Massive boost for river fish stocks

17 Jan

THE Environment Agency has restocked dozens of rivers, including a water that has been ravaged by otters and pollution in the past.

Great Ouse fishing prospects are improving after more fish were stocked.
Great Ouse fishing prospects are improving after more fish were stocked.

Great Ouse fishing prospects have improved further with the boost.

The former British record barbel river has received nearly 15,000 barbel, chub, dace and roach.

It’s the latest part of an effort by the EA to restore Great Ouse fishing following a pollution incident in Brackley, Northamptonshire, in 2018. That sad event killed thousands of fish.

Otters had already decimated the large stocks of double-figure barbel in the upper Ouse.

And the river has recently lost its long-held grip on the British record to a 21 lb 2 oz Sussex specimen, caught last November.

Great Ouse fishing improvement project

An EA spokesperson said: “The fisheries team recently undertook its annual trip to Calverton Fish Farm to collect fish and restock the river (Ouse) in and around Buckingham.

“More than 1,400 juvenile barbel were released into the upper reaches of the Great Ouse, in specific locations to suit habitat conditions, in a bid to protect and develop the species.

“This is part of wider efforts to conserve barbel populations and improve vital habitat.

“Officers then released 5,000 dace, 7,000 roach and 1,000 chub into the river to replenish stocks, following a pollution incident in Brackley.

“Since the incident in 2018, the EA has released almost 28,000 fish back into the river. Further stocking at this location is planned for later in the year,” they added.

Other efforts to help the river

As well as restocking, other measures have been taken to restore river, and the Great Ouse fishing potential.

This includes habitat restoration work, such as gravel enhancement and cleaning; improving cover, to allow fish to forage and rest up; and improved opportunities for fish passage.

Kye Jerrom, local fisheries specialist for the EA, said: “All of these enhancements should give these fish and others in the system the help that they need to thrive.

“We’re working with researchers, anglers, angling clubs and landowners to do this, and we know we couldn’t do this work without them.

“We are pleased that our restocking programme will hopefully give the river a new lease of life, but good fisheries’ management shouldn’t revolve around stocking.

“Our emphasis is on the restoration work that will create a self-sustaining fishery, improving the river in the long term, for fish and wildlife.

“We look forward to the year when we’re not heading to Calverton to stock more barbel, safe in the knowledge that the river is doing its thing independently, and hopefully that isn’t too far away.”

Promising recovery signs

Milton Keynes AA chairman Trevor Johnson said: “The (2018) pollution wiped out the river’s fish and invertebrate life, from Brackley all the way down to Thornborough.

“With the food chain recovering, and the river restocked with fish, paid by us through the rod licence fee, I’m sure they will grow and breed, to produce stock levels expected of a healthy river.

“Prior to the latest stockings, Calvert AC’s latest matches in the Buckingham area have seen a number of double-figure nets of small fish, which has to be a promising sign.”

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Roach stockings continue

Avon Roach Project co-founder Trevor Harrop (pictured above) said: “This year we made five deposits – some to the main…

Immaculate winter common carp nears 90 lb!

17 Jan

JAMES JONES is used to catching huge fish, but he was amazed when this 88 lb 4 oz common carp took lots of line from his reel at long range.

What a winter common - James Jones prepares to return his 88 lb 4 oz Gigantica carp.
What a winter common - James Jones prepares to return his 88 lb 4 oz Gigantica carp.

The Gigantica carp venue in France was where James tempted the winter hulk, known as The Immaculate.

James, 39, from Southminster, Essex, is no stranger to colossal fish. He banked a catfish of 144 lb from his local Oak Lakes in 2012, which was a UK record at the time.

James, who works as a bailiff on the Gigantica carp fishery, said: “After coming second in the draw, I chose Alcatraz, as I fancied being on the back of the wind.

“I fished a clean area at 24 wraps. It can be tempting to fish further, but accuracy is key at this time of year.

“I baited a tight spot with Mainline Essential Cell crumb, pellets and hemp, starting with 3 kg a day.

“I set up with spinner rigs, guaranteeing perfect presentation. That’s something that was important, as during the winter I could be leaving my rigs out for up to three days.

