Have your say on the close season.

To keep or scrap the close season is a question that has divided anglers for many years. However the Environment Agency are now letting you have your say, from today (14th of Jan) until the 11th of March 2019, you can put your view across via an online consultation which will have you answer questions about the closed and your reasoning behind your answers.

Once over the Enviroment Agency will be publishing all responses minus personal information and people who have opted out of having their response shared.

Once they have collated all the data and if any new evidence for or against the close season has come up then they will consider a possible change in the ruling.

If they find that there is a case to scrap or move the dates for the close then they will put together and advertise new byelaws in 2019. This will then give people a chance to object or support the proposals before sending in an application to the Secretary of State for Environment. Food and Rural Affairs can then confirm any changes they decide on. It will finally then be up to the Secretary of State to decide if they support the recommendations.

You can access the consultation here:

The current close season runs from the 15th of March to 15th of June on rivers in England. Most canals and stillwaters are not affected by this.

The environment agency website had this to say on why the consultation was happening: “We want to better understand the risks and benefits associated with any change and the potential impacts on fish populations, angling and wildlife. We want to hear from all those interested in coarse fish and fisheries, including the businesses that depend on angling, to help us decide whether we need to retain, change or remove the current close season.

We may, as a result of this consultation, make new byelaws. If we do, we must advertise them to allow anyone the opportunity to object. This will most likely happen later this year.”

In 2018 a survey was sent out for angler's opinions on the close season the results were, 43% of anglers support retaining the current close season: 17% support retaining a close season, but changing the dates; and 33% support removing the close season (the remainder were undecided).

In the same year Angling Times asked Its readers to vote on keeping or scrapping the close season with 71% voting to scrap it. See here

For more information check out the lines on the water blog here

Bob Nudd back on the World Champs stage

Bob Nudd is back in the England fold! The four-times world champion has been selected for the 2019 England Veterans team following a trial at Leicestershire’s The Glebe before Christmas.

He’ll now be part of the five-man team for June’s Veterans World Champs on the Scolmatore Channel in Italy – a tidal offshoot of the River Arno near Pisa… and he’s delighted.

“I thought my World Champs days were over, but after talking to vets manager Joe Roberts I decided to give it a go,” he said. “The trial at The Glebe was tough, but I drew at the right end of the lake and caught some decent perch. Now I can’t wait until June!

“I always said I wouldn’t try for the vets team, but I’ve got so much admiration for Joe Roberts and his helpers that I’d decided I’d apply. Fortunately I’ve been lucky enough to make the team, but I do feel a bit guilty about taking someone’s place.”

Now the Browning man – one of world matchfishing’s most famous faces – is looking forward to joining up with former Essex County colleague Billy Hughes, who also made the cut.

“Me and Billy go back a long way and we have fished together a lot over the years,” said Bob. “I still see him a bit on places like the Broads and the Fen drains and it’ll be great to travel together again.”

Currently enjoying another brilliant winter on the drains with a recent winter league win to his name, Bob said he’ll be taking the Vets World Champs as seriously as all of the others he fished as part of the main England team.

“The venue is a tidal, shallow offshoot of the River Arno and it will be tricky, but I’ll be giving it my best shot,” he said.

Joining Bob and Billy in the team are Steve Sanders, Danny Sixsmith and Roger Marlow.

England Vets team manager Joe Roberts said: “It is an honour to welcome and include Bob Nudd and I am confident we will all work very hard at trying to secure a podium place finish.” 

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baitdropper found on wye was John Wilson’s

Got a story? Then come and visit us at The Big One Show in 2019!

A baitdropper that belonged to John Wilson has been found on the banks of the River Wye.

Just weeks after the fishing world was rocked by the news of John’s sad passing, Angling Times received an email from John Walters claiming that he found the feeding device four years ago while out searching the river for signs of otters. 

Engraved on the front of the dropper is the message: ‘To John Wilson, from Stainless Steve.’

Wilson Dropper.jpg

 “It must’ve been around 2014/2015 and I was out walking the banks of the river at Courtfield, Welsh Bicknor, when I found this baitdropper lying in the grass,” John recalled.

“I’d never seen one like it and assumed it had been custom made as a present. 

“After seeing the engraving I realised it must have belonged to THE John Wilson. 

“I know that Martin Bowler is related to John and after speaking to George, the local ghillie for the stretch, he confirmed that Martin had fished that location before.

“Since I’ve become aware of John’s death it’s caused me to make an effort to return the device to his family, as it may have some sentimental value.”

Angling Times regular and big-fish maestro Martin Bowler believes the dropper did, indeed, belong to the late TV star.

He told us: “ I think there is a very good chance that it was John Wilson’s baitdropper.

“Around that time (2013) we fished together in that area and previously we had made a fishing programme together, upstream of where it was found.  

“I think John would have been pleased to learn that the finder is putting the dropper to good use, and I hope now and in the future a little bit of John helps him to catch plenty of barbel.”