I have to admit that once the sun comes out and the nights are warmer I have to steer clear of commercial or popular club waters as I just cannot put up with tent pegs being hammered into hardcore swims. I remember a few years ago when set up for the night at a local club water. My shelter for the night was a simple oval with the groundsheet fixed to the Velcro’s attachments. No tent pegs were needed, in fact I rarely if ever use pegs to pin down my oval as a couple of good storm poles is nearly always all that are needed, screw ones that go in even the hardest of swim constructions easily with the use of a small twisting bar. I was looking forward to a relaxing night, with a few fish, however a group of anglers turned up ready for a 48hr session. With absolutely no respect to the other anglers around they proceeded to erect their shelters that took for ever and the constant malleting almost drew me to breaking point. I really should have moved to the opposite side of the lake as any fish within a few hundred yards would have headed that way, probably with metal hats on. That night no one caught a fish, which wasn’t surprising and almost certainly down to the building site construction work carried out that evening.
I can’t put all the blame on anglers as some just don’t realise what they are doing, more looking forward to a few days out in the open air than experiencing a red-letter day. Some blame has to be pointed towards the construction of the swims as these seem to be built with a few feet of hardcore beneath them, great in a way as these will last a lifetime, yet if a small square could be built into either side of these swims, large enough to insert banksticks easily much of the malleting could be avoided and if a specific area to the rear/side of the swim could be constructed of more penetrable material then shelters for long stay anglers could be erected without interfering with other anglers targeting the margins. If you have to use a mallet, then please use a rubber top one.
For now though and until the winter sets in and the hoards of carp campers retreat from my local venues it’s the Thames for me.