“It was clear that the fish weren’t in the area, so I stopped baiting and decided to leave the rigs out, hoping that they’d move on me.”

Gigantica carp arrive after 48 hours

James continued: “The tactic appeared to work, as 48 hours later I heard fish showing in the zone.

“Not wanting to make any disturbance, I left the rigs out for another day.

“With no bites materialising, I changed my hi-vis pop-up hook baits from pink Toasted Almond to Pineapple, tipped with fake maggots.

“The fish continued to show, and the change in bait worked, as on Thursday morning I landed a rare visitor to the bank, Mr Tong, at 48 lb.

“With two rods still on the spot, I decided not to recast, and a few hours later I was away again, with a 31 lb mirror, before my one remaining rod went off with one of the 2019 stockies.

“The spot was rocking, so three new rigs were cast out, followed by ten Spombs.

“Within an hour I landed a dark, scaly ‘banger’ that hadn’t been caught since it was stocked last year, a fish known as Big Blue, at 33 lb.

“It was a crazy morning, and the best was yet to come.”

Special finish with 88-pounder

James continued: “I took a 31 lb mirror the next morning, and going into my final night I baited with a further 3 kg of crumb.

“I began to hear some ‘chunks’ showing in the area at 3am, so I put the kettle on, absolutely buzzing.

“It didn’t take long for the middle rod to be away, and a very different fight began.

“It was stripping line at 100 yards, and I knew this was going to be special, as she plodded deep in the edge, trying to shake the hook.

“She surrendered as I slipped the enormous bulk of her into my net.

“Gigantica truly is a special place!” concluded James.

His 88 lb 4 oz Gigantica carp ranks as one of the heaviest commons caught in France. It’s been an impressive water for many years –  find out more here.

The biggest common carp ever caught fell to a British angler at Lake Serene in summer 2019. The captor was Terry Harbert, and it scaled 101 lb 6 oz.

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Ladies angling walking on AIR after sponsorship deal

17 Jan

THE Ladies Carp Team England have stepped boldly into 2020 with a new sponsor.

Ladies angling boost - this England Carp Team has already shown its talent and now has a new sponsor.
Ladies angling boost - this England Carp Team has already shown its talent and now has a new sponsor.

The new ladies angling deal has come thanks to a brand new trade group.

Ten leading independent tackle shops have banded together to form a new organisation, the Association for Independent Retailers. It aims to help arrest the decline in participation in the sport, and to get better working practices.

Chairman of AIR is Kevin Peet, from widely admired The Tackle Box shop, in Dartford, Kent.

Kevin said: “When the opportunity to fund the Ladies Carp Team came up, we voted unanimously to do so.

“The days of angling being a male-dominated sport are behind us. Angling is for all, so what better way to illustrate this than to highlight the existence of a team of very successful lady anglers.”

Ladies angling 2020 showpiece

The ladies angling scene is all set for a boost with the first ever Women’s World Carp Championships. It’s being held in England in 2020.

As yet no final date or venue has been fixed for this ladies angling showpiece, as the number of countries participating has not been finalised.

Bev Clifford, Ladies Carp Team England manager, said: “We are thrilled to have the support of the AIR group. I’ve worked with a lot of the retailers over the years and to now have them supporting the ladies team is very exciting.

“Their financial support will be a massive help for Ladies Carp Team England and women’s angling in general.”

Steve Lee, of Browns Angling, a member of AIR, added: “Having sponsored the ladies carp team solely last year under Browns Angling, it was only right to get the AIR group involved with the ladies team for this year, which is set to be a massive year for them.”

The ladies angling deal that Bev has agreed is in stark contrast to the England men’s coarse match fishing team. It still has no sponsor, after a fall-out with Drennan International.

Almost exactly a year ago, the plug was pulled on a mega-successful 25-year association with Team England. The Angling Trust is still looking for a new sponsor to take them forward.

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Ladies land the biggest carp!

St. Johns Lake, on the Oxfordshire’s Linear Fisheries day ticket complex, has just seen its biggest resident – an upper-40…

Biggest carp to British angler comes in World record brace

15 Jan

A MONSTER 105 lb 14 oz mirror carp, the biggest ever to a British angler, has been landed by Ian Burton, after he piled in 1,200 lb of bait.

