Is this £180 hook the biggest in the world?
It's a 27/0 Mustad circle pattern and was designed for use on the National Geographic Channel's TV show 'Shark Men'. Not surprisingly it's used to target great white sharks, the most feared predator in oceans around the globe.
Pictured with one of the hooks is Stuart Newell who bought one as a Christmas present to himself, at £180 plus P & P. He has a limited supply available at www.surreyandhampshiretackle.co.uk.
At this price you wouldn't want to lose one in a snag!
Olly Luker trotted a single maggot on the River Itchen to net this superb 2lb 5oz roach.
While others struggled for a bite on the Hampshire waterway, Olly took a mobile approach and worked his float close to slacks, bends and overhanging trees.
His personal best was beaten on a rig made from a 3lb mainline, a 1lb 2oz bottom and a size 20 hook.
“The conditions were terrible and the river was about to burst its banks,” said Olly, from Wiltshire. “So I knew trotting straight down the river just wasn’t going to work. On the other hand, staying mobile worked a treat.”
The incredible run of big winter perch continued this week with a number of huge specimens banked.
Welshman Nathan Phillips achieved a lifetime dream when he netted a 4lb 2oz specimen from White Springs Fishery in South Wales.
The Cardiff angler tempted his prize using a whole prawn hookbait on a float rig fished in the margins of the venue’s Old Canal Pool.
Meanwhile, friends Chris Lambert and Adam Moxey enjoyed a session to remember on Devon’s Upper Tamar Lake when they boated no fewer than four stripeys over 3lb, including a 4lb stunner.
- Anyone interested in fishing the venue should call Upper Tamar Lake on: 01566 771930.
Anglers are to benefit from another huge cash windfall as more money from rod licence sales is pumped back into the sport.
Clubs, commercials and fishing charities can apply for a share of the £400,000 being made available through the Angling Improvement Fund (AIF).
The fund, which has already channelled £1.3 million of rod licence money into projects that have directly benefited angling organisations and their waters, is being administered by the Angling Trust on behalf of the Environment Agency.
Those who wish to be considered for a slice of the £400,000 have until January, 17, 2017 to apply.
“The Angling Improvement Fund is just one way we use rod licence money to work with partners for the benefit of fishing,” said Sarah Chare, Head of Fisheries at the Environment Agency .
“This latest pot of funding is the largest yet, bringing the total awarded this year to £600,000, so thank you to all those anglers who get behind their sport and buy a licence.
“There is a wide range of categories for fisheries to consider applying for, from winter maintenance and improvement of fisheries to predation management and the training of volunteers.”
The AIF has already helped fund 119 angling projects since its launch in 2015, and the Angling Trust will shortly be announcing the winners of this year’s spring round of funding, focused on access improvements for disabled anglers.
“This increase in funding is another big step forward in our programme of work to improve fish and fishing,” said Angling Trust CEO Mark Lloyd.
“With more funds coming from the rod licence over the coming year, and membership of the Angling Trust & Fish Legal growing, the future looks bright.”
Gareth Sheldon became the envy of hundreds of specimen hunters across the UK when he landed this 32lb 10oz pike – while minding his dad’s rods!
The father and son were fishing their local day-ticket venue Horcott Lakes when Ian had to answer the call of nature and asked his 21-year-old son to keep watch over his swim at the 22-acre venue in Fairford, Gloucestershire.
During Ian’s visit to the bushes at the back of his swim, the new venue record pike picked up a popped-up legered lamprey section and Gareth – whose previous best for the species stood at 12lb – was on hand to set the hooks home.
“He offered to give me the rod back, but he struck into the fish so in my mind it was his.
“Neither of us could have imagined how big it was going to turn out to be,” said Ian, who also helps manage the fishery.
“I’ve never had a pike over 30lb myself so you can imagine how much stick Gareth’s been giving me – I’ve had to slap him on the back of the head a few times.
“But that being said, the look of joy on his face was a real pleasure to behold.”
The two anglers also shared 20 other pike to mid-double figures, but Gareth’s 32-pounder smashes the previous venue record that stood at 26lb.
Ian reckons there are many different twenties in the water and believes that with the abundance of small rudd present, there’s every possibility that there are more huge fish over the 30lb mark swimming in the depths of Horcott Lakes.
