Drugs seized by Police after fishing bailiff’s smart action

8 Apr

A VOLUNTEER bailiff has helped stop 30 bags of cannabis, and future crops, from getting onto the streets.

Bailiffs stop drugs and crime - Roy Bridson helped the Police, and other volunteers like him have also done their bit.

Roy Bridson, one of the Angling Trust’s volunteer bailiffs, was alerted by a Whittlesey AC member to black bin bags dumped in the River Nene near Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire.

He managed to haul one of the bags to the riverbank,  and found it filled with cannabis plants. He alerted the police and together they recovered 30 bags mostly containing cannabis plants, roots, cuttings and buds ready to be sold.

Paul Thomas, Angling Trust’s regional enforcement manager, said: “Our volunteer bailiffs are the eyes and ears at the waterside and are trained to report suspicious activity to the police and Environment Agency to a high evidential standard.

“This cannabis find prove how worthwhile their roles have become – they are a credit to angling and society in general.

“Volunteer bailiffs are always on the lookout for signs of illegal fishing, poaching, set lines and nets but every so often they come across more sinister activity.

“A few years ago, bailiffs on patrol near Reading found a cache of deadly firearms, including a magnum handgun and an Uzi submachine gun.

“Anyone witnessing an illegal fishing incident in progress can report it directly to the Environment Agency hotline on 0800 80 70 60. Information on illegal fishing and environmental crime can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police said: “We were called with reports that bags of cannabis had been found in water between Pondersbridge and Whittlesey.

“Seven cannabis plants and an additional bag of the drug were recovered.

“We were contacted with an additional report that about 20 cannabis plants had been found underneath Beggar’s Bridge near Coates.

“No arrests have been made in relation to either incident.”

GOT A STORY, OR VIEWS OR GREAT PHOTOS? You could appear in print and online with us! Email pix with info to: anglersmail@ti-media.com

Big value subscriptions to Angler’s Mail magazine are now at a Bargain Price! Get the deals here ▶ fal.cn/SI7K

You’ll then get Angler’s Mail magazine delivered to your door, or the door of a friend/relative. And it’s at discounted rates… to suit all pockets.

There are great deals for the print version and for the digital version, too.

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

Persistence pays with monster mirror from The Avenue

8 Apr

CRAIG MCEVOY set his sights on a winter 50 and, as a spring arrived, he smashed that in style with this fantastic 58 lb mirror carp called Captain Scarlet.

Craig McEvoy displays his impressive 58 lb carp at The Avenue.
Craig McEvoy displays his impressive 58 lb carp at The Avenue.

The colossus fell to a Dynamite Baits Monster Tigernut wafter fished matching freebies on a German rig at Shropshire’s The Avenue.

Craig, from Wolverhampton, West Midlands, said: “After five months of blanking this had been the hardest winter I had ever fished.

“However, the goal to land one of the giants from The Avenue syndicate was strong.

“It was looking like another uneventful session but amidst a hell of a storm my receiver let out a series of bleeps.

“As I peered out the brolly, the bobbin had pulled up tight and I did a double take… I couldn’t believe it, I was in.

“On the rod straight away, I immediately knew this was something special as it was heavy, slow and ponderous, yet immensely powerful.

“The storm was creating havoc and I couldn’t see as the rain and wind was lashing into my face.

“Then after ten minutes I saw her, a huge cream like leviathan below the waves.

“Images of the film Jaws ran through my mind, and I prayed that the barbless hook would stay in place.

“Eventually she came up and wallowed on the surface just out of netting range.

“Without thinking, I jumped in up to my waist and engulfed her in my landing net first time.

“As I peered into the net I was blown away at the size of this creature that I had managed to snare.

“The long harsh winter had been worth it and it really does only take one bite,” concluded Craig.

GOT A STORY, OR VIEWS OR GREAT PHOTOS? You could appear in print and online with us! Email pix with info to: anglersmail@ti-media.com

Big value subscriptions to Angler’s Mail magazine are now at a Bargain Price! Get the deals here ▶ fal.cn/SI7K

You’ll then get Angler’s Mail magazine delivered to your door, or the door of a friend/relative. And it’s at discounted rates… to suit all pockets.

There are great deals for the print version and for the digital version, too.

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

Monster brace of common carp

Cliff bumped into another syndicate member who reported seeing a fish top in the teeth of the wind, so decided…

Big carp end year in style

Paul matted the hefty fish currently alive at RH Fisheries’ The Avenue with the superb common called Tarka. It is…

Stream goes from amazing 200 lb bags… to unfishable

8 Apr

A RESPECTED angling author has slammed the Environment Agency for letting a once-prolific river become unfishable.

Paul Gustafson surveys the stream that has become unfishable.

Paul Gustafson, who wrote How To Catch Big Pike, is furious rod licence money isn’t being used to help clear Abbey Mill Stream in the centre of Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

It was originally built by monks in the 10th century to power their water mill but has become overgrown with willow and reed beds, plus  it has silted up.

Paul explained: “The fishing was once excellent with bream bags over 200 lb and other species like chub, pike and gudgeon well represented, plus a few barbel, but this has all gone.

“It was also an important spawning area for fish in the Thames, but this has disappeared.