Ian Burton shows his jumbo Euro-Aqua carp.
Ian Burton shows his jumbo Euro-Aqua carp.

Ian fed 500 kg of hemp and 50 kg of Mainline High Impact boilies to take a huge hit of big carp from Hungary’s record-breaking Euro-Aqua fishery.

The unprecedented stocks of big carp in the 28-acre lake are used to seeing lots of bait, as owner Alex Horvath piles in up to four tonnes of maize a week.

In total, Ian matted 71 carp in ten nights, including another giant of 91 lb, making it a World record brace of carp.

The 49-year-old carper added two 80s, four 70s, seven 60s, nine 50s, 24 40s, 14 30s, seven 20s and two doubles.

Derbyshire-based Ian said: “This was my third trip to Euro-Aqua in a year, but this time I drove there myself.

“I fed 500 kg of hemp and 50 kg of High Impact boilies over ten nights, but it was well worth it, as I netted 71 carp.

“The 105 lb carp was the only fish to give me a one-toner, as the other takes were very shy, the indicator just lifting and dropping, like you’d expect from a bream bite.

“The 105 lb carp was an extremely hard-fighting fish, not just a heavy ‘lump’.

“We had at least a five-minute stand-off, me trying to prevent it from getting into a snag that was roughly 90 yards distance from the bank. It took approximately 20 minutes to land.

“I became nervous, knowing that I was potentially about to beat my PB for the fourth time this year.

“With it being my tenth carp of over 80 lb, I managed to keep my cool, getting her in the net on the first attempt,” said Ian.

The World carp record stands at 112 lb 14 oz, a Euro-Aqua fish caught by Dutchman Michel Schoenmakers in 2018.

Michel held the World carp brace best with mirrors of 95 lb 1 oz and 93 lb 6 oz, for an 188 lb 7 oz total, but that has now been surpassed by Ian’s pair of
105 lb 14 oz and 91 lb, giving him a 196 lb 14 oz total.

Top 12 carp by British anglers

105 lb 14 oz mirror  Ian Burton                   Euro-Aqua                  2019

104 lb 2 oz mirror    Stephen Weir              Euro-Aqua                   2015

102 lb mirror            Luke Vanes                  Euro-Aqua                   2018

101 lb 8 oz mirror    Warren Harrison        Euro-Aqua                   2017

101 lb 6 oz common   Terry Harbert           Lake Serene                 2019

100 lb 8 oz common   Colin Smith                 Etang La Saussaie        2013

99 lb 14 oz common   Alan Munns                 Etang la Saussaie         2013

99 lb 12 oz common   John Thorpe                Etang La Saussaie        2013

99 lb mirror              Ambrose Smith           Graviers                      2010

99 lb mirror              Scott Phillips              Graviers                      2014

98 lb mirror              Derek Fell                   Euro-Aqua                   2014

96 lb mirror              Sam Smith                   Euro-Aqua                   2015

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Popular fishing tackle trade boss leaves his post

15 Jan

THE chief executive of the Angling Trades Association has resigned to look after his sick wife.

John Loftus
John Loftus

John Loftus took up the role only last March, and was making strides to tackle the problem of declining numbers in angling.

The former UK boss of Daiwa, Shimano and Marukyu was initially able to breathe new life into the trade organisation.

He held a large meeting of major players in the industry, and a think-tank was appointed to take it forward.

Mike Heylin, vice chairman at the ATA, said: “It’s obviously a major blow to lose John so soon after his appointment, just as he was fully settled into the role, but totally understandable that he should want to spend more time looking after his wife.

“He has said that he will work out his notice period, which ends in March, but I’m not sure how much he will realistically be able to do, given caring for his wife is understandably a bigger priority.

“The ATA will hold a board meeting in January or early February at which we will discuss recruitment of John’s successor.”

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Club finally wins fish cash from water giant

15 Jan

A GIANT utility firm has agreed to pay £20,000 in compensation six years after it caused a catastrophic pollution.

Walton Angling Club have got a payout for their water at last.
Walton Angling Club have got a payout for their water at last.

Yorkshire Water will finally give Walton Angling Club the money after killing prime carp and roach when raw sewage entered Walton Colliery Lake, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

The privatised firm, which made operating profits of £263.9m last year, had already been prosecuted by the Environment Agency and fined £600,000 at Leeds Crown Court in 2016, but all that money went straight to the Treasury.

