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Safe on the bank?

Darren Hawen

Senior Member & Supporter
I read this morning about a hopefully extremely rare incident where an angler was verbally harassed and then had his car set alight.

The incident happened on a fenced and gated lake but from many of the comments the fencing has been inadequate for some time and highlighted to the club.

Can’t imagine how that would feel, it got me thinking about safety whilst fishing and how vulnerable we are.

I myself am happy to fish into dark and over the years have fished areas of river, Kennet in particular where I’ve not felt entirely comfortable and couldn’t relax and I would think that’s applies to many of us.

Is personal safety towards the top of people’s agenda when fishing? And where choosing somewhere to fish?

Obviously in the case highlighted above the guy would have assumed he was fishing in a relatively safe environment.

Interested what folks thoughts are on this.
 

Simon Burt

Senior Member & Supporter
I occasionally will fish into dark on a particular town centre stretch (it’s fairly affluent and apart from the rats I think the fish is low!) but mostly if I’m out in the dark it is in pretty remote countryside areas. I don’t feel especially at risk but there are some urban areas that I wouldn’t consider as I would feel vulnerable.
 

Phil Heaton

Senior Member
My local stretch of the river Don can be daunting as the light fades with feral youngsters hanging around and a degree of undesirables fishing. I would like to stay some evenings into dark but always pack up and leave during dusk.
There has actually been a couple of incidents of cars being damaged, people intimidated and a case of human excrement being smeared over the door handles and windows of a car so its not just my over active imagination.
 

Stephen Goderski

Senior Member
Without wishing to tempt fate I have never had a problem on the bank but did feel extremely uncomfortable on a (new to me) club stretch of the Thames some years ago. When I turned up I saw that the car park was strewn with broken glass - never a confidence boost.

As I set up I noticed some members of the travelling community and their lurchers making their way across the fields. I was tucked away and they didn't pass me but it wasn't fun sitting there and I did feel vulnerable.

I packed up before dusk and never returned - I'd rather not fish in those circumstances.
 

David Craine

Senior Member
I only fish in quite remote areas, and probably the worst scare I have ever had was at dusk, and it was a cow falling down the steep bank behind me and that did make me jump, all peace and quiet, then a cow mooing , a loud crash as several saplings gave way, the sound of a half ton of beef crashing down the bank , flattening everything in its path, and stopping ten feet from me , it got to its feet and walked back up the bank without a backward glance .

Nature has nothing to concern me, but the human race is another thing entireley, luckily I scarcely if ever meet anybody but like minded anglers when I am fishing.

David
 

John Hasler

Senior Member
I haven't fished for much for 3 years now as I don't feel safe and don't really see that changing. I finally gave up a lake night ticket I had held for 30 years as I hadn't fished for 6 years as I'd stopped feeling safe there. My wife keeps telling me to sell my tackle but I can't bring myself to do it. I retired last year but haven't managed to find the confidence to fish. I did feel safe on a Kennet syndicate but the fishing became very difficult 🙁
 
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Gerry Giles

Senior Member & Supporter
Sadly the Thames in SOME areas
is almost a no go area they call them river gypsies groups that live hidden in wooded areas close to the river living on swans ducks and fish and there has been reports of anglers having their gear stolen and of course a few people have been murdered too here is one just down the road from me
 

Dave Payne

Active Member
Myself being more concerned of vehicle safety than what could happen to me,takes me back to the 70s before locking fuel caps were standard.Fished all the known Kent gravel pits no problem at all until Darenth !!!! Tackle being constantly stolen from those who went to sleep,i used to pack up 1 to 2 am & walking back to the car park would always smell petrol in the air,get to car with pipe into overflowing gallon can on all vehicles,but at least the offenders had ran off.Every now & again the anti bloodsport mob would turn up & lob bricks ,blocks,stones, bits of tree,shit & anything else they get hold of,happy days,only done a season on there!!!but at least i normally fished with someone at that time.For the last 35 years have fished on my own on the Thames at Chertsey ,Walton,Hampton Court & inbetween, Warwickshire Avon & the Mudway ,never had a problem,so consider myself very lucky indeed,some have not.Do take a few of my builders tools with me ,just in case!
 

Stephen Goderski

Senior Member
Myself being more concerned of vehicle safety than what could happen to me,takes me back to the 70s before locking fuel caps were standard.Fished all the known Kent gravel pits no problem at all until Darenth !!!! Tackle being constantly stolen from those who went to sleep,i used to pack up 1 to 2 am & walking back to the car park would always smell petrol in the air,get to car with pipe into overflowing gallon can on all vehicles,but at least the offenders had ran off.Every now & again the anti bloodsport mob would turn up & lob bricks ,blocks,stones, bits of tree,shit & anything else they get hold of,happy days,only done a season on there!!!but at least i normally fished with someone at that time.For the last 35 years have fished on my own on the Thames at Chertsey ,Walton,Hampton Court & inbetween, Warwickshire Avon & the Mudway ,never had a problem,so consider myself very lucky indeed,some have not.Do take a few of my builders tools with me ,just in case!
Tackle theft was so rife on Darenth back in the 80s that a mate of mine, having had his buzzers and rods stolen while he slept several times, painted his rods and buzzers bright pink.

