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Stickleback could be the biggest-ever caught in this country

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TWO ‘massive’ mini species have been banked from lakes in the South West.

three-spined stickleback record
three-spined stickleback record

Ben Iles thinks he might have broken the British three-spined stickleback record with a beast he caught from a secret venue near Warmley in Bristol.

Local Ben said: “I’m not exactly sure how big it was but I’d say it was about 20 gr.

“I couldn’t believe the size of it and it managed to be hooked on a size 12 hook which I’d baited with a single red maggot.

“It was absolutely massive and it was the same size of my hand and I’ve got big hands.

“I might go back and target the sticklebacks on purpose as this fish just blew me away,” added Ben.

The official three-spined stickleback record is 4 dr – 7.09 gr – caught by mini species hunter Dennis Flack at High Flyer Lake in Cambridgeshire in 1998.

Giant minnow to schoolboy

And schoolboy Wilbur King got in on the mini action with this 14 gr minnow from a Devon lake.

The six-year-old from the Isle of Scilly, Cornwall, was float fishing maggot with granddad Chris Robbins. He took the titanic tiddler in the middle of bagging roach.

Wilbur King

Wilbur King and his jumbo minnow.

Chris said: “I thought it must have been some kind of record because we’d never seen a 4 inch long minnow before so kept it in a bucket until I’d had done some research.

“But this little minnow is now back in the lake to grow some more. Maybe when Wilbur is a bit older they may meet again.”

The official minnow record is 13.5 dr – 23.92 gr – caught in 1998 by J Sawyer at Whitworth Lake in County Durham.

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Mighty brace of minnows

The Surrey-based angler tackled a secret river just before the end of the river fishing season, and used stick float…




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Line Recycling Scheme soars in popularity throughout UK and beyond

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GREAT strides have been made in the efforts by anglers to dispose of waste line responsibly.

One of the many bins that is ensure a success for the Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme.
One of the many bins that is ensure a success for the Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme.

The Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme is celebrating their first anniversary with news of big expansion plans across Europe… and possibly beyond.

As well as over 300 sites all across the UK, the Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme have just launched their first scheme in Northern Ireland.

Not-for-profit Go Fishing NI will be acting as co-ordinators for the scheme working with fisheries, clubs, tackle shops and other organisations and businesses.

Line Recycling Scheme growth ‘phenomenal’

Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme founder Viv Shears (pictured) said: “The growth of the scheme in the UK has been phenomenal since it was launched 12 months ago.

“To increase the availability of recycling locations in Northern Ireland is fantastic and when Darren Walker approached us offering their support it was an obvious extension to the scheme.

Viv Shears of the Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme.

“A local focus within a region or country with proactive volunteers like those at Go Fishing NI can only be a positive for line recycling in general.

“Since then I’ve been approached by a magazine in Southern Ireland so that should be up and running soon.

“And in Belgium, they are just finishing a scheme based on ourselves and that’s 85 per cent there and should be up and running in the next month.

“We’ve also been invited to the EFTTEX show in Belgium in June, and our stand and expenses paid by the European Anglers Alliance and I think it could snowball from there.

“We’ve already got a meeting planned with a German organisation and I’m sure we’ll create a lot of interest.”

Next steps for Line Recycling Scheme

Viv revealed: “So far in the UK we’ve collected 2,500,000 metres of line and have a UK recycler partners in the form of The Maltings Organic Treatment Ltd.

“The first recycled line product should be finished soon with plywood-type building sheets but we hope next year to make frames for polarised glasses so it will turn full circle.

“We now have 240 shops signed up and over 70 fisheries, guides, charter boats and angling clubs as well braid and fly lines now being recycled too,” added Viv.

Darren Walker, founder of Go Fishing NI, commented: “I am delighted we will be part of such a wonderful and worthy scheme.

“Whatever our relationship is with angling, we have a responsibility to ensure its future by looking after the environment we fish in.

“Playing an active role in the Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme will help to ensure we look after our waterways for generations to come.”

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

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Angler quits and gives £10K of gear to pioneering project

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A DISILLUSIONED angler has revealed why he is giving up the sport and has donated his extensive tackle collection to charity.

All-rounder Kevin Keep kindly gave all his kit – that he paid over £10,000 for – to the Angling Projects centre run by angling hero Les Webber in Berkshire. Chris Tarrant (pictured) is a patron.

It included 18 rods, a £1,700 pole and seatbox, six Shimano reels, five Abu reels, a bait boat and 80 kg of bait.

Normanton on Soar, Nottinghamshire-based Kevin, 56, explained: “I try to do something for charity every year and I had heard of Angling Projects (run by Les Webber) through several radio programmes.

“I have been a keen fisherman for 50 years since boyhood and had acquired a lot of tackle along the way for various types of fishing.