In October 2013, a pipe rupture resulted in large quantities of raw sewage entering the lake and 860 dead fish were removed. But many more were either eaten by gulls or sank to the bottom of the deep lake.

A compensation claim was made by Fish Legal on behalf of Walton Angling Club following the criminal case.

Despite the club not being able to fish the venue for a couple of years, Yorkshire Water at first challenged it. After protracted negotiations, the utility finally agreed to pay the claim before court proceedings were issued.

Les Gray, secretary of Walton Angling Club, said: “It has been a long saga to get some kind of justice for the club for the five-year loss of one of our best waters.

“This was complicated by the unsuccessful restocking attempt by Yorkshire Water before the lake had sufficiently recovered from the 2013 sewage spill.

“However, we are very grateful for the dogged determination of Fish Legal and our own expert to set the record straight and obtain substantial compensation towards the club’s losses.”

Andrew Kelton, solicitor for Fish Legal, added: “This case was unusual.

“Although liability was straightforward, as Yorkshire Water had pleaded guilty in the criminal court, obtaining an adequate level of compensation was complicated by the 2016 re-stocking, which we effectively needed to prove had been unsuccessful.

“Nevertheless, we are happy that the club’s long wait for resolution of this issue has ultimately been worthwhile.”

A spokesperson for Yorkshire Water said: “Protecting the environment is a priority for us, which is why we are deeply sorry about this incident.

“Following the incident, we invested over £1 million to replace the pipe that burst and caused the incident to occur.”

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Tackle giant Fishtec closes down

13 Jan

THE UK's ‘biggest’ mail order fishing tackle retailer is to cease trading.

Near to closing - Fishtec is big in online sales, mail order brochures, and a well stocked shop.
Near to closing - Fishtec was big in online sales, via mail order brochures, and also had a well stocked shop.

In a surprising move, Fishtec embarked upon a closing down sale, ready to close at some point in January 2020.

Their discounting blitz offered huge savings off major brand items.

Fishtec marketed itself as the ‘UK’s largest and best mail order fishing tackle retailer’.

It will also close the doors of its retail outlet in Brecon in mid-Wales.

Fishtec, is part of the much larger BVG Group Ltd, also based in Brecon.

BVG runs a number of mail order, internet, catalogue and goods distribution businesses covering sports, home and gardens and nutrition.

BVG also have the Total Fishing Gear brand, popularised by big carp ace Dave Lane and in the past by popular all-rounder Matt Hayes. TFG will be kept.

With over 750 employees, BVG is one of the largest employers in the area. It was visited by Prime Minister Boris Johnson soon after his initial appointment in May.

BVG boasts of having over 30 million visits to its various websites each, has distributed four million orders overall to its customers, and has annual sales of £140 million.

Why did Fishtec close?

Allan Crawford-Plane, marketing director of Fishtec: “The decision to close Fishtec was based on declining sales and the impossibility of making a profit on general fishing tackle retail.

“With the growth of sales with low prices on places like Amazon and eBay, the profit margins are too small.

“The only way forward is to focus on growing our particular brands like Total Fishing Gear. These will continue to operate using their own websites.

“We will guarentee all existing customer orders at Fishtec and will run a closing down sale with tackle of other brands marked down at up to half price.

“No staff are being made redundant as they are being absorbed into the other brands like TFG,” Allan added.

In a totally seperate move, BVG’s Airflo brand which makes fly-fishing tackle has been taken over by the American company Mayflower Outdoors. It will continue to operate under the Airflo brand name, still based in Brecon.

Angling Direct’s latest growth

2019 will go down as another very difficult year for the fishing tackle retail trade. Shops to go included the big, original Erics Angling Centre in the north and long-established The Friendly Fisherman in the south.

But as news of the Fishtec sale and imminent closure broke, the ever-expanding tackle chain Angling Direct opened a new store. The latest AD branch was in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

The company revealed they achieved record performance during the Black Friday week at the end of last year with total sales up 11.3 per cent to £1.86 million from £1.67 million in 2018.