“This venue is fished mainly by carp anglers, but in the winter the predator fishing really comes into its own,” Ian continued.
“It’s absolutely stuffed full of small rudd, which have really thrived over the last few years, and the pike are growing really big on them.”
Former barbel record-holder Andy Harman has become the first angler to gain membership of an exclusive club at one of Thailand’s premier fisheries.
Palm Tree Lagoon, in Ratchburi province, challenges visiting anglers to catch five species over a set qualifying weight, and those who do win a free week’s fishing.
Andy, from Surrey, who broke the British barbel record in September 1993 with a 15lb 12oz fish from the Medway, clinched his membership of Palm Tree’s Big Five Club by catching a 520lb giant freshwater stingray.
This followed a 160lb chao phraya catfish, three Siamese carp over 150lb, a 450lb arapaima and a 330lb Mekong catfish.
“To catch five different species of such colossal size is a magnificent achievement, and Andy has already been back to claim his free week’s fishing,” said Palm Tree Lagoon boss Tim Webb.
Silverfish anglers have been offered the chance to fish for free at one of the UK’s leading carp fisheries.
As commercials look set for their most profitable winter ever thanks to an explosion of stocks of roach, bream and ide, a match at Essex carp fishery Fryerning Fisheries saw winner Bob Fox bank 75lb of redfins.
Now venue boss Charlie Knowles has invited roach anglers to fish for nothing so that these fish can be removed and stocked elsewhere.
Venue boss Charlie Knowles told Angling Times: “We have a huge head of roach and fish to over 2lb have been reported in the past.
“However, first and foremost we are a carp fishery, so although we don’t do day tickets, we’ll let people fish here for the giant roach for nothing in order to thin the stocks out.
“We expected the latest match to produce plenty of bites, but the results went well beyond what we thought was possible in such cold conditions.”
And it’s not just waters in the south that are producing. Further north, Dave Williams had two red-letter silverfish days at two different fisheries.
The Bait-Tech and Maver-backed angler first set his stall out at Cheshire’s Rosemary Wood Fisheries and banked 50lb of quality roach using short pole and maggot on the hook.
Days later he switched to the nearby Greenwood Fisheries and enjoyed a similar level of success.
He said: “I’m not the sort of angler who enjoys waiting for just one or two bites all day, and the silverfish shoals at my local commercials are producing brilliant action.
“More often than not it is a bite every chuck from start to finish.”
Shropshire’s Woodside Fishery has also attracted interest thanks to its unseasonal form. Venue official Ben Hughes banked 30lb of quality redfins and skimmers during a recent pleasure session and is convinced that the huge shoals present in commercials are helping keep more anglers on the banks during the winter.
He said: “Woodside is a great venue to target for silvers and like most venues, these species get overlooked for much of the year as anglers target carp.
“Our roach, skimmers and big perch are giving anglers lots of bites and convincing them that getting on the bank in winter is a much better option than putting your gear away until next year.”
- To book a free roach fishing session at Fryerning Fisheries call 01277 352245.
Dave Smedley was celebrating this week after taking one of the biggest hauls of day-ticket carp in history.
The 48-year-old, who works as a bailiff at French venue Dream Lakes, came back to home shores to spend a week on Meadow Lake, at Holme Fen Fishery in Cambridgeshire, and marked his return by taking a staggering hit of fish that included mirrors weighing 40lb 2oz, 40lb 15oz,
44lb 4oz, 47lb 14oz, 48lb 12oz, 53lb 8oz and 54lb 14oz.
All seven of the huge fish, plus a brace of twenties and thirties, came from a 12ft-deep area at 110 yards range, and fell to Mainline Salty Squid wafter boilies presented over a bed of new Mainline boilies that Dave was field testing for the company.
The secret to Dave’s haul was to keep things simple and to try to avoid making much disturbance – as he explained.
“There were quite a few marker and spod rods being used by the other anglers on the lake, and I’ve always found that at this time of the year, when the fish are less active, they won’t put up with that sort of disturbance.
“The bailiff had told me about a clean area out in front of the swim I was fishing, so I simply attached a bare lead to my spod rod, cast it out, and it went down with a crack. ‘That’ll do for starters’ I thought, and I never moved my three rods from the spot all week!”
