Jeremy Wade leads call to save big fish stocks

21 Oct

ONE of TV's most loved celebrities, and a globally respected angler, has brought the perilous future of fish into the spotlight.

Jeremy Wade, seen with an alligator gar, has spoken up about the grim future for apex predators.
Jeremy Wade, seen with an alligator gar, has spoken up about the grim future for apex predators.

Jeremy Wade has warned the world needs to look after freshwater habitats as well as deal with the fashionable climate change issue.

The Rivers Monsters presenter fears many large predatory fish species could go extinct unless action is taken to preserve our rivers.

Jeremy said: “Some of the most iconic inhabitants of our freshwater systems are in the process of disappearing.

“And this is hugely significant because most of these creatures are apex predators and are therefore really good indicators of the health of freshwater ecosystems, which all life depends on – including ourselves.

“If the apex predators are not there the water is in trouble and then we are in big trouble.

“What is shocking is even in remote areas it is hard to find these large predators and is happening right in front of us.

‘But because it is underwater it is out of sight or most humans.”

Fish ‘harder to find’ stresses Jeremy Wade

“Fish are getting harder to find even in places I’ve previously visited with pristine environments,” stressed Jeremy Wade.

“The Essequibo river in Guyana, for example, was home to all sorts of incredible fish but in the course of just a few years numbers have dropped radically and it’s shocking.

“We also take for granted that rivers flow, but it we take too much out for industry or agriculture the whole system is at risk of collapse.

“My wish is for people to wake up to the fact freshwater is incredibly important,” concluded Jeremy.

There has already been an overall 88 per cent global decline of freshwater ‘mega-fauna’ populations between 1970 to 2012.

And Stuart Orr, spokesman for the World Wide Fund for Nature, backed Jeremy Wade in his calls for awareness and change.

Stuart said: “Freshwater fish are the world’s forgotten fish even though they feed hundreds of millions and provide livelihoods for millions more. And their numbers will keep falling until we take action.

“We need an Emergency Recovery Plan for freshwater biodiversity, which includes governments prioritising environmental-flows – ensuring the quantity and timing of river flows required for people and nature to thrive.”

Life after River Monsters for Jeremy Wade

Jeremy Wade shot to national fame through ITV broadcasting his epic River Monsters shows.

That challenging programme ran for nine series, with the final adventures being shown in 2018. The entire run still gets repeated.

The Suffolk-born 63-year-old, who lives in Somerset when not away filming, reflected on his epic River Monsters journey.

He told the Mail: “Its huge success came as a great surprise as it started out as one episode which grew into one series then kept going for nine years that’s the longest I have ever been in one job.

“River Monsters is very demanding filming and we think the idea has now run its course.

“There are plenty of fishing stories out there but it has become harder to find those which have the right combined element of danger and mystery.

River Monsters made Jeremy Wade a household name.

River Monsters made Jeremy Wade a household name in Britain – and beyond.

Jeremy continued: “It has been great fun along the way with some hairy moments.

“The one time I felt really scared myself was going across a large lake in Ethiopia in a boat made of pieces of welded together metal which had little buoyancy and a big storm blew up.

“I thought the boat might topple in the huge swell and the lake was teaming with crocodiles.”

Aside from today’s River Monsters repeats, Jeremy most recently appeared in Mighty Rivers, also brought to the UK by ITV.

Commissioned by US channel Animal Planet, before its UK airing, Mighty Rivers drew on Jeremy’s fishing expertise to draw attention to the plight of some of the world’s greatest rivers.

Those waterways have included, so far, the Ganges, Danube, Yangtze, Zambezi, Mississippi and Amazon.

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River manager says sport improving despite otters

14 Oct

THE fisheries manager at one of Britain’s best angling clubs has explained how he thinks otters aren’t killing the rivers he controls.

Otters have risen in numbers across Britain but they should not be made scapegoats for rivers, according to two men close to top club, Reading DAA.
Otters have risen in numbers across Britain but they should not be made scapegoats for rivers, according to two men close to top club, Reading DAA.

Del Shackleford from Berkshire’s Reading DAA insists that fishing on the association’s rivers is largely better today than it has been for many years.

And he believes that anglers moaning about the damage done by otters, and calling for culls, is detrimental to the sport.

Del has been Reading DAA fisheries manager for 13 years.

Del explained: “Emotional outbursts on social media about otters are largely based on nothing more than exactly that – emotion.

“No fact, no science, in fact nothing but ‘well, it used to produce big barbel’ type of thing.

Speaking up - Del Shackleford, seen here with a barbel, works closely on Reading DAA venues and shared his opinions.

Speaking up – Del Shackleford, seen here with a barbel, is close to Reading DAA venues and shared his opinions.

“The facts are that our rivers like the Kennet are fishing well, better than they have for many years, with a good mixture of species and the odd specimen sized fish.