“Several years ago the EA started to do some clearance work but quickly abandoned it because, so I was told, an otter was possibly spotted in the vicinity.

“Now they are no longer interested and have rejected my pleas for something to be done.

“I contacted Julia Simpson, who is responsible for the Thames area but she didn’t want to know, and nine emails to government minister Michael Gove received only a stock response.

“Fortunately the local South and Vale District Council who are the riparian owners have recently cleared most of the willow, spending a week and about £8,000 in doing so.

“But this still leaves a lot of work to be done, particularly clearing the entrance to and exit from the stream which is hampering the flow, and dredging the silt which has reduced the depth from four to one foot.

“Sadly the EA have thus far taken the view that as the stream is non-navigable it isn’t their responsibility to keep the channel clear.

“Really one wonders what anglers pay their licence fee for given how little the EA seem to do for fisheries with our money.

“I’m sure the pattern is being repeated elsewhere in the country.

“There is no transparency in how much of our licence money is actually spent on improving fishing,” added the Abingdon resident.

Permits to fish the stream are available from Abingdon Council and are free to local residents, although outsiders pay £10 for a day ticket.

The EA told Angler’s Mail over £20million was spent protecting and improving habitats for fish and facilities for anglers last year but do not consider that maintenance work on Abbey Mill Stream is required for ‘flood risk or navigation reasons’.

Area environment manager Dave Willis said: “We are aware of the ongoing concerns of some local anglers on the Abbey Mill Stream.

Whilst the maintenance of the stream is primarily the responsibility of the riparian owners, we have arranged a site meeting with the local angler to discuss this issue.

“We have a range of river and fishery improvement projects in the area but there is nothing currently planned for the Abbey Mill Stream.”

GOT A STORY, OR VIEWS OR GREAT PHOTOS? You could appear in print and online with us! Email pix with info to: anglersmail@ti-media.com

Big value subscriptions to Angler’s Mail magazine are now at a Bargain Price! Get the deals here ▶ fal.cn/SI7K

You’ll then get Angler’s Mail magazine delivered to your door, or the door of a friend/relative. And it’s at discounted rates… to suit all pockets.

There are great deals for the print version and for the digital version, too.

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

Fishing holiday boss vanishes

5 Apr

CONCERN is growing about the welfare of a fishing holiday company boss who has gone missing in Spain.

Fishing holiday boss Martin Walker
Fishing holiday boss Martin Walker

Martin Walker owns Catfish Capers which expertly organises fishing holiday sessions on the River Ebro. He has not been seen or heard from since March 4.

Fellow anglers and Oxfordshire’s Linear Fisheries have been sharing the concern on social media in the hope that someone will know be able to shed light on Martin’s whereabouts.

Martin’s son Jonny Walker explained: “My dad was last seen on March 4 when he left the Fisherman’s Friend bar he runs in Caspe in north-eastern Spain, and as far as I’m aware no one knows where he went on leaving.

“One of the company’s vehicles is also unaccounted for. There has been no news since and our family are sick with worry.

“Dad is a severe diabetic and has to self-inject himself with insulin and had also told several people recently that he was depressed.

“He is normally on Facebook all the time yet hasn’t been online since the day he went missing.

“This is totally out of character, he has clients fishing in Spain this week and he hasn’t made contact to check up on the business.

“I’ve contacted the British Embassy and the local police know – they have searched the river with a helicopter.

“We would ask that anyone who might see him or has any information to let us know as soon as possible,” concluded the Hampshire based river keeper.

Martin, 58, is originally from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, and used to be a kitchen consultant at Magnet before he established the Catfish Capers fishing holiday business in 1998.

As well as the guided fishing and the bar/cafe, the company can offer a variety of accommodation.

It also prides itself on providing an excellent guiding experience with a high catch rate – during the summer customers can typically expect between 8-25 fish per group per day.

Their best-ever haul for a fishing holiday group was 102 cats (35 over the ton) in a single day.

On the very day of Martin’s disappearance one customer, Paul Meredith, landed a 199 lb specimen.

Anyone with any information should contact Jonny Walker via email at walker47b88@gmail.com

GOT A STORY, OR VIEWS OR GREAT PHOTOS? You could appear in print and online with us! Email pix with info to: anglersmail@ti-media.com

Big value subscriptions to Angler’s Mail magazine are now at a Bargain Price! Get the deals here ▶ fal.cn/SI7K

You’ll then get Angler’s Mail magazine delivered to your door, or the door of a friend/relative. And it’s at discounted rates… to suit all pockets.

There are great deals for the print version and for the digital version, too.

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

‘Catfish record’ beaten

The rare catfish, known as ‘Manderjim’ as it has yellow mandarin markings, picked up half a tin of luncheon meat…

Giant chub helped eastern ace finish the season in style

1 Apr

THE river season ended with a string of brilliant chub catches including this stunning 7 lb 2 oz giant to top angling guide Phil Spinks.

Bungay, Norfolk-based Phil took it from a secret local river after switching species.

Phil said: “I’ve done very little chub fishing this winter as I’ve had my pike fishing head on. I managed four pike over 20 lb to brings my tally to 50 20-pounders.

“That’s not a huge amount of 20s compared to some out and out pikers but a personal goal for me.

