If you arrived at a fishery and found a 72-year-old pensioner with an ancient fibre glass rod and a reel worth £4.99 sitting on the next peg, you’d fancy your chances of putting a few more fish on the bank than him.
But you want to pray that the man next to you isn’t Gordon Dixon, who only last week used his favourite 40-year-old rod, half a tin of meat and a small tub of boiled wheat to smash the club record at his local Norfolk fishery out of sight with a colossal 222lb net of carp…despite being two hours late for the match.
Competitors armed with thousands of pounds worth of the latest tackle were powerless to stop the North Walsham Kingfisher Club member, who bettered the existing lake record by 131lb and beat his nearest rival by almost 200lb.
And this incredible feat is by no means a one-off either, because the angler who’s known throughout his home county as ‘the man with the little green rod’ has not been outside the top three places in club matches at the water this year.
“I haven’t bought a new rod since 1969 and I always get funny looks and comments because anglers think I’m mad, but they soon change their tune when I catch more than them,” said Gordon, who lives in Taverham.
“I can’t drive too early in the morning because I have arthritis and a few other health problems that stop me doing so – this is why I was late for the recent match.
“This didn’t bother me because I’ve got confidence in what I do. If I had the money I’d travel to some of the bigger fisheries, and I’d give the top boys a run for their money I can tell you!
“To be honest, I wouldn’t be seen dead with a pole and wouldn’t even know how to tie a hair rig, but I live for my fishing. It’s passion and determination you need to be a good angler, not all the latest gear.”
Gordon admitted that he couldn’t get out of bed the morning after his record-breaking session, but this didn’t stop him returning to the lake twice more that week to record weights of 156lb and 124lb.
And it’s this kind of determination and love for carp fishing that has seen him reach legendary status, not only among his fellow club members, but the whole local angling community.
Liam Baker, match secretary for North Walsham Kingfisher Club, said: “There are many people who wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning if they suffered such painful arthritis, but Gordon never lets this get him down. He fishes three times a week and always catches…he truly is an inspiration. He’s literally unbeatable and it’s great to see the disbelief on people’s faces when he outcatches all of us with tackle that’s older than some of the people he fishes against.”