“The water quality is also better than it has been in 50 years, all of which can be proven with science.

“Our rivers are pretty much as they should be – a river full of specimen sized fish is not a healthy sustainable eco-system.

“Otters are part of that eco-system within rivers and from an environmental point of view they are better for it.”

Lakes are different, said Reading DAA man

Del continued: “Lakes are a slightly different matter and can be manipulated to what the angling ‘customer’ wishes it to be.

“Part of that ‘manipulation’ has to take predation into consideration as part of any business plan and not to do so, is foolish.

“However, as in our case, big gravel pits are particularly difficult to manage to that level.

“So we have to err on the side of low stocking numbers in order to make them less attractive to predators.

“Otters are one of the most protected species in the country and as such you cannot legally interfere with them or their habitat.

“This is how things stand at present and no amount of pontificating on social media will change that.

“In fact, some of the comments and grandstanding that goes on social media platforms will only serve to reinforce the idea that anglers aren’t the ‘guardians of the waterways’ as they have always been viewed as, but just self-serving and only interested in their own needs,” Del concluded.

Reading DAA control long stretches of the River Kennet.

Reading DAA controls long stretches of the River Kennet.

“Blame otters if it makes you feel better” says Salter

Martin Salter, head of policy at the Angling Trust and a Reading DAA member shared his views on the current situation in his area.

Martin said: “The Thames is clearly a river in resurgence – just look at the match weights over the last three years and the huge head of roach now present throughout the middle reaches. “

“I believe the Kennet has declined steadily but that is since the re-opening of the canal and the accompanying increase in sedimentation which has clogged up the spawning gravels making them unproductive.

“Witness the decline in gravel spawners such as chub, barbel and grayling compared to fish that lay sticky eggs in weed like roach and perch.

“However, as Del says – the signs of recovery are there with good numbers of silver fish coming back and small barbel and chub now showing too, which is evidence of some successful recruitment, possibly following our gravel jetting efforts.

“Yes we lose a few fish to otters, but we lose hell of a lot more due to signal crayfish and loss of spawning habitat.

“By all means blame the otters if it makes you feel better. Alternatively, you could think about all those factors that need to be in place to deliver a productive fishery.

“You will soon realise that otters are well down the list of things we need to be worried about and they eat crayfish in abundance,” added former MP Martin.

Key Reading DAA info

Berkshire-based Reading DAA controls 25 miles of the River Kennet, River Thames, River Loddon and Kennet and Avon Canal, plus 14 lakes.

The association has around 1,500 members,and cater for all kinds of coarse anglers. The daylight membership option for adults costs £80, £60 for OAP/RDP and £15 juniors.

There are various other options, including night fishing, and coaching for juniors, too. Find out more, or buy a ticket, via the Reading DAA website

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Rush to save fisheries from otters

Countryfile ran the segment in its prime-time BBC1 Sunday slot. They  interviewed carp breeder Simon Scott and fishery owners about…

Aggressive river fishing rogues try to hide in bushes

14 Oct

THREE brazen anglers were caught after fishing TWO different rivers in the Close Season – and then tried escaping in bushes.

They're watching - an Environment Agency bailiff caught rogues hiding in bushes.
They're watching - an Environment Agency bailiff caught rogues hiding in bushes.

The three rogues from Liverpool, Merseyside, were prosecuted after wilfully obstructing an Environment Agency bailiff.

Jack O’Callaghan, 30, Patrick Jones, 35, and Alan Clelland, 56, all pleaded guilty in a case held at North Staffordshire Magistrates’ Court in Newcastle-Under-Lyme.

O’Callaghan was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £480 while Jones and Clelland were each ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £400.

O’Callaghan admitted three other charges in that he fished without a licence, fished in the Close Season and failed, when required to do so, to state his name and address to the Environment Agency bailiff.

Jones admitted two other charges in that he fished in the Close Season and without a licence.
And Clelland admitted one other offence in fishing during the Close Season.

How the law-breakers were caught

An EA spokesperson said: “EA enforcement officers received intelligence that three men were fishing on the River Trent at Great Haywood in Staffordshire on April 19, 2019.

“They were later spotted in the grounds of nearby Shugborough Hall where they were fishing the River Sow.

“EA officers and estate rangers attempted to speak with the men but a short foot chase ensued where the suspects became aggressive and also tried to hide within bushes.

“Having been joined by officers from Staffordshire Police, the men were eventually apprehended on the main road in Great Haywood.

“This case shows how determined we are in catching and prosecuting people who flout the laws and obstruct our officers in carrying out their duties.

“An annual fishing licence costs just £30, yet a small number of anglers continue to risk prosecution for fishing without a licence and breaching byelaws in place to protect fish stocks.”

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England pair make British carp history

14 Oct

ENGLAND carp pair Wayne Mansford and Ryan Need created history when they won one of angling's most prestigious titles.