“After that I decided to have a chance of species for the last trip of the river season.

“The river was running fairly clear, so I went with bread flake in conjunction with a small cage feeder stuffed with liquidised bread.

“Due to high winds it made seeing bites very difficult. After fishing 4-5 different swims I hadn’t noticed any bites at all.

“Finally the first bite came and it was worth the wait. It felt a very heavy fish straight away, doing its best to try and swim underneath some snags on the far bank.

“After a few tense moments I was looking down at a huge chub in my net – and a very big fish for East Anglia,” concluded Phil, who added others of 5 lb 4 oz and 5 lb 10 oz.

GOT A STORY, OR VIEWS OR GREAT PHOTOS? You could appear in print and online with us! Email pix with info to: anglersmail@ti-media.com

Big value subscriptions to Angler’s Mail magazine are now at a Bargain Price! Get the deals here ▶ fal.cn/SI7K

You’ll then get Angler’s Mail magazine delivered to your door, or the door of a friend/relative. And it’s at discounted rates… to suit all pockets.

There are great deals for the print version and for the digital version, too.

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

King-sized chub

The huge chub came from the members-only stretch Kings Weir and wins Jerry a weekly award of £100 of great…

Huge canal chub

IN AN astonishing run of “river” fish, we’re proud to publish this stunning picture of Matt Jones with a 7…

Huge summer chub

The 39-year-old support analyst from Hertfordshire said: “My old chub PB was 7lb 1oz and as that’s a fish of…

Close Season fishing survey ends after 13,600 anglers respond

1 Apr

A TOTAL of 13,600 anglers responded to the Close Season survey that could decide the fate of the future of river fishing.

The Close Season fishing debate rumbles on after 13,600 anglers responded to a survey... that's just a fraction of people who were made aware of its existence.
The Close Season fishing debate rumbles on after 13,600 anglers responded to a survey... but that's just a fraction of people who were made aware of its existence.

The Close Season fishing survey by the Environment Agency had the potential to be the biggest ever poll of anglers’ views on anything.

Rod licence holders on the EA email database were contacted with a link to the survey, which asked a series of questions on many aspects of the whole Close Season fishing debate. Other anglers, and interested parties of all kinds, were made aware of the survey via the media.

EA staff are now sifting through all the responses before deciding whether to scrap the current Close Season (March 15 to June 15 inclusive), to keep it, or amend the time.

An EA spokesperson said: “The eight-week public consultation on the future of the Close Season has now closed and more than 13,600 responses were received.

“The results are now being collated. Along with the existing evidence, this information will be used to determine if there is a case for changing the current Close Season byelaw.

“Any proposed change to the current byelaw, whether to change the dates or remove the Close Season, must be advertised, to give everyone the opportunity to object or support.

“We will respond to these objections, before applying to government for confirmation. The final decision rests with Government.

“Any decision to change the byelaw will not affect the 2019 river Close Season. River fishing is now closed for three months until June 15.

“During the Close Season, EA officers, with support from Angling Trust volunteer bailiffs, will be conducting patrols to enforce the Close Season as part of Operation CLAMPDOWN, now in its seventh year.

“Last year, 927 patrols were conducted, recording more than 250 illegal or unlicensed offences.”

Anglers’ views on the Close Season debate have been hotly debated for many years, but an official decision on the future looks to be in sight.

Last year, many leading anglers’ views on Close Season fishing were aired.

Then a small, simple poll of 20,000 random anglers was conducted to gauge opinion . Just over a quarter of those anglers responded.

But with rivers in England and Wales now closed to coarse fishing until the traditional ‘glorious June 16th’, it’s still unknown what will happen, or when more news will emerge.

Surbiton Angling Centre boss Andy Mackie said: “It will be interesting to see how the EA proceed from here with this.

“I think the responses will be pretty mixed without a vast majority on either side.

“Personally, I’m happy to keep the status quo. Even though my shop is near the River Thames, lifting the Close Season won’t suddenly turn the tackle trade round.”

GOT A STORY, OR VIEWS OR GREAT PHOTOS? You could appear in print and online with us! Email pix with info to: anglersmail@ti-media.com

Big value subscriptions to Angler’s Mail magazine are now at a Bargain Price! Get the deals here ▶ fal.cn/SI7K

You’ll then get Angler’s Mail magazine delivered to your door, or the door of a friend/relative. And it’s at discounted rates… to suit all pockets.

There are great deals for the print version and for the digital version, too.

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

River Thames murder case results in guilty verdicts for brothers

1 Apr

THREE members of the same family were found guilty of the death of an angler on the River Thames in Surrey.

River Thames murder victim Scott Wilkinson brought his family together through his love of fishing.
River Thames murder victim Scott Wilkinson brought his family together through his love of fishing.

The River Thames murder case dates back over two and half years, and is one of the most shocking cases ever involving an angler in the UK.

Shane Crawt, 19, of, Purley, Lenny Crawt, 18, from West Molesey, and Charlie Smith, 24, of no fixed abode, violently attacked 48-year-old Scott Wilkinson on Donkey Island near Sunbury Lock in July 2016.

