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National Fishing Month sees thousands of people get hooked

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NATIONAL FISHING MONTH has just ended after an active six weeks to promote angling.

National Fishing Month and Let's Fish1 (pictured) has been helping people of all ages to experience the joys of angling.
National Fishing Month and Let’s Fish1 (pictured) has been helping people of all ages to experience the joys of angling.

Main coordinators, the Angling Trades Association revealed that National Fishing Month 2019 encouraged over 5,000 people to try the sport this summer.

They took part in a nationwide schedule of over 100 special National Fishing Month events held across six weeks during July and August.

It all kicked off at a showpiece outdoors event, The Game Fair, staged this year at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire.

Coaching teams from the Professional Anglers Association and the Game Angling Instructors Association gave free coaching sessions to hundreds of youngsters and adults alike.

Many whole families had a go at casting a fly line or catching a fish on the lake. First-time anglers caught some outstanding fish, including carp and pike.

Jeremy Wade backs National Fishing Month

TV star Jeremy Wade, best known for River Monsters, joined the PAA coaches at the riverbank to offer his support.

He said: “National Fishing Month is a great way for people to learn the angling basics and appreciate the outdoors.

“By introducing newcomers to the sport, you pass on a gift that stays with them throughout their lives.”

As well as targeting the general public and their families throughout the promotional period, specialist groups took advantage of the opportunities to have a go at fishing across the country.

Organisers at Albrighton Moat, South Cerney AC, Goldsworth Park AC, Firtree Fishery, Barford Lakes and Gipping Valley AC helped to bring big smiles and first-catch memories to a mix of people.

Coaching groups such as Watford Angling Coaches and Angling Cymru staged a series of their own localised events in support of National Fishing Month, enabling thousands of families to enjoy their first angling experience.

National Fishing Month got off to a lively start at The Game Fair.

National Fishing Month got off to a lively start at The Game Fair. This carp was one of the bigger fish landed.

John Loftus, chairman of the ATA, which owns the National Fishing Month brand, commented: “I’m reassured with the results from this year’s events but know that we have an even greater opportunity to grow these events exponentially in the future.

“We continue to owe a debt of gratitude to the enthusiastic, loyal support of the voluntary organisers and coaches who actually plan and deliver the events every year.

“It’s down to their hard work that so many people are introduced to angling, and they are the ones who help build initiatives like National Fishing Month to recruit the next generation of anglers to our wonderful sport.

“We are particularly appreciative of the involvement of the PAA who arranged the National Fishing Month initiative this year.”

“Thanks also go out to Angling Direct for their generous financial support, to Dinsmores and Fladen for their product donation support and to the Environment Agency for their fishing licence waivers. We are extremely grateful to them for helping us catch so many new anglers. “

3,000 more hooked on canals this summer

The Canal and River Trust are amongst those reporting impressive summer take-up of the sport via their own Let’s Fish introductory sessions.

Fisheries manager John Ellis explained: “We have held over 100 events on the canal network over the school holiday period and over 95 per cent of participants have caught their first fish.

“Over 3,000 people will have tried fishing during this period.

“We will be carrying on our good work all-year-round with another 30 events scheduled for the half-term period.

“BBC Midlands Today TV programme actually came to film one of the events, which is possibly an angling first.

“The Let’s Fish campaign isn’t a formal partner in National Fishing Month but we are actively looking at how we can work with the trade to best develop the next generation of regular committed anglers,” John added.

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

For the best exclusive content, read Angler’s Mail magazine this week. The print issue of Angler’s Mail is in shops priced £2.20. Get your copy asap.

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Review: Team Maver Hoodie

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The Team Maver Hoodie 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: hooded top.

Specifications: S-XXXL sizes; full-length sleeves; Charcoal Grey colour, cotton blend fabric; Team Maver logo on the front and back; green graphics on the sleeves; chunky drawstrings.

My verdict: it’s that time of year when you might need to wear more than a t-shirt.

This smart hoodie will help to keep the chill out on the bank, and it won’t look out of place if you catch up with some pals on the way home.

Price: £34.99.

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 Band ‘ Em Pellet Hooks-to-Nylon

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The Middy Band ‘ Em Pellet Hooks-to-Nylon 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: Middy KM-2 eyed hooks tied on a Lo-Viz hook link with a pellet band on a twisted hair.

