John Searl - the man behind the free roach print in Angling Times

John Searl - the artist responsible for the stunning roach print free with this week’s Angling Times - is one of angling’s leading creative lights.

Born in London in 1949, John worked as an artist and illustrator in the capital before following a lifelong passion and branching out into angling-related pieces in the ‘90s.

His contribution to the classic ‘Red Letter Days’ (a tribute to John’s angling hero, Bernard Venables), along with illustrations for books by legends such as Peter Stone and Fred J Taylor, ensured his artwork quickly became sought-after by enthusiasts.

Subjects such as large barbel, tench, chub, roach, grayling, salmon, perch and - perhaps most famously - both Richard Walker and Chris Yates’ historic record carp, are all based on real captures and rendered in hand-drawn, full-colour detail.
Some of John’s prints fetch thousands of pounds and his latest work, exclusively drawn for AT, is sure to become another highly collectable piece.

It is the first of three illustrations commissioned by both Angling Times and Shimano, as part of the tackle company’s 90th anniversary celebrations.

The second, based around a tench, will appear as another glossy poster on April 12, while the third, of a carp, is due to come free with AT on April 19. 

“This first print, created exclusively for Angling Times’ readers, is called ‘Pin Perfect’ because the reel in the picture is a Paul Witcher Avon Elite centrepin and the fish was a 3lb 3oz roach,” said John.

“The second and third will be tench and carp respectively, and they will also feature elements of Shimano’s rich history with tackle.”

The limited-edition, full-size 100- run version of all three prints appearing in Angling Times (roach, tench and carp) can be bought for £95 each (unframed) plus £5 postage and packaging. You can also purchase any of John’s previous works through our website. Each will be signed, numbered and printed on the finest quality art paper. For more information and to order please visit