Fishing rod licences revealed for 2019 and 2020

18 Mar

HERE are the new rod licences for 2019 - and there’s another three cracking designs from top angling artist David Miller.

The two-rod coarse fishing rod licences are graced by an image of two bream (pictured above).

The three-rod specimen licence, now in its second year as an option in England and Wales, shows a fully-scaled mirror carp.

And a sea trout will be on the salmon and migratory trout licence.

Fishing rod licences for carp and other three-rod users have this carp image for 2019.

Fishing rod licences for carp and other three-rod users have this striking carp image for 2019.

Around a million fishing rod licences were sold in the last full year, 2017/2018, raising £23 million.

This funded 350,000 fish being restocked into rivers, responding to 797 fisheries incidents and installing 37 fish passes, amongst other things.

Kevin Austin, EA Fisheries boss, said: “Annual fishing licences are available from only £30 (adults) with fishing licence income used to fund work to maintain, improve and develop fisheries, fish stocks, fish habitats and angling.

“We’re delighted to reveal these new images as part of our continued drive to encourage people to give fishing a go.

“They celebrate three of our much-loved fish species and we know that many anglers enjoy collecting these wonderful images,” added Kevin.

David Miller, seen with 4 lb 4 oz eel, was again the master behind the artwork on fishing rod licences issued by the EA.

David Miller, seen with 4 lb 4 oz eel, was again the master behind the artwork on fishing rod licences issued by the EA.

Brilliant art for fishing rod licences

Keen angler David Miller (pictured above) is being widely applauded again for the high quality of the artwork on the new fishing rod licences.

David, who is a wildlife artist, told Angler’s Mail: “Firstly, I was delighted to be asked to provide the licence artwork again.

“With regards to the fish that feature, like most of my work the reference is my own photography, from a lightroom catalogue of over 140,000 images built up over the years.

“It’s never a case of copying a single photograph to make a painting – it’s combining different aspects of many photographs to come up with the final image.

“The photography is a mixture of underwater pictures taken at various locations all over the UK, fish that either myself or friends have caught, useful for details such as eyes/fins/scales, and some aquarium shots.

“I’m not too good at keeping tabs on how long images take to paint, as I have a lot of paintings on the go at the same time, and often leave work to one side for a while to allow for drying of layers,” concluded Pembrokeshire-based David.

This sea trout graces the cover of new migratory species fishing rod licences.

This sea trout graces the cover of new migratory species fishing rod licences.

Prices of 2019 fishing rod licences

Licences have stayed the same price for 2019 and into the first quarter of 2020.

That means a two-rod annual coarse fishing licence costs £30, a three-rod licence £45, concessionary £20/£30 respectively.

All juniors are free, but 13-16-year-old have to register online.

A one-day coarse licence is £6 but there is better short-term value £12 for eight days.

The salmon licence is £82 a year, £12 a day or £27 for eight days.

NEVER buy your rod licence online to rogue website who will add a surcharge, so always use the official Government site at: www.gov.uk/get-a-fishing-licence

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New rod licence prices revealed

But the overall reforms of the outdated Environment Agency system from the Salmon And Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975 should go…

Massive chub from the River Thames

15 Mar

MICHAEL HORWOOD smashed his chub PB by over 2 lb with this 8 lb 4 oz giant.

Michael Horwood shows his massive chub from the Thames.
Michael Horwood shows his massive chub from the Thames.

Michael tempted the massive chub from the fast-flowing River Thames on its middle reaches, at Cookham in Berkshire.

Watford, Hertfordshire-based Michael said: “I was fishing with my father and a friend.

“The river was still going down and the water moving quite quickly.

“I decided to use a 6 lb main line with a 5 lb hook link with a size 10 hook with a small piece of meat.

“I legered with a PVA bag of pellet, meat and maggot dropped in a deep hole about a rod length out.

“It was my only bite I had all day,” added the 48-year-old Royal Mail worker.