Specifications: 12 in. hook links, available in size 10 hooks to 10.3 lb (0.22 mm) nylon; size 12 and 14 to 8 lb (0.20 mm); and size 16 and 18 to 6.1 lb (0.18 mm).

My verdict: the idea of having a twisted hair on these pre-tied hook links is to allow a bait to hang straight below the hook, resulting in more fish being hooked.

The outturned eye and strong, beaked point also help to keep the banded pellet in place.

You can mount pellets with the help of a banding tool, or you could pull the band into softer baits with a baiting needle, and you won’t need a hair stop, as the band will grip the inside of the bait.

At 12 in. long, these rigs are a useful length for waggler or feeder fishing. The Lo-Viz line comes with a little bit of stretch.

Price: £2.65 for six.

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: Rapala Super Shadow Rap Lures

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The Rapala Super Shadow Rap 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: hard lures that have been designed to imitate dying fish.

Specifications: 16 cm long; 77 g; plastic body; armed with a pair of size 3/0 VMC Coastal Black treble hooks; realistic finish.

My verdict: these exciting lures look like they will attract pike, of all sizes.

They can be worked like a crankbait or jerkbait to imitate an injured or dying fish, tricking predators into thinking that they are an easy meal.

You can also pause your retrieve and make them ‘dance’ over an area where you think a pike might be lying up, ready to ambush passing prey.

They’re designed to be worked in the 3-5 ft water band, so they will suit a lot of UK waters.

As well as their flinching action, to imitate a dying fish, they come with a great range of quality finishes, some have been made to look as if they are missing scales, suggesting that they have been attacked by a predator.

They might be nudging £16, but I fancy them to attract plenty of ‘strikes’, and they look like a fun lure to ‘work’ too.

Price: £15.95.

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 Rapala products …

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Review: Carp Spirit Magnum X1 42 in. Landing Net

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The Carp Spirit Magnum X1 42 in. Landing Net 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: 42 in. specimen carp net.

Specifications: a 6 ft, high-modulus carbon handle reinforced with 3K weave; non-slip Japanese shrink wrap on the handle; carbon spreader block; fish-friendly, soft mesh; magnetic mesh clip to help prevent snagging; stainless steel ends on the arms for easy fitting; front cord can be replaced or re-tensioned.

My verdict: this is a light, stiff and strong landing net. You’ll find quality fittings throughout, from the high-modulus carbon arms and pole to the stainless steel ends on the arms, which have been designed to slot in and slide out of the spreader block easily.

Even the spreader block (a potential weak point on many landing nets) has been given special treatment, as it is made from moulded carbon, to ensure that it won’t let you down.

The pole section has been reinforced with 3K weave, and Japanese shrink wrap has been added on the handle for ‘more grip and less slip’. A magnetic clip holds the base of the mesh against the landing net pole, so that it’s less likely to snag on the bottom when you’re netting a fish.

If you fish weedy waters, you’ll appreciate being able to replace or re-tension the net cord, helping you to net any fish that has become wrapped in weed.

The quality is reflected in the price, and it’s a perfect partner to the Carp Spirit Magnum rod ranges.

Price: £99.99.

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 Carp Spirit products …

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Angling Trades Association push to Keep Britain Fishing

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THE UK’s main angling trades body hopes to stop the decline in angling, and has started a new working group called Keep Britain Fishing.

The Angling Trades Association wants to get more kids fishing.
The Angling Trades Association wants to get more kids fishing.

The Angling Trades Association held a conference on the decline of angling numbers and adding new blood to the sport, with 72 industry bigwigs and other experts gathering at The Arden Hotel, in Solihull, West Midlands.

Angling Trades Association chairman John Loftus explained: “We know the number of people going fishing is declining and the age profile increasing, and this will be the first of several steps towards action to get new people involved.

“We need to address problems in the industry to get it working together and galvanise the trade to raise funds to promote the sport,” John added.

Many major firms attended, including Dynamite Baits, Nash, Fox, Daiwa, Shimano, Angling Direct plus the Angling Trust, Environment Agency and the Canal & River Trust.

Former Angling Trust chairman Mike Heylin, new vice chair of the Angling Trades Association , said: “A lot of good ideas were put forward during the day.

“It was exciting to see the enthusiasm for positive action to be taken and for the ATA to be more proactive going forward in developing initiatives to get more people into the sport.

“This first meeting was a think-tank to promote ideas, and it was decided to establish a working group that will develop a new marketing strategy.

“When it is finished, the strategy will be distributed to all concerned, and will link in with the recently announced National Angling Strategy, launched by the EA.