During this period, Angling Direct supplied 5,868 new customers. Profit during this period was up 49.5 per cent on 2018.

AD chief executive Darren Bailey said: “We are excited to have opened our latest store in Barnsley, which supports the recent opening of the Rotherham store.

“The new store offers products for all disciplines across this very enthusiastic angling community.

“As we seek to cater for all anglers across the UK with a new and modern retail offering, we are continuing to strategically expand our store footprint, as well as enhance our online offering in terms of products, experience and education in order to help raise the profile of angling.”

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Do-it-yourself pike!

10 Jan

IONUT MITREA needed to do a bit of DIY to a new lure and it resulted in this pristine 24 lb 8 oz pike from a local lake.

The 31-year-old night shift supervisor had the tail of a new 18 cm Quantum Yolo Swim Shad taken by a fish.

He replaced it with one from an old battered lure… and it paid off.

Northampton-based Ionut said: “I unpacked a new lure in the zander pattern and on my first cast I briefly hooked a fish.

“It was just on for two seconds, and it escaped with half of my lure.

“After couple hours I went back to the same spot.

“This time I took the tail from another shad and I glued it on the new one.

“I cast out and I caught this beautiful pike,” concluded Ionut.

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Huge hit of carp in France topped by 90-pounder

10 Jan

HEAVY baiting resulted in a huge hit of carp topped by this 90-pounder.

This 90 lb 2 oz mirror carp is a new venue record for Bluewater Lakes.
This 90 lb 2 oz mirror carp is a new venue record for Bluewater Lakes.

Chris McFerran set a new venue record for Bluewater Lakes in France when he matted the 90 lb 2 oz beast.

The 51-year-old fed over 80 kilos of Mainline Cell boilies and particles over the week to a spot at 80 yards.

Chris enjoyed a productive session on Bluewater Lakes. He added two other carp over 80 lb, seven 60s, six 50s, eight 40 and three 30s.

Dutchman Michel Schoenmakers holds the World carp record at 112 lb 14 oz caught in 2018 from Hungary’s Euro-Aqua.

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World record common carp!

A NEW World record common carp has been landed in the shape of this 91 lb mammoth. The lucky angler…

Huge hit of carp in France topped by 90-pounder

10 Jan

HEAVY baiting resulted in a huge hit of carp topped by this 90-pounder.

This 90 lb 2 oz mirror carp is a new venue record for Bluewater Lakes.
This 90 lb 2 oz mirror carp is a new venue record for Bluewater Lakes.

Chris McFerran set a new venue record for Bluewater Lakes in France when he matted the 90 lb 2 oz beast.

The 51-year-old fed over 80 kilos of Mainline Cell boilies and particles over the week to a spot at 80 yards.

Chris enjoyed a productive session on Bluewater Lakes. He added two other carp over 80 lb, seven 60s, six 50s, eight 40 and three 30s.

Dutchman Michel Schoenmakers holds the World carp record at 112 lb 14 oz caught in 2018 from Hungary’s Euro-Aqua.

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World record common carp!

A NEW World record common carp has been landed in the shape of this 91 lb mammoth. The lucky angler…

Record dace for both the Bristol Avon and Hampshire Avon!

7 Jan

DR MARK EVERARD hoped to finish the year off with a big fish and his hard work paid off with this 1 lb 2 oz 8 dr dace.

Mark Everard with his latest river record dace - this time for the Bristol Avon.
Mark Everard with his latest river record dace - this time for the Bristol Avon.

The associate professor from Great Somerford, Wiltshire, bagged the river record dace from his local Bristol Avon. It completes a ‘set’ of river records.

Mark said: “I set the Bristol Avon record dace back in 1996 and equalled it in 2009, as documented in my book Dace: The Prince Of The Stream. And now I have equalled it again.

“What is interesting is that this new fish, a female, has not yet put on much in the way of spawn and could get very much heavier.

“It could certainly eclipse my 1 lb 4 oz PB that still is the Hampshire Avon river record dace, caught in 1990.”

Avon record dace on ‘pin

Mark continued: “The ‘Dr Redfin 15 Ft Float Rod’ strikes again, as you can see from the image paired with a vintage custom Grice and Young centrepin.

“Reel line was 3 lb Maxima with a chunky great Bolognese float cocked with my usual black-painted masonry nail.