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River Thames barbel scaling 19 lb 15 oz for man who returned to fishing after long break

15 Mar

RYAN PEVY only restarted fishing again this season and was so pleased that he did when he slid the net under this massive 19 lb 15 oz barbel.

Ryan Pevy's giant Thames barbel scaled 19 lb 15 oz. He was a winner in Angler's Mail's famous Fish of the Week, sponsored by Richworth.
Ryan Pevy's giant Thames barbel scaled 19 lb 15 oz. He was a winner in Angler's Mail's famous Fish of the Week, sponsored by Richworth.

The huge Thames barbel came when Ryan tackled the middle reaches of the mighty river.

The High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire-based ‘returner’ told Angler’s Mail about his inspiring triumph.

“I only started fishing again this last year from when I was younger,” explained Ryan, a self-employed plaster.

“My old PB I think was about 8 lb so when I hooked this one I was in shock of how strong she was.

“I would like to get a bigger barbel but it will be very hard to beat my PB now I reckon.

“It came at about 11.45 pm and took ten or maybe more minutes to get in.

“She kept hugging the bottom of the river and taking line.

“I was using double 8 mm garlic pellets with a size 12 hook and 12 lb main line with a 3 oz open-ended feeder with mixed pellets and hemp,” added Ryan, 26.

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Mega Thames barbel

Thames barbel fan Neil tackled an undisclosed stretch of the middle reaches for a 16 lb 10 oz specimen (pictured)…

Monster Avon barbel!

The 28-year-old surveyor from Christchurch, Dorset, said: “It is truly the fish of a lifetime. I was using a single…

Dace fishing session results in three absolute giants over 1 lb!

15 Mar

RIVER ace Dr Mark Everard had a dream late-season trip when he took three 1 lb dace in a great haul.

Dace fishing at night? It worked for Mark Everard!
Dace fishing at night? It worked for Mark Everard!

The associate professor’s dace fishing session saw him add ten other specimens including fish of 15 oz, 14 oz and 12 oz.

They were caught on the upper Bristol Avon in a short session using specialist tactics, which he explained to Angler’s Mail…

Mark said: “There’s a place I know where the dace congregate before spawning, moving into water literally a few inches deep in the dark.

“There is nothing there to see by daylight, so we’re talking ‘ninja’ tactics before dawn and well into dusk.

“The fish are also very mobile and easily spooked, but this is where the big ones are. It’s short sessions only, one rod and very stealthy.

“Tactics were light quivertipping with my standard rig: 10 ft 6 in. Silstar quiver rod from the 1980s with a Betalight attached to the tip.

“I then use 4 lb main line, 15 g cage feeders tied on a loop with a swivel captive in a loop of main line, and 2 lb 8 oz bottom with liquidised bread in the feeder and chunk of flake on the hook.”

‘Too many roach’ when dace fishing

Mark continued: “I had float fished into dusk in a slightly deeper stretch, but moved away as I was catching too many roach.

“That’s not a complaint you’d normally hear me utter, but the big dace were on my radar as the light slipped away.

“I moved upstream to that apparently fishless shallows and started picking up dace almost straight away as they fanned out over the gravel.

“I played each one firmly to avoid spooking the shoal.

“I have never seen three 1 lb dace landed in a single, short, dusk session.

“It is nice to be surprised sometimes,” concluded Great Somerford, Wiltshire-based Mark.

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Gigantic river roach

DANNY BROADBENT was a ‘gibbering wreck’ when he weighed this superb 3 lb 4 oz roach during a trip to…

Illegal fishing results in justice after ‘poachers’ were caught in the act

11 Mar

A RESTAURANT owner and his friend were hit with a total of £2,500 in fines and costs for illegally taking bass including undersized fish.

An anglers evidence of illegal fishing was crucial to a prosecution.
An anglers evidence of illegal fishing was crucial to a prosecution.

Illegal fishing has been going on around many parts of the British coastline, but rarely do any cases get to court. This time an angler’s evidence was crucial.

