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Illegal closed season fishing

Andrew Richardson

Senior Member
I thought it was a worm spinner you could use close season? Not sure what that is really.
 

Ben Marr

Senior Member
I don't see the Bylaws as a problem, although I agree a lot of them are antiquated.
The problem is people illegally taking fish.
If fishing for Trout with worm is allowed, that's fine.
Removing coarse fish bycatch out of season from the water isn't.
I'm sure most on here will have caught Trout out of season, but we don't knock them on the head.
 

Edward Adcock

Senior Member
What viable options are there for policing rivers?

I haven't seen an EA person on the river bank for nearly 30 years. I was last asked to show my licence by an NRA person in 1991 the first time I fished the Thames.

Go to Henley-on-Thames when it warms up (out of season) and you will see people spinning for pike and plonking them on the barbecue.

I have heard anecdotes of English anglers shoving carp into cool boxes which were to be sold to Polish delis.

I used to think lock keepers could do more but most of them have gone.

It's not worth challenging anyone these days and phoning the EA is not going to amount to much.
 

Terry Harman

Senior Member
Same experience as you Edward I have been fishing since I was 5 years old .. I’m now 56 I have never in all that time been asked to show my licence.... I did see an EA employee once but that was in the close season whilst walking round a lake
 

Paul Richardson

Senior Member
We have it up here and it drives me insane
I’ve caught really well know pike anglers “ spinning for trout” in close season with bull dawgs. Now high up in PAC? Some example.
Unfortunately it’s just one scenario that I simply can’t walk away from
I always start off polite , if that doesn’t work I tell them I’m calling the bailiff/ police and will get the phone out there and then, take videos and generally annoy them and wind them up
Most of the time I’m bluffing but A few reminders of fines levied by courts etc can do the trip
Sometimes they don’t give a flip but at least you’ve tried
 

Chris Jones

Senior Member
As of now, I could be out on the Tees (and rivers north of it) fishing for trout. The byelaws allow for worm (leger or float is fine) or fly fishing. However, many club rules do not allow the worm. Any kind of loose feeding or groundbait is illegal.

In a few days time, the situation will be the same on the Yorkshire rivers. In reality, there's nothing much wrong with the byelaws as they stand, it's people that use the byelaws to fish in inappropriate areas, or with illegal baits, that are the issue. The lack of effective policing doesn't help.

By catches of non-trout species can obviously occur. However, as I've been informed by the EA, anyone continuing to catch more than one coarse fish in a particular area is breaking the law. You are supposed to move locations if you start catching coarse fish.

It has never been as simple as seeing someone doing anything other than fluff chucking, after the 15th of March as illegally fishing. However, if they are worming in parts of rivers that wouldn't normally be considered as being "trout zone", they are undoubtedly extracting the urine.
 

Rhys Perry

Senior Member
It has never been as simple as seeing someone doing anything other than fluff chucking, after the 15th of March as illegally fishing. However, if they are worming in parts of rivers that wouldn't normally be considered as being "trout zone", they are undoubtedly extracting the urine.
Or fishing for eels 😉

I've found it far, far better to inform the club bailiffs if you see anyone illegally fishing, EA are practically useless in this scenario. Of course on free waters you're screwed.
 

Andrew Richardson

Senior Member
So let me get this right. In yorkshire close season I can fish with worm on float or bomb legally?
 

Paul Richardson

Senior Member
As of now, I could be out on the Tees (and rivers north of it) fishing for trout. The byelaws allow for worm (leger or float is fine) or fly fishing. However, many club rules do not allow the worm. Any kind of loose feeding or groundbait is illegal.

In a few days time, the situation will be the same on the Yorkshire rivers. In reality, there's nothing much wrong with the byelaws as they stand, it's people that use the byelaws to fish in inappropriate areas, or with illegal baits, that are the issue. The lack of effective policing doesn't help.

By catches of non-trout species can obviously occur. However, as I've been informed by the EA, anyone continuing to catch more than one coarse fish in a particular area is breaking the law. You are supposed to move locations if you start catching coarse fish.