“But I had been going less and less in the past few years, even though I had bought a house on the banks of the River Soar eight years ago.

“Frankly I have been put off by a number of things including the rise in illegal fishing and fish being taken from our rivers, as well as swans, which I have reported several times but nothing seems to get done.

“In all my years fishing I have never once had my rod licence checked.

“Also there has been a rise in commercials which I detest, a decline in the fishing generally and by the arrival here of wretched floating pennywort which isn’t being dealt with properly.

“And pike have become a nuisance fish on the river, with every session spoiled by fish being grabbed on the retrieve.

“I’m the sort of guy who likes to be properly equipped for the job, so I had a set of tackle for each carp fishing scenario – long range, short range, river carp – you name it and I had it.

“I hadn’t been carp fishing for a couple of years and originally I was going to donate just the carp gear but in the end I thought blow it, I’m going to let the lot go, and give up all together.

“I have enjoyed my time fishing and hope the gear will help bring youngsters into the sport but I have had enough,” concluded the landscaper.

In addition to Kevin’s huge donation, Les Webber has also just had a £3,000 cash donation from an angler’s will.

Les Webber

Les Webber

Les Webber MBE, explained: “I got a phone call out of the blue from Kevin saying he had lots of tackle he wanted to donate if I could come up to collect it.

“I drove up in the van and was just amazed by how much there was.

“The tackle will be put to good use when our beginners come to fish and we could possibly sell any we can’t use.

“At the same time I heard that Buckinghamshire’s Howard Mann, who had been chief executive of McCain Foods had sadly passed away last September, aged 71. And he had asked for his tackle to be sold and the proceeds to come to us.

“That £3,000 will help pay for the refurbishment of the roof of our residential building where we offer accommodation for the youngsters.

“We are hugely grateful for both donations which will help to keep the scheme running,” Les added.

Anyone interest in making a donation or learning more should go to: www.angling-projects.org.uk

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

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

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Mega money boost for angling

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Barbel Society say that action is vital for the future of their favourite fish

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FISHERIES and angling officials are likely to be in for tough questioning about the state of barbel stocks, and their future.

Barbel Society committee member Lawrence Breakspear, seen with a 13 lb 9 oz lower Severn giant, has aired his views.
Barbel Society committee member Lawrence Breakspear, seen with a 13 lb 9 oz lower Severn giant, has aired his views.

Barbel Society members are disgruntled by the perceived lack of action by the Environment Agency in addressing the continued decline in barbel numbers in most of the country’s rivers.

The annual Barbel Society show will be attended by staff from the EA including Calverton Fish Farm, and a talk will be delivered by Mark Lloyd, the outgoing chief executive of the Angling Trust.

Barbel Society committee member Lawrence Breakspear (pictured) explained: “The time has come to demand answers to the question of what has happened to our barbel rivers and why?

“Both the east-facing rivers where they are indigenous and others where they were artificially introduced, are suffering in the same way, with few exceptions.

“Yes some huge boilie-fed barbel are being caught on rivers like the Thames, but the back-up smaller fish aren’t there, and Thames tributaries like the Kennet and the Cherwell have been devoid of the species.

“Big bags and large fish might be present on the tidal Trent but higher upstream the situation is bleak.

“Match anglers on the River Severn at Bewdley used to not even get in the frame with 90 lb but are now lucky if they even catch one.

“Bransford AA, a once thriving club in Worcestershire on the River Teme which I know well, had to close last year because of the huge drop in membership following the total decline in barbel fishing.”

Barbel Society look to Environment Agency

Lawrence continued: “In 2017 only 3 per cent of fish stocked from Calverton were barbel.

“It’s all very well re-stocking with new fish but there isn’t a lot of point if the factors which caused the problem in the first place are still present – its more of a PR exercise.

“It’s fair to say that we are disappointed by the EA’s inadequate intervention, not properly investigating and researching the cause of the decline so proper corrective action can be taken.

“On the continent the barbel is revered as a species on which the health of rivers is judged.

“If a similar problem happened in somewhere like Germany then a full scientific investigation would have been launched.

“We know there might be a number of factors involved but to us the biggest and most obvious cause and arguably the easiest to tackle is the growth in predators, particularly otters.

“Barbel eggs are taken by crayfish, then the fry and smaller fish fall prey to cormorants and then big breeding barbel, usually females, are destroyed by otters.

“A female barbel can live 20 years and lay 20,000 eggs per annum and their death at the hands of otters can therefore impact on many future generations to come.

“Maybe now the risk otters present to rare birds is being highlighted by the RSPB, some action will be taken about the damage they cause.

“I’ve also seen recently on social media pictures of large salmon which have been ottered, and maybe attacks on this valuable and threatened species might help persuade the authorities that more action is needed to tackle the otter menace on our rivers.