Dave kicked things off with a 35lb 8oz fish, with his next three carp out being the 48, the 53 and the 54. He caught regularly over the next few days, and capped the haul off with a 44-pounder on the last morning of his stay.
“All the fish scrapped like mad – I couldn’t believe how hard they fought. I was totally blown away by the session. What an amazing venue!” he added.
The incredible specimen perch potential of our trout waters was highlighted this week when Ben Farley took this giant 4lb 12oz fish from Farmoor Reservoir.
Dozens of big pike have already been banked from the country’s expansive reservoirs this winter, but this week’s catch at the Oxfordshire water proved that other huge predators are also there for the taking.
Ben, who works as a ranger at Farmoor, used a small livebait to tempt the venue record perch.
With a daunting 350 acres of water to go at, he decided to launch his attack from the shore on Reservoir Two, with pike being his primary target. The session took a welcome if unexpected twist when the big perch grabbed the bait close to the bank.
He told Angling Times: “The moment I hooked the fish I thought it was a trout, but then I got a glimpse of it and realised I was into a massive perch.
“I’ve had quality perch from the venue before, but this surpasses anything else by a long way. It was a huge fish, and it shows that Farmoor is capable of producing something very special indeed.”
Venue boss Will Barnard was on hand to verify the impressive capture, and he said: “This was a stunning fish, and it helps prove that waters like Farmoor are the place to head to for a giant perch.
“We know there are large shoals of them in here, and with the massive numbers of fry present they have plenty of food to feast on and grow to specimen size.
“The previous best on rod and line was 3lb 9oz, but we weighed a dead fish with no head that had been washed up on the shore and it went 4lb 12oz.
“It was the size of a size 12 boot, and that was without the head!
“It’s anyone’s guess how big the perch in Farmoor grow.”
Other trout waters too have noticed an increase in the number of keen perch anglers getting on the bank and Dave Coleman – the boss of Cumbrian reservoir Esthwaite Water – said: “We have had perch to 4lb reported, and the number of people that are coming to Esthwaite to target this species is definitely on the up.
“The interest in drop shotting and lure fishing has without doubt helped spark this interest.
“I also happen to think that people enjoy the mystery of not knowing exactly how big the perch could grow in a venue such as ours – Esthwaite Water is over 280 acres, so it could hide a giant.”
Thousands of pounds has been raised from a Nash Tackle prize auction that could help spell the end of the KHV virus.
Anglers flooded the internet with donations as they earned the right to star in angling show Urban Banx with top carper Alan Blair, spend a day fishing with Paul Garner or Des Taylor, or visit Nash HQ.
The fund currently stands at more than £16,000 but anglers are still being called upon by the firm’s boss Kevin Nash to take part and donate to the research.
He told Angling Tines: “I would like say a big thank you to everyone who has dipped into their pockets to support our KHV appeal to finance a study to eradicate the disease.
“This is very important in protecting our future stocks of carp – we need to raise £20K, so please make your donations to the JustGiving page we created to get us to the target. We’re getting so close, and this work is so important, so please give our carp a proper Christmas present!”
The research is being undertaken by the University of East Anglia (UEA) who want to identify carp that have genes resistant to Koi Herpes Virus (KHV). The aim is to breed KHV-resistant carp.
Auctions for the prizes have all ended but any angler who donates £10 or more to the JustGiving page will be entered into a prize draw.
WInners will get the chance to visit Nash HQ for the day, meet Kevin and Alan Blair, and tour the design and development offices at the company’s Burnham premises and the new Nashbait production facility before being allowed to fish the exclusive Nash Office Lake.
Schoolboy has achieved what many seasoned specimen anglers can only dream of – hauling in an incredible 19 double-figure barbel in a single session.
The remarkable catch, which totalled over 200lb, was made by eight year-old Rio Kassim, who was fishing the prolific Collingham Weir day-ticket stretch of the River Trent in Nottinghamshire.
Accompanied by his dad, Leon, and two friends, the youngster bagged 20 fish in total, only one of which failed to make the 10lb mark. They included four over 13lb, topped off by a personal-best 13lb 10oz specimen.
Even more amazingly Rio, who had only fished a river twice before in his life, achieved his memorable feat using a meagre three pints of maggots.