Tran Doan, 37, the owner of Eat Pho Vietnamese restaurant in Bournemouth, and Tran Hoang, 41, of Thatcham, Berkshire, pleaded guilty to two charges at Poole Magistrates’ Court.

They were each fined £500 and ordered to pay £1,500 court costs.

The pair were only caught after caring shore angler Steve Cullen filmed the incident at Poole Harbour in Dorset . The pair woke him while he was sleeping in his car at Rockley Park last August.

In the video, where Steve “saw red” and slung the bucket of fish back in the water, shouting: “It’s bass, what do you think you’re doing?”

Steve filmed one of the men leaving in a vehicle with the words ‘Eat Pho. Traditional Vietnamese Rice Noodle Soup’ on the side.

Magistrates heard 40 kg of fish were landed but there was no evidence of any of it being sold through the restaurant.

Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority which brought the case, said Poole Harbour was an “important refuge” for juvenile bass.

SIFCA member and Poole councillor Ray Tindle said: “Protection in the harbour allows them to grow and replenish the seriously depleted stocks.”

In August, a Facebook post, apparently from Mr Doan, apologised for his actions.

Doan apologised and said he was fishing for pleasure and that bass was not on the restaurant menu.

He said: “I would like to apologise for my actions which have offended the fishing community. I am not a fisherman, have no experience in fishing and honestly was not aware of the ban.

“If you ever visit our website on our restaurant you would know that we have never served sea bass.”

Angler helped halt illegal fishing

Angler Steve Cullen said: “Overall (it was) a good result but everyone was surprised just how low the fine was.

“It’s not just someone on the end of the pier killing an undersized fish for the table.

Steve Cullen helped win a battle against illegal bass fishing, and brought the problem to a wider audience.

Steve Cullen helped win a battle against illegal bass fishing, and brought the problem to a wider audience.

“They went out in a boat with commercial style gill nets driving company vehicles so really should have been a commercial size fine.

“The fine is supposed to be that it’s a good punishment but also affordable, but to me a £500 fine really isn’t that much of a punishment to someone who runs a good business and drives a £70K Range Rover,” added Steve, an alarm fitter, from Havant in Hampshire.

Trust want others to report illegal fishing

David Mitchell, head of marine at the Angling Trust, said: “We see this as a pretty good result.

“The fines and costs should act as a disincentive for anyone else thinking of doing the same – there was no evidence to suggest they were selling the fish.

“The IFCAs have limited enforcement resources and have to invest these where they assess there being the highest risk.

“The fact is that this prosecution wouldn’t have happened without the evidence supplied by Steve Cullen.

“The Angling Trust has already agreed to work with the Southern IFCA by encouraging anglers to report illegal fishing.

“Providing evidence in a way that can be used is crucial in securing a prosecution.

“These individuals claim they were not aware of the law and have apologised for what they did.

“There could be a lot more done to make members of the public aware of regulations such as bass nursery areas and bag limits.

“Signs and notices would help people not fall foul of the law and would help prosecutors ensure enough was done in future to make people aware of the regulations,” added David.

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Huge pike landed after tactical bait switch

8 Mar

MARTIN ALLEN smashed his pike PB with this fantastic 39 lb giant... after a wise switch of baits.

Huge pike - but it took a small bait.
Huge pike - but it took a small bait.

The huge pike meant the Oxford-based angler obliterated his old best of 30 lb 4 oz.

And it came just a few days after he boated a 28-pounder, also at Somerset mecca, Chew Valley Lake.

Martin said: “My boat partner Chris Parry put us over one of our marks on Thursday and that resulted in a beautiful 28-pounder for me. It was my only run of the day.

“We were blown off Friday and Saturday but were able to get back on Tuesday. We decided to go back over our mark again, which was 22 ft deep.

“As we passed over it, Chris spotted a big shadow on the screen of his fish finder. ‘That’s a big pike down there,’ he said.

“We dropped the anchor about 100 ft upwind then gently drifted back over the spot and dropped the back anchor.”

Huge pike sniffed out smelt

Martin revealed: “Herrings usually do well for us on Chew so that was the choice of baits, fished hard on the bottom.