Wayne and Ryan lifted the British Carp Angling Championships trophy after a fantastic haul at Farlows Lake.
Wayne and Ryan lifted the British Carp Angling Championships trophy after a fantastic haul at Farlows Lake.

The long-running British Carp Angling Championships saw its 2019 final won with a record weight.

And in making their haul Wayne and Ryan became the first duo to win consecutive British Carp Angling Championships jackpots on different venues.

Wayne and Ryan plundered 35 specimen carp in the 48-hour final at Buckinghamshire’s day ticket Farlows Lake. Their  impressive 755 lb 5 oz weight, which also set a venue record in a carp match.

Their £20,000 success follows a win last year at Berkshire’s Wraysbury and a runner-up spot in the 2017 final.

They easily pushed Mark Bartlett and Kev Hewitt into second spot with 18 fish for 380 lb 5 oz to scoop £3,000. Sean Dulson and Lee Simms were third with seven fish for 139 lb 5 oz and took home £2,000.

Roofer Wayne, 37, from Maidenhead, Berkshire, told Angler’s Mail all about their latest British Carp Angling Championships success.

He said: “I know Farlows extremely well, working in the tackle shop and cafe as a kid, then progressing to a bailiff when I was old enough, and have fished it for about 30 years.

Farlows Lake specimens like these two helped Wayne and Ryan win the British Carp Angling Championships.

Farlows Lake specimens like these two helped Wayne and Ryan win the British Carp Angling Championships.

“Me and Ryan decided to stay away from the venue all summer so as not to attract attention to ourselves.

“But we went for one practice session a week before, and had 31 fish over the two days, which isn’t bad given I had to go to work during the day, so we then wound in.”

The long-running British Carp Angling Championships saw its 2019 final won with a record weight.”

Unrated draw in British Carp Angling Championships

Wayne revealed: “When we drew our peg in the final I didn’t really rate our chances much at all. It was about my 12 th favourite, but we were determined to give it a good go.

“We decided to fish tight to an island with PVA bags and luckily the fish came to us, and we managed to secure a record weight as well as the £20,000 first prize.

“We only had about an hour’s sleep each night, staying up and preparing extra rigs.

“Mark and Kev who came second had a swim I fancied even less than ours and they fished brilliantly to achieve what they did.

“The British Carp Angling Championships final is back at Farlows next year and we will definitely be going for the hat-trick.

“We now have the record weights for the final on top of a semi-final, and we are the first pair to win twice running at different venues, so three in a row would be the icing on the cake.

“Next year it is also the World Championship in Ukraine, and the squad went for a practice a couple of weeks ago but unfortunately both Ryan and I had to pull out for personal reasons, although we will practice there beforehand.

“Prior to that is the Home International but Ryan and I will miss that as it clashes with an overseas match we have entered,” Wayne concluded.

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Eastenders star lands one of UK’s biggest carp

14 Oct

ONE of the most popular stars of BBC TV's Eastenders thinks his new PB mirror carp of 59 lb 12 oz might be hard to beat in the UK.

Scott Maslen admires his giant mirror carp before returning it to the Kent lake.
Scott Maslen admires his giant mirror carp before returning it to the Kent lake.

Scott Maslen, who plays Jack Branning in the award-winning TV soap, tempted the giant from Kent’s Wingham Fisheries.

Scott, 48, is a lifelong, experienced angler who specialises in fishing for large carp. But he was blown away by his capture of his latest hugely impressive specimen, known as the Black Mirror. And it led to a special celebration!

He told Angler’s Mail: “I’ve not done a lot of fishing this year and this was a bit of an impromptu trip, somewhere we could get a guest ticket on.

“It wasn’t pre-planned at all and like in life, sometimes the unexpected can then happen.

“It wasn’t fishing well, so like I often do, I was just was fishing for a single bite.

“So I found a silty spot in the weed at 100 yards and just fed a lot of tiny food bits, lots of flavour, with pellet, hemp and mini boilies and fished a 15 mm Mainline Essential Cell boilie over the top.

“It was an amazing feeling catching the fish, and then I went on a three day party to celebrate. I think I was unconscious for two days after!”

What next for carp fan Scott Maslen?

Scott continued: “I’ve now got English PBs of a 56 lb 2 oz common and a 59 lb 12 oz mirror, which isn’t bad.

“The nice thing is I’ve always upped my PBs by just a few pounds and never leapt up.

“I’m not sure if I’ll beat that PB in England but I’m not bothered. Big fish are nice but I just enjoy being out there fishing.

“There’s still plenty of fish in England I’d like to catch, like a big leather, but I might do a bit more fishing abroad now.

“A lot of youngsters want everything instantly but with fishing there’s no quick-fix, you have to learn and practise all the time. You can’t force it.

“Fishing is about getting away from it and enjoying the view along the way and not thinking you know it all, but to try and learn all the time,” added Scott.