The catch, which will no doubt raise eyebrows in the angling community, also left his dad in total shock.
Leon told Angling Times: “It was just one of those days when everything went to plan and the tip just kept wrapping round – it was incredible.
“By the end Rio was exhausted and could barely stand up in the gravel, but he put all of us to shame that day.”
The group arrived on the river early in the morning to ensure they could bag swims, and it didn’t take long for the action to start.
Just half-an-hour into the trip, Rio’s rod was looping over as the first barbel took a liking to his maggot feeder set-up with double maggot hookbait. Eleven hours later the sun was setting on a day the youngster will never forget.
“The only problem is, the catch has spoiled him now.
“He will expect the fishing to be as good as that every time we go.
“He will be trying to better that haul of huge barbel for the rest of his life,” added Leon.
This is a picture of one of the biggest braces of Thames barbel ever landed.
The fish, weighing 16lb 6oz and 14lb 10oz, were taken by Londoner John Llewellyn from an unnamed stretch of the waterway. The Lone Angler-backed big-fish man tempted them on paste-wrapped KS15 balanced Wafter boilies, after prebaiting a swim for a few days.
John only decided to go barbel fishing after carefully watching both the weather and lunar forecasts. He told Angling Times: “I was aware that a low pressure system was coming in at end of the week, and I also knew it would be just a few days before the full moon – which is a key moment in the lunar cycle when it comes to fish feeding.”
John used a size 6 hook and 15in hooklink to make his catch.
Rumours have been doing the rounds that the British perch record has been smashed – with a breathtaking specimen estimated to weigh 6lb 8oz!
The mammoth predator is thought to have been landed from a Milton Keynes AA-controlled water, but the captor didn’t weigh the fish and is refusing to go public with his historic catch.
Club official Mike Reveler has seen images of the predator, and he told reporters at the Milton Keynes Citizen: “The head of the fish was larger than the man’s hands – it was a huge perch in superb condition and brightly coloured.”
To add further fuel to the fire, the man’s friend is said to have taken another massive perch weighing 5lb 6oz 8dr during the same session.
The biggest roach of the season – a giant weighing 3lb 11oz – has been caught this week.
After travelling to venues up and down the country in search of a new personal best, Daniel Woolcott finally struck gold at Highbridge Fishery in Norfolk on the first session of his latest winter campaign.
Last year Daniel landed a flurry of fish to 2lb 10oz from the same venue, prompting the Londoner to return for a second season targeting the big roach that inhabit the six-acre lake.
Setting up for his first trip of the winter, he fished a helicopter feeder rig a couple of rodlengths out in a shallow area of the venue, with sweetcorn on the hook.
His rodtip didn’t move for several hours, but just after midnight Daniel had an unexpected take.
He told Angling Times: “The biggest fish tend to kite off straight away and that is exactly what happened, so I knew I was into something special. As soon as it went into the net, I knew that I had finally beaten my previous roach personal best of 2lb 11oz.
“Strangely, I’d joked with the venue manager when I arrived that I would be calling him in the middle of the night to take pictures of a 3lb-plus roach, and so it proved!”
Daniel, who had earmarked a large chunk of his winter fishing time for targeting big roach, added: “To land one of this size on my first session of the campaign is almost beyond belief. I had intended to spend three nights at the venue, but I packed up soon afterwards to go and spend time with my family and have a beer.
“I don’t think I’ll be going back to Highbridge for a while, as it will be extremely tough to beat this fish. I am now going to switch my attentions to pike and perch.”
Daniel wasn’t the only man to set a new roach personal best this week in less than ideal conditions – Matthew Fernandez (left) raised the bar with a 2lb 8oz fish from the River Itchen. The Hampshire rod has been a venue regular for more than 15 years but had never banked a 2lb-plus redfin, despite many attempts.
He finally set the record straight when the fish fell for his double maggot hookbait presented underneath a 3BB stick float.
Matthew said: “I’d had fish over 1lb earlier in the session, but then I was left absolutely gutted after something much more substantial slipped the hook at the net.
“I thought my chances of a giant were gone, so to land this fish shortly afterwards really made my day.”
His successful rig was made up of 3lb mainline to a 1.5lb hooklength and a size 18 Drennan Super Specialist hook.