“A few hours later I hard a run and got excited only for the bait to be dropped.

“Checking the bait, I could see tell tale signs of pike teeth marks.

“Chris reeled in his bait to have another cast and noticed teeth marks also on his herring but had had no bite indication. Perhaps the pike were being finicky?

“I decided to change from size 2 hooks down to size 4 and put a smelt on.

“A little while later Chris said ‘your smelt has come to life’ and we watched the float slide under.”

‘Heart-pumping’ quick fight

Martin explained his battle with the huge pike…

“I hit into it straight away – and at first I thought it was a jack,” he admitted.

“But I soon realised this was something special. My heart was pumping.

“I reeled in quite quickly as I like to get the pike into the landing net before they realise what is happening, and this one obliged and came in quite easily.

“We looked into the landing net and both Chris and I said look at the size of that! It was massive.

“With barbless hooks, the unhooking was done quite quickly.

“It’s a matter of luck in reality as either of us could have caught the biggie. But it was the pointy end of the boat this time that was lucky for me. Happy days,” added Martin.

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Match fishing tackle used to land huge sturgeon!

8 Mar

A MATCH angler managed to land this jumbo sturgeon while pleasure fishing.

Jake Hall landed this big sturgeon on light match fishing tackle.
Jake Hall landed this big sturgeon on light match fishing tackle.

Landed on match fishing tackle, Jake Hall reckons the 56 lb specimen would normally win him most of the winter contest he fishes on its own.

Jake recorded his first-ever sturgeon when he hooked the giant out of the blue at his local Aston Park Fisheries.

The 25-year-old welder, from Dinnington, South Yorkshire, explained: “I was fishing for carp on popped-up bread on a feeder rod on Lilly peg 5.

“I was just using 8 lb main line, a 6 lb hook length and a size 16 hook.

“I had heard there were two or three in the pond, but I had no idea there was anything that big.

“I’ve never even known anyone who has caught one so it was very unexpected.

“The sturgeon took the bait first cast, took 45 minutes to land, in an amazing fight.

“At first it stuck to the bottom and then tailed walked over and again and. It was the best fight I’ve ever had.”

Match fishing tackle surprise

“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first saw it!” laughed Jake.

“This catch was once in a lifetime, I honestly can’t believe I managed to land it on match fishing tackle.

“My biggest fish previously was a 23 lb common carp as I mainly do match fishing.

“I was there that day to practice for an up-coming match.

“The winter matches are usually won with about 50 lb so I would have been well on my way to victory if I’d caught this in one.

“But I don’t think you can target them as they are rarely caught,” concluded Jake.

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Biggest fish ever filmed!

ANGLER’S MAIL star young columnists Carl and Alex Smith have just caught the biggest white sturgeon ever to be filmed…

Insect crisis poses a serious threat to fish populations

8 Mar

A SCIENTIFIC report has warned global insect numbers are rapidly declining – and a worst-case scenario would be them being wiped out within a century.

One of the most iconic UK inset species devoured by fish - the mayfly, seen here on the River Test.
One of the most iconic UK inset species devoured by fish - the mayfly, seen here on the River Test.

The loss of so many insect species could have devastating effects for all animal groups including humans and fish populations, experts have warned.

The global study by boffins in China and Australia have recorded a 2.5 per cent annual loss over the past 25 years with a third of all insect species endangered.

Some 41 per cent of global insect species have declined over the past decade – and the highest individual species was caddisflies on 68 per cent.

The fifth worst hit insect was mayflies with a 37 per cent decline.

The analysis, published in the journal Biological Conservation, says intensive agriculture is the main driver of the declines, particularly the heavy use of pesticides.

Co-author Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, from the University of Sydney, said: “If insect species losses cannot be halted, this will have catastrophic consequences for both the planet’s ecosystems and for the survival of all other animals.

“The insect decline is very rapid. In ten years you will have a quarter less, in 50 years only half left and in 100 years you will have none.”