It has never been as simple as seeing someone doing anything other than fluff chucking, after the 15th of March as illegally fishing. However, if they are worming in parts of rivers that wouldn't normally be considered as being "trout zone", they are undoubtedly extracting the urine.
Agree - like the Caravan park at Topcliffe - a well known trout stretch! Only 1 individual I hasten to add, vast majority of lads play the game.
 

Chris Jones

Senior Member
So let me get this right. In yorkshire close season I can fish with worm on float or bomb legally?
No, in the trout season you can fish worm on a float, or bomb, for trout, legally. The coarse closed season is largely irrelevant other than it closing just before trout season opens. What it does mean is that there is genuinely no fishing on the river for about ten days. The same situation also exists in the Northumbria region but their trout season dates differ. I don't know for sure (I don't fish there) but I believe a similar situation exists in Cumbria and Lancashire. I know there are also other regions where there are variations on the theme.

Despite what some believe, it's never been as simple as seeing someone fishing, in a style that looks like coarse fishing, and knowing for sure that they are fishing illegally. In my local area, many clubs don't allow this byelaw to be exploited. The most likely places for it to happen are actually the "free" stretches. As most of these are in or near urban areas, they can be very obvious. Locals that don't know, or newcomers that assume that the closed season is as black and white as it might be elsewhere, often get quite upset by what they assume is illegal closed season fishing.
 

Andrew Richardson

Senior Member
No, in the trout season you can fish worm on a float, or bomb, for trout, legally. The coarse closed season is largely irrelevant other than it closing just before trout season opens. What it does mean is that there is genuinely no fishing on the river for about ten days. The same situation also exists in the Northumbria region but their trout season dates differ. I don't know for sure (I don't fish there) but I believe a similar situation exists in Cumbria and Lancashire. I know there are also other regions where there are variations on the theme.

Despite what some believe, it's never been as simple as seeing someone fishing, in a style that looks like coarse fishing, and knowing for sure that they are fishing illegally. In my local area, many clubs don't allow this byelaw to be exploited. The most likely places for it to happen are actually the "free" stretches. As most of these are in or near urban areas, they can be very obvious. Locals that don't know, or newcomers that assume that the closed season is as black and white as it might be elsewhere, often get quite upset by what they assume is illegal closed season fishing.
Don't suppose you've got a link for these bylaws Chris?
 

Andrew Richardson

Senior Member
I always remember as a kid yorkshire rivers and ponds use too open on the 1st June before the rest of the country. When was that rule changed?
 

Terry Simner

Senior Member
"The stolen fortnight" as it was called,remember it well,but can't remember a date,early 80's at a guess.
Ah, but you weren't allowed to fish any of March...and on balance (barbel being as they are) I'd rather have the last 15 days of the present season than the first 15 days. Bloody tykes, always causing bother 🤯
 

Edward Adcock

Senior Member
Interestingly, I have spotted a clause in the Upper Thames bye-laws, section 14 paragraph 107 which states: 'During the close season if a crisis occurs such as pandemics, lockdowns, etc., BFW members are granted dispensation to fish still waters in order to keep up morale, improve family relationships, and to avoid serious conditions such as cabin fever'.
 

Chris Jones

Senior Member
Don't suppose you've got a link for these bylaws Chris?
There isn't a lot to go on, you need to contact the EA for greater clarity, which they will give. The byelaws are actually even more vague than they used to be. However, the magic word is that the use of worm is permissible, with no further specification as to the method. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/regiona...region#catch-limits-size-limits-catch-returns

I always remember as a kid yorkshire rivers and ponds use too open on the 1st June before the rest of the country. When was that rule changed?
I can't remember exactly, though I would expect that it would have been part and parcel of the switch over to the NRA, the national rod licence (as opposed to the separate regional licences we had before) and the abolition of the closed season on stillwaters. I'd guess at it being the early nineties. I do recall fishing the "stolen fortnight" in 1988. I should have been revising studiously for exams, but I spent far too much time fishing instead.
 
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