Coarse fishing comparisons. Commercial v none commercial fisheries.
factory lake at the Walrow complex (none comercial.)
None commercial fisheries.
I can remember as a youth fishing all my local waters who were all controlled by the local associations and learning the individual waters and the techniques required to successfully catch a nice fish. Using simple everyday baits to catch a variety of coarse fish in the local canals, lakes and rivers. The popular baits in those days were; maggots, casters, bread, hemp and tares, earth worms and anything else that you could think of. As time went on the likes of sweetcorn, cheese and luncheon meat came on the scene giving the fisherman even more options to gain success at this great sport.
Where I grew up in the midlands fishing clubs were very popular- every pub, workplace and working mens club had a fishing section such was the popularity of the sport.
Winning catches on canals would consist of gudgeon, roach, perch, skimmers, bream and the odd carp and winning catches could be as little as ounces in weight but you could bet that a lot of enjoyment was had catching those fish and experiencing the friendships and rivalry that grew taking part in those club matches.
Lakes and rivers would return catches up to 100lb with Crucian carp being the addition to the above list on lakes and Barbel and chub when fishing on rivers.
Costs were low as the basic bait you would take to matches maggots, casters and ground bait.
A lot of skills were the order of the day.
A Shiplate farm carp.
I gave up coarse fishing in the later part of the eighties choosing to concentrate on sea fishing and having a family. commercial fisheries and more "exotic" baits were beginning to give coarse fishing a different complexion, I even fished Docklow lakes in Herefordshire a couple of times where it was a day ticket venue that gave you a good bag of carp for little effort but once the novelty whore off you were left feeling a bit bored with it all no skills were required, just putting the advised bait on the hook and watch the fish jump out of the water trying to get your attention - "how exiting!"
Look in the angling press now and quite a number of big angling events are held on commercial type fisheries where winning catches can be as much as 300lb, but the down side being that to be competitive in those matches is quite expensive as vast amounts of bait are used to attract and keep the fish feeding in your swim.
Another thing that can be annoying is the tight rules some venues have and the most lucrative for the owners only allowing bait purchased on site to be used - what a money maker. Most of the commercials around my neck of the woods charge £6.00 to £8.00 per rod per day and prices in the region of £8 - £10.00 per kilo for your bait, so if you are using two rods you could be paying £24.00 + to fish for one day alone (even more if night fishing!)
An Apex carp.
The pro's and con's.
Having fished on both types of water, I think there are reasons for fishing either it depends on your views and what you look for in fishing.
I find that commercial lake fishing gives me a short lived sense of achievement as I am a traditional type of fisherman who gets a sense of real achievement out of going to a water where the results aren't given to you on a plate and cost you a mint into the bargain.
A none commercial lake that is a challenge to fish and calls for all your experience in baits and tactics to conquer is more fulfilling.
The waters I fish most are club owned and vary from park lakes through rivers to full blown carp lakes. Some are easy to fish others are sometimes out and out frustrating but very rewarding when you get it right. The cost are comparable too. The year license to fish all the waters cost £27.00. and in all cases an environmental agency license is required which costs £27.00 for adults and juniors fish for £5.00 for juniors.
There are no complicated rules in place just simple easy to live with ones regarding floating baits, live baiting and carp retention.
Doing it yourself.
None commercial lakes allow fishermen like myself to experiment with bait making techniques and methods.
I get a great deal of personal satisfaction out of making my own blend of fishing boilies and successfully catching a nice carp, or any other fish I target.
I enjoy making ground bait mixes that attract and hold the fish in my swim.
I think Catching fish is a bonus and should be a privilege and not a paid for right!