The Crawt brothers were both found guilty of murder and given life sentences, and cousin Charlie Smith was found guilty of manslaughter and given a minimum jail term of 13 years at Guildford Crown Court. The brothers were told they will have to serve a minimum of 15 years.

The trio brutally attacked Scott before fleeing the island and destroying their clothing. They then boasted of “killing someone” to people they knew.

Scott’s body was found in the water the following day, four days after he arrived on the island.

Scott was an avid fisherman and would often spend long sessions on the island.

He arrived for his final visit on July 25 but his normal spot had been taken by the trio who at the time were aged 17, 16, and 21. Scott set up a short distance away in another spot.

The court heard how Scott was violently attacked by the Crawts and Smith. Together they punched, kicked and hit Scott using a large piece of wood. They also used a knife to injure him.

The attack was so violent that they caused catastrophic head injuries, leaving Scott for dead.

The three believed they had killed Scott, but he lived for at least two hours before he died as a result of his injuries.

Shane Crawt, left, his brother Lenny and their cousin Charlie Smith, right.

Guilty of River Thames murder – Shane Crawt, left, and his brother Lenny. Their cousin Charlie Smith, right, was convicted of manslaughter.

‘Vicious’ River Thames murder attack

Detective Inspector Paddy Mayers, who led the investigation, said: “This was a vicious and senseless attack on Scott Wilkinson who after the attack was left alone to die. His injuries were so serious that they were not survivable.

“Shane Crawt, Lenny Crawt and Charlie Smith thought they had got away with it and even boasted about what they had done.

“They then denied their involvement before blaming each other, putting Scott’s family through a distressing trial where they had to listen in graphic detail to what Scott had gone through.

“Their actions that night were vicious, brutal and callous and they are finally now where they deserve to be. They have never shown any remorse for what they have done.

“I would like to thank Scott’s family for their support and patience throughout this long and complex investigation. I sincerely hope that they feel that Scott has got justice as a result of today’s outcome, although I know that their lives will never be the same.

“I would also like to thank my team and all those that assisted in this complex and long investigation. The team worked tirelessly on this case for two and a half years and were committed to making sure that those responsible were brought to justice.”

Scott Wilkinson's swim on the Thames became the scene of a murder investigation.

River Thames murder scene – Scott Wilkinson’s swim near Sunbury Weir became the scene of a Police investigation.

Family tribute to murdered angler

Scott’s family released this statement after the trial: “Scott was a loving, affectionate and caring son, brother, father, grandfather, nephew and partner.

“We have such fond memories of Scott which include him misbehaving with his brother Shaun when they were children much to the consternation of his mother Janet and humorous delight of his father David.

“Scott’s passion, as anyone who knew him would tell you, was fishing.

“Fishing was a family hobby which brought us all together. It created shared experiences during long summer holidays, adventurous trips to Ireland with long drawn out tales of the one that got away.

“The energy and enthusiasm which Scott directed towards fishing was reflective of his character towards people. He offered friendship, kindness and closeness to those that wanted or needed it. He enriched the lives of the people who knew him.

“Scott was not perfect. He had his faults as we all do but he belonged to us and he should not have been taken away.”

GOT A STORY, OR VIEWS OR GREAT PHOTOS? You could appear in print and online with us! Email pix with info to: anglersmail@ti-media.com

Big value subscriptions to Angler’s Mail magazine are now at a Bargain Price! Get the deals here ▶ fal.cn/SI7K

You’ll then get Angler’s Mail magazine delivered to your door, or the door of a friend/relative. And it’s at discounted rates… to suit all pockets.

There are great deals for the print version and for the digital version, too.

More Angler’s Mail news stories…

Hampshire Avon barbel record smashed by 19 lb 11 oz stunner

1 Apr

PETE READING had a real shock at the end of his river season when he smashed the Hampshire Avon record with this 19 lb 11 oz stunner.

Pete Reading displays his 19 lb 11 oz Hampshire Avon barbel record.
Pete Reading displays his 19 lb 11 oz Hampshire Avon barbel record.

Pete, a highly respected expert on Hampshire Avon barbel, was amazed by his historic capture.

It underlines a lurking potential still in this great river, which has held the British barbel and chub records in the past.

The 65-year-old retired science teacher told Angler’s Mail: “It was taken from a little-fished private stretch of the river, and beats my previous PB from the Avon of 15 lb 14 oz by a good amount, and my Dorset Stour PB of 16 lb 8 oz.

“It took a lump of a home-made paste wrapped around a matching boilie that I have been using for a couple of years, and which has accounted for 26 double-figure fish from the river for me this season.

“This is a historic fish for the river, and a friend who came and witnessed it for me was as stunned as I was by the weight – it is a truly huge fish for the river.

“I would have been more than happy with a 17-pounder!”

Hampshire Avon barbel potential

Pete added: “It was a surprise to see the leap in weight from the previous 16 lb 15 oz river record, but 18 lb-plus fish have been rumoured but not advertised recently.

“I am certain this fish and a few others could go to 20 lb in next few years, and Avon fish have been growing steadily in recent years, with 15 and 16 lb fish ever more common.

“Much of the upper and middle river is unfished and big fish can grow naturally in isolation, but do roam great distances and pop up in surprising places,” revealed Poole, Dorset-based Pete.