“It was gratifying seeing the industry pulling together for the benefit of the sport and providing the skills necessary to develop initiatives,” Mike concluded.

Angling’s real value

Now in its 46th year, the Angling Trades Association is the official voice of the UK angling industry, representing fishing tackle manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, publishers and fisheries.

The ATA produces a bi-annual report based on a survey of the industry, the last one of which covered 2017.

The value of tackle sales then was estimated at £548.7m representing a 3.8 per cent decrease when compared to 2015.

The average turnover of each retailer was estimated to be £255,520 in 2017, compared to £248,000 in 2015.

Since the last research the number of retailers had fallen to 2,150 – a decrease of 6.5 per cent – attributed in the main to retirement/closure and merger.

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

For the best exclusive content, read Angler’s Mail magazine this week. The print issue of Angler’s Mail is in shops priced £2.20. Get your copy asap.

SUBSCRIBE TO ANGLER’S MAIL TODAY!

Get Angler’s Mail (print or digital version) to you every week at a great price ▶ SUBSCRIBE & SAVE HERE!

Subs deals mean you can get every AM magazine issue, delivered to you, from just £1.30 a week!

An ‘AM sub’ also makes a great gift for you, or for any angler..

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




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Autumn fishing tips to bag a personal best

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AUTUMN fishing can be great. As temperatures drop and daylight hours dwindle, many summer species will be feeding hard in preparation for winter whilst the species like chub and pike are beginning to pile on the pounds too.

These autumn fishing tips were compiled by Ben Hervey-Murray, seen here with a big autumnal river carp.
These autumn fishing tips were compiled by Ben Hervey-Murray, seen here with a big autumnal river carp.

Check out these autumn fishing tips from ace angler Ben Hervey-Murray for catching a PB over the next couple of months.

And if you do get lucky, be sure to email pix and details exclusively to Angler’s Mail magazine (anglersmail@ti-media.com). Yes, you could get into print with us!

Watch the weather

At this changeable time of year, it can feel like summer one day and the depths of winter the next.

The more you can predict these trends and apply them to your fishing, the better you’ll do, especially when it comes to autumn carping.

For example, if there’s a warm spell forecast or a switch in wind direction to a warmer, more southerly breeze, you can bet your bivvy that the carp will be making the most of fast-heating shallows when the sun is prominent after a cold snap.

And they’ll be bang on a new, warm wind, too.

Take a bet on that bump in the weekly forecast and use a fair bit of bait in the teeth of a warm wind or a subtle zig rig in warmer areas of the venue.

Zig rigs are my go-to option at this time of year for cagey carp in warm shallows

Zig rigs are my go-to option at this time of year for cagey carp in warm shallows

Getting set for floodwater

On the rivers, species like roach, chub and barbel come into their own when the water takes on colour after a damp spell.

If you’re familiar with a stretch and know where the channels, slacks, eddys, snags and features are, you’ll be in prime position when the levels begin to drop and the fish go on the feed big time.

You can’t beat a cage feeder full of liquidised bread with flake or paste on the hook or hair for roach and chub.

That’s unless the waters really mucky, in which case a more pungent fishmeal groundbait and low-oil pellet approach will catch.

Something meaty like Peperami Hot is another great option for all species. Just use a small 6-8mm chunk for roach and bigger inch-long sticks for chub and barbel.

Floods can bring all sorts of surprises, especially when levels start to fall

Floods can bring all sorts of surprises, especially when levels start to fall

Clock-on times for autumn fishing sessions

With daylight hours diminishing rapidly, feeding times will often be concentrated to short spells at either end of the day or overnight.

For example, one carp water I fished regularly a few years ago always produced a bit at the same time during October and November, with not a sniff for the other 23 hours of the day.

You could turn up and fish that golden hour, just before dark, and almost certainly catch whilst others had sat there all day without seeing a thing.

The lesson here is to make the most of your time on the bank – fish when the target species will be feeding, simple really.

It will only take a session or two to get an idea of when this might be and you’ll be saving a lot of blank hours in the future with this vital piece of info.

Chew pike

Find bait fish if lively pike action like this is on your autumn fishing radar.

Pred ahead with your autumn fishing

The bait fish will be starting to school up tightly in particular hotspots as their weedy summer homes disperse.

You can be sure that the pike, zander and perch will be on the prowl over the next few weeks.

One of the key autumn fishing tips here is to find the silvers dibbing on the surface at dawn and dusk.