Ant Molyneux’s debut session on the River Trent resulted in this 14lb 4oz barbel.
The Avid Carp-backed angler introduced a bed of Code Red boilies on arrival, but that tactic failed to gain a response in the first 24 hours.
Ultimately, though, his patience was rewarded and his alarms screamed into life when the barbel took his glugged boilie hookbait, and after a dogged battle the fish was in the net.
“I instantly knew I’d beaten my previous best of 12lb 14oz and I am already planning my next trip to the Trent,” explained Ant.
His winning rig incorporated a 3oz K-Grip lead and a 12lb Korum Barbel Line hooklink to a size 10 Xpert Power hook.
This trio of winter carp is proof that one good deed deserves another.
Matthew Howard donated “a huge amount of money” to charity to win a 24-hour session with Nash’s Alan Blair and their day together turned into an ice-dodging adventure.
The pair fished lakes, a canal and a tidal river in that time – with only the running water escaping the freeze up!
Alan told Angling Times: “It was a mega adventure and a great result for freezing conditions.”
Matthew was with Alan after donating to Lucy’s Bowl in aid of Guide Dogs for the Blind, and the 24-hour Essex adventure began at a stillwater.
Said Alan: “What with it being winter and freezing cold, rather than sit it out on one water I took him on a bit of an adventure – to keep us warm! – that saw us fishing a gravel pit, canal and tidal river!
“Matt’s first fish was a lovely common from Chigboro Fisheries just before the entire lake froze over!”
The duo then moved to a canal, but that also froze up, so they headed for running water and Matt was rewarded with two fish at once.
“The brace was actually a double take from the tidal river as both the lakes and canal froze up,” said Alan. “I think Matt was surprised enough when the first rod went, but to have a second take literally as the first fish went in the net was epic!
“We then looked at another tidal river but the tide was all wrong now and there was too much saltwater backed up. We finally looked at a park lake but that was completely frozen solid.”
Matt fished Nash Citruz pop-ups on chods and multi rigs made with Nash Chod Twister hooks.
Britain’s largest carp will not be ratified as an official record because it is a “cultivated fish”.
That is the ruling of the British Record Fish Committee after the mirror known as Big Rig was caught at 69lb 3oz by Tom Doherty at the Avenue in Shropshire.
The committee decided the fish had been “grown under an artificial feeding regime close to a weight close to or exceeding the existing species record”. It has subsequently been caught at 71lb 4oz and that weight will not take the record either.
Avenue boss Rob Hales told Angling Times this morning it is a “very uneducated decision”.
He said: “It’s very predictable and I’m not at all surprised. I think that they (BRFC) don’t fully understand the carp-fishing/fishery/growing-fish business. It’s a very uneducated decision. All big carp in this country and elsewhere only get to those weights because they eat high-protein boilies.
“I gather they (BRFC) say it wouldn’t have reached this weight in the natural environment – but the fish is a fish, not a robot.”
BRFC chairman Mike Heylin told Angling Times the fish may still be able to break the record in future.
He said: “I don’t think it’s ruled out forever. If it came out at 85lb and had put on a significant weight in the fishery itself – assuming the fishery isn’t being regularly fed huge amounts of bait – I don’t see why we would be necessarily excluding it forever.”
Rob Hales said: “That’s very interesting. I actually think Big Rig will make 85lb, so it’s a challenge I’m willing to accept. I feed my fish to stop them getting hungry, you can’t force food down their throats.
“In my opinion, whilst it was a predictable decision, I think they’re only delaying the inevitable.”
Mike Heylin confirmed the carp record still exists and would not be split into cultivated and un-cultivated lists. He added: “I’m happy with the outcome, happy we did all we could to look at all the evidence to see if it could be accepted under our terms of reference.
“It’s an awesome piece of fishing, Tom must be over the moon to catch it – I know I would be.”
Embryo Angling Habitats has created a non-profit-making calendar, proceeds from which will go to build otter fences around fisheries that cannot afford them.
The Pioneering fishery improvement organisation, founded by Korda Tackle boss Danny Fairbrass, has vowed to put £7 from each calendar sold into a scheme that will see numerous struggling angling clubs and not-for-profit syndicates benefit from additional protection from predators.
Speaking exclusively to Angling Times, Danny said: “The threat from otter predation is increasing every year, and more and more historic waters are being ruined with the loss of their prized fish.