GOT A STORY, OR VIEWS OR GREAT PHOTOS? You could appear in print and online with us! Email pix with info to: anglersmail@ti-media.com

Big value subscriptions to Angler’s Mail magazine are now at a Bargain Price! Get the deals here ▶ fal.cn/SI7K

You’ll then get Angler’s Mail magazine delivered to your door, or the door of a friend/relative. And it’s at discounted rates… to suit all pockets.

There are great deals for the print version and for the digital version, too.

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

Stunning Avon barbel brace

BARBEL ace Ian Timms had a catch of lifetime with this PB in a stunning brace as had this specimen…

British barbel record rocked with biggest ever from the Thames

1 Apr

BAIT company boss John Llewellyn ended the river season in record style with this giant 20 lb 12 oz barbel - the heaviest ever from the Thames.

John Llewellyn came rocked the British barbel record with this 20 lb 12 oz heavyweight from the River Thames, caught soon before the 2018/19 river season ended.
John Llewellyn came rocked the British barbel record with this 20 lb 12 oz heavyweight from the River Thames, caught soon before the 2018/19 river season ended.

The Big Carp owner initially thought he’d smashed the 21 lb 1 oz British barbel record when he weighed the fish, but scales checks later revealed it to be just below the target, halting his plan to make a claim.

John, 62, from Charvil, Berkshire, told Angler’s Mail: “I contacted Nick Simmonds at the British Record Fish Committee and it was five complicated forms to fill out and an affidavit at the solicitors as I caught the fish on my own but I did get Stuart Morgan and John Baker out to witness the fish.

“I had to verify my scales down to Trading Standards to be tested and in the end we settled for 20 lb 12 oz – which is still fantastic.

“Big barbel are often real travellers, moving up and down these long stretches of the lower river Thames.

“I run my own bait company, Big Carp and Big Cat Ltd and I have been making bait commercially, mostly for the foreign market, for the last 30 years.

“I firmly believe that the route to catching big fish consistently is to use good bait, something they recognise as a good food source and really want to eat.

“I use our krill based bait, or more recently a ‘tricked-up’ version called Ocean Blend.

“It is almost impossible to stop these fish on their travels and the aim is simply to give them a taste, so that they recognise the food source.

“Then they’ll search for it and home in on the ‘food’ signals released from the bait.

“I have been baiting three spots on and off since October, just a couple of times per week with a few handfuls.

“I only managed a couple of evenings fishing in that period for one bream.”

14 lb 6 oz catch before British barbel record rocked

John continued: “I got out for a night after the recent warm spell, deciding on a spot about 7 ft deep, downstream of an interesting feature mid-river.

“I use a simple hair rig, 12 inch trace, size 6 hook and a 5 oz lead on and I often clip on a back-lead to combat weed and rubbish.

“I wrap a boilie in matching paste, which makes a bait about 30 mm in size, and I hook on a stringer of boilies with a handful of freebies scattered in the area.

“I had two bites that night, a 9 lb bream and a 14 lb 6 oz barbel at dawn – result. Then I added a few handfuls of bait as I left.

“I was back a couple of days later and got a bream on dusk which is always a good sign, as carp and barbel are often not far behind.

“The tips stayed motionless until 7pm when, just as I was pouring boiling water over a tea bag, the right-hand rod knocked and knocked again – typical bream bite.

“I thought I’ll just have sip of tea whilst it’s hot I thought, and then wind it in and unhook it. So, 30 seconds later, with the tip still knocking occasionally, I wound down and pulled into what I thought was a bream.

“Then I had a big surprise as the rod hooped over and an angry fish stripped off line and pulled hard downstream in the current.

“After a dogged fight under the rod tip, the fish began to tire and I prepared the net.

“I put the head-torch on, and I nearly fainted when I saw the flank and head of what was obviously a massive barbel.

“It dived again and I prayed the fish was well hooked as it pulled hard for another couple of minutes before finally giving up and I was able to guide it over the net.

“I couldn’t contain myself and I was like a whirling dervish, all on my own in the dark, dancing around with excitement like a madman.

“What a moment, and I’ve got goose bumps and a big smile on my face even now,” concluded John.

GOT A STORY, OR VIEWS OR GREAT PHOTOS? You could appear in print and online with us! Email pix with info to: anglersmail@ti-media.com

Big value subscriptions to Angler’s Mail magazine are now at a Bargain Price! Get the deals here ▶ fal.cn/SI7K

You’ll then get Angler’s Mail magazine delivered to your door, or the door of a friend/relative. And it’s at discounted rates… to suit all pockets.

There are great deals for the print version and for the digital version, too.

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

Near record Thames barbel

The Specialized Hook Baits boss had to play the giant barbel for 40 minutes after hooking it on one of…

Giant river roach defies otters to delight angler

29 Mar

MIKE MORTIMORE thinks this 2 lb 14 oz roach might have gone over 3 lb but it had recently been attacked by an otter... and luckily escaped.

Mike displays his jumbo river roach that defied an otter attack.
Mike displays his jumbo river roach that defied an otter attack.

The 53-year-old, from Ringwood, tempted the jumbo river roach from his local Hampshire Avon.