The predators will be nearby and a small roach imitation shad lure, to match the hatch, will be irresistible.

A bit of colour in the rivers will see zander come out to play, too, for your autumn fishing session… it they happen to be in the venue you’re fishing!

Offer a small roach head or tail section, single hook, fine wire trace and use an Avon-style rod. This approach will pick up zeds of all sizes – but stay on the move to find the shoals.

Glass fibre ‘tips make sense

What sort of quiver tip do you use on low, clear rivers and lakes for species like roach and bream?

If the flow or undertow isn’t an issue, try using the lightest fibreglass quiver tip you can get away with.

In comparison to a carbon tip, and fibreglass version offers less resistance in the same way that a modern carbon rod springs back after a cast whilst on an old fibreglass rod has a certain amount of ‘waft’.

Canny big roach and chub just don’t suss the resistance as quickly – it really does make a surprising difference to your catch rate when the going is tough.

CAUGHT A BIG FISH? Email pictures and details exclusively to our print magazine, to: anglersmail@ti-media.com


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Jamie Cook is new angling leader – find out more here

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THE Angling Trust and Fish Legal have a highly successful angler and experienced business leader installed now as their next chief executive.

Jamie Cook, seen with a tench, is an all round angler with an impressive list of PBs.
Jamie Cook, seen with a tench, is an all round angler with an impressive list of PBs.

Jamie Cook has just stepped into the Angling Trust and Fish Legal role. He has started following Mark Lloyd’s  move to chief executive of The Rivers Trust after ten years at the helm.

The 35-year-old is a married father of two small children, aged three and one. He was working as a regional director for ‘Insider Media’ where he  grew membership by nearly 50%.

Bristol-based Jamie commented: “This is quite literally my dream job and I count myself extremely fortunate that the opportunity came along at precisely the right time in my career.

“I was ready to move on and apply the commercial and business skills that I’ve developed to something that I really care about.

“The chance to put something back into angling, the hobby that has been my lifelong passion, has been a long held ambition and I can’t wait to get started.”

“Naturally I am excited to be taking on this significant role for both the Angling Trust and Fish Legal.

“As a regular, all-round angler I understand the challenges and opportunities facing the sport.

“My long-term vision for the Trust is to create a community, to re-engage with anglers and to build consensus across the many different disciplines of our sport.

“Angling is diverse and all anglers should feel engaged and empowered by the Trust – I want everyone to have an opportunity to influence the Trust’s work to benefit angling and the environment.

Jamie Cook is now the main man at the Angling Trust and Fish Legal.

“Angling is the gateway to the outdoors; we need to make angling accessible to new anglers and win back those who have tried the sport and for whatever reason aren’t fishing anymore.

“Just as importantly we need our current anglers to keep the fishing habit.

“As anglers, if we’ve got the right places to fish, that are accessible and enjoyable and full of fish then we are happy.

“Anything that challenges this will need to be addressed – and will be a priority for me as the next chief executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal.”

As chief executive of both the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, Jamie Cook will be responsible for over 60 staff with a turnover in excess of £2.7 million.

He will be attending the Trust’s Annual Angling Conference at Barston Lakes, West Midlands, on Saturday, November 30, which anyone can attend.

Jamie Cook is “a fine angler”

Martin Salter is currently head of policy at the Angling Trust and president of Reading DAA where Jamie Cook is a member.

Martin said: “I was good friends with Jamie’s late father and had the pleasure of watching Jamie develop into a fine angler.

“He is technically skilful but also deeply intuitive and seems to have a real flair for often catching the biggest and most difficult to tempt fish in any water he targets.

“His business and commercial experience coupled with a huge passion and knowledge of angling will stand him in good stead in his new role.”

“Strong impact expected”

George Stephenson, chairman of the Angling Trust, commented: “It is my belief that Jamie will have a strong impact on growing our sport, increasing membership of the sport’s representative body, as well as being able to represent the needs of a broad range of angling interests as leader of both the Angling Trust and Fish Legal.

“The skills he has developed in leading and building a wide variety of organisations stand him in good stead to help drive not only the Angling Trust and Fish Legal towards a bright new future but also for angling as a whole – which is something we are all striving for.

“We now have an opportunity to build on the strong foundations which have been laid by Mark Lloyd and the team and be proud of the fantastic contribution and immense benefit angling provides.