Anglers react to insect crisis

Conservationist and former barbel record holder Ray Walton said: “Pollution can wipe out all insect life and macro-invertebrates – food for fish, birds, amphibians, mammals – can instantly be destroyed in a river or lake.

“The knock on effect means no food supply along the whole riverine/water food chain… so everything dies in the end of starvation if they haven’t been wiped out by the pollution in the first instance.

“The pesticides and herbicides containing glyphosates that the Environment Agency, farmers, golf courses and the public use, eventually end up in the river or lakes water supply causing declines in insect populations on land and in the water habitat.

“Glyphosate is also a known Endocrine Disruptor poison chemical which can change or distort the natural sex in fish, mammals, insects etc.

“Far more action is needed from the Government but will we get it ever?” Ray concluded.

Dr Mark Everard, roach ace and fishery scientist, said: “I have seen this report and it is extremely alarming.

“Really, it mirrors the ‘chalkstream malaise’ that anglers flagged up two decades ago, and that triggered the angler (and other volunteer)-led RiverFly Partnership surveys.

“A lot of fish food is lost, including a lot that blows in from the land, and this is also an indicator of wider ecosystem decline.”

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Record fine for Thames Water

In the biggest case of its kind ever brought by the Environment Agency, Aylesbury Crown Court imposed a massive fine…

Grayling record rocked not long before target tumbles

8 Mar

NEILL STEPHEN showed why he is considered one of the best specimen anglers in the country when he came within a whisker of the grayling record.

Neill Stephen admires the fish that fell just short of the British grayling record.
Neill Stephen admires the fish that fell just short of the British grayling record.

The British grayling record has since been beaten by another giant. Full story and pictures of that one are exclusively in this week’s Angler’s Mail print magazine.

Neill’s own fantastic catch, scaling 4 lb 3 oz – and pictured above – came agonisingly close to the official grayling record of 4 lb 4 oz 8 dr caught in 2009 by Paul Mildren from a Wessex river. Neill also beat his old grayling best of 3 lb 12 oz.

The 42-year-old Bupa worker had only just put away his carp rods where he’d smashed the Wellington Country Park record with a 60 lb 8 oz mirror.

Neill currently co-holds the official perch record with a 6 lb 3 oz monster. He’s also caught chub to an equal record 9 lb 5 oz, which missed being ratified due to it being weighed in a plastic bag.

And his log of PBs includes 40 lb-plus pike, 17 lb-plus barbel, 4 lb rudd and a 3 lb 8 oz roach.

Berkshire-based Neill told Angler’s Mail: “I am sending this in now as I have had my last session now on the river for the foreseeable future.

“It was caught sight fishing on a Killer Bug nymph tied by Dave Lambert from a chalkstream carrier.

“It measured just over 21 inches long with a girth of just under 14 inches, and weighed a surreal 4 lb 3 oz.

“I’ve been obsessed with big grayling for the last seven years and spent much of my summers, autumns and winters fishing for them.

“I’ve loved the challenge offered by the low-stock fly-only waters, where you can cover miles in a day looking for fish and it’s all about sight fishing if you find them.

“It’s never been easy, but in recent years it’s got to a point where I was searching in well over 15 miles of river for what seemed like a tiny handful of fish.

“I lost one at the back of the previous season from a different carrier which could have been over 4 lb.

“And I was just thinking my chances of a fish like that had gone when I literally stumbled across a huge dark male fish sitting at the back of a pool.

“For once everything went right from start to finish, even after it took me 50 yards downstream and I fell in off a high bank.

“Seeing the scales go well over 4 lb was an extraordinary moment in what has been one of the best fishing adventures of my life – I’ve learnt a lot, made some great friends and loved every second of it,” concluded Neill.

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Season’s biggest grayling

Neil Maidment targeted the specimen grayling from his local River Frome and it ended a near decade-long quest to beat…

Stunning 3 lb-plus grayling

It takes Neill’s career total to five 3 lb-plus specimen in another brilliant season for the Bupa worker, who tackled …

Record barbel river restoration gathers momentum

4 Mar

THE Environment Agency have revealed they have completed ten years of barbel conservation work to restore the record-breaking Great Ouse back to its former glory.