The famous southern angling venue has been nursed back to a viable river roach fishery, largely through the dedicated efforts of the Avon Roach Project.

Mike said: “It is a PB by miles – my best before this was 1 lb 8 oz.

“I fished a slack by the bridge in Ringwood.

“Rich from Ringwood Tackle weighed and photographed the fish, which he said has come out twice this winter and once at 3 lb.

“The fish had been attacked by an otter removing a large section of its tail.

The roach showed a slash near its tail, beloieved to have been caused by an otter.

The impressive river roach showed a slash near its tail, believed to have been caused by an otter.

“I think it would have gone 3 lb without the damage.

“It’s such a shame about the damage but hopefully it survives.

“It fell to a single red maggot in a 20 g feeder with a 2 lb hooklink on a 16 hook and was my only bite on a two-hour trip,” added the firefighter.

GOT A STORY, OR VIEWS OR GREAT PHOTOS? You could appear in print and online with us! Email pix with info to: anglersmail@ti-media.com

Big value subscriptions to Angler’s Mail magazine are now at a Bargain Price! Get the deals here ▶ fal.cn/SI7K

You’ll then get Angler’s Mail magazine delivered to your door, or the door of a friend/relative. And it’s at discounted rates… to suit all pockets.

There are great deals for the print version and for the digital version, too.

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

20 lb pike king reaches the 150 mark – from non-trout waters, too!

29 Mar

TOP piker John Holmes hit a milestone when he notched his 150th 20 lb-plus snapper with this 28 lb 8 oz specimen.

20 lb pike ace John, a 55-year-old builder, from Skegness in Lincolnshire, has caught them all locally from non-trout waters.

John explained: “I had the 28-pounder on a roach livebait with size 4 trebles, 28 lb wire trace and 80 lb braided main line and to be honest, it is just tactics and getting lucky really.

“I’ve since had number 151 with a 20 lb pike from a drain to bring my tally to ten 20s for the season.

“I caught my first 20 lb pike from a gravel pit at Tattershall in 1998.

“Since then I’ve caught 20s from local drains such as he Hobhole, Bellwater, Sibsey Trader, Forty Foot and West Fen.

“But these days I’m finding it more difficult and travelling further afield to the Spalding area in rivers and drains.

“I’ve also had a bit of success from small pits from local areas which sometimes give up a surprise.

“I’ve had eight 30s with the biggest going 34 lb.

“All my 20 lb-plus fish have come within a 50 mile radius of my home.

“I’ve never set a target, I just have the motivation to get the best I can from any situation

“It’s always possible to catch a 40 lb pike but if you did you can count yourself a very lucky person

“Pike fishing locally has really been hammered by poaching.

“For instance, me and a mate once had 360 lb of pike with 19 of them going double-figures in a day on one drain.

“Nowadays, I hardly see anyone fishing there simply because the fishing is so poor.

“Trout venues like Chew sure would be exciting when you get that first run… but, for now, I’ve no plans to go there,” concluded John.

But John is well below the record for 20 lb pike caught with Ireland-based Alistair Rawlings top of the list with over 520 – an awesome achievement.

Well-travelled Angler’s Mail magazie columnist Neville Fickling is right behind on the 20 lb pike charts, having landed or boated some 510 specimens.

GOT A STORY OR SOME GREAT PHOTOS? You could appear in print and online with us! Email pix with info to: anglersmail@ti-media.com

Big value subscriptions to Angler’s Mail magazine are now at a Bargain Price! Get the deals here ▶ fal.cn/SI7K

You’ll then get Angler’s Mail magazine delivered to your door, or the door of a friend/relative. And it’s at discounted rates… to suit all pockets.

There are great deals for the print version and for the digital version, too.

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

Massive natural water pike

The 21-year-old tyre fitter from nearby Fairford added 14 others to mid doubles with Ian, using legered lamprey at the…

Unknown giant pike

Alan said: “It’s full of large rudd, roach and bream so the ecology certainly pointed to it being a good…

Third biggest English pike

WYNDON COOLE has caught the third biggest authenticated English pike of all time with a 45 lb 14 oz stunner.…

Teenager lands giant canal pike

Fishing on the New Junction Canal near Doncaster, South Yorkshire, the 14-year-old obliterated his old PB of 17 lb. Jake’s…

Mackerel crisis affects sea fishing – and could it hit pike fans too?

29 Mar

MACKEREL stocks are at a decade long low and have just lost their ‘sustainable’ eating label, worrying sea and pike anglers... who are not to blame for the problem.

Mackerel stocks are in real danger, according to the MSC.
Mackerel stocks are in real danger, according to the MSC.

Once promoted by green campaigners like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall as an alternative to endangered cod and haddock, British mackerel has been stripped of its Marine Stewardship Council approval. It’s largely due to overfishing by commercial boats.

Anglers’ summer catches were dismal in many areas in 2018, and that trend looks set to continue this year.

But sea fishing ace and conservationist Mike Thrussell does not think anglers should stop eating their mackerel catches.

Mike told Angler’s Mail: “In many areas over the past few years mackerel have been in lower numbers overall and often showing much later in the summer than would be normal.

“Also, they tend to be getting smaller in size. Yet again, commercial over fishing pushing a species down to concerning levels.