“We have to ensure that anglers not only understand the value and purpose of the Trust but also how the Trust impacts positively on the areas of the sport they enjoy.”

He ‘gets it’ says carp leader

Rob Hughes, manager of Carp Team England enthused: “I had the pleasure of meeting Jamie recently for a TV interview and it’s great to see that he has a very rounded and grounded understanding of angling.

“He’s caught some significant fish in all disciplines, ‘gets it’ and is a very successful individual in his own right. His background and professional experience are exactly what The Trust needs and many of his views mirror my own.

“I am looking forward to working with him in the protection and promotion of both angling and The Trust for the future.”

Quick Q&A with Jamie Cook

Q: What is the best was to someone involved in angling?
A: Its not good enough just trying to explain it and its not like football where you can just put jumpers down. You have to introduce someone to it, taking them fishing with you.

Q: Best angling advice?
A: Treat every fish however big or small as though it was the best fish you have ever caught when it is out of the water. Or always have a disgorger behind your ear.

Q: Who was you biggest angling influence?
A: My dad.

Q: What is your favourite species?
A: Roach without a shadow of a doubt.

Jamie Cook caught big fish from a young age, including this jumbo river roach.

Q: Best recent catch?
A: A bass from the south west coast or a carp I caught with both my son and daughter there to share the moment.

Q: What species would you like to have the record for?
A: Roach, caught from a river.

Q: Favourite Water?
A: Hampshire Avon.

Q: Pet angling hate?
A: Litter.

Q: Next fishing trip?
A: We are going on a family holiday to Cornwall next weekend and the rods will be in the back with the children. Hopefully I will catch a bass or two.

Jamie Cook angling CV

Jamie Cook has been a lifelong angler, in his early years learning to fish his local rivers – the Kennet and Thames and at the age of four caught his first barbel.

From there he has moved on to focus on specimen coarse angling on local lakes and the Hampshire Avon, achieving the remarkable feat of catching a three-pound roach at the age of ten!

Jamie then moved on to carp fishing.

Jamie Cook learned a lot from his dad.

More recently his fishing has again changed. This time he’s focused on sea angling, as well as river fishing, allowing him to fit his angling around being a parent as well.

Jamie also is, or has been, a member of Bristol Amalgamated, Reading DAA, Ringwood DAA, Newbury AA, Ross on Wye AC, Christchurch AC, Oxford & Abingdon Alliance and various carp syndicates.

Jamie Cook PB list

  • Jamie has a highly impressive list of PBs including:
  • Roach – 3 lb 3 oz (Hampshire Avon)
  • Barbel – 14 lb 14 oz (Dorset Stour)
  • Chub – 6 lb 7 oz (Dorset Stour)
  • Tench – 10 lb 11 oz (Reading DAA water)
  • Mirror carp – 47 lb (Pingewood Lagoon, Reading)
  • Common carp – 42 lb 15 oz (Ashmead)
  • Crucian Carp – 2 lb 15 oz (Newbury AA water)
  • Bream – 13 lb 7 oz (Berkshire gravel pit)
  • Perch – 3 lb 3 oz (River Kennet)
  • Pike – 18 lb 12 oz (River Test)

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

For the best exclusive content, read Angler’s Mail magazine this week. The print issue of Angler’s Mail is in shops priced £2.20. Get your copy asap.

SUBSCRIBE TO ANGLER’S MAIL TODAY!

Get Angler’s Mail (print or digital version) to you every week at a great price ▶ SUBSCRIBE & SAVE HERE!

Subs deals mean you can get every AM magazine issue, delivered to you, from just £1.30 a week!

An ‘AM sub’ also makes a great gift for you, or for any angler..

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

Antis target Angling Trust

The sabs were encouraging its supporters to record bogus sightings of cormorants, goosanders and mergansers on the website to derail…




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Giant catfish landed on tiny 6 ft rod

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TONY OWEN got an unexpected reward in the shape of this 93 lb catfish, which he managed to tame on a 6 ft carp stalking rod.

Tony Owen with his giant catfish from Horton Boat Pool, run by RK Leisure.
Tony Owen with his giant catfish from Horton Boat Pool, run by RK Leisure.

Tony has been targeting catfish since April at Boat Pool, run by RK Leisure, at Horton, Berkshire.

He had been baiting heavily with big boilies and pellets, and the approach brought him cats to 94 lb.

But on his latest visits, the local Slough, Buckinghamshire, angler, decided to target the RK Leisure venue’s carp instead.

