Iconic Fishing T.V series available for the first time since the 70’s!

HIT 1970’s fishing series ‘Go Fishing with Jack Charlton’ is set to receive its first ever home-entertainment release, Angling Times can reveal.

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The show will be available to buy on DVD from May 20 and is sure to be a hit with anglers and football fans alike.

The series sees the football legend and accomplished fly-fisher take us entertainingly and instructively through river coarse fishing and the thrills of sea wreck fishing, not to mention salmon fishing in Scotland – where the legend shows us he is just as skilled on the river bank as on the football field.

His down-to-earth common sense and humorous approach make him the ideal guide, and across the six episodes he meets with various experts to discuss their gear and specific tactics for different types of fishing – a proper blast from the past!

Go Fishing with Jack Charlton will be available for purchase on DVD from May 20 2019.

RRP is £14.99 but is available from www.amazon.co.uk for £10.99, or from www.networkonair.com for £9.00.

It’s all change for Britain’s superwaters

Two- of Britain’s biggest and busiest fisheries have unveiled exciting plans for expansion over the next 12 months in a bid to keep up with anglers’ demands.

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A mile-long snake lake is on the schedule for Doncaster’s Drennan Lindholme Lakes, and at Oxfordshire’s Linear Fisheries there are proposals to add new waters to the already massive complex. 

Both fisheries are doing this to cater for the countless anglers that visit every year, and in recent weeks sport has been so busy at Linear that venue officials have taken to Facebook to warn oncoming visitors of peg shortages.

We spoke to owners Neil Grantham (Lindholme) and Chris Blunt (Linear) to find out why both fisheries are so successful.

“Anglers have invested money into Lindholme, and we’ve put everything back into the fishery,” said Neil. 

“We’ve not been too greedy, and we try to look after everybody by putting the anglers first. 

“We continuously go forward, and if you stop you’ll start to go backwards.”

Neil’s plans for Lindholme include investing £40,000 in fish stocking for the lakes to keep the 60,000 annual visitors happy. 

“We’re also adding a new café and restaurant, alongside a large new tackle shop featuring a pole alley,” he revealed. 

“In addition, we have purchased 20 acres of land, where we plan to build 40 new lodges, 50 touring caravans, and 300 new fishing pegs.”

By next year Lindholme will have a total of 1,000 pegs – 150 of which will be on the new
mile-long snake lake. 

“We will also build a new specimen water to cater for anglers who like that style of fishing. It’s a really exciting time for the fishery,” he said

Linear Fisheries can be seen in a similar light to Lindholme in terms of its popularity too, as fishery manager Chris Blunt explained:

“One of our main approaches to managing this busy fishery is to just be honest with people. 

“We always let people know how busy we are over social media because people travel a long way to fish at Linear and we don’t want them being disappointed.

“There certainly appears to be a lot more carp anglers these days – not necessarily with a demand for record-breaking fish, but more who want a social experience when fishing. 

“This is why I think people don’t mind fishing the complex when it’s busy, as we certainly offer that social aspect.”

Like Lindholme, investing in fish stocks and lake expansion is also key to Linear’s success:

“Our stocking policy over the past thirty years has played a big part,” said Chris..

“Even though we don’t have necessarily the biggest individual fish in comparison to other waters, the numbers of 20-40lb-plus specimens on site is staggering and almost unrivalled.”

And with such a large demand for pegs, Chris is always looking for new ways to develop the fishery.

“We have another syndicate opening in the next 12 months, a new tackle shop, and without giving too much away, a new day ticket water is also being planned.”

Top 10 ‘super-waters’ to try

Drennan Lindholme Lakes, Doncaster, South Yorkshire

Contact: 01427 875555

Postcode: DN9 1LF

The Oaks Lakes, Sessay, North Yorkshire

Contact: 01845 501321

Postcode: YO7 3BG

Decoy Lakes, Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire

Contact: 01733 202230

Postcode: PE7 2AD

Makins Fishery, Nuneaton, Warwickshire

Contact: 01455 220877

Postcode: CV11 6QJ

White Acres, Newquay, Cornwall

Contact: 01726 862519

Postcode: TR8 4LW

Wyreside Lakes Fishery, Lancaster, Lancashire

Contact: 01524 792093

Postcode: LA2 9DG

Baden Hall Fishery, Stafford, Staffordshire

Contact: 01785 851495

Postcode: ST21 6LG

Bluebell Lakes, Oundle, Peterborough

Contact: 01832 226042

Postcode: PE8 5HP

Linear Fisheries, Oxford, Oxfordshire

Contact: 07885 327708

Postcode: OX29 7QF

Anglers Paradise, Beaworthy, Devon

Contact: 01409 221559

Postcode: EX21 5XT 

Spawn to be wild... Kids help to save our eels

Thousands of children are seeking to raise public awareness of our critically endangered eels – by getting involved in a rearing project to increase their numbers in UK rivers.

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The Spawn To Be Wild project, run by the Bristol Avon Rivers Trust and Avon Wildlife Trust, is rolling out to 11 schools this spring and involves the growing of eels in school classrooms. 

The project is funded by Bristol Water, A Forgotten Landscape and the Avon Frome Partnership.

“We are excited to announce the project will be running again this year, with even more schools signed up,” said Spawn to be Wild organiser Harriet Alvis.

“How the project works is this – each school will receive 50 elvers (baby eels) and the students will rear them for four to five weeks before they are released into nearby rivers. During this time pupils will learn about the life cycle of the eel, threats to their survival and what we can do to protect them. The learning doesn’t just take place in the classroom. Part of the project involves net dipping on local rivers. 

“This teaches the children about all the life forms in our rivers, from small invertebrates to larger fish. It’s great to get them interacting more with the freshwater environment and learning how rivers connect to the seas.

“Primary and secondary school pupils as well as our first special needs school are all taking part. The project starts in April and the eels will be released in May.”

Other Rivers Trusts around the country are rolling out similar schemes under different names, with all are featuring eels. 

“It’s great news that this focus is being put on the eel, a fish that has suffered a catastrophic decline of 97 per cent since the 1970s and is a largely unknown, and critically endangered species,” Harriet said.

Simon Nicoll, one of the teachers involved in the scheme, said: “The children loved having the elvers. They were so excited and haven’t stopped speaking about releasing them into the river.”

Stolworthy crowned drennan champion!

“I’ve got the biggest smile on my face – I didn’t expect to win the Drennan Cup at all!”

These are the words of an elated Darryn Stolworthy, who has been crowned champion of the country’s most prestigious specimen fishing competition.

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The Angling Direct-backed ace took top spot and a cheque for £2,000 after one of the closest-run votes in the competition’s 35-year history, with Darryn finishing just 10 points ahead of his nearest rival, Rich Wilby.