Chub get released into the record barbel river - but it's the new barbel which could be the seeds to restoring the venue back to what it was famed for.
Chub get released into the record barbel river - but it's the new barbel which could be the seeds to restoring the venue back to what it was famed for.

The record barbel river benefited from 342 of the biggest barbel the EA have ever produced.

The Great Ouse became the record barbel river in the 1990s and early 2000s with a string of big doubles.

Several fish of record weight were caught, most famously the 21 lb 1 oz giant to Grahame King, a catch which is still No.1 on the official BRFC record list.

But otter predation and poor spawning has meant barbel fishing has seriously declined on the record barbel river.

Record barbel river revival efforts

An EA spokesperson said: “We have just released our final winter stocking, the biggest barbel that Calverton has ever produced, well over 30 cm in length and approaching 3 lb (pictured below).

“In total, we stocked 251 fish, to Harrold Country Park in Bedfordshire and 91 into the nearby River Ivel at Biggleswade Mill.”

One of the bigger new fish stocked into the record barbel river.

One of the bigger new fish stocked into the record barbel river.

The EA spokesman revealed: “At both locations where we have been working extensively over the last ten years to conserve the barbel populations, and restore river habitats to help ensure sustainable fish populations.

“Our recent PhD studies have shown that barbel numbers are being impacted most heavily by poor spawning and poor fry survival, which in effect means the populations are struggling to support themselves.

“We are doing a lot of work to turn that around though, improving spawning habitat, building fry refuge areas, creating fish passage and, of course, stocking.

“These fish have been dye-marked with a safe blue agent, and we want anglers to send us pictures of any captures.”

Barbel with dye marks like this have been stocked.

Barbel with dye marks like this have been stocked.

“We have also introduced 8,000 chub at several locations around Buckingham on the upper Ouse as part of efforts there to help the higher river recover from a large pollution in June 2018.

“These were some of the biggest chub we’ve ever stocked, from 14-20 cm.

“These fish will form part of the recovery plan to help restore 25 km of the river after it was affected.

“We have further fish ordered for the next three years; roach, dace and more chub, with the next batch arriving summer 2019.”

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Giant roach sparked by temperature rise on southern river

4 Mar

JOE FROGGETT found the water temperature up a degree to 6.3 Celsius overnight.... and the rise helped him tempt this 3 lb 1 oz roach.

Joe Froggett, partially obscured by the photographer's thumb, shows his huge Hampshire Avon roach.
Joe Froggett, partially obscured by the photographer's thumb, shows his huge Hampshire Avon roach.

Joe was on the Christchurch AC stretch of the Hampshire Avon at Winkton and the big roach came in a good mixed bag.

Ferndown, Dorset-based Joe told Angler’s Mail: “The water was still up and coloured, but with the temperature climbing I fancied it for a few fish.

“I fished liquidised bread and bread punch, using a new stick float I made at the weekend.

“I caught a nice chub and a few chunky dace, when a good friend arrived, just to check out a few swims.

“We had a bit of banter, and just before he left, he said ‘come on, show me how to catch a big roach’.

“I cast out, and just before the end of the trot, the float dipped and I landed my best roach since October 2017, at exactly 2 lb.

“Half an hour later I had another of 1 lb 8 oz. Shortly after that, I lost a much bigger fish, and went 20 minutes without a bite.

“An angler walking past on his way home then enquired if I had caught much.

“My float buried, and I knew it was a good roach when the rod started nodding.

“When I drew it over the rim of the net I started shaking. The other angler said it was the biggest roach he had ever seen.

“Still shaking, we weighed it together. It went 3 lb 1 oz.

“I double-checked the reading. It was like a bar of silver, and I don’t think it had ever seen a hook.

“One of my best friends, Colin McDonagh, a very good fisherman, recently passed away after a long illness. I would like to dedicate my roach to his memory.”

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