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At LAST! The thaw has revealed local fishingwaters for the first time in weeks!

What can be done to protect fish stocks when the weather does ‘put a lid’ on things?

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, is effective fishery management; over-stocking creates huge problems as the increased bio-mass obviously use up any dissolved oxygen (DO) far faster than sparsely filled waters.

Plant control is another factor to consider as encroaching trees and bushes dump their leaves into the water and increase the build up of silt.

In turn, this leads to intensify the amount of nitrates within the venue as the silt continues to break down, all of which is harmful to fish struggling with reduced DO.

Aerators and water pumps can be very effective tools to ensure that areas are kept ice free and water is forced to flow through the pool.

Aerators have the added advantage of introducing large amounts of DO back into the water as they work.

I suppose that finally, and one which many anglers consider, is to break the ice.

This is NOT recommended as the shockwave travelling at high speed through the water can prove distressing to fish and can even lead to death.

The Angling Trust recently released their guidance for keeping waters clear and it makes very interesting reading; check out their website for more details and help your fish survive the next ice age.

I’ve been asked recently to consider writing a ‘fishy funny’ which could then be used in the ‘Angler’s Mail’ magazine.

I have to be honest, I’m not what you would call enthusiastic about it as I find that sometimes, humour just doesn’t work on paper (especially mine!).

I guess that many anglers have a laugh on the bank, but the most amusement surely comes from the ‘unexpected’ when out and about.

I can vividly remember fishing at a venue (run by a very loud chap!) near Chesterfield some years ago with my brother one sunny summer day.

The big carp were on the top and we were catapulting dog biscuits as fast as the fish would eat them.

I spied a huge common carp under some trees in the margins, so with my floater gear in hand, set off to climb the tree directly above it intending to lower my rig on its nose.

After half an hour of ignoring my biscuit bait, it steamed in and took it!

What now? I’m stuck 20 feet up a tree, with an extremely angry carp trying its best to dislodge me.

My landing net is at the base of the tree and I can’t reach it! In trying to turn around and get down, the inevitable happened.

The branch I’m standing on snapped and dumped me into about nine feet of water, around four feet too much for me!

My brother is standing there unable to contain his glee as I flounder to the bank minus the fish, my boot and my dignity!

Needless to say, we never mention it now . . .

Let me know your stories at clint597@btinternet.com or give me a ring on 07807 034164.

Tight lines . . . Clint