In a phenomenal season Darryn scooped four weekly awards, the first of which came in June after a mega haul at Bawburgh Fisheries in his home county of Norfolk. Darryn landed tench to 12lb 4oz and part of a haul of 60 fish that also included a 10lb 1oz male and a 33lb 12oz carp.

Over the following months Darryn added an 18lb bream, a 4lb 4oz perch and a 3lb 3oz stillwater roach to cap off a truly superb season’s fishing.

“When I had that big hit of tench in June I wasn’t going to publicise it, but thankfully my mate convinced me to. 

“Then the big perch and bream came along and I really couldn’t not send them in!” 

Of his four winning catches, it was the bream haul that turned out to be his favourite, as he explained: “Only two bream were caught all season from the water but I managed fish of 12lb 13oz, 14lb 14oz, 15lb 3oz, 16lb, 17lb 2oz and the 18-pounder in a single session.

“There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, so you couldn’t have had worse conditions for bream, but somehow I still managed to catch them!” he continued.

“You can be a skilful angler, but at the end of the day luck ultimately has the biggest part to play. I’m just completely shocked and delighted to have won.”

There was little surprise that Rich Wilby took second-place after his maiden Drennan campaign yielded no fewer than five weekly awards – the most taken by a single angler throughout the season. 

These included a haul of rudd to 3lb 6oz, 15 eels to 5lb 2oz and a 2lb 14oz River Waveney roach. 

“I’m delighted to have come this close and it’s definitely given me the motivation for next year,” Rich told Angling Times. 

“I’ve really enjoyed the experience but it’s totally deserved for Darryn,’ he added. 

Third place went to Essex-based angler Paul Faint who won a quartet of Weekly Drennan Cup awards for his catches of huge barbel (19lb 11oz), rudd (3lb 6oz) and perch (brace of 4lb 1oz and 4lb 7oz).  

All round specimen ace Dan Gale filled the final position on the podium following his captures of a 3lb 2oz roach (River Frome), a 16lb 9oz barbel and a 3lb 8oz rudd. 

How it works

Captures are submitted to Angling Times, then forwarded to Drennan to be considered for an £80 Weekly Award. Anglers who break a British record get a one-off award of £300. After 12 months a list of winners is published and voting letters are sent to previous Drennan Cup Weekly Award winners from previous years. 

They list their top four anglers – four points going to their top pick, down to one point for their fourth pick. The result is revealed in late April, when the angler with the highest total number of votes wins the trophy.

You could win!

Due to the rolling nature of the competition, entries are already being accepted for weekly awards in the 2019-20 Drennan Cup competition. 

Entries will cease being taken at the end of March 2020. If you catch a specimen coarse fish (other than a carp or catfish) by design in the next 12 months, try to take good quality photos, weigh the fish carefully and, if possible, have a witness on hand. Tick all three boxes, and you could have a chance of winning!


If you’ve caught a specimen fish, contact Angling Times news editor Ian Jones on 01733 395111 or email ian.jones@bauermedia.co.uk. All big fish are put forward for consideration by Drennan and will be featured in the Angling Times.

£23m cash injection from rod licence windfall

The future of fishing is looking brighter than ever after the Environment Agency revealed it sold more than one million rod licences in the 2017/18 season – generating a whopping £23,132,885 for our sport.

The figures were showcased in an annual EA report which highlighted where the money was spent during that year; with habitat improvement, fisheries enforcement and stocking programmes ranking highly on the authority’s priority list.

In a double delight, the EA’s account also revealed that it had planned for a profit of £22.2million in 2017/18, but sales of rod licences were so good that more than £23million was generated – with all money being put back into fishing and the environment.

Kevin Austin, who is the Deputy Director for Fisheries at the Environment Agency, said: “Income from fishing licence sales is used to fund our work to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries. 

“Fishing rod licence income is vital for so much of the work we do including fisheries enforcement, fish rescues, restocking, improving habitats for fish and facilities for anglers as well as working with partners to encourage people to give fishing a go.

“To ensure we could provide the investment needed to deliver the services for angling we increased the price of the licences for the first time in 7 years. 

“The cost of a standard coarse and trout fish licence rose by £3 from £27 to £30 and a full salmon fishing licence from £72 to £82. 

“This wasn’t a decision we took lightly and it comes with a guarantee that we won’t raise prices again until at least 2020.

“The additional money generated in 2017 to 2018 was invested in fisheries improvements and you can read about examples of these projects in our report.”

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All you need to know about The Big One Show - Stoneleigh

Welcome to Angling Times’ bumper guide to our brand new fishing show - The Big One Stoneleigh.

It’s high time that anglers in the Midlands had a show of their own... now they have, and what a show it’s going to be!

Over the past 12 months we’ve worked really hard behind the scenes with our event partners, exhibitors, star anglers and past visitors to make our new-for-2019 event the best it can be.

Stoneleigh Park is a fantastic location for a fishing show as it’s right in the heart of the country and has some of the best facilities you’ll find anywhere, including loads of free parking and easy access to the two big halls. These will be packed out with top fishing manufacturers and retailers over the weekend, all revealing their new tackle and baits for the season ahead. There are also some seriously good, show-only deals to be had if you’re quick!

Our new John Wilson Legends Theatre was a huge hit at our recent Farnborough show, so we are excited to bring the stage to Stoneleigh as well. Not only does this entertainment area pay tribute to our much-loved fishing hero, but it will be packed with top fishing stars delivering unmissable talks and demos.

I’m proud to be able to welcome River Monsters TV superstar Jeremy Wade, plus World Feeder Champion Steve Ringer, carp legend Alan Blair, big-fish ace Des Taylor and many more famous faces to the stage. Proceedings will be hosted by England Carp Team manager Rob Hughes.

Inside this guide you’ll find a full rundown of what’s happening at the weekend, with a sneak preview of the new tackle to look out for, the timetables of who’s talking in the big theatre each day, and essential visitor information.

It’s not too late to get your tickets for the show – buy them in advance online now, or get them on the door from 9.30am each day.

How to get there

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Make sure you allow plenty of time for your journey to The Big One. Traffic build-up can be considerable, and although there is ample parking for everyone, it will pay to arrive with plenty of time to spare

Date: Saturday, April 13 & Sunday, April 14

Location: Halls 1 & 2, NAEC Stoneleigh, Stoneleigh Park, Warks CV8 2LZ

Directions: Stoneleigh Park is located between the M6 and M40 motorways, close to Kenilworth and around six miles south of Coventry close to the A46. The Park is accessed from the B4113. The Big One will be well signposted from this point

SatNav postcode: CV8 2LZ

By rail: Royal Leamington Spa, Warwick, and Warwick Parkway rail stations are situated on the main London Marylebone to Birmingham line, while Coventry is a regular stop for the Virgin West Coast Mainline

By bus/coach: Coventry bus station is six miles from Stoneleigh Park. Warwick bus station is nine miles away

Meet the stars

Fishing’s biggest stars will be at The Big One Stoneleigh this weekend – and you can meet them all at the John Wilson MBE Legends Theatre and Demo Pool!

