We have only 20 junior members,the large majority are OAP's.With very few that are classed as normal adult members.If things carry on the way they are I predicted the club would fold within the next five years.
I suggested to the assembled throng(a grand total of 30 had bothered to attend) that a no show for a work party should incur a ten pound fee on top of the regular joining fee.This was greeted with howls of derision."We are OAPs we can't afford and additional ten pound,on top of the annual thirty pound we pay".As my mate said to me,"sterling work Monts,that is a record even for you,to alienate a room full of people within five minutes".
We have five miles of stunning river to fish,but it seems our members are insistent on trying to get more lakes to fish as the river is "devoid of fish" or "it's not worth fishing any more".The upshot of the night is that no increase on club permits were to be introduced.They have agreed an affiliation with a larger club for the fourth coming season.
It got me thinking a little.Why are we so low in adult members?How do we attract new blood into the club?Are anglers now so wired in that they have to catch every time they go out,hence the need for small ponds,stuffed full of stunted fish?
Is river angling to become a dyeing art?The youngsters of today seem to want to go straight into Carp fishing.Multi rod set ups and the like,they do not seem to have the joy of starting out from the bottom as many of us did.Other clubs I belong to,are also suffering a fall in members.Some citing the current economic climate as a reason.I think the real reason is that our rivers are becoming harder,be it through Otters or Cormorants,low recruitment levels maybe or just a natural cycle.The last two winters have been a chore.Perhaps if anglers can't get out on the river owing to floods,arctic conditions for a couple of months they may well think......Stuff it I only fish once a month I will not join,so I may as well fish a commercial,catch a few fish and go home happy.
I was 43 last Saturday,is my age group the last in a line of anglers who prefer what our rivers have to offer,as opposed to commercials.Enjoy the hard times with a sanguine shrug and embrace the odd golden day.I'm not sure what the answer is,but it seems unless you fish solely for Barbel our rivers may not have anglers to grace the banks in the coming years.I do hope I am wrong,as this club holds a special place in my heart.
|It was huge.|
Thankfully one of my clubs lakes open again for business next week,so I will be able to cast a line.Though I'm bending my mates ear to forgo this option and head to Marsh Farm,either way the next time I update I'll have some proper fishing to drone on about.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.