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How poaching by Eastern European anglers is being tackled

11 Oct

THE Angling Trust has explained its progress so far with a project called Building Bridges, created to help address the issue of Eastern European anglers taking fish from fisheries.

Building Bridges leader Janusz Kansik (centre) at Carney Pools, near Stafford, which was recently the site of a poaching incident.
Building Bridges leader Janusz Kansik (centre) at Carney Pools, near Stafford, which was recently the site of a poaching incident.

Building Bridges project manager Janusz Kansik told Angler’s Mail all about the work.

“Building Bridges is about education and prevention,” said Janusz.

“We work with fisheries to encourage them to display signs in Eastern European languages to make the rules of the fishery clear.

“We aren’t directly involved in enforcement but we can refer individual cases to the local Angling Trust enforcement officers, and where we learn of individual cases we contact the fisheries to offer our help and support.

“After the incident at Carney Pools, myself and two voluntary bailiff service offices went to the fishery for a meeting.

“We now have four officers in the project. Three months ago we recruited a Romanian officer, Bogdan Pascaru, to build better relations with the Romanian community where there are special issues.”

Building Bridges nets 12 more volunteers

Janusz continued: “We are also in process for the first time of recruiting 12 volunteers across England, who would be helping my team.

“I believe this is a great example of project going in the right direction, and shows, the migrant community wants to be involved in educating and integrating others from their community.

“We are trying to expand our work in response to the need and are recruiting a new member of staff to work two days a week specifically in the Nene Valley area.

“The project supports many fisheries and clubs by delivering multilingual signage. In each year we deliver over 200 signs and work closely with many clubs.

“Also, we are in constant cooperation, in a multi-agency approach, with the Angling Trust voluntary bailiff service, Police and the Environment Agency,” added the Building Bridges leader.

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Net closes on poaching criminals

Jen Mun Lin of Sparkhill, Birmingham pleaded guilty at Cheltenham Magistrates Court to using an illegal method on the Gloucester…

Watch out for ‘very rude’ carp rustlers, says fishery owner

11 Oct

A VETERAN day ticket lake owner who was assaulted by a group of fish rustlers have warned other venues and anglers to be aware of the men they faced.

Fishery owner Nick Devlin has spoken up about poaching after being a scary incident with aggressive poachers.
Fishery owner Nick Devlin has spoken up about poaching after being a scary incident with aggressive poachers.

Maybrands Fishery boss Nick Devlin, 72, and son Gary, confronted the seven Romanian men when they were tipped off by another angler, and discovered six dead carp in a plastic bag.

Police responded quickly to the incident at Maybrands,  in Stapleford Abbotts, Essex, but not before 42-year-old Gary suffered a black eye and a cut chin.

The case was covered by some of the national media, but Nick told Angler’s Mail the full story. And he revealed why it’s important for everyone to be vigilant, especially in his area.

Nick explained: “We were contacted by a female angler who was fishing near the group with a friend, saying she had seen a carp being bashed on the head on the metal grill of a fishing platform.

“Me and Gary quickly went to investigate and found the group with a bag containing six carp covered in blood with their heads bashed in, so called the Police.

“We have electronic gates at the fishery so we kept them locked so the culprits couldn’t leave. When they realised this they turned nasty and set upon us, attacking Gary particularly badly.

“The Police arrived and searched their belongings and found six more dead carp in another bag.

“At least two of the anglers were in fact regulars here and all had bought day tickets but they clearly state that all fish must be returned alive to the lake after capture.

“When confronted they treated it all as a bit of a joke and were very rude and disrespectful to both us and the Police.

“The Police were unsure whether they could arrest the men for theft as the fish hadn’t left the site but they might be guilty of criminal damage.

“They suggested the theft matter could be resolved by agreeing compensation and there was an offer of one of their old cars but it was only worth about £500 which is nowhere near the value of the fish.

“The Police were originally going to arrest the seven but let them go after taking names and addresses because there was not enough room at the station to hold them.

“The local Environment Agency bailiff has also become involved and discovered that none of the group had rod licences so they are also likely to be prosecuted for that.

“Since the incident we have discovered the assault was caught on our security cameras and shows Gary being attacked by all seven.”

Maybrands man links case to others

Nick revealed: “We are also led to believe the group have been doing this elsewhere, including the Lea Valley and Wanstead Flats and we want to warn all other fisheries in the area to be on the look-out for them.

“I started the fishery 35 years ago when I bought some derelict land and had four lakes dug out which I stocked with 10,000 fish.

“The only time anything like this happened before was five years ago when I caught a Romanian trying to remove a couple of live fish, but we agreed compensation.

“In future I’m going to be extra vigilant with Eastern European anglers and make sure they have no bags on them in which they could hide fish,” concluded the Maybrands Fishery man.

Some of the Maybrands carp on the bonnet of a Police car.

Some of the killed Maybrands carp on the bonnet of a Police car.