Hosted by TV star and England Carp Team manager Rob Hughes, there are 13 demos and insightful talks taking place over the weekend, when visitors can learn from the experts.

It’s also the place to see some sneak previews, especially during global TV legend Jeremy Wade’s appearance. He’ll be revealing his new ‘How to Think Like a Fish’ book, and giving visitors an exclusive look at his new TV series – Dark Waters.

In addition to his exclusive fishing demo, Steve Ringer will be signing copies of his latest Guide to Pole Fishing book on the Angling Times stand on Saturday – don’t miss out!


HALL 2 – Hosted by Rob Hughes

An unmissable mix of exclusive demos from the country’s top anglers, plus entertaining talks from the stars of fishing


10.00am – 10.30am | Andy May – Fish O’ Champ and angling coach exclusively reveals how to catch more fish on the pole.

10.45am – 11.15am | Des Taylor – Angling Times columnist and Midlands fishing maestro talks about his fishing adventures and reveals some of his funniest stories from days on the bank.

11.30am – 12pm | Steve Ringer – Join the World Feeder Champion as he reveals his techniques for catching more on the Method and Hybrid feeders in this exclusive demo pool session.

12.15pm – 12.45pm | Dr Paul Garner – Enjoy a lure fishing masterclass on the demo pool with Angling Times’ resident predator expert – find out everything you need to know about catching bigger pike, zander, and perch.

1pm – 1.30pm | Mark Holmes – Top carp angler reveals his bait theories for catching bigger fish this spring and summer.

1.45pm – 2.30pm | Jeremy Wade – Behind-the-scenes insights into his River Monsters and Mighty Rivers TV shows, plus sneak previews of ‘How to Think Like a Fish’ book and Dark Waters TV series.

2.45pm – 3.15pm | Dave Harrell & Darren Cox – Don’t miss this exclusive match Q&A with these two Midlands river fishing legends!


10.00am – 10.30am | Andy May – Fish O’Mania Champ and angling coach reveals how you can catch more fish on the pole in this exclusive demo.

10.45am – 11.30am | Alan Blair – Legendary carp fishing expert will help you put more, and bigger, carp in the net this season.

11.45am – 12.15pm | Dr Paul Garner – Enjoy a lure fishing masterclass on the demo pool with Angling Times’ resident predator expert – find out everything you need to know about catching bigger pike, zander, and perch.

12.30pm – 1.15pm | Jeremy Wade – Behind-the-scenes insights into his River Monsters and Mighty Rivers TV shows, plus a sneak preview of his new ‘How to Think Like a Fish’ book and forthcoming Dark Waters TV series.

1.30pm – 2.15pm | Des Taylor – Angling Times columnist and Midlands fishing maestro talks about his fishing adventures and reveals some of his funniest stories from days on the bank.

2.30pm – 3pm | Dave Harrell & Darren Cox – Don’t miss this exclusive match Q&A with these two Midlands river fishing legends!

SIX things to do at the show

1) See the latest tackle…

Stoneleigh show visitors will be treated to many new launches from the biggest names in fishing, with new gear for 2019 from the likes of Shimano, Nash, Garbolino, Maver, Rod Hutchinson, RidgeMonkey, Navitas, Prologic, MAP, Wolf, Thinking Anglers, Frenzee, NGT and Wychwood, to name just a few!

The big-hitters will be joined by many of our artisan brands, bringing a real mix of unique products for all styles of fishing – check them out!

2 …and buy it

The UK’s biggest retailers are at Stoneleigh with huge stands and huge bargains, including special The Big One show-only deals – so not only can you get your hands on the latest gear, but you’ll be able to save £££s on the full prices too!

Don’t miss top deals from retailers including Vale Royal Angling Centre, Eric’s Angling, Total Fishing Tackle and more.

3) Meet the stars

Fancy meeting Jeremy Wade and learning more about his new TV series? Want to ask Steve Ringer about catching more fish on the feeder, or Andy May on becoming a better pole angler?

What about planning your next carp session with tips from Alan Blair? We’ve got a whole host of top anglers doing demos and giving exclusive talks on the John Wilson MBE Legends stage and Demo Pool all weekend – you won’t want to miss them!

4) Stock up on baits

This year’s The Big One show has more big bait manufacturers than ever, with all the latest creations for carp, match and river anglers. Get your hands on new feeds from CCMoore, Sticky, Crafty Catcher, Blakes Baits, Shilham, Munch Baits and more.

5) Shop and Drop

Visitors will be able to take advantage of a new Shop&Drop facility at The Big One where you can leave your bulkier purchases until you’re ready to collect them and take them home. Getting them back to your car should be easy too, with parking close to the halls.

6) Relax and refresh

A fully kitted-out inside restaurant and outside catering facilities will be there to provide a huge variety of food and drink for all visitors throughout the weekend.


Below is a full list of all the weekly Drennan Cup award winners from the 2018/19 season.

WARNING: Anglers who have won a weekly Drennan Cup award in the last three years are only allowed to vote. Weekly Drennan Cup winners cannot vote for themselves.

Votes submitted by none weekly Drennan Cup award winners shall not be counted.

A letter has been posted to each of the weekly Drennan Cup award winners from the last three years informing them on how they can submit their votes.

Take a look at some of the amazing catches here:

Multiple Award Winners 2018/19

Five Weekly Awards:

·  Richard Wilby: Five rudd to 3lb 6oz, 15 eels to 5lb 2oz, 2lb 10oz roach plus others over 2lb, a 1lb 8dr dace, 2lb 14oz roach

Four Weekly Awards:

·       Darryn Stolworthy:  12lb 3oz tench, 18lb bream, 4lb 4oz perch, 3lb 3oz roach

·       Paul Faint: 16lb 13oz barbel, 19lb 11oz barbel, 4lb 7oz and 4lb 1oz brace of perch, 3lb 6oz rudd

Three Weekly Awards:

·       Dan Gale: 3lb 8oz rudd, 16lb 9oz barbel, 3lb 2oz roach

·       Matt Atkins: 4lb 1oz, 4lb 10oz and 5lb 6oz perch, 2lb 13oz roach, 1lb dace

·       Andy Cheetham: 4lb 9oz perch, 4lb 14oz perch, 5lb 3oz and 4lb 7oz perch

Two Weekly Awards:

