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Specimen Carp Angling Changes

Statement from the Committee

As many of you will be aware, over the last decade or so the club have made significant investment in enhancing the quality of specimen carp fishing on offer for our members. This has included the introduction of fish from some of the most sought-after strains in the country, investment in otter fencing to protect the stocks of all species, a focus on improving the water quality at the fisheries and an incredible amount of time and effort from volunteers to maintain the fisheries.

The rewards from this are now truly being felt with at least four of our waters producing carp over 30lbs this year. Our Knotford fishery in particular has been transformed into one of the best open access specimen fish waters in the north of England, with two carp which will be over the 50lbs mark, a dozen or so fish over 30lbs and well over a hundred fish over 20lbs, as well as bream and tench into double figures.

Now is the time to make some step changes to make sure that the momentum continues. Over the last 12 months the carp committee have been reviewing the progress with three main objectives: protecting the progress which has already been made, continuing the improvements to produce some of the top open access specimen fisheries in the entire country and ensuring that we continue to deliver outstanding value for money for our members.

At this year’s AGM it was voted by the members present to introduce a new set of specimen carp rules, to be followed by any member fishing for specimen carp on any of our waters. These are designed to improve fish welfare, ensuring that stocks remain healthy and meet their potential. The rules include:

- Carp mats: Sided mats only are allowed. These must be a minimum of 90cm with a padded base and sides of non-solid construction. The use of cradles or any mat raised from the floor is prohibited.

- Carp care: Anglers should have everything prepared before removing the fish from the water. Carp to be on the bank for a maximum of 5 minutes and you should only take the fish out once. When returning the fish to the water please use an open retention sling and allow the fish to recover.

- Carp care: Anglers must carry a carp care kit and use it to treat hook holds or any wounds.

- Carp care: It is a mandatory requirement that all anglers carry a water bucket to keep mats wet and to keep fish wet whilst out of the water.

- Carp care: No standing for photographs of fish. Fish must not be lifted above knee height.

- Rigs & safety: Club appointed bailiffs can carry out rig and terminal tackle safety checks.

- Feed: Boilie and pellet are the only feed that can be introduced whilst fishing for specimen carp. Surface anglers can only use floating pellet. The use of correctly prepared nuts and particles is allowed as a hook bait only. This is to increase the nutritional value for the fish and reduce the risk of fish deaths due to incorrectly prepared bait.

- Feed: Only fresh bait (non-shelf life) to be used for targeting specimen carp.

- Fishery Management: Anglers must submit all catch reports of specimen carp which will include weight, date of capture and a photograph of both sides of the fish within 21 days of capture. This can be done using the catch return section on the contact page of this website. This is purely to enable us to manage the fisheries and monitor growth rates, health, etc.

These rules are in addition to existing rules regarding the need of a 42 inch landing net, etc. If anyone has any questions regarding these rules, please feel free to contact the committee or any of our bailiffs who will be more than happy to assist.

To enable the investment to continue, the price of a night permit for Knotford and Kirklees Lagoon will be increasing to £250 from 2024. While for many this may seem a steep increase, we still believe this is outstanding value for money for the quality of fishing on offer at these fisheries. Our market research found that most waters of a similar quality around the country charge at least double this price, with many over £1000 per year. The new price equates to less than 10 nights on most day ticket specimen carp fisheries. The extra revenue generated will enable us to continue to drive improvements across our waters.


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