“I used a swivel as a dropper shot, and 2 lb 10 oz hook link to size 12 Kamasan B520 spade-end hook.

“It fell to my favourite bread approach of a decent-sized chunk of soft flake on the hook with liquidised bread, loose-fed each trot.

“I got out for a decent time on Saturday catching a good quantity of fish though none of notable size.

“After working most of Sunday as a storm hammered away outside, I got out for a brief late afternoon session in the howling 40 mile per hour gusting winds, heavy rain and a rapidly falling temperature.

“The dace came along on the crease of a nearside bank slack amongst a mixed bag of roach and dace on a rising and clay-coloured river, conditions that rarely fish well.”

Simon Ashton holds the dace record of 1 lb 5 oz 2 dr from the River Wear in County Durham from 2002.

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Dace are back in fashion!

DACE make a rare starring appearance in the Mail this week, but none of the masses seen caught by Dave…

Huge dace rocks British record

AZZER STEELE caught this record-rocking 1 lb 3 oz dace from Lancashire’s River Ribble after his usual venue the River…

Big carp haul was a fitting send-off to Uncle Brian

3 Jan

THIS jumbo carp, and others, made for a fitting send-off to an in-form angler's Uncle Brian.

The Avenue fishing lake has some stunners, including this 56 lb 4 oz common carp during an eventful trip for Craig McEvoy.
The Avenue fishing lake has some stunners, including this 56 lb 4 oz common carp during an eventful trip for Craig McEvoy.

Carp ace Craig McEvoy ended a brilliant year with the personal best common called Ellie of 56 lb 4 oz, but he nearly packed up early.

Wednesbury, West Midlands-based Craig caught the fish in another top session on Shropshire’s The Avenue.

He told Angler’s Mail the full story about what was an all-action visit, for many reasons. And it had a sad ending…

Operations manager Craig, 40, explained: “I nearly packed up at 3am on the first morning when my Brotel (bivvy) blew away.

“I was lying in my bed and heard this deep roar, but didn’t think anything of it, as I had the winter skin on and both doors all battened down.

“That was until suddenly, bang! The Brotel was away, I was lying there with the wind ripping over me and things being blown everywhere.

“It was touch and go with going home, but I managed to retrieve the ‘brolly’ and tie it to a tree facing away from the water.

“Two hours later I was back in the sleeping bag, and I am glad I stayed.”

The Avenue fishing success

Craig continued: “The common is my sixth UK 50 this year, and 11 40s. I was simply ‘blown away’.

“All have been caught on limited time, a total of 27 nights this year. The carp gods have been more than kind.

“It was an unbelievable winter session, as I added The Tank at 40 lb and others of 35 lb 8 oz and 37 lb 4 oz.

“Ellie’s previous biggest weight was 56 lb, so she’s at a new best weight and is my new UK PB common.

“It took me 40 years to catch my first UK 40 lb common, and then a ‘50’ weeks later. Crazy!

“I used Dynamite Tigernut pop-ups over their matching crumbed freezer bait, and crumbed Red-Amo boilies at 70 yards.

“This was added to their hemp and maize and lots of Red-Amo liquid and Tigernut Evolution Oil. I used 5 kg of bait.

“The rig was a take on the combi that I call twisted combi, a little adaption using PVA sleeves over the braid to eliminate tangles, injected with Evo Oil.”

Sad ending for epic trip

Craig revealed: “But one sad thing was when I slipped back the 37 at the end, I saw I had missed a call from my dad. I called him back and he answered upset.

“I knew in my heart of hearts what was coming; my uncle Brian had passed away.

“He was more like a brother to me, as I was brought up by my grandad, his dad.

“He was one of life’s true gents, and had been battling motor neurone disease for the past couple of years.

“It dawned on me that while I was playing that fish, my uncle was passing. I knew that was his way of saying goodbye.”

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Tackle great behind John Wilson’s rod dies

3 Jan

THE tackle manufacturer responsible for developing one of the best-selling rods of all time has passed away, aged 69.

Dick Tallents was the trade man behind the famous John Wilson rod, and many other big-selling fishing products.
Dick Tallents was the trade man behind the famous John Wilson rod, and many other big-selling fishing products.