·       Christopher Taylor: 11lb 4oz brace of tench, 11lb 8oz and 10lb 9oz tench

·       Ken Brown: 4lb 7oz crucian carp, 4lb 7oz perch

·       Dave Harman: 11lb 10oz tench, 5lb 8oz eel

·       Alex Warren: 7lb 4oz chub, 7lb 14oz chub

·       Roman Sivak: 16lb 5oz barbel, 7lb 7oz chub

·       Harry Langley: 17lb 4oz zander, 4lb 12oz perch

·       Brett Longthorne: 15lb 6oz bream, 7lb 6oz chub

·       Gary Palmer: 17lb 2oz zander, 31lb 10oz pike

·       Rob Inns: 4lb 12oz perch, 1lb 1oz 2dr dace

·       Nick Goode: 2lb 14oz roach, 31lb 6oz Pike

·       Mark Woodage: catch of roach to 3lb 3oz, 3lb 1oz roach


Weekly winners in issue order

April 17 2018

Neale Woodward, 2lb 15oz roach


April 24 2018

Ken Brown, 4lb 7oz crucian carp


May 1 2018

Paul Faint, 4lb 7oz and 4lb 1oz brace of perch

Tony Bennet, 2lb 10oz roach


May 8 2018

Kevin Sanders, 2lb 8oz and 2lb 15oz brace of rudd


May 15 2018

Chris Stothard, 10lb 4oz tench


May 22 2018

Christopher Taylor, 11lb 4oz brace of tench

Kevin Durman, 10lb 4oz tench


May 29 2018

James Crameri, 21lb 12oz bream

Lee McManus 16lb 10oz bream

Tony Arbery, 10lb 2oz eel


June 5 2018

Eddie Court, 11lb 14oz tench

Thomas Humphries, 10lb 12oz tench

Hugh Boyle, 10lb 12oz tench

Trevor Gunning, 4lb 10oz perch


June 12 2018

Christopher Taylor, 11lb 8oz and 10lb 9oz tench

Daniel Woolcott, 11lb 3oz tench


June 19 2018

Dai Gibble, 5lb 7oz eel

Darryn Stolworthy, 12lb 3oz tench

Steve Grinaham, 11lb 12oz tench

Dean Taylor, 11lb 8oz tench


June 26 2018

Richard Wilby, Five rudd to 3lb 6oz

Paul Scowen, 5lb 4oz eel


July 3 2018

Nick Proctor, 13lb 1oz tench


July 10 2018

Gary Knowles, 3lb 2oz rudd

Den Willetts, 16lb 1oz barbel


July 17 2018

Scott Walker, 4lb 4oz crucian carp

Dean Aston, 6lb 6oz eel


July 31 2018

Paul Faint, 3lb 6oz rudd

Mark Lindsay, 7lb 8oz chub

Mark Woodage, 3lb 1oz roach

Roman Vann, 17lb 2oz barbel


August 7 2018

Ken Brown, 4lb 7oz perch

Darren Clarke, 5lb 3oz eel

Dave Harman, 11lb 10oz tench


August 14 2018

Phil Spinks, 3lb 2oz rudd


August 21 2018

Neil Wayte, 7lb 12oz chub

Dave Harman, 5lb 8oz eel


August 28 2018

Harry Langley, 4lb 12oz perch


September 4 2018

Dan Gale, 3lb 8oz rudd

Adam Hughes, 15lb 8oz barbel


September 11 2018

Dan Gale, 16lb 9oz barbel

Roman Sivak, 16lb 15oz barbel


September 18 2018

Nick Duffy, 5lb 4oz eel

Darryn Stolworthy, 18lb bream

Martin Abonyi, 2lb 4oz roach


September 25 2018

Mervyn Wilkinson, 16lb 5oz barbel

Darryn Stolworthy, 4lb 4oz perch


October 2 2018

Brett Longthorne, 15lb 6oz bream


October 9 2018

Stuart Barnes, 7lb 6oz chub

Frank Partington, 2lb 10oz roach


October 16 2018

Mark Everard, 3lb 2oz roach


October 24 2018

Dan Gale, 3lb 2oz roach

Matt Atkins, 4lb 1oz, 4lb 10oz and 5lb 6oz perch

Alex Warren 7lb 4oz chub


October 30 2018

Paul Slade, 39lb 3oz pike

Michael Taylor, 16lb 7oz barbel


November 6 2018

Simon Daley, 2lb 10oz roach

Mike Lyddon, 4lb and 4lb 1oz crucian brace


November 13 2018

Paul Faint, 19lb 11oz barbel

Mark Woodage, huge bag of roach to 3lb 3oz

Adam Gorst, 17lb 2oz barbel


November 27 2018

Vinnie Durn, 3lb 8oz roach

Alan Rio, 2lb 12oz roach

Nick Goode, 2lb 14oz roach

Alex Warren, 7lb 14oz chub

Richard Wilby, 15 eels to 5lb 2oz


December 4 2018

James Champkin, nice perch over 3lb to a best of 4lb 4oz

Chris West, 4lb 6oz perch

Janusz Kansik, 17lb 2oz zander

Robin Cave, 16lb 12oz barbel

Stuart Taylor 16lb 12oz barbel


December 11 2018

Simon Baker, 7lb 10oz chub

Roman Sivak, 7lb 7oz chub

Darrell Carter, 4lb 3oz perch

Darryn Stolworthy, 3lb 3oz roach


December 27 2018

Matt Hughes, 18lb 8oz barbel

Robert Dowsett, 17lb 11oz barbel

Phil Mapp, 7lb 15oz chub

Roy Jones, 2lb 4oz and 2lb 12oz roach


January 8 2019

Richard Wilby, 2lb 10oz roach plus other two pounders

Ian Wilson, 14lb 11oz and 15lb 1oz zander brace


January 15 2019

Tony Mayhew, 16lb 7oz barbel

Chris Gardner, 16lb 8oz barbel

Ben Smith, 5lb 3oz perch

Gary Palmer, 31lb 10oz pike

Garry Bagley, 19lb 2oz zander

Vince Cater, 1lb 8dr dace

Jamie Cartwright, 5lb 2oz perch


January 22 2019

Tom Sampson, 3lb 1oz roach

Paul Restall, 3lb 1oz roach

Chris Lowe, 30lb 2oz pike

John Cadd, 7lb 9oz chub

Paul Faint, 16lb 13oz barbel

Rob Inns, 4lb 2oz perch


January 29 2019

Tony Gibson, 7lb 13oz chub

Matt Atkins 2lb 13oz roach

Simon Ashton 3lb 1oz grayling

Gary Moth, 16lb 8oz barbel

Harry Langley 17lb 4oz zander


February 5 2019

Mark Pitchers, 3lb 2oz grayling

Aaron Burnside, 31lb 4oz pike

Gary Palmer, 17lb 2oz zander


February 12 2019

Richard Wilby 1lb 8dr dace

Brett Longthorne, 7lb 8oz chub

Andy Waters, 3lb rudd

Mick Mills, 19lb 8oz barbel

Craig Lancashire, 33lb 10oz pike


February 19 2019

Matt Atkins, 1lb dace

Andrew Cheetham, 4lb 9oz perch

Charlie Dawkins, 3lb 1oz roach

Joe Frogett, 3lb 1oz roach


February 26 2019

Ryan Pevy, 19lb 15oz barbel

Rob Inns, 1lb 1oz 2dr dace

Robert Horwood, 8lb 4oz chub

Andy Cheetham, 4lb 14oz perch

Neill Stephen 4lb 3oz grayling


March 5 2019

Andy Cheetham, 5lb 3oz and 4lb 7oz perch

James Wainwright, 30lb 4oz pike

Nick Goode, 31lb 6oz pike

James Ufton, 17lb 15oz barbel


March 12 2019

Ryan Hayden, 4lb 10oz perch

Jake Hogger, 16lb 9oz barbel

Andrew Field, 1lb 1oz dace

Richard Wilby, 2lb 14oz roach

James Butler 7lb 13oz roach


March 19 2019

John Llewellyn, 20lb 12oz barbel

Paul Allen, 8lb 1oz chub

Rob Murfin, 18lb 14oz barbel

Ian Godbolt, 35lb 2oz pike


March 26 2019

Pete Cranstoun, 8lb 5oz chub

Michael Barnshaw, 5lb perch

Julian Barnes, 16lb 8oz barbel

Carp fishing to hit the big screen

BRITISH film about a group of youngsters going carp fishing will be released in cinemas later this month. 

‘Pond Life’ is set in a former mining village outside Doncaster in 1994, and follows the lives of five young people as they head to the local pond for a night fishing trip in search of Nessie – a giant carp that has pulled an angler’s rod into the water.

