (Carl Garratt), Barrow Tanks (Les Toogood), Season ticket holders (Jeff Hirst) and myself (average day ticket Joe! Laughing ) as well as the Match boys who are already very well represented by the BRFFA both outside and within the Group.

If anyone has any points they wish to discuss I am always happy to hear from Forumites via private message. Smile

Alan Wink



All I would ask is the original action plan proposed by BRFFA is thoroughly reviewed. It’s about 5 pages down from the last iteration of the minutes. Compare and contrast what was drawn up versus what has been delivered.

The minutes should reflect all aspects and report progress on each...If an idea has been kicked to the kerb, lets have it minuted with an explanation. Clear, transparent communication was identified as lacking at BWF previously so this would help support a turnaround.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Alan, thanks for the response. I know we both feel strongly that fishing is supposed to be an enjoyable recreational past time. I wasn't in any doubt about your enthusiasm for the Blagdon experience.

I was asking how believe the prices be justified when you are as likely to have a similar experience on Chew for one fifth of the cost? What is it about the Blagdon experience that makes it above beyond anything else out there. Especially when the population dynamics have been interfered with in recent history.

Are the short term gains worth negatively effecting the potential long term perception of the reservoirs? They have sold out for two years, but has it turned out to be the mecca everyone had expected?

If you were paying a premium to visit a fishery I managed I would at least be throwing in a bacon roll and cup of tea for you all. Maybe partner with a local pub/hotel up in the village who could feed you prior to hitting the water. I'd also ensure there were staff present am and pm to assist anglers on the jetties. You are contributing significantly to the operational costs after all!

Eyebrook produced a 39lb pike on Friday. £60.50 per boat. Eyebrook being part of the Ifor Jones Empire. To me that seems like a fairly equitable permit pricing structure. One thing is for sure. You won't have to read Eyebrook facebook bragging about about equitable access, bemoaning continual management challenges or revealing the issues associated with excessive wind (the meteorological type, not the stuff coming out of HQ).

Despite my youthful good looks I have been around long enough to know that anglers are fickle. One bad season will take to two to restore faith from your customers. My concern is that balancing the bottom line one year will make it impossible to succeed going forwards. The viability of the lakes now depends on highly priced pike fishing. If that bubble bursts there will be nowhere to hide.

I think it is wonderful that local anglers are prepared to offer their time to help shape the future of the fisheries.

I'm just a lowly fishery manager, not a business executive but I can't help think the current strategy is lazy and somewhat cynical. Squeezing every drop out of the pike fishing is the easy option.

As an example, there was a free facebook prize draw recently. Free samples from various tackle companies were being given away if you (or your girlfriend/auntie/mate that don't even fish) liked and shared the page.

How about taking the products out on the water, catching some fish with them. Showcase the fishery and increase tackle shop sales simultaneously!!! Then everyone is winning.

Fishing across the UK has been challenging throughout 2018 and the BW reservoirs seem to have fared well given the challenges. I just hope that the anglers are being well looked after and receiving an experience commensurate to their premium contribution to the Lakeside Services Dept.

All the best,
Tony
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