Tom Baird

River Fishing during Covid19

So today I went fishing on the Chelmer just outside the Chelmsford area and was it packed, absolutely was. But not with anglers, with other river users. Its great to see, so many people using the river. But it also has its down side too. Unfortunately, I only had three Dace. Still a great fish and amazing to see it in our rivers, one nearly became a victim of Mr. Pike.

Now I’m a strong believer that the river and the outdoors is for everyone to enjoy, from the dog walker to the paddle boarder, but things have changed this year. With so many new users to the areas I fish, it seems that they haven’t done their homework. And the adults are just as bad as the children.

Now where I was fishing has a launching platform specifically for the boaters out there. This seems to be ignored and people were launching from swims and mooring decks, totally nuts and disrespectful to other users and persons trying to do it properly.

You can tell they have just gone out and brought a blow-up canoe and threw it in the water. No research on the byelaws in the area and defiantly no common-sense. I watched in the swim next to me a whole family block the footpath and pump up several inflatable paddle boards and canoes. Put them in the water and just jumped in. Not once did they ask where my line was or care about blocking the path. Walkers were trying to avoid getting too close, but this was not working.

The children were splashing about and jumping in from the bank and so where the adults, absolute nightmare. Then two adult females walked past talking to two children on paddle boards. One child fell in and was struggling to get back to the board. No buoyancy aid or life jacket. The parent was just standing there with no clue of any danger what so ever.

Hopefully this is just a learning curve for the new users and they will start to respect their surrounding etc. or is this the things to come. I hope not, as I love the river and the fish I catch and see in it. See you soon guys and stay safe out there.

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