A statement from Essex Police said: “We were contacted following reports of the theft and destruction of a number of fish from a property in Bournebridge Lane, Stapleford Abbotts.

“Officers attended and found a number of dead fish. They also received two further reports of assault in relation to the incident.

“A number of suspects were present when officers arrived. Officers sought to resolve the matter through a community resolution after the victim made clear he would be satisfied if he was reimbursed for the cost of the dead and damaged fish.

“Unfortunately all parties could not reach a formal agreement so the matter could not be concluded in this way.

“We are in the process of speaking to the suspects, who need to be interviewed to account for their involvement in the incident.

“As the matter could not be resolved at the scene between all parties, our investigation into the matters of theft and assault are continuing.”

Romanian anglers caught in Staffordshire

Meanwhile, in a case similar to what happened at Maybrands, two Romanian anglers were also caught trying to steal fish from Carney Pools in Stafford, Staffordshire.

They were spotted throwing carp up to 10 lb into the undergrowth to die in black bags but fortunately this was noticed in time for the fish to be found and returned alive to the water.

The Police were informed and proceedings are being considered.

The Angling Trust, with their Building Bridges project, are tackling problems of poaching by Eastern European people in this country. Find out more about their education work HERE.

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Net closes on poaching criminals

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King Kenny hits new carp heights

11 Oct

CARP maestro Simon Kenny is really getting to grips with a tricky southern big carp venue - as this giant proves.

The huge common carp topped Simon Kenny's latest catches at Wellington Country Park.
The huge common carp topped Simon Kenny's latest catches at Wellington Country Park.

Simon only got himself a ticket for Berkshire’s Wellington Country Park this season and he topped a recent trip with this PB 55 lb 8 oz common.

And then the welder, from Diss, Norfolk, connected with a rare ‘double take’ for Wellington Country Park…  resulting in a 45 lb 9 oz mirror and a 41 lb 12 oz ghost carp.

Simon explained: “As usual I arrived Sunday morning. The weekend boys hadn’t seen or caught much and after a few laps myself I was none the wiser to the location of the carp.

“The carp in Wellington Country Park can be hard to track down sometimes they don’t always follow the wind and don’t always show.

“So first night I dropped in the little lake but by midday the follow day I realised my mistake. I hadn’t heard or seen a thing so the gear went back on the barrow.

“While looking around I stopped in to have a cuppa with another member and after about half an hour looking out from his swim I saw a monster common carp show.

“It was 250 yards away but I saw it plain as day it glistened in the sun and sent up a big spray as it crashed back in – that would do for me.”

Wellington Country Park giants from the boathouse

Simon continued: “It had showed in front of the boathouse swim. I caught the Chinese Common out of here a few weeks ago and I knew a couple of lovely gravel spots so I could get my rods out with minimum disturbance. The rod were wrapped and went out first time.

“That evening I started getting liners on one of my rods proper big slow ones all the way up and down. The ‘Welly’ carp may not show much but they give themselves away with the liners.

“I was just thinking about turning in for the night when I had another series of bleeps but this time the clip pulled and it was game-on.

“I lifted into the fish and instantly was met with solid resistance. The whole fight the fish felt big just slow and heavy, typical big fish.

“I saw the bulk of a massive fish go over the cord in the moonlight but I couldn’t see for sure.

“Once I turned on my light I couldn’t believe the size of it – it was almost certainly the fish I’d seen show.

“The big common on the scales went 55 lb 8 oz and set a new PB. I was over the moon.”

Two more giants – at same time!

“I thought the fish had done the off after that as all the liners stopped,” continued Simon.

“But late morning the following day the middle rod busted off completely out of the blue and I had a good mirror in the margins. Then the next thing I know, the other rod was melting off.

“Luckily another member was with me and he picked up the rod and managed to slow the fish down.

“After a few hairy moments I managed to land both fish. It was a crazy moment and I never expected to get a double take on somewhere like ‘Welly’.

“That was all the action I had for the trip but I was proper made up three fish for over 140 lb,” added Simon.

All Simon’s Wellington Country Park whackers fell to Sticky Baits Signature Squid pop-ups over Manilla freebies in open water at 50 yards.

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Polluters off the hook after fishing venue destroyed

11 Oct

ANGLERS are furious at the decision by Natural Resources Wales not to prosecute the polluters that destroyed a prime five-mile stretch of river.

Some of the 18,000 fish that died in the River Teifi pollution of 2016.
Some of the 18,000 fish that died in the River Teifi pollution of 2016.

River Teifi fans are now looking towards Fish Legal, who are taking their own action to try and compensate local clubs.

The action comes in the wake of 18,000 prime fish including salmon, sea trout, trout, lamprey and bullheads perishing on the River Teifi near Tregaron in December 2016.

NRW allowed Pencefn Feeds Ltd to pay just £40,000 in an ‘Enforcement Undertaking’ after leaking 44,000 gallons of pollutant from an anaerobic digestion plant.