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The gang is led by experienced fisherman Trevor (played by Game of Thrones’ Tom Varey), who gathers enough kit for the youngsters to fish alongside him.  

The film stars a clutch of young British actors alongside a host of recognisible faces including Julie Hesmondhalgh (Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street), Shaun Dooley (Broadchurch, Gunpowder) and Siobhan Finneran (Benidorm).

The original music is provided by Pulp guitarist Richard Hawley. 

Writer Richard Cameron said of the film: “The idea for Pond Life came from the summer, when I ran an activities summer school for special-needs teenagers. It was exhausting.

“To relax, I’d go fishing – sometimes back to the pond near where I grew up in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, next to a former pit village. I started to think about a young girl with special needs being looked after by a young man on the dole, taking her fishing.

“Often stories get told of monster carp in these ponds – always the one that got away – so I decided I needed the legend of a monster carp and an all-night fishing expedition, with a gang of youngsters.

“The kids in Pond Life make their own magic, in a place where life is tough, where the life and soul of the community has gone.”

Originally written and toured as a play, Pond Life has been brought to the big screen by Open Palm Films. It was filmed in and around Edlington, Doncaster, and the fishing scenes were shot at Phoenix and Parkgate Angling Club’s Ravenfield Ponds. 

The Rod and Reel Angling shop in Bawtry also features in the film, while carp coach Ian Gemson was an angling consultant, alongside Kurt Thorpe. Having debuted at last year’s Leeds International Film Festival, Pond Life is released in UK cinemas on April 26.

The Big One Show - Farnborough hits new heights

A record-breaking crowd enjoyed one of the greatest fishing events ever staged last weekend as The Big One welcomed visitors to its first show of 2019.

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More than 20,000 mad-keen anglers headed to the famous Farnborough location over the two days, with Saturday proving to be the busiest in its 25-year history.

Visitors were treated to more big tackle launches than ever before, retailer deals, and three entertainment theatres packed with fishing’s most famous names.

In the John Wilson Legends Theatre the crowds were treated to demos from Steve Ringer, Tommy Pickering and Des Shipp, plus behind-the-scenes talks from Ali Hamidi, Dean Macey, Will Millard and Terry Hearn.

TV superstar Jeremy Wade revealed the stories behind his River Monsters and Mighty Rivers series, and unveiled his new How to Think Like a Fish book and  upcoming, top-secret filming project ‘Dark Waters’.

Event director Vince Davies said: “I was worried that we wouldn’t fit everyone in – the crowds were massive on the Saturday and it was great to hear so many positive stories from everybody.”

Retailers reported their busiest Saturday’s trading ever at the country’s biggest fishing show, with some selling out of key items by mid-afternoon on the first day!

This year’s The Big One show was attended by a host of exhibitors too, including Pure Fishing, Preston Innovations, Korda, Browning, Nash, Shimano, Maver, Trakker and RidgeMonkey. 

Anglers looking for new baits to try saw innovative creations from Dynamite Baits, Crafter Catcher, Sticky, Sonubaits, Spotted Fin, Ringer Baits and more.

Vince added: “We’re now preparing for our new show at Stoneleigh Park in the Midlands on April 13 and 14 – I look forward to seeing you there.”

What the visitors, exhibitors and stars thought of The Big One Show at  Farnborough

Stars and Exhibitors

Darren Cox, Garbolino: “It’s been a really good weekend and we’re really pleased with how the show has gone – I’ve not been stood still once and am losing my voice from talking to so many people! 

“Yesterday (Saturday) was the best day we’ve had at the show for three years. There are more match and pleasure anglers here than in previous years, and this has been a big boost for us.”

Erics Angling: “It’s been brilliant! We’ve constantly been busy, and we’re really happy with how it’s all gone. Saturday was particularly hectic, and Chubb gear was very popular. This has been the best year we’ve had. We’ll be back!”

Steve Ringer, Guru: “This has been the best show we (Guru) have been to! Saturday was the best day, and unsurprisingly our Hybrid Feeders have sold really well.”

Stu Redman, Sensas: “We arrived with seven tonnes of groundbait, and on Sunday morning we have just a few boxes left. Our four bags for £10 deal was incredibly popular.” 

Darrell Peck, Korda: “It’s been very busy and we’ve had a really good show. We’ve been coming here for years, and its great learning first-hand what people think. 

“We’ve had lots of positive feedback, and our most popular product has been the Spinner Packs, which is unsurprising as these are the in-vogue rig.”


Melissa Ackroyd, London: “The queue to see Jeremy Wade took me and my husband about 40 minutes to get through but it was well worth it – he’s such a lovely man and very passionate about fishing.”

Ronald Kyte, Kent: “The Lure Live Arena was excellent and it was great to see the lures work underwater. I loved Gary Palmer’s talk on fishing for zander on canals.”

David Kemp, Reading: “I’ve been coming to The Big One for six years now and this one has been by far the best yet – from the much improved parking to the variety of exhibitors and the talks. It couldn’t have been done any better.”

Guru sponsors England under 15s

Tackle giant Guru has revealed it is to sponsor the England Under 15s World Championships Team for this year’s event in Spain. 