It worked!
 

Jon Young

Senior Member
There’s a pay on the bank night fishing stretch Iv fished a couple of times but the first time I went I was on my own. There was a couple of people fishing in the car park so thought I’ll take a walk up the stretch to have a look at the pegs. Picked a peg and walked back to the car to get the gear and the bailiff was there so I went over to pay him. He asked where I was going to fish and when I told him he told me to make sure I kept all my gear close to me so no one comes off the path behind to rob me and that I should come back up to the car park once the guys fishing there had gone and park my car behind me in the swim. Really set me at ease before I even got my gear out lol.
I know what the op is saying though there is always times when you feel uneasy sometimes out the blue when your fishing somewhere you’ve fished loads without any bother and know your safe. I’d never fish somewhere urban or where I knew there was people hanging about even though you’d probably be ok there is just too many idiots about these days you just don’t know who’s about
 

Richard Parsons

Senior Member
I haven't fished for much for 3 years now as I don't feel safe and don't really see that changing. I finally gave up a lake night ticket I had held for 30 years as I hadn't fished for 6 years as I'd stopped feeling safe there. My wife keeps telling me to sell my tackle but I can't bring myself to do it. I retired last year but haven't managed to find the confidence to fish. I did feel safe on a Kennet syndicate but the fishing became very difficult 🙁

John - it's really sad to read this. Would you feel safer in a more remote area and, if so, are there no such areas nearby? I presume you would ordinarily fish alone - so perhaps find another local angler to accompany you?

I tend to fish more rural areas where I only really encounter other anglers or dog walkers - the vast majority of the latter being friendly and the rest just undemonstrative.

I hope you find a way to build your confidence as, after all, angling is such a relaxing and therapeutic pastime.

All the best, Rich
 

Terry Harman

Senior Member & Supporter
there is a stretch of the lea near enfield that has some very big fish in not the prettiest place to fish as it’s very urban.. there is no way on gods earth i would fish it alone or even as a pair
 

Nick Hodgkinson

Senior Member
this is not exactly a new thing but is a matter of huge concern

please, for you general well being and mental health only fish in places where you feel safe - no fish that ever swam is worth a risk to your well being

i can tell you true tales that would make you sick - its not all in the urban areas of London etc

when i was in Scotland on the Tay i was seriously threatened by Glasgow poachers - firstly for being English, lol

i had the last laugh as i locked the gates leaving them and their cars stranded until the Police arrived

and thats only one of many similar incidents

down South i have had numerous 'run ins 'mostly from locals who took a dislike to outsiders fishing THEIR lakes - tough shit and funnily enough a few became good friends in the end - Cambridge/Peterborough stand out in my memory

anybody remember The Cut in Peterborough?

friends who fish the Walthamstow complex at night tell shocking stories - gunshots being frequently heard

take care and enjoy your fishing
 

Dave Quinn

Senior Member
this is not exactly a new thing but is a matter of huge concern

please, for you general well being and mental health only fish in places where you feel safe - no fish that ever swam is worth a risk to your well being

i can tell you true tales that would make you sick - its not all in the urban areas of London etc

when i was in Scotland on the Tay i was seriously threatened by Glasgow poachers - firstly for being English, lol

i had the last laugh as i locked the gates leaving them and their cars stranded until the Police arrived

and thats only one of many similar incidents

down South i have had numerous 'run ins 'mostly from locals who took a dislike to outsiders fishing THEIR lakes - tough shit and funnily enough a few became good friends in the end - Cambridge/Peterborough stand out in my memory

anybody remember The Cut in Peterborough?

friends who fish the Walthamstow complex at night tell shocking stories - gunshots being frequently heard

take care and enjoy your fishing

I've fished Walthamstow at night and I've never heard gunshots. It's urban there but it's not the Wild West - I've fished there for years and never felt unsafe and I'm a bit of a scaredy.
 

Nick Hodgkinson

Senior Member
I've fished Walthamstow at night and I've never heard gunshots. It's urban there but it's not the Wild West - I've fished there for years and never felt unsafe and I'm a bit of a scaredy.
my info was from a few of the Korda guys for what its worth?

but as i said before - only fish where you feel safe
 

Nick Hodgkinson

Senior Member
Would that happen to be the "Electric Cut" of great fame? :rolleyes:
yes, the 'Cut' with the warm water outlet

when i was there it was a total madhouse not least Wagstaff and Reynolds, lol

Jim Gibbinson, Jerry Savage ,Elliot Symak etc etc

i have never seen rats as large - they made the family cat look small

somebody had a whole cooked chicken dragged away by a single rat!! - think Waggy or Reynolds tried to spear said rat with a bankstick

but it was grim fishing before the days of bivvies etc - those with spare cash used an ex army tarpaulin and ex army tank suit - height of luxury in those days

BUT i loved it - the Cut was a very special place as were the anglers who fished it

RIP the Cut, lol
 
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