West Wales Rivers Trust will receive £15,000 to restore fish habitat in the area, and £5,000 goes to the Countryside Alliance who run an environment project in local schools. £20,000 is going to the NRW to cover investigation and legal costs.

Will the affected River Teifi stretches return to their former glories?

Fish Legal’s head of practice Penelope Gane told Angler’s Mail: “NRW’s guidance on enforcement says that the regulator will not normally accept an offer of an enforcement undertaking for a Category 1 offence, the most serious type of pollution, of which this is an example.

“Their decision to accept an enforcement undertaking for a pollution that killed tens of thousands of fish over five miles of a European-protected site therefore sends out a clear message to operators of these sorts of facilities that if they pollute the freshwater environment they will not face prosecution.

“It is difficult to think of an example of when the most serious sanction available to the regulator would be more appropriate and in the public interest.”

River Teifi anglers also ‘appalled’

And Donald Patterson, chairman for Tregaron AA, whose members fish the River Teifi, said: “We are appalled and dismayed at this news.

“After what is reputed to be the worst fish kill in the region in 30 years the ‘light touch’ regulatory response after nearly three years of bureaucratic inactivity is shocking.

“This cannot be treated as an appropriate enforcement response.

“After 20 years of working in a voluntary capacity with government agencies, I now find that any concern for fish welfare within NRW has disappeared.”

In 2018 it emerged that out of 3,000 river pollution incidents in Wales only 38 had resulted in a prosecution.

Ann Weedy, operations manager for NRW, said: “We are pleased to see the financial penalty being used directly to repair some of the damage caused by this incident.

“This will make the River Teifi a better place for fish and other wildlife.

“We hope these payments serve as a reminder to businesses that we will take enforcement action if they pollute Wales’ environment and don’t operate responsibly.

The NRW admitted that just seven river pollution prosecutions took place from July 2018 to June 2019.

And from September 2018–2019 eight enforcement undertakings were offered of which two were rejected, five accepted and completed raising £232,560.

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Is this the rarest carp in Britain?

7 Oct

THIS rare blue carp was caught from a day ticket complex on the angler’s first ever visit.

Bandan displays his blue carp
Bandan displays his blue carp

Blue carp are also called black or snail carp, with the Latin name Mylopharyngodon piceus. They come from China and can reach 77 lb in weight.

Bandan Pizzy had a shock when he caught the 36 lb non-native blue carp from the £100-a-year Hawkhurst Specimen Lake in Kent.

Hawkhurst also have a second blue carp in the lake at around 40 lb from an historic stocking. They are thought to be the only two in England.

The venue can legally keep them as they have an ornamental fish licence and there’s no chance of the fish escaping into a river system.

‘Honoured’ to catch rare blue carp

Bandan, 27, from Redhill, Surrey, said: “It was my first time fishing this lake and I landed one of the rarest carp in Britain.

“It was a real beauty and what a lucky fish to have caught – I feel very honoured.

“It is the first time I’ve caught something as special as this.

“I also had a 64 lb catfish and a 26 lb common carp in the same session.

“I was fishing about two rod lengths of the bank to my left using a 18 mm Robin Red pellet with a few handfuls of mixed pellet scattered around it.”

Alien species here in the UK

Blue carp aren’t the only non-native carp in this country.

Angler’s Mail revealed in 2011 a 30 lb silver carp was caught by Chris Johnson East Yorkshire’s day ticket Greaves End Fishery.

And a second silver carp was reported from an unnamed water.

The Environment Agency revealed they had removed some silver carp from around the country as they are the highest ILFA Risk Category (5).

This means they can’t be legally kept anywhere, even in indoor aquaria.

Topmouth gudgeon also come under this category and all populations of this mini menace are destroyed by the EA.

Angler’s Mail asked the EA for a comment about blue carp but they didn’t get back to us.

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Bob Church tributes flood in as his funeral takes place

4 Oct

TRIBUTES have been paid to one of angling's true greats.

Bob Church (right), pictured with Angler's Mail columnist Steve Collett.
Bob Church (right), pictured with Angler's Mail columnist Steve Collett.

The funeral for all-rounder Bob Church was held this week, after he sadly passed away at the age of 83.

Northampton-based Bob made the successful change over from coarse specimen hunter to top game angler. He became one of the biggest names in the sport.

Bob’s medal tally for the England trout team included team gold medals at the World Fly Fishing Championships in 1987 and 1988. He also won  European team gold in 1990.

He also created a successful tackle and clothing business with first wife Beryl and son Steve. And he was president of the Northampton Specimen Group.

Bob received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2015 for services to angling.

Bob’s specimen fish list was as impressive and varied.

It included barbel to 15 lb 2 oz, perch to over 4 lb, 20 lb-plus pike, zander 12 lb, bream 10 lb 10 oz, chub 6 lb 3 oz.