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This is the first time the Under 15s has received full sponsorship, and Tackle Guru brand manager Adam Rooney was delighted to secure the deal with angling’s governing body The Angling Trust. 

“Guru is keen to work with the Trust to help and inspire young anglers by giving them something to build up to and set them on positive tracks for their future in our sport,” he said. “Finding funding for the very youngest Under 15s international team has always been hard, and we’re keen to make it more professional.

“On top of covering full funding to send the team over there, we’ll provide them with all the terminal tackle they require for the World Championships in Spain this year. We’ll kit them out in full Guru clothing, and supply every team member with Guru-Rive Team Seatboxes and full Guru Fusion Luggage – the full outfit!”

Tackle Guru’s Matt Godfrey, a former World Youth Champion himself, will be coaching the Under 15s for this year’s match in August. 

“I’ve been involved with the set-up since 2005, and it will be nice to give something back,” he said. 

“Helping young anglers is such a positive thing to do, and our sponsorship follows on nicely from the successful Guru Match Academy which we also support. 

“This event has grown in popularity every year since it started in 2016, going from 20 applicants to around 60 last year. 

“It is a fantastic way of bringing young anglers through the ranks with the ultimate aim of fishing for their country, the pinnacle of match angling.” 

The media team from Tackle Guru will be following the Under 15s in Spain, providing regular updates and live feeds on Facebook. 

Managing the team again is Joe Roberts, who has been involved with youth matchfishing in England for over a decade, and he was keen to show his appreciation to Tackle Guru for its support.

“I started the talent pathway around 10 years ago. It’s always been a struggle with this youngest team, but it’s an essential part of international matchfishing’s future and to have full support from Guru is amazing,” he said.

The international team will be selected from the Talent Pathway Final which takes place at Barston Lake on April 20. 

13,600 respond to closed season survey

Nearly 14,000 people have responded to the Environment Agency’s  questionnaire on the future of the closed season, Angling Times can reveal. 

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The deadline for responses was March 15, with more than 13,600 people recording their opinions. These will be considered alongside those of the 5,147 who responded to an email survey back in May 2018. 

The results are now being collated, and will be used to determine whether there is a case for changing the current closed season by-laws.

A spokesperson from angling’s governing body the Angling Trust said: “Any proposed change to the current by-law (whether to change the dates or remove the closed season) must be advertised, to give everyone the opportunity to object or support the proposal. 

“We will respond to these objections, before applying to the Government for confirmation. 

“The final decision ultimately rests with the Government.”

Any change in by-laws will not affect the 2019 closed season, when ‘Operation Clampdown’ patrols will take place for the seventh year.

During this campaign, Environment Agency officers will be supported by Angling Trust Volunteer Bailiffs in patrols of our waterways to enforce the closed season.

Last year this operation uncovered more than 250 instances of illegal fishing or unlicensed offenders being reported over the course of 927 patrols.

Kevin Austin, Head of Fisheries at the Environment Agency, said: “Our job is to protect fish stocks and improve fisheries. The majority of anglers, who fish legally, rightly demand that we take action to catch offenders.

 “During the closed season our fisheries enforcement officers, supported by Angling Trust volunteer bailiffs, will be targeting illegal fishing. 

“We take illegal fishing very seriously. Anyone fishing illegally can expect to be prosecuted and face a substantial fine. 

“We urge anyone to report illegal fishing as quickly as possible by calling our incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”

is this carp going to grow to be our next record?

The offspring of the country’s biggest ever carp are being grown on to create the next super strain of fish with the potential to reach record-breaking sizes in double-quick time.

The carp known as ‘Big Rig’ hit the headlines in 2016 when the British Record Fish Committee would not recognise The Avenue fish as the record, following its capture by Tom Doherty from the Shropshire lake at a weight of 69lb 3oz. The carp was subsequently caught at 71lb 4oz, but again did not take the record, before its death in the summer of 2017.

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Before it died, the carp – reared at Fenland Fisheries, Cambs – was successfully spawned with two big males from the popular RH Fisheries Avenue Syndicate water in a bid to create a super strain.

RH Fisheries boss Rob Hales told Angling Times: “We got approximately 4,000 babies from her. The biggest of 800 were graded to be sold on, but we have had to postpone plans and orders for them to make the venture more financially viable.

“We have just invested £100,000 in building a new home for 400 of these fast growers which will be held there until they are over 20lb – which we expect them to be in late 2020. At that point they will be sold to fisheries around the country, and we know they will be very popular.

“We have already stocked some into our own waters at The Monument, The Avenue and Acton Burnell, and they are showing exceptional growth. Stocked at two years and four months old, most of these fish were 7lb-plus with the biggest being 8lb 2oz. Any fish farmer will tell you these weights are quite exceptional at this age. 

“They are quite long fish with big frames. Without a doubt they have the potential to become future record fish – after all, they have the same genetics as their mother, who reached over 70lb. 

“It’s going to be fascinating watching these fish develop.”

These aren’t the only monsters RH Fisheries is growing, Angling Times can reveal. The popular ‘Super Freaks’ have also shown remarkable growth. Rob said: “The ‘Freaks’ are offspring of fish from our renowned Monument Fishery. These much shorter fish have shown astonishing weight gains and sell really well. 

“Our best example is a fish stocked last year into the Avenue at 16lb and recently caught at 29lb.”

For the first time these two super strains will be living alongside each other with RH Fisheries’ recent purchase of the Top Lake at Acton Burnell, which has been stocked with both bloodlines.

“There has already been substantial work done on this beautiful lake, with over 1.7 miles of otter fencing erected to protect these special fish,” Rob said. 

 With both these strains now living together, we asked Rob if we could potentially see a new super strain emerge in the future. 

“We keep both strains separate on the fish farm to keep the bloodlines pure. Now they are in the fishery at Acton Burnell together, though, of course there is a chance they will breed naturally. They are two strong fast growing strains so the combined result could be incredible. 

“Maybe that’s something we shall think of in the future, but who knows what the fishery may eventually produce?” Rob said.

New scheme will help ‘app’rehend offenders

A scheme to share illegal angling activity instantly on the social messaging service WhatsApp has been hailed a success just weeks after launching.

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The Shrewsbury Poacher Alert initiative uses WhatsApp to quickly share information about suspect angling activity in order to assist voluntary bailiffs in the Shrewsbury area.

And already the scheme is bearing fruit. Chris Wood, secretary of Shrewsbury Anglers Club, is one of the officials pioneering the idea, and he spoke to Angling Times about the problems local clubs were encountering.

He said: “One of the problems with poachers is that they will often move somewhere else after being kicked off a fishery, and angling clubs needed a way to quickly pass on information about illegal angling activity.

“The Voluntary Bailiff Service does an excellent job and we wanted to help them by finding a way to communicate issues with them fast.”

After talking to a number of local angling clubs, it was decided that WhatsApp could be used to the bailiffs’ advantage.