“It’s worth considering that one river that seems to have bucked the trend is the Hampshire Avon where there is salmon fishing and country estates where they have river keepers who make sure predation is kept to a minimum,” Lawrence concluded.

The Barbel Society Show is being held at Telford Centre Hotel, Telford, Shropshire, on Sunday, May 26.

Entry to the day costs £10 for members and £15 for non members.

As well as Mark Lloyd, speaks include Angler’s Mail columnist John Bailey and Wye barbel expert Bob James with a scientific overview from Dr Paul Garner.

Tickets are available in advance via the Barbel Society website: www.thebarbelsociety.co.uk

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…

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Looking for river fishing pointers? A good starting point would be spending an hour or two creeping along the banks should…

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Review: Gunki LS Whiz Lures

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The Gunki LS Whiz Lures come under the beady eye of Angler’s Mail tackle editor Richard Howard. He’s the No.1 products inspector, checking out loads of quality kit every week.

Description: soft lures for predator fishing.

Specifications: available in 2, 3 and 4 in. sizes; fry imitation finishes; oversized eyes; lifelike body shapes; long, shad tails; bodies have a slit along their backs, for Texas-style hooking arrangements; flavoured with shellfish attractant.

My verdict: these lures look like the real thing – fry and small prey fish. I like the big eyes and the more natural finishes in the range.

They look as if they will suit more static techniques, including drop shotting and jigging, as well as light set-ups, to allow their long tails to flick and vibrate when retrieved.

Their flanks flash in the water, too.

The Gunki team report that they work particularly well for perch and zander, I can certainly imagine them getting inhaled by a perch or two.

You get between five and 12 lure bodies in a pack, depending on their size.

Price: £5.49 a pack.

CAUGHT A BIG FISH OR GOT SOME NEWS? Email photos and details exclusively to: anglersmail@ti-media.com – you could star in the must-read print magazine.

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There are seasonal deals for the print version and the digital version too.

More great Gunki products …

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Review: Sensas Competition Silicone Landing Net Head

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The Sensas Competition Silicone Landing Net Head comes under the beady eye of Angler’s Mail tackle editor Richard Howard. He’s the No.1 products inspector, checking out loads of quality kit every week.

Description: light landing net heads with a silicone-coated mesh for bagging a variety of species.

Specifications: 40 x 30 cm and 45 x 35 cm net heads; 2 mm silicone-coated mesh.

My verdict: compared to some of the other coated landing nets available, I’m hearing that these silicone-coated mesh designs are smoother, softer, longer-lasting and kinder to fish, and they’re light, too.

The silicone coating will dry quickly, reducing the chances of spreading fish diseases, and it will prevent hooks from getting snagged in the mesh.

The landing net head sizes are suited to all-rounders who like to bag silver fish and occasional carp, but there are bigger, stronger heads available for landing larger fish.

Prices: £19.99-£21.99.

CAUGHT A BIG FISH OR GOT SOME NEWS? Email photos and details exclusively to: anglersmail@ti-media.com – you could star in the must-read print magazine.

AN ANGLER’S MAIL MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION IS A GREAT IDEA TO  KEEP YOU UP TO SPEED WITH WHAT’S HAPPENING OUT THERE ON THE BANK.

You can subscribe to one of the top magazine offers online at magazinesdirect.com.

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

There are seasonal deals for the print version and the digital version too.

More great Sensas products …

Review: Sensas IM7 Soft Pellets

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Review: Maver Reality PLUS Rods

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The Maver Reality PLUS Rods come under the beady eye of Angler’s Mail tackle editor Richard Howard. He’s the No.1 products inspector, checking out loads of quality kit every week.

Description: three feeder and three match rods.

Specifications: 9, 10 and 11 ft Feeder and 10, 11 and 12 ft Match rods; all two-piece designs; progressive actions; high-modulus carbon blanks; high-gloss finish; lined guides; half cork, half EVA handles; EVA top grip; screw reel fitting; folding hook-keeper ring; feeder rods have two carbon quivertips.

My verdict: Maver are very excited about these rods, and are expecting them to be huge sellers. Looking at their price tags, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did sell very well.

They’ve been designed to control and handle bigger fish when they come along, be it on commercials or flowing water.

The lengths will certainly suit commercial float and feeder techniques, especially when fishing at close range or when accurate casting is required, and they should handle hard fights from lively match carp.

It’s thanks to the progressive action of the blanks that you’ll be able to subdue those better fish, whether you are fishing a Method feeder or a waggler.

Prices: from £69.99-£79.99.

CAUGHT A BIG FISH OR GOT SOME NEWS? Email photos and details exclusively to: anglersmail@ti-media.com – you could star in the must-read print magazine.

AN ANGLER’S MAIL MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION IS A GREAT IDEA TO  KEEP YOU UP TO SPEED WITH WHAT’S HAPPENING OUT THERE ON THE BANK.