Dick Tallents owned Masterline Tackle, the producer of iconic John Wilson rod, the Avon Quiver rod. It sold in its thousands back in the day.

Cheltenham-based Dick joined the Gloucestershire business belonging to his father, Phillip, which at the time produced fly fishing lines, when he was a 17.

He went on to inspire the company to expand into the coarse fishing market.

The company went through many changes before he retired in 2013, after 36 years as managing director, going on to become an international company, Masterline Walker.

Dick also served on the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association board for 12 years, including as president.

He was an active member of the British Fishing Tackle Trade Association – the forerunner of today’s Angling Trades Association.

Angler’s Mail columnist and England Lure Team captain Steve Collett knew Dick Tallents very well, and was many angling figures mourning his death.

Steve revealed there was so much to the real man behind the John Wilson rod and so many popular tackle products.

Steve said: “I first met Dick around 2002, when Masterline needed a new sales manager. He took me on.

“We endured buy-outs, the foot-and-mouth outbreak, American takeovers and many other business changes that would see lesser men end up in a loony bin.

“Despite all that, we thrived, learned, laughed, cried and built up far too many air miles.

“Throughout my career, Dick ensured everyone mattered.

“No matter who you were or what your status in the company, he had your back.”

Unselfish man behind John Wilson rod

Steve revealed: “His work ethic was unselfish, ethical and relentless. I can recall many a time flying back from New York.

“To prevent getting jet lag, we would walk straight back into the office as if we had been to London for the day, get a week’s work done and be in China the next week.

“The following week we’d be in a hotel in Norwich, putting up tradeshow stands.

“He was thoughtful about the products that we produced, including the John Wilson Avon Quiver, a rod that sold in the thousands, week after week.

“He ensured a level of quality, as he wanted anglers to have a good product, because he felt that they had worked hard for their money.

“Dick wanted to produce something he would enjoy using.

“He had many qualities, but he was crap at fishing. I used to think that he was too posh for fishing, and I’d tell him constantly that he should be fencing instead, or on a horse, playing polo.

“In a trade that is as competitive as ours, you will not find anyone with a bad word to say about Dick.

“He was a family man, a great man, and a man I was very lucky to have known and worked with.

“He was a man who made his mark, with brands such as John Wilson, Normark, Rapala, Cortland and Ryobi.

“He was a man who made his mark on me, too, and somehow put me on the straight and narrow with his unblemished business ethics.

“The trade has lost the last true gentleman, a wonderful man who will be sorely missed,” Steve concluded.

GOT A STORY, OR VIEWS OR GREAT PHOTOS? Email pix with info to: anglersmail@ti-media.com

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RIP carp pioneer Duncan Kay

Duncan Kay has sadly passed having been ill for sometime following a stroke a year or so ago. British Carp…

Tackle great behind John Wilson’s rod dies

3 Jan

THE tackle manufacturer responsible for developing one of the best-selling rods of all time has passed away, aged 69.

Dick Tallents was the trade man behind the famous John Wilson rod, and many other big-selling fishing products.
Dick Tallents was the trade man behind the famous John Wilson rod, and many other big-selling fishing products.

Dick Tallents owned Masterline Tackle, the producer of iconic John Wilson rod, the Avon Quiver rod. It sold in its thousands back in the day.

Cheltenham-based Dick joined the Gloucestershire business belonging to his father, Phillip, which at the time produced fly fishing lines, when he was a 17.

He went on to inspire the company to expand into the coarse fishing market.

The company went through many changes before he retired in 2013, after 36 years as managing director, going on to become an international company, Masterline Walker.

Dick also served on the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association board for 12 years, including as president.

He was an active member of the British Fishing Tackle Trade Association – the forerunner of today’s Angling Trades Association.

Angler’s Mail columnist and England Lure Team captain Steve Collett knew Dick Tallents very well, and was many angling figures mourning his death.

Steve revealed there was so much to the real man behind the John Wilson rod and so many popular tackle products.

Steve said: “I first met Dick around 2002, when Masterline needed a new sales manager. He took me on.

“We endured buy-outs, the foot-and-mouth outbreak, American takeovers and many other business changes that would see lesser men end up in a loony bin.