 “We found that WhatsApp is the best way to communicate quickly, so we created a group containing head bailiffs from clubs including the Birmingham Anglers Association, Prince Albert Angling Society, and Lymm Angling Club,” Chris added. 

Just a few weeks into the scheme, it’s working. 

“The other day, one bailiff caught four anglers fishing with no permits, and after they were kicked off the water they were reported in the WhatsApp group so that other bailiffs were instantly aware,” said Chris.

“By sharing information about poaching incidents it is also possible for bailiffs to gain back-up when entering potentially hostile situations – when offending anglers can sometimes become aggressive.

“The scheme has been created solely for the benefit of our sport, and I hope that other angling clubs can use our idea to their advantage too.”

How your club can get involved...

If you are an official of your angling club and want to start a similar scheme, follow these simple steps...

1) Go to the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (android)

2) Search ‘WhatsApp’ and download the app

3) Open the app and create an account

4) Add the members’ mobile numbers to your phone contacts (these will automatically become WhatsApp contacts)

5) Open the app and select ‘new group’ on the right-hand side of the menu and add any club members or bailiffs

6) You will now be able to share any information, images or videos relating to illegal fishing

Win BIG in new lure-based fishing competition

Tusses Lure Division have partnered with SPRO Freestyle to bring you the Tusses Freestyle Pairs League.

Anglers across the country have the chance to participate in a lure-based pairs fishing league where the winners will take home a share of a hefty cash prize pot.

Coventry-based angling club Tusses Lure Division have introduced the competition in a bid to get more people into lure fishing and to help promote the excellent rod-bending sport that can be found on the UK’s veining canal networks.

Like any match however there is a competitive element and the club’s Chairman David Warren reckons that the league will be hugely popular with those who are keen light lure anglers.

He told Angling Times: “You see lots of big reservoir lure matches nowadays but there hasn’t really been many held on our canals.

“Light lure fishing is a hugely popular area of the sport and this league will hopefully make lure matches on canals a big hit.

“Our members are hugely passionate about their lure fishing and together we came up with the idea – there definitely was a demand for this kind of event.”

On top of enjoying four/five days of fishing on the bank, successful participants will also have the chance to appear on TV and win a share of a big prize pot alongside some fantastic tackle items.

 “All cash prizes will be paid out of the pot and currently we have £520 in it – so the more people who join, the bigger the prize pot will be,” David added.

“SPRO Freestyle have also kindly donated a number of lure-based prizes including rods, reels, lures, luggage, mats and nets – so there’s plenty up for grabs in the final.

“I urge anyone who is interested in lure fishing to sign up to Tusses Lure Division and participate – and you could even make it on TV as Sky will be filming our final!”

Fancy joining? Here are the details behind the league:

 The Conditions

To participate anglers must become a Tusses Lure Division member which is just £20 for 12 months. To join, please visit www.tussesangling.co.uk/membership. You can also receive regular league updates by joining the Tusses Lure Division Facebook page.

Once you have joined you must register your pair at http://bit.ly/2HAPVqH. The entry fee costs £40 per pair.

The Match Dates

There will be four qualifying matches and ultimately a final. Only 10 teams will be allowed to compete in the final. Pairs who have caught the highest weight of fish and the longest length of fish over the four qualifying events will make it to the final.

  • Round One – March 24 2019: Coventry Canal Basin (Any size of fish will count)

  • Round Two – May 5 2019: Coventry Canal Nuneaton (Any size of fish will count)

  • Round Three – September 15 2019: Ashby Canal (Minimum fish size requirement 15cm)

  • Round Four – October 13 2019: Oxford Canal (Minimum fish size requirement 15cm)

  • Final – November 3 2019: Hawksbury Junction (Minimum fish size requirement 15cm)

  • Meeting times and locations to be revealed when you sign up


The Rules

  • Lure fishing tactics only – no livebaits

  • No rod limits per angler

  • Bank fishing in designated fishing zone only (fishing zone to be revealed on the day)

  • Single lure rigs only

  • All fish to be photographed on an unhooking mat with competition card in view and to be recorded via a competition log sheet

  • Only one sub allowed per pair for if a team member cannot make a particular date – although a sub cannot be used in the final

  • Your three best results count towards your overall score – meaning you can drop your worst result if you have a bad days’ fishing.

  • The fish that count towards your score are perch, pike, zander, ruffe and chub. No other fish will count





More volunteer bailiffs for 2019

More than 100 new  bailiffs will be joining the fight against illegal fishing and poaching across England and Wales, Angling Times can reveal. 


Successful applicants from this year’s Angling Trust Voluntary Bailiff Service recruitment programme will be trained by policing and enforcement professionals to keep watch on fisheries and report incidents and suspicious activity to the Environment Agency and police.

Up to 20 Phase One volunteers will now be recruited in each of the six regions – the North East, North West, East, Midlands, South East and South West.

Dilip Sarkar MBE, the Angling Trust’s National Enforcement Manager, said: “Phase 1 Volunteer Bailiffs are the eyes and ears at the water’s edge, keeping watch on our precious fisheries. 

“Over the years, the VBS has reported on a diverse range of incidents and is clearly a benefit to the wider community – in addition to supporting the EA and Police specifically in compliance and protecting fish and fisheries.”

The news has been welcomed by the Environment Agency, which relies heavily on the services of volunteers to assist in pinpointing key areas of illegal activity on the bank.

Graeme Storey, Fisheries Manager with the EA, said: “A network of anglers able to provide good information is essential in directing our enforcement patrols to catch those who damage the sport through illegal activity. 

“The support of enthusiastic volunteers is needed more than ever this year, as we look to trial a further increase in the level of engagement of selected volunteers to closely support enforcement operations in some new locations.”

More about the VBS

The Voluntary Bailiff Service is part of the Angling Trust’s Fisheries Enforcement Support Service which is funded by the Environment Agency through fishing licence income. 

Further information about the VBS can be found on the Angling Trust website www.anglingtrust.net/vbs and potential applicants are urged to read this and understand the role before applying.

Anyone wishing to apply should contact karen.sarkar@anglingtrust.net and those selected will be invited to attend a mandatory induction day in their region this spring. 

Previous enforcement experience is not essential but desirable, and all applicants must be of good character.

Wilson’s Memorial Day is open to all

A memorial day for angling legend John Wilson MBE is to be held in a few months’ time – and every reader of Angling Times is invited to join his family and friends in a celebration of his life.

After his sudden death in Thailand in November, thousands of anglers paid tribute to the man who pioneered fishing on television and was awarded the MBE for his services to angling in 2009.

And now, contrary to earlier false reports, it has been confirmed that an official commemoration of John’s life will be held at 2pm on Friday, May 24 at the magnificent Norwich Cathedral – a fitting setting in which to remember the nation’s favourite angler.

