TRIBUTES have been pouring in from some of the most influential figures in the sport following the death last week of angling legend Fred J Taylor after a long illness.
The much-loved angling journalist, author and big-fish pioneer helped to inspire a generation of anglers through the pages of Angling Times and other journals.
Together with his brother Ken and cousin Joe - popularly known as The Taylor Brothers - Fred belonged to that pantheon of famous anglers which included the likes of Richard Walker, Bernard Venables and Peter Stone.
The 89-year-old, who was recently awarded an MBE for his services to angling, will be best remembered within angling circles for popularising deadbaiting for pike and the lift method of floatfishing for tench, but Fred was also a celebrated countryman, whose writing about shooting, ferreting and cooking took rural life to the masses.
"Fred was a lovely man who was hugely influential to a generation of anglers. As a Œgreen¹ kid, I was lucky enough to serve my angling apprenticeship with Peter Stone, Dick Walker and the Taylor brothers, including the now late, great Fred J," said tackle innovator Peter Drennan.
"In that group of superstars, Fred J was the larger-than-life character, the wit and raconteur among them. As self-appointed chef on a fishing trip, he once gathered everyone¹s weekend provisions together and created Cream of Mullaga-Scotch-Brothtail Soup. It was awful! Great memories. God bless him," said Peter.
Fred¹s easy-to-read style ensured that he was in demand from the mid-1950s,
when he was encouraged to start writing about fishing by Dick Walker, right up until his death.
After spending five years as an Angling Times' columnist, Fred went on to contribute to the Angler¹s Mail, Carpworld, Carp Fisher, The Mail on Sunday, The Telegraph and the London Evening Standard.
He wrote more than 20 books and his final contribution to angling literature took the shape of a guest chapter in a book being put together by Rod Hutchinson that's due out later this year.