He scaled down his tackle considerably, and offered a smaller 14 mm Five Star Baits fishmeal boilie.

Tony scored with one of the ‘A-team’ common carp, called The Square, at 38 lb, but he was amazed when this giant ‘moggie’ of 93 lb struck a week later.

Tony told the Mail: “What makes this catfish catch so special is that I caught it while fishing for carp, on a Nash Scope 6 ft 2 lb t. c. Sawn-Off rod, and 20 lb Korda SUBbraid.

“I would not advise people to use this set-up to catch catfish, but it is possible using it, if you know the water very well and it is free of snags.”

The 53-year-old roofing technician is a seasoned catfish angler who has landed specimens of 173 lb abroad.

He has an English best of 102 lb, also from the same RK Leisure venue as his latest success, Horton.

What is RK Leisure?

RK Leisure emerged after the end of Cemex Angling (formerly RMC Angling and Leisure Sport Angling).

It runs 11 lakes in the home counties of Colne Valley, Surrey, Berkshire and rural Bedfordshire.

They’re within a 30-minute drive from central London and ten minutes from Heathrow Airport… traffic permitting!

Aside from Horton, their historic venues include Wraysbury 1 and Wraysbury 2, Kingsmead 1, and Jones Pit.

RK Leisure acquired the venues in 2012 and have installed state of the art facilities and security systems.

Membership options include cards for multiple venues, but are not cheap. The lowest price option is for Wraysbury 2, costing £500 a year.

Note that the venues’ popularity means there are waiting lists. Find out more about the ticket options by clicking here.

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Fishing Closed Season backlash divides anglers

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THE final decision of the Environment Agency to retain the current Closed Season has split the angling community in a similar way to Brexit.

The fishing Closed Season remains as it was in England and Wales, preventing anglers trying for fish like barbel (pictured) in rivers between March 15 and June 15 inclusive.
The fishing Closed Season remains as it was in England and Wales, preventing anglers trying for fish like barbel (pictured) in rivers between March 15 and June 15 inclusive.

Many are angry at the outcome of the river fishing Closed Season consultation. Some have questioning the role of the Angling Trust, who they believe should have campaigned for change.

The springtime public consultation produced a closely balanced outcome, but a clear majority wanted change rather than the March 15 to June 15 break that the EA have settled on.

Out 13,680 responses, just 38.8 per cent of people wanted to retain that current fishing Closed Season, which affects coarse fishing on rivers in England and Wales.

There were 9.2 per cent in favour of reform by changing the dates to 15 April to 30 June; and the biggest slice of the vote, 49.8 per cent, sought the fishing Closed Season’s total abolition.

John Williams, chairman of the UK’s largest angling club, Birmingham AA, has led the ongoing backlash.

He fumed: “To me, the Angling Trust should have been actively campaigning for abolition, as this would reflect the views of anglers and is obviously to the benefit of angling generally, but the ‘dinosaurs’ won the day.

“Basically, the Angling Trust is in the pocket of the EA and won’t do anything to upset them, as that’s where they get nearly all of their money from.

“Until the Trust decides to properly stand up for anglers as a truly independent body, it will continue to fail to attract more new members. Let’s hope the Trust’s new chief exec (Jamie Cook) will make a difference,” he added.

Fishing Closed Season still a ‘live issue’

Angling Trust policy chief Martin Salter said: “The Angling Trust did not take any formal position in lobbying for or against a change in the rivers Closed Season, but did support a full review of the evidence on the possible impact on fish stocks of any changes to the current arrangements.

“As an organisation committed to conservation, it would be irresponsible of us to do anything else.

“However, we accept that this is a live issue and we wanted anglers on both sides of this debate to have their voices heard and for the arguments to be tested.

“This has now happened, and the EA has come to a decision.

“We hosted all the info on the Angling Trust website and published a wide range of views on the subject to help inform the debate.

“With a finely balanced response to the consultation, it is inevitable that one side or the other will be disappointed with the eventual decision.

“It was also clear that there was little appetite for change by the EA, which has decided to adopt a precautionary approach.

“However, at least we have now had an opportunity to look at the available evidence for a rivers Closed Season, as well as examining the regimes in place in other countries with similar fish populations.

“Anglers are split down the middle on the highly contentious issue, and those in favour of change will feel discontented.

“But when only under 14,000 out of 900,000 licence holders bothered to participate in the survey, angler apathy could well have had something to do with the outcome,” Martin added.

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