On the game fishing scene he caught rainbow trout to 27 lb 2 oz, ferox trout 17 lb.

And his favourite capture came from the sea… a 300 lb porbeagle shark.

Bob also held the English brook trout record in the 1970s with a 3 lb 3 oz 4 dr fish from Avington in Hampshire.

He even caught a British record small-eyed ray in the 1960s but ate it before realising its significance.

He also loved fishing abroad and visited many countries including the Bahamas, Canada, New Zealand, Tasmania, Sweden, Finland, Lapland, and Iceland.

Bob also wrote 12 books and was a regular columnist in game fishing magazines.

Bob Church helped many anglers through his writings.

Angler’s Mail columnist Steve Collett said: “It was very sad news to learn that we have lost a good pal and hero, angling legend Bob Church, MBE, following a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

“There is nothing he hasn’t done, caught or taught, a real angler, a top bloke. Rest in peace Bob.”

Angling Projects founder Les Webber said: “Bob was a real hero of mine and a total angling legend. And he was a very special angler.”

Ace float make Andrew Field added: “An angling hero. The greatest of anglers.”

Bob Church was hooked on football, too

Away from fishing, Bob Church was a decorated Northampton Town Football Club member.

He became a director in 1986 and served on the board for ten years, before becoming the club president.

Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas said: “This was really sad news.

“Bob was very proud of his role of club president and even though he suffered from ill health in recent years, he still came to every home match that he could.”

Northampton Town FC have been paying tribute to Bob Church, including this post after his funeral.

Northampton Town FC have been paying tribute to Bob Church, including this Twitter post after his funeral.

Kelvin added: “We will all miss Bob and his wonderful fishing stories.

“He remained a big supporter of the club and it won’t be the same without him here on a match day.

“Our thoughts are with Jeanette and the family, and we will be working with them to show our love and appreciation for Bob in the coming weeks.”

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Ide shocker as angler lands giant specimen on local river

4 Oct

DEAN CRUTCHLEY’S first visit of the season to his local river produced this surprise 7 lb 2 oz giant.

This huge River Dearne ide scaled 7 lb 2 oz.
This huge River Dearne ide scaled 7 lb 2 oz.

Ide are often mistaken for chub, or big roach, and Dean was surprised to discover what took his bait on River Dearne in South Yorkshire.

Construction worker Dean, from Rotherham, said: “No other fish were caught this evening session but I was more than happy.

“I changed swim after a few hours and found a deep spot under overhanging trees.

“The rig with meat and a Bait-Tech Poloni boilie was only in ten minutes when it swung round.

“I thought it was a PB chub at first as I’ve never seen or caught an ide that big but still a PB for me at 7 lb 2 oz,” added Dean.

How River Dearne giant ranks

Dean’s 7 lb 2 oz River Dearne ide is one of the biggest ever reported in the UK.

Two years ago Nottinghamshire’s River Trent threw up a 7 lb 6 oz ide. It was the last thing Ian Green was expecting during a night fishing trip.

Ide are the natural version of the ornamental golden orfe and that same species has an official British record of 8 lb 5 oz… shared by two catches.

The first of those two giant golden versions was caught from Lymm Vale in Cheshire by Michael Wilkinson in 2000.

The 8 lb 5 oz weight stood unchallenged until a fish of the same weight was caught in 2018 from Surrey’s Newdigate Farms by Lawrence King.

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Tackle shop boss finally nabs wily big barbel

2 Oct

JAMES WHILLIER struggled to catch a big barbel on the Hampshire Avon's most famous venue on four visits... but finally nabbed it on his fifth trip at an estimated 13 lb.

Fifth time lucky - James and his big Royalty Fishery barbel.
Fifth time lucky - James and his big Royalty Fishery barbel.

The 44-year-old decided on a hemp and caster approach to fool the wary specimen from the Royalty Fishery.

James, who runs Baitstation in Calbourne on the Isle of Wight, explained: “I visited back in June and spotted a bruiser of a barbel patrolling Fiddlers.

“I could not fool this particular fish and rolled every imaginable bait past its nose without so much as a sniff.

“This time I came armed with hemp and caster and used a 8 lb fluoro hook length and a size 10 hook with a critically balanced triple caster hook bait.

“I finally managed to get this big girls head down feeding and midday got that classic barbel vibration up the line so without hesitation set the hook and she was on.

“This fish was a Royalty Fishery PB but not all time PB as have had fish from other venues up to 18 lb,” added James.

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Poundland fishing bait range launched

2 Oct

THE UK's leading budget chainstore has revealed how it is gunning for a major slice of the UK angling market.

Hooker pellets are amongst the Poundland fishing baits.
Hooker pellets are amongst the Poundland fishing baits.

Poundland fishing bait is in selected stores now after the giant dipped its toe into the  market, stocking pellets, groundbait, corn, meat and dips.

