Do you know a fishing hero?

TV star Matt Hayes is to front a new scheme aimed at rewarding deserving causes in fishing, Angling Times can reveal.

Matt Hayes with carp.jpg

Matt, who starred in classic TV series Total Fishing, Greater Rod Race and Record Breaking Fish, has teamed up with Shakespeare as part of a new weekly show due to air online in 2019.

In ‘Shakespeare Fishing Heroes’, Matt calls on anglers to nominate the unsung individuals, groups and organisations who make fishing special so that their untold stories can be shared.

The most worthy causes will receive tackle donations from Shakespeare to help them with their fishing, and say a huge thanks.

The scheme will be launched at The Big One Show in Farnborough on March 23 & 24, where Matt and co-presenter Zenia Gregorek, of Anglers Paradise fishery, will be on hand to talk to visitors and hear their nominations.

You can purchase tickets to see Matt speak at The Big One here

Matt has also agreed to be a guest speaker in the Angling Times Social Theatre both days.

“The idea for Fishing Heroes started when one of my guided fishing clients, Glenn Baird, told me his amazing story,” said Matt. “Glenn suffered severe depression while working in the military and experienced a severe mental breakdown.

“He described how he became suicidal, and it was while planning his suicide that he rediscovered fishing.

“I felt Glenn’s story might be the tip of the iceberg. We anglers have long understood the benefits that fishing delivers in soothing mind and soul, bringing people into contact with nature and creating bonds of friendship and community, but we rarely celebrate the power of fishing to change peoples’ lives. Fishing Heroes does just that and a lot more.”

Shakespeare brand manager, Dave McCartney, is excited by the scheme. 

He told Angling Times: “Shakespeare Fishing Heroes is about celebrating angling, not catches. We need to promote the wider benefits of angling both as a community sport and as a gateway into nature for many who would otherwise not experience it. 

“Shakespeare has always been a peoples’ fishing tackle company and that’s why I had no hesitation in backing the campaign.”


Matt and the team want you to tell them about your heroes of fishing. It’s not about catches or trophy shots, or even being a great angler; it’s about the people that make this sport of ours so special: mums, dads, grandparents, uncles, brothers, sisters and friends who help the sport massively by taking others fishing with them.

It’s also about conservationists, club bailiffs and the other unsung heroes who work hard to make fishing better for the rest of us.

The Fishing Heroes campaign will be aired over social media, using the hashtag #FishingHeroes. Anyone who fishes can use the hashtag to nominate their hero and thank someone for their hard work with recognition and a wonderful prize.


Shakespeare Fishing Heroes is part of the new Matt Hayes Fishing Show that will be free to view via social media, initially on Matt’s Facebook page.

Featuring Matt and pal Mick Brown, Season One has already been filmed. Unlike a television series which does not allow a great deal of interaction with the viewers, the idea was to create short fishing stories packed with tips and ideas.

Matt said: “I’m constantly being asked by anglers to make another TV series but I’m convinced that it’s fishing shows for online sharing via social media that really hit the mark.

“Modern lifestyles demand short films. So far, those that I have made and shared online have been hugely popular with anglers, who always give me great feedback.”