The fishery boss who sensationally opted to ban all non-British anglers from his waters has revealed his intention to sell up after having his prized BMW destroyed by protesters.
Trentside Fishery boss Tony Booth, who introduced the controversial rule in December last year in a bid to stop fish poaching at his popular day-ticket complex, has now been driven from the sport by a combination of what he describes as ‘thieves, thugs and politically correct do-gooders’.
Tony had weathered numerous incidents of poaching and repeated threats of legal action before things came to a head last week. Hooligans then took the law into their own hands, dowsing his expensive car in paint stripper just days after making aggressive, threatening phone calls in which he was sworn at and labelled ‘a racist and a bigot’.
Now, after six difficult years of running the venue, Tony is reluctantly throwing in the towel.
“This is the final straw! First I had poachers stealing my precious fish stocks, then I received threatening calls and finally I get my car written off,” Tony told Angling Times.
“All I have tried to do is protect my investments and if I’m not allowed to do that, then I don’t see any other option,” added Tony, whose controversial no-foreigners rule will remain in place while he is still the fishery owner.
He is hoping that the sale of the three-lake complex will help him recoup some of the investment he has made in the Grimsby venue, although the current economic climate is almost certain to leave him short-changed.
“I bought the place for £150,000 and I have ploughed in at least that much again in maintaining it. It will go on the market for £200,000, so I’m set to lose at least £100,000,” he said.
Club and fishery chiefs across the country were divided on the contentious ruling which has eventually led to the sale, with King’s Lynn AA secretary Ashley Brown admitting he sympathises with Tony’s predicament.
“Poachers hit our stretch of the River Wissey heavily, so I do feel sorry for people who suffer similar problems,” said Ashley.
“But Tony alienated himself a little by banning non-British nationals. I think it might have been better if he’d tried to work with these people and educate them more about angling in this country,” he added.