“You can’t blame anglers as they’ve been struggling to catch them.

“Their numbers are caught commercially elsewhere before even getting close to the UK coast so anglers should carry on as normal.”

‘Mackerel should not be banned as pike bait’

Mackerel are also in the top three pike angling baits in freshwater but predator ace Neville Fickling doesn’t think the bait should be banned.

Neville said: “I sell frozen mackerel but the numbers are very low compared to the international trade in mackerel.

“It does surprise me they are being considered at risk as I’ve had no problems getting supplies although last summer most were much smaller than normal.

“But pike anglers aren’t the cause of any problems and what they use has already been landed by trawlers.

“Pike anglers get told not to use eels or lamprey or mackerel, where will it stop?” added Neville.

‘Disappointment for the fishermen’

Camiel Derichs, Europe director for the MSC, said: “This news will be a disappointment for the fishermen as well as for mackerel loving consumers.

“However, factors including declining stocks, quotas set above new scientific advice and poor recruitment have combined to mean that the fisheries no longer meet the MSC’s requirements.

“We have a further study planned.”

Mackerel is by far the most commercially important fish to the UK’s commercial fishing industry.

In 2017, UK vessels landed 226,900 tonnes of mackerel, earning around £203m. Mackerel accounted for nearly a third of the total weight of fish and shellfish landed in the UK.

GOT A STORY OR SOME GREAT PHOTOS? You could appear in print and online with us! Email pix with info to: anglersmail@ti-media.com

Big value subscriptions to Angler’s Mail magazine are now at a Bargain Price! Get the deals here ▶ fal.cn/SI7K

You’ll then get Angler’s Mail magazine delivered to your door, or the door of a friend/relative. And it’s at discounted rates… to suit all pockets.

There are great deals for the print version and for the digital version, too.

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

Giant river pike

Dunmow, Essex-based Matt legered a joey mackerel very close in with a size 8 Fox treble trace and a sliding…

Top 3 deadbaits for pike

Coarse fish They are the most natural bait a pike will see, and they have been naturally prebaited! Another plus…

Lure fishing ace tempts giant perch on Cannibal shad

29 Mar

ALEX STOICA has enjoyed a great perch fishing season.... and topped it with this PB perch of 5 lb 2 oz from a secret gravel pit.

The lure fishing ace measured the catch at 49 cm, and tempted it using an 8 cm Savage Gear Cannibal white shad.

Brackley, Northamptonshire-based Alex said: “My PB before was a 48cm perch, weighing 4 lb 10 oz, that featured in in the Angler’s Mail in November.

“I currently hold the perch record for this venue and it’s the first 5 lb perch from that complex so I believe it is very hard to beat my PB over there. I might have a go to Spain or Holland to catch a 50 cm perch.

“These 5 lb perch are very rare in my opinion as it took me nearly three years of weekly fishing to find this fish, which was probably about 150 sessions,” added the 28-year-old risk assessor.

Alex tempted his five-pounder by working the soft white lure on a size 2/0 Gamakatsu 7 g jig head.

He starred on the front cover of Angler’s Mail magazine earlier this year, and took some of the most impressive perch photos you may ever see – click here to check out the best!

GOT A STORY OR SOME GREAT PHOTOS? You could appear in print and online with us! Email pix with info to: anglersmail@ti-media.com

Big value subscriptions to Angler’s Mail magazine are now at a Bargain Price! Get the deals here ▶ fal.cn/SI7K

You’ll then get Angler’s Mail magazine delivered to your door, or the door of a friend/relative. And it’s at discounted rates… to suit all pockets.

There are great deals for the print version and for the digital version, too.

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

Prawny perch

CHRIS MALTBY has caught one of the biggest perch of the year when he nabbed this 5 lb 8 oz…

Monster 6 lb perch!

The Westin backed angler tempted the 50 cm specimen on one of their new Shad Teez lures in ‘Official Roach’…

Stunning salmon on perch gear!

Mike Wallis landed the stunning salmon while targetting perch on the lower River Severn with a small soft rubber Tsunami…

Rod licence dodgers hit with £8K bill

27 Mar

ROGUE coarse anglers were handed a whopping £8,000 in fines and costs after being caught without a valid rod licence.

EA bailiffs are out there... whether dodgers are hiding, or not.
EA bailiffs are out there... whether dodgers are hiding, or not.

At a time when new annual rod licences are being bought in their biggest numbers, by law-abiding anglers,  11 anglers were proved guilty of offences in their absence by Northampton Magistrates.

The largest fine was handed to Christopher Downing, 29, of Willenhall, West Midlands, who was charged with fishing without a licence and failing to state his name and address at Lunt Pool in Bilston, last July.

He was fined a total of £880 and ordered to pay costs and victim surcharge totalling £193.47.

Telford duo Adrian Statham, 27, and 37-year-old Jamie Falconer were also hit hard for leaving baited rod unattended and fishing without a licence at their local Middle Pool

Statham was fined a total of £660, plus costs of £171.47 and Falconer was fined £440 and costs of £157.47.

And four were each fined £440 and ordered to pay costs of £171.47 each for fishing without a licence at Baden Hall Fishery, Eccleshall.