“Despite all that, we thrived, learned, laughed, cried and built up far too many air miles.

“Throughout my career, Dick ensured everyone mattered.

“No matter who you were or what your status in the company, he had your back.”

Unselfish man behind John Wilson rod

Steve revealed: “His work ethic was unselfish, ethical and relentless. I can recall many a time flying back from New York.

“To prevent getting jet lag, we would walk straight back into the office as if we had been to London for the day, get a week’s work done and be in China the next week.

“The following week we’d be in a hotel in Norwich, putting up tradeshow stands.

“He was thoughtful about the products that we produced, including the John Wilson Avon Quiver, a rod that sold in the thousands, week after week.

“He ensured a level of quality, as he wanted anglers to have a good product, because he felt that they had worked hard for their money.

“Dick wanted to produce something he would enjoy using.

“He had many qualities, but he was crap at fishing. I used to think that he was too posh for fishing, and I’d tell him constantly that he should be fencing instead, or on a horse, playing polo.

“In a trade that is as competitive as ours, you will not find anyone with a bad word to say about Dick.

“He was a family man, a great man, and a man I was very lucky to have known and worked with.

“He was a man who made his mark, with brands such as John Wilson, Normark, Rapala, Cortland and Ryobi.

“He was a man who made his mark on me, too, and somehow put me on the straight and narrow with his unblemished business ethics.

“The trade has lost the last true gentleman, a wonderful man who will be sorely missed,” Steve concluded.

GOT A STORY, OR VIEWS OR GREAT PHOTOS? Email pix with info to: anglersmail@ti-media.com

For the best exclusive content, read Angler’s Mail magazine this week. The print issue of Angler’s Mail is in shops every Tuesday. Get your copy asap.

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Start 2020 in style by getting 6 issues of AM magazine for just £6 >> click here and net a subscription!

You may also like to read these Angler’s Mail stories…

RIP carp pioneer Duncan Kay

Duncan Kay has sadly passed having been ill for sometime following a stroke a year or so ago. British Carp…

Will official British record fish get struck off?

3 Jan

ONE of the most prestigious British bests in the records books may be struck off due to a case of mistaken identity.

This fish is the sea trout record - but was it really a true sea trout?
This fish is the sea trout record - but was it really a true sea trout?

The British Record Fish Committee has re-opened the case of a 28 lb 5 oz 4 dr sea trout record that has been at the top of their list for 26 years.

It was caught by J. Farrent on the lower tidal waters of the River Test, near Southampton, Hampshire.

Experts think that the fish could be a hybrid of a sea trout and a salmon, which are very difficult to identify.

Prolific author and fish identification expert Dr Mark Everard (pictured below) suspects that this may be the case with the current sea trout record.

Mark Everard caught Britain’s first-ever steelhead, a rainbow trout version of the normal UK brown trout sea trout in 2015.

Mark told Angler’s Mail: “To the trained eye, sea trout are quite distinct.

“Key features include the extension of the mouth below the eye (up to the eye in salmon and well behind it in trout), as well as the ‘wrist’ in front of the tail in salmon, with secondary features such as spotting pattern.

“Of course, when species get outlandishly large, these feature get distorted.

“But a complication here is how relatively commonly salmon and trout hybridise, certainly to an extent largely under-appreciated by most people.

“This makes it even trickier.

“I’ve never caught a sea trout salmon hybrid myself.

“I thought I had once, but it turned out to be an odd-shaped sea trout, but these hybrids are more common in some rivers than others, perhaps related to paucity of spawning habitat and hence likelihood of crossing,” added Mark.

Sea trout record ‘validity’

A BRFC spokesperson revealed: “The committee has received correspondence questioning the validity of the current British sea trout record and suggesting that the fish, caught in 1992 and ratified as a British record in 1993, may in fact be a salmon.

“The BRFC will investigate the question of the identification of this fish to the fullest extent it is able to from the records available.”

The BRFC is also keen for record claimants to come forward quickly.

They said: “The committee would like to remind anglers that in the event of the capture of a potential record fish, the captor should first contact the BRFC without delay.”

CAUGHT A BIG FISH, OR GOT VIEWS TO SHARE? Email pix and info to: anglersmail@ti-media.com

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