“We aim to stop this and reverse the downward trend in available fishing.
“No-one involved in the production of this calendar has taken a single penny from it, including the photographers, who have provided their amazing images totally free of charge – a very noble gesture which we applaud them for.”
The calendar, which alerts anglers to which days in 2017 will be best to fish, will cost £8 and can be purchased from all Korda stockists.
What is the Bags Of Help Scheme?
• The scheme is run by Groundwork UK on behalf of Tesco Plc to fund environmental and green space-based projects.
• The initiative is supported by money from the 5p charge levied on single-use carrier bags.
• 1,251 organisations from Tesco’s 416 regions up and down the UK will receive a share of the Bags of Help fund.
• More than 2,800 groups up and down the country applied for grants from the scheme. These were whittled down to three in each of Tesco’s regions by Tesco colleagues.
• For more information please visit: www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp
How to apply
Find your local store and jot down the postcode. Then go online at: www.groundwork.org.uk and take the eligibility survey to apply.
Angling clubs and fisheriesacross the UK are being urged to come forward and apply for millions of pounds of free cash which is being raised from the sale of Tesco carrier bags.
More than £12m is up for grabs as part of the Bags of Help scheme, created to fund environmental and green space projects across the country.
The scheme, which is being run by the charity, Groundwork, on behalf of the supermarket giant, is funded every time someone buys a 5p carrier bag at Tesco.
Hundreds of projects have benefited by as much as £12,000 since the scheme began in October last year.
Huddersfield-based Learn2fish has already successfully applied for a pot of cash.
The project, to introduce youngsters and the disabled to the sport at the club’s Woodhouse Mill Ponds fishery, will get at least £8,000 in improvement grants.
Project director Steve Kelly is now urging other clubs to follow suit. He told Angling Times: “It’s really simple – you just go on the Bags of Help website, fill out the form and then, if you’re eligible, shoppers will vote for your project in store to determine how much cash you get.
“It’s hard to put into words what such a grant can do – we are building a dipping pond for students as well as improving disabled access at the fishery.
“There are not many clubs nowadays awash with cash, so this kind of grant can go a long way to increasing angling participation at all levels.
“Its not just the money which we will be benefiting from either. We have seen loads more interest in would-be anglers and community groups who want to try fishing because of the publicity the scheme has generated for us.”
Applications for the next round of funding are now open, and bosses at the scheme are urging projects to come forward and apply, including those from angling.
Graham Duxbury, Groundwork UK chief executive, said: “Bags of Help is helping to create better and greener places for everyone to enjoy across the country.
“We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding – from community gardens to angling projects and everything in between.
“Now the scheme is permanently open for applications, and because grants can now be used for the development of local outdoor spaces, we expect angling groups like Learn2fish will now have an even greater chance to benefit.”
A research project has revealed that the number of anglers fishing the UK’s canals has doubled in the last four years.
Hundreds of stretches had been left deserted in recent times as a result of the commercial fishery boom, but the latest statistics have shown a remarkable turnaround.
Officials from the Canal & River Trust have announced that sales of their Waterways Wanderers permit have rocketed by 100 per cent since 2012.
The ticket allows anglers to target hundreds of miles of canal for a small fee each year, and national fisheries and angling manager John Ellis believes there are a number of reasons for the revival.
“Gone are the days when anglers saw canals as venues capable of producing small fish and nothing else, with the awareness of their incredible potential,” he said.
“Whether you’re a predator, match or general pleasure angler, there is certain to be a stretch close to home that will appeal to you.
“Add to this, improved access and pegging in many areas and it is easy to see why canals have drawn back a lot of anglers.”
A national surge of interest in lure fishing and drop shotting is also thought to have aided the comeback.
Korum-backed specimen angler Gary Knowles said: “No matter where you are in the country, a cheap and affordable stretch of canal that is home to perch, pike or zander will be on your doorstep.
“At the drop of a hat, with practically no preparation and carrying just a light rod and reel, shoulder bag and landing net, you are ready to go.
“You can walk for miles fishing a very effective method and catch some cracking-looking fish from both industrial and rural settings. Given all this, it’s no surprise to me that the popularity in fishing canals has increased rapidly.”