A record number of rainbow trout will be stocked into Northumbrian Water’s six premier reservoirs before the new season starts.
As many as 22,000 fish will be waiting for anglers on the opening day on March 10 – 4,000 more than ever before for the start of the season. And many of them will be prime conditioned, home grown rainbows from the water company’s own fish farms in Northumberland and the Tees Valley.
The pre-season stocking bonus for anglers from Northumbrian Water, maintaining its position as the leading provider of still water game fishing in Northern Europe, is down to excellent fish farming management coupled with the unseasonably warm winter encouraging fish to feed.
Weekly stocking will then follow and a minimum of no fewer than 135,000 rainbow trout will be introduced throughout the season.
Fish will be stocked at the premier reservoirs: Derwent in County Durham; Fontburn and Kielder in Northumberland; Grassholme and Hury in Teesdale and Scaling on the edge of the North York Moors.
Despite the current economic challenges, 2012 permit price rises have been pegged at just £1 with an eight-fish full ticket costing £24, a concessionary £22 and a four-fish ‘credit cruncher’ priced at £17.
New for this season are golden, tiger, blue and rainbow trout marked with special sweep tags and stocked in Fontburn, Derwent, Grassholme and Scaling.
Anglers who catch one of these marked fish and who have joined the optional over 18’s sweep for just a £1 stake before fishing could win up to £400.
Building on past successes of encouraging young people to have a go, Northumbrian Water are making family fishing more affordable. The age limit for free fishing with an adult has been raised from 17 to 18. And now all the children in the family under 18 can fish for free and share the bag limit catch with their full paying parent.
Anglers are also urged to join the 5,000-strong loyalty card fishing family and catch up to a £3.42 discount bargain every time they have a day out.
Fish seven times to get an eighth day free. Unused loyalty credits automatically carry into the next season and club members also get regular free newsletters and monthly special offer deals on tackle, clothing and bait.
It also applies to boat hire at Kielder and once a loyalty card registration has been processed it lasts for life.
To sign up for a loyalty card call 0845 155 0236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Don Coe, Fishing and Waterside Parks Leisure Operations Manager, said: “We have a record-breaking start lined up for the season with the biggest ever stocking including our own beauties from our farms at Fontburn and Lartington.
“There’s a brilliant season lined up for our customers and we will continue to invest in the future and attract newcomers to the sport with our popular ‘Try It’ sessions under qualified angling instruction.
“Our emphasis is on having fun while fishing and encouraging people to join our fishing loyalty ‘family’ is a big part of that. We also intend to reward those who join our family club with more and more benefits.
“The future of fishing is in the hands of the younger generation and we are doing everything we can to encourage them. We are proud that more youngsters and adults are getting hooked on fishing.”
Advance day permits can now be bought online through visit: www.fishpal.com.
To request a free copy of the new-look 24-page angling guide, packed with information for multi bait, fly and coarse anglers, ring 0845 155 0236 or email email@example.com.
The guide features all the premier stocked trout reservoirs and coarse fishing at the Whittle Dene lakes in the Tyne Valley and at Derwent reservoir.
There’s information about the wild brown trout waters of Balderhead, Cow Green and Selset and there are tips and information from Northumbrian Water’s own angling expert, Teesdale ranger Andrew Scott, who is a gold-medal winning England International.
Fishing opens at all reservoirs from March 10, except the wild brown trout waters of Cow Green, Selset, Balderhead and Blackton which open on March 22. Brown trout caught at Kielder and Derwent must be returned before May 1 and after October 31.
‘Try it days’ will run at Derwent reservoir throughout the season. Everything required is provided under expert tuition and courses cost £30 for adults and £20 for under-18s for a three hour session. They are held on Tuesdays and Saturdays and start on April 10 and will alternate between multi-bait and fly.
By appointment courses can also be arranged at other premier fisheries. All ‘Try it day’ sessions must be booked by phone on 01207 255250.
For the competition angler there is a full calendar of 16 dates to choose from throughout the region headlined by the annual WaterAid fundraisers once again supported by world class Alnwick-based tackle company Hardy & Greys.
Northumbrian Water’s partnership with Hardy & Greys has so far raised a record breaking £35,000 for its adopted international charity WaterAid – saving nearly 2,500 lives in Africa.
There are three fly fishing boat heats this season at Kielder (April 15, May 13, June 17) and a final on July 15; there’s the Bankmaster event at Derwent on May 20 with separate competitions for bait and fly anglers and there’s the coarse challenge at Whittle Dene on August 27.
Top notch anglers can qualify for the fish-off for the English national team at the Kielder regional eliminator on May 20 and teams of six anglers can also take part in the prestigious national Airflo International on June 30.
Kielder, Scaling, Derwent and Hury are once again TroutMasters waters this season. Every month the captor of the biggest fish will be automatically entered into the national TroutMasters fly fishing competition and win the coveted cloth badge and earn a place in the fish-off finals.
Full details of all the other prize and cash competitions at Derwent, Fontburn, Hury, Grassholme, Scaling and at Kielder Water & Forest Park can be found on the full page calendar in the guide.
Find out more about fishing in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders.