Angling: Guesswork cut out by underwater film crew

Beneath British Waters dive boss Mark Barrow is taking some of the guesswork away for anglers with his underwater filming.
Beneath British Waters dive boss Mark Barrow is taking some of the guesswork away for anglers with his underwater filming.
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Fisheries management of natural waters has always been a case of large amounts of luck and guesswork of what controlling clubs and individual anglers think is happening beneath the surface.

Fish stocks would normally be estimated by recording anglers’ catches, and even the topography of the river or lake beds have, in the past, only been mapped with the skills of a rod, line and plummet combination or feeling a lead down looking for submerged obstacles, gravel bars and weed-beds.

Hi-tech fish-and-depth finders, just like the angler with rod and line, are only as accurate as the person operating them, and are often interpreted differently with the user’s imagination playing a big part on what can often be well-intentioned, but misleading information.

Though the mystery of the unknown is part of the attraction to my own river and lake fishing, last week I witnessed new management techniques that will open up a new world for clubs and anglers without taking away individual watercraft.

Mark Barrow, owner of the aptly named Beneath British Waters, and teamed with big-fish fanatic Jodie Calladene, boast over 40 years’ scuba diving experience with fresh water top of their list for some extreme dives.

Using this expertise – and some very expensive-looking underwater cameras and lighting – the dive team’s discoveries are already helping clubs and river keepers understand what’s needed to keep fisheries safe and in good health.

Motivated only by the environment and seeing our two ‘crazy’ sports help each other to a better understanding, the free service that they offer will, no doubt, see them with a full working calendar.

To grasp the benefits and see the team in action, watch the footage of feeding grayling on the River Wharfe at Wetherby, perch on the Nidd or carp at East Yorkshire,s Majestic Pools; its absolutely stunning. Contact beneathbritishwaters@gmail.com or visit facebook for details.

The recent below-normal summer-level readings of the Ouse and Ure monitoring stations have seen visiting specimen anglers arrive to gin-clear water and flow only just going the right way, resulting in single fish regarded as a massive success, and more blanks than bites reported.

On the up side, these clean, warm and low-flow conditions have been brilliant for the season’s fry, with the margins teaming with young fish that look to have reached a size that should guarantee survival and boost the fast-improving system for years to come.

Leeds & District’s long lost Hunters Lodge No1 section re-opened last week after decades of impassable access.

The length – much shallower than others on the Ure – produced some notable match wins in the early 80s with Jim Jordan’s three barble and a chub for 25lb winning the 250-peg Manor House Trophy, and Mrs Pauline Rooks winning with barbel from above the beck soon after. Other notable catches I remember were 17lb of quality roach on a stick float and caster by the late Gilbert Thorpe, and I took second to Jim on the Manor House with eight chub for 17lb from a few pegs below him.

Hopefully, these kind of catches can be repeated in the future, and thanks must go to Airborough’s David Miles for instigating the works to put another ignored fishery back on the map.

Results

Leeds & District Joe Woodham Trophy, Ulleskelf: 1, Chris Burton 13-08; 2, Mick Hughes 10-06; 3, Steve Raper 9-15.

LDSA Melbourne Cup, Beal River Aire: 1, Mick Shaw 12-10; 2, Pete Barron 11-12; 3=, Noel Speight/Geoff Bass 7-09.

Hunters Lodge No1 Test Match: 1, A Benstead 11-02; 2, J Lastakowski 8-02; 3, B Foster 8-01; 4, N Speight 7-04.

Calder League, Mirfield: 1, G Scollick 38-12; 2, S Newns 23-02; 3, S Raper 22-09; 4, M Hughes 22-05.

Bradford No 1 Committees, Howsham Wood: 1, I Bradley 10-04; 2, M Foster 4-08; 3, N Freer 3-12.

Colton Sports, Forest Lane: 1, K Gale 99-10; 2, M Durkin 84-09; 3, I Asquith 83-11; 4, G Sewell 77-12.

South Leeds, Mushroom Pond: 1, M Jackson 28-04; 2, A Longbottom 24-06; 3, M Dee 20-12.

South Leeds, Tollerton Coot: 1, G Moore 63-10; 2, M Jackson 48-08; 3, B Stanley 46-06; 4, A Longbottom 41-06; 5, T Longbottom 35-04.

Airborough AC, Brafferton: 1, S Knox 76-11; 2, T Hewson 69-06; 3, M Barker 47-00; 4, S Smith 44-11; 5, D Scott 38-02.

Bob Co BSR Series, Langwith: 1, E Storie 91-06; 2, D Wright 87-12; 3, A Middleton 82-06; Moor Monkton: 1, A Barker 97-08; 2, D Wright 84-06; 3, S Mazza 74-08; Cyprio: 1, S Rodgers 111-12; 2, M Pryke 99-02; 3, O Hewitt 97-06.

JT Rodgers Summer League Sunrise: 1, A Jackson 26-15; 2, S Burley 19-15; 3, S Phelan 19-05.

Leeds Liverpool Canal, Armley: 1, T Bowater 4-13; 2, Joint R Thorne/ R Movely 2-01.

White Horse AC, Pudsey Angling Viking: 1, S Good 108-04; 2, J Jones 69-02; 3, P Robinson 66-00; 4, D Brier 64-08.

Birkwood Farm, Emily’s: 1, R Francis 63-07; 2, A Rymer 49-05; 3 ,F Ran 45-06.

Birkwood Farm, Oscar’s: 1, A Rymer 46-04; 2, A Jackson 38-09; 3, C Bacon 23-03.

Park Piscatorials, Brafferton Spring: 1, C Broadley 61-05; 2, C Young 51-09; 3, A Ross 20-11.

Bradford No1 Juniors, Raskelf: 1, N Michael 26-04; 2, H Michael 25-08; 3, R Harrison 15-08; 4, H Sandham 12-03.

Angel Lakes, Open Lookout Sunday: 1, Rob Rundle 102-11; 2, Andrew 80-15; 3, Boggy 78-03.

Angel Lakes, Open Bowes Saturday: 1, Jonny Maver 94-04; 2, Ray Laing 70-07; 3, Alan McGuire 60-15.

Angel Lakes, Open Lookout Friday: 1, John Foster 154-04; 2, Dave Pearson 106; 3, Norman Laing 87-10.

Angel Lakes, Open Bowes Wednesday: 1, Jonny Maver 121-05; 2, Boggy 100-15; 3, Chris Pine 98.

Colton Sports AC, Forest Lane, Don: 1, B Taylor 91-04; 2, A Senior 88-12; 3, D Stainthorpe 71-10; 4, C Remmer 54-04.

Armley AC at Forest Lane Furlong: 1, C Greenwood 75; 2, R Varty 70; 3, A Faithwaite 56-08; 4, D Fish 53.

Dragon AC at Lodge Farm Signal: 1, R Robbins 111; 2, K Legg 97; 3, L Parsons 91; 4, D Evans 67-11.

Match Diary

Saturday

Kippax Park: 27 pegs, tickets £20, contact 07967000746.

Feeder Master Qualifier, River Aire, Beal: contact Angling Trust 0115 906 1301.

Poppleton Saturday Open: pools, £15, draw cafe 10am, contact Roger 01904737279.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscar’s, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Moorfields Farm: 54 pegs, tickets £16, contact 07710817150.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Birkwood Farm: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01132 80609.

Viking, Hawk Pond: 30 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01405 860764.

Tollerton Ponds: Open Match all ages, (Kingfisher 20 pegs, Coot 18 pegs, Heron 32 pegs), contact 01347 838115.

Sunday

Leeds & Liverpool: Kirkstall, contact Roger Movley 01132 772215.

Listerhills: Leeds & Liverpool Canal, contact Eddie Harrison 07518721051.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Oak Tree Leisure: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01347 810686.

Leeds DASA: Moor Monkton Pools, contact 07967000746.

Poppleton Sunday Open: 50 pegs, draw 11am cafe, contact 07425 146677.

Monday

Woodlands over-50s: 30 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01845 520110.

Langwith Lakes over-60s: 30 pegs, tickets £10, contact 01904 431874.

Tollerton Ponds over-50s: tickets £16, contact 01347 838115.

Tuesday

Kippax Park over-50s: draw 10am, tickets £10, contact 07967000746.

Wednesday

Leeds & District: Moor Monkton Pools, draw 10am, contact 07967000746.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscar’s, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Tollerton Ponds: open match, all ages, contact 01347 838115.

Thursday

Poppleton Lakes: 3-hour evening opens, contact Roger 07425 146677.

Junior angler, Liam Matley, aged 10. PIC: Steve Fearnley

Angling: Leeds and District initiative puts junior anglers at forefront and challenges other societies to follow its lead