The trial that could lead to products being available in over 850 stores nationwide.

The Poundland fishing baits have been put together by top matchman Steve Barraclough.

The 35-year-old ace from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, said: “I’ve been working on a bait range for the past six months or more.

“Poundland’s buying power is ridiculous, so I was able to hand-pick the best products, yet they are affordable for every angler, and will help encourage youngsters to get into fishing.

“It is going on trial in ten stores for six weeks. If it proves popular, it will be reaching out to most Poundland stores across the country, and the range will be extended to suit modern day match and pleasure anglers.

“If it takes off, it will be available in stores around the country in time for the fishing season next year.

“By then I will have created a full range of baits,” added Browning-sponsored ace Steve.

 

Poundland fishing baits, in selected stores, include these bait boosters.

Poundland fishing trial products and stores

Prices start at £1 for 250 g tins of Plumrose Pork Luncheon Meat, and the same for a triple-pack of 184 g tins of Thurstons Golden Sweetcorn.

Most other items are priced at £2, including 500 g of pellets, 750 g of groundbait and a packet of wafter boilies.

The trial stores, which are all in the Midlands and the North, are: Bromsgrove; Stourbridge; Kidderminster Swan Centre; Malvern Retail Park; Worcester; Dewsbury; Wakefield Snowhill; Doncaster Retail Park; Rotherham Parkgate and Huddersfield Victoria Lane.

Poundland’s head of general merchandise, Holly Mobley, said: “Steve hooked us with his fishing experience, and the quality of this new range that we’ve put together is ‘reel-y’ high.

“It offers the best value for seasoned pros and for beginners, and you can get it on the high street.”

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Carp fishing coach rescues drowning woman

2 Oct

ANGLER’S MAIL columnist Michael Salisbury and a pal have helped save a woman from drowning in his favourite park lake.

Carp fishing coach Michael Salisbury displays his 25 lb 9 oz carp from Leazes Park.
Carp fishing coach Michael Salisbury displays his 25 lb 9 oz carp from Leazes Park.

Carp fishing coach Mike was back in his native Tyne and Wear when the drama unfolded at day ticket Leazes Park, next to Newcastle United FC’s St. James’ Park and close to the Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Shoeburyness, Essex-based Michael explained: “I was born in Newcastle and lived there until I was nine, when my family relocated to Oxfordshire.

“All of my family still live in Newcastle, so I go up there two or three times a year to visit them. I still have a huge affinity with Leazes Park, as it’s the place where my uncle taught me to fish.

“I had pretty much zero sleep on the first night of the 48-hour session, as the fishing really ‘kicked off’ and I landed five commons of up to 17 lb.

“I wearily got through the day, and by Tuesday evening I was joined by my good mate Mark Milne.

“Shortly after his arrival, I banked my best-ever fish from Leazes, a mint common carp of 25 lb 9 oz. I was absolutely delighted.

“A few more followed, and at 5am I found myself into yet another fish. The commotion caught the attention of four young gentlemen who had been on a bit of a ‘session’. They stumbled over to watch me bring it in, then asked if they could ‘kill it’.

“Mark and I explained that this was catch-and-release fishing, but they decided to remain and chat to us for some considerable time.

“They were a motley crew, to say the least. One looked like professional fighter Conor McGregor and another like footballer Jack Colback.

“All was fairly jovial until ‘Conor’ and ‘Jack’ decided that having a swim in the lake would be a good idea.

“Despite us advising against it, they went in three times, wiping out all of Mark’s lines in the process.”

Carp fishing coach to the rescue

Mike continued: “Later on I noticed a young woman standing by the lake, dressed in hospital gowns and compression socks.

“A few members of the public had gone over to speak to her, apparently trying to dissuade her from getting into the lake.

“They said that she had just walked out of the high-dependency unit at the hospital across the road, and they had called emergency services. After an hour, the young lady decided she wanted to get in the water.

“One man tried to stop her, but as she looked about 20 stone, she simply pulled him in with her. He got straight out, but she proceeded to swim out into the lake.

“Then somebody else called the emergency services. In the meantime I asked Mark to fetch one of the lifebuoy rings from the clubhouse.

“She was way out of range, as she neared the island, and appeared to be struggling to stay afloat.

“Just as Mark got the club’s rowing boat out, Police arrived on the scene, but there wasn’t any time to hang around, as the lady was struggling to keep her head above water.

“We decided to jump in the boat and attempt a rescue, as she was now face down in the water.

“Mark got us out there at breakneck speed, and once we reached her, I turned her over and found her semi-conscious.

“I grabbed hold of the gown that she was wearing with one hand and supported her head with the other, whilst Mark rowed us back to the jetty.

“Police then assisted with getting her out of the lake, and she was soon stretchered away in an ambulance,” concluded the 44-year-old who works as a carp fishing coach and general angling tutor.

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