You can subscribe to one of the top magazine offers online at magazinesdirect.com.

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

There are seasonal deals for the print version and the digital version too.

More great Maver products …

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Review: Middy Pellet Soaker and Mixing Bowl Combo

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The Middy Pellet Soaker and Mixing Bowl Combo comes under the beady eye of Angler’s Mail tackle editor Richard Howard. He’s the No.1 products inspector, checking out loads of quality kit every week.

Description: mesh container for preparing feed pellets, and a compatible mixing bowl.

Specifications: Pellet Soaker: durable, mesh material; full zip around the top; hard grip for dripping and draining. Mixing Bowl: 5-litre capacity; water-resistant EVA construction; hard wearing.

My verdict: this combo from Middy’s MX Series luggage range is ideal for preparing pellets quickly for a pellet or Method feeder.

You simply half-fill the Mixing Bowl with some lake water, then partly fill the Pellet Soaker with 2 mm feed pellets, before zipping it up.

You then submerge the Pellet Soaker into the Mixing Bowl of lake water for around two minutes (four minutes for 4 mm pellets), before removing the Pellet Soaker and shaking off the excess water.

The pellets should have become soft and sticky enough to grip a pellet or Method feeder. These times may have to be adjusted slightly for different makes of pellet.

If your pellets dry out during the session, you can always dunk them back in the water, before shaking off the excess again.

I hear that some participating stockists are selling this combo closer to £15.

Price: £17.50.

CAUGHT A BIG FISH OR GOT SOME NEWS? Email photos and details exclusively to: anglersmail@ti-media.com – you could star in the must-read print magazine.

AN ANGLER’S MAIL MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION IS A GREAT IDEA TO  KEEP YOU UP TO SPEED WITH WHAT’S HAPPENING OUT THERE ON THE BANK.

You can subscribe to one of the top magazine offers online at magazinesdirect.com.

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

There are seasonal deals for the print version and the digital version too.

More great Middy products …




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Review: Dynamite 8 mm Swim Stim Durable Hookers

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The Dynamite 8 mm Swim Stim Durable Hookers come under the beady eye of Angler’s Mail tackle editor Richard Howard. He’s the No.1 products inspector, checking out loads of quality kit every week.  

Description: 8 mm hooker pellets to accompany the existing 4 and 6 mm sizes in the extensive Swim Stim groundbait, pellet, expander pellet, paste and pellet soak range.

Ingredients: high-leakage premium fishmeal. Available in Amino Original, Betaine Green, F1 Sweet, White Amino, Red Krill and Marine Halibut flavours.

My verdict: these hooker pellets have a soft, hookable texture, but are firm enough to stay on the hook during a cast.

Easily hair-rigged, there’s a good range of flavours and colours to choose from, and you can even match them with the same flavours from the Swim Stim groundbait range.

These pellets can be fished with a feeder, waggler or pole, and the 8 mm size should appeal to specialist anglers, too.

I would happily use a few of them for a hook bait, hoping for a quick bite before they softened.

They’ll attract commercial fishery carp, bream, tench and roach, as well as river species such as chub and barbel.

Price: £3.25 per pot.

CAUGHT A BIG FISH OR GOT SOME NEWS? Email photos and details exclusively to: anglersmail@ti-media.com – you could star in the must-read print magazine.

AN ANGLER’S MAIL MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION IS A GREAT IDEA TO  KEEP YOU UP TO SPEED WITH WHAT’S HAPPENING OUT THERE ON THE BANK.

You can subscribe to one of the top magazine offers online at magazinesdirect.com.

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

There are seasonal deals for the print version and the digital version too.

More great Dynamite products …

Review: Dynamite Wafters

Description: 15 mm dumbbell-shaped wafter hook baits. Ingredients: contains the same key ingredients and colours as Dynamite’s The Source, The…

 


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Bait boat ditched… and wonder brace of carp landed!

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SHANE THOMAS had a dream trip to a secret lake when he took a pair of heavyweight carp.

He's not got a bait boat anymore...but he's catching big carp!
He’s not got a bait boat anymore…but he’s catching big carp!

Ditching the bait boat saw him cruise to success with a PB 44 lb mirror carp (below) – and then a day later took a 53 lb 6 oz giant (above) from the same spot.

The 44-year-old from Newport, Isle of Wight, used a baiting pole to present Sticky Baits Krill boilies over matching freebies and new Krill Clusters.
Shane said: “After catching a UK PB 44 lb the day before, I didn’t dream that I would smash that 24 hours later from the same spot.

“I decided few weeks ago to ditch the tech, and I sold my bait boat and purchased a baiting spoon.

“I waded along the margins and found a lovely hard spot under an overhanging tree.

“With the spot located, I loaded the baiting spoon and careful placed my rig in position.”

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…

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