The four were: Jobe Cresswell, 22, of Wednesbury, Jack Capper, 20, of Stoke-on-Trent, Gary Traynor, 34, of Yarnfield and Callum Mcmanus, 23, from Wednesbury.

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 carp image for 2019.

A further three offenders were caught at popular Cudmore Fisheries and also fined £440 each and ordered to pay costs of £161.47.

The Cudmore culprits came from the north west and were Manchester duo John Short, 55, and Raymond Young, 34, plus Conor Thompson, 21, from Liverpool.

Lastly, Kenny Wilkes, 32, of Wednesbury, was fined £440 and ordered to pay costs of £171.47 after being caught without a licence on his local Tame Valley Canal.

In addition, Magistrates fined Adam Parry, 38, of Brierley Hill, £400, plus costs of £157.47 after he submitted a plea of guilty to fishing without a licence on the River Severn at Holt Fleet and with failing to give his name and address.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “It’s important anglers have a licence before fishing as the money is invested into improving the sport.

“Money from fishing licence sales is invested in England’s fisheries and is used to fund a wide range of projects to improve facilities for anglers including; protecting stocks from illegal fishing, pollution and disease, restoring fish stocks through re-stocking, eradicating invasive species and fish habitat improvements.”

GOT A STORY, OR VIEWS OR GREAT PHOTOS? You could appear in print and online with us! Email pix with info to: anglersmail@ti-media.com

Big value subscriptions to Angler’s Mail magazine are now at a Bargain Price! Get the deals here ▶ fal.cn/SI7K

You’ll then get Angler’s Mail magazine delivered to your door, or the door of a friend/relative. And it’s at discounted rates… to suit all pockets.

There are great deals for the print version and for the digital version, too.

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

Irish pike given brighter future after anglers overturn cull law

22 Mar

PIKE FANS were celebrating last week after angling groups got a controversial pike culling law stopped.

Irish Pike Society secretary Paul Byrne and many other pike fans won a crucial victory.
Irish Pike Society secretary Paul Byrne and many other pike fans won a crucial victory.

The Irish Pike Society and the Irish Federation of Pike Angling Clubs managed to get an annulment by the High Court in Dublin for the Designated Salmonid Waters Bye-Law, which was aiming to protect game fish.

This bye-law had been put through by Irish minister for communications, climate action and environment Richard Bruton.

It would have allowed four Irish pike of any size per angler per day on Loughs Corrib, Mask, Carra, Conn, Cullin and Arrow.

Irish Pike Society secretary Paul Byrne (pictured above) said: “The decision will be welcomed by national angling bodies, tourism organisations, and local businesses.

“It was apparent from the outset that the bye-law, which allowed for the ecologically devastating depletion of Ireland’s previously statutorily protected pike population, was based on uninformed views and that there was no scientific basis for the provisions contained in it.

“Recent research carried out by Inland Fisheries Ireland, the statutory body for the management of Ireland’s inland fisheries, found that pike feed primarily on species other than salmonid fish.

“The available scientific evidence also showed that the bye-law would in fact be hugely detrimental to salmonid stocks.

“A detailed report from Dr Bruno Broughton, an internationally renowned fisheries management consultant, severely criticised the bye-law on a number of grounds.”

A culled Irish pike at Lough Corrib. Pike anglers and other coarse fishing fans are keen to stop game anglers killing the species.

A culled Irish pike at Lough Corrib. Pike anglers and other coarse fishing fans are keen to stop game anglers killing the species.

 

More work to do to protect Irish pike

The battle to protect Irish pike is far from over now, despite the crucial court victory.

Paul explained: “Despite the defeat of the bye-law, the arguments for it, which promote the daily killing of thousands of pike in over 30 per cent of Irish waterways, are still used to justify pike culling practices.

“The practice of ‘gill-netting’ is still used by Inland Fisheries Ireland to reduce pike levels.

“This involves thousands of meters of net being strung across shallow bays to capture and kill pike as they travel to their spawning beds,” concluded Paul.

Ian Forde, chairman of the Irish Pike Society, added: “We welcome the decision of the High Court, which is the result of a massive effort from federations, clubs and individual anglers who raised funds to mount a challenge to the bye-law by way of a statutory appeal.

“This is a good decision for anglers in Ireland – not only pike anglers, but also trout anglers, and the visiting tourists who spend close to €800 million Euros every year in our economy.”

Angler’s Mail columnist Neville Fickling said: “It is brilliant news but wait for the possible backlash – the pike haters won’t give up yet.

“But this shows the Irish government that pike anglers have the people and funds to challenge such insanity,” added the Lincolnshire pike ace and regular Ireland visitor.

GOT A STORY OR SOME GREAT PHOTOS? You could appear in print and online with us! Email pix with info to: anglersmail@ti-media.com

Big value subscriptions to Angler’s Mail magazine are now at a Bargain Price! Get the deals here ▶ fal.cn/SI7K

You’ll then get Angler’s Mail magazine delivered to your door, or the door of a friend/relative. And it’s at discounted rates… to suit all pockets.

There are great deals for the print version and for the digital version, too.

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

Stop the slaughter of pike

An online petition has been set up and quickly secured over 20,000 supporters, with more names being added every day,…