Anyone wishing to honour John’s life is welcome to attend. His daughter Lisa will be speaking about her dad, while our own columnist, Keith Arthur, will talk about John’s angling career.

John’s close relative Martin Bowler will also be at the ceremony, where he will talk about the influence that John had on the sport and share some treasured memories. 

“John had a huge influence on so many anglers, whether they enjoyed his writing, TV work, shows or even simply a visit to his tackle shop,” said Martin. “There cannot be any other fisherman who has had such an impact on our sport. I know John’s widow Jo and all his family will welcome anyone who would like to celebrate his life at Norwich cathedral. There is no need to register in advance.”

l Angling Times is publishing a limited-edition book celebrating the life of our greatest-ever angler. 

The 132-page book will be launched at The Big One Show in Farnborough on March 23 and 24 – but you can pre-order by post on page 11 of this week’s issue.  

It will include many of John’s finest words and photographs, his 100 best fishing tips, plus a section detailing his favourite waters which will allow readers to follow in his footsteps.

Proceeds will go towards a memorial on Norfolk’s River Wensum, one of John’s favourite  angling destinations. 

Big barbel boost for rivers as EA steps up stocks

The Future of barbel fishing is looking brighter than ever thanks to the Environment Agency stocking two popular river stretches with the largest barbel they have ever reared.

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Officials from the EA’s Calverton Fish Farm recently introduced 171 2lb-3lb barbel across the River Great Ouse at Harrold and the River Ivel at Biggleswade in a drive to improve catch rates and to help surviving barbel to spawn successfully. 

These additions follow thousands of fingerling barbel stocked into the Ouse and Ivel over the last 10 years but the EA admits that this latest stocking is its most significant to date because of the average size of the barbel released. 

Kye Jerrom, a Team Leader for Fisheries, Biodiversity and Geomorphology at the Environment Agency, told Angling Times: “On Wednesday, February 6 we stocked 171 fish – 80 into the River Great Ouse near to Harrold Country Park and 91 into the River Ivel at Biggleswade Mill.

“Some of these individuals were well over 30cm in length and approaching 3lb in weight – the largest barbel we have ever stocked.

“We have been working at these two locations extensively over the last 10 years to conserve the barbel populations and restore river habitats to help ensure sustainable fish populations.

“Our recent PhD studies have shown that barbel numbers are impacted most heavily by poor spawning and poor fry survival, which in effect means the populations are struggling to support themselves.

“We are doing a lot of work to turn that around by improving spawning habitat, building fry refuge areas, creating fish passages and, of course, stocking.”

In the early 1990s and early 2000s the Great Ouse made its reputation as the greatest specimen barbel river in the country after it produced countless double-figure specimen – including Grahame King’s British record at 21lb 1oz.

Predation has since severely reduced barbel stocks on the river but this most recent stocking has breathed new life into the waterway.

The introduction is also a double delight for local anglers who not only have a chance to catch these new barbel but can also help monitor their progress by reporting their results to the EA. 

“These fish have been dye marked with a (safe) blue agent and we want to take advantage of anglers fishing for them to learn more about their growth, survival and spread,” added Kye. 

“This is a great chance to get involved in some active fishery conservation work and we urge any angler who catches a barbel with a blue spot on its belly to get in contact with the EA immediately.”

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What do local clubs think?

Trevor Johnson, chairman of the Upper Ouse Fishery Consultative Association and Milton Keynes Angling Association, said: 

“These are fantastic fish, probably the largest the EA has ever had from Calverton – partly the result of two hot summers helping them pack on weight. 

“This is a sea-change from the EA’s numerous previous stockings with much smaller fish – and potentially a real shot in the arm for the river with a genuine chance that some will survive and spawn again and again, with their offspring providing sustainable stocks for the Upper Ouse and Ivel.

“But if that happens it will only be possible because of the huge amount of work the EA’s fishery lads have been putting in over the years, and continue to put in, to improve spawning and nursery habitats so that fish like these have a chance of producing a sustainable population.

“That’s an uphill battle because while predation – including that by otters – takes a toll on mature fish, it is red signal crayfish which are the real threat to the species. 

“They eat fish eggs and fry and their constant burrowing deposits tons of silt into the river bed, choking gravel beds and preventing successful spawning.

“That’s where the EA has been and are concentrating the bulk of their efforts – trying to create some areas where the barbel can do the business and produce viable fry.”

How can you help?

If you’ve recently caught a barbel from the River Great Ouse or River Ivel with a distinctive blue mark under its belly, the Environment Agency would like to hear from you! 

Contact them via Facebook at ‘Environment Agency – Great Ouse and Fenland Fisheries Team’. Alternatively, email your catch report to enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk.

Distinctive blue dye on stockies.jpg

welcome to Danny’s day-ticket disneyland

Korda boss Danny Fairbrass has told Angling Times his dream of creating the best tench water in the country is close to reality after purchasing a six-lake, day-ticket carp and coarse complex at Norton Disney, Lincs.

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The Essex businessman is well known in carp circles for creating the not-for-profit Embryo Angling Habitats to help secure carp lakes from predators – now he wants to do the same for coarse anglers.

In December 2018, Embryo bought the six-lake site in Lincolnshire for more than £1.2m and will now transform the unfished former gravel pits into a series of day-ticket carp lakes holding fish to 40lb – but in a double delight for coarse and specimen anglers, a big-tench water will be included too.

Three of the carp lakes are due to open in September, but Danny has his heart set on opening the coarse water soon after.

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He told Angling Times: “Embryo will be five years old in July and from the start I’d wanted to do something for coarse anglers – but it just hadn’t presented itself.”

When the time comes, tench into double figures will be stocked into this lake from Embryo’s existing carp waters across the country.

“Provided they pass a health check, we will take the tench out of all our other syndicate waters, where they’re not fished for and not appreciated, and put them in here,” Danny added.

“I don’t think there’ll be anywhere else in the country where you can go and fish for tench like that.”

Alongside Danny’s vision for the new venue to become a popular carp and coarse fishery, he also says that he wants it to be a place where visitors can improve their angling skills: “We want everybody to have a chance of a bite here,” he said. 

“On some day-ticket venues an experienced angler can turn up, look at some swims and think ‘those poor buggers are going to blank’. 

“I don’t want that – the staff are going to be coaches, not just bailiffs. I want anglers to go away thinking ‘I’ve had a few bites and left a better angler, and no-one has cast into my swim’.

“If that takes us longer to turn a profit then so be it.”

To read the full exclusive interview with Danny Fairbrass concerning Embryo’s brand new day-ticket site at Norton Disney, visit www.carpfeed.com 

Here you can watch Korda’s Norton Disney YouTube video and find out how you can apply for a position to work at the new six-lake complex.

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.

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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.”

revealed: FOUR ways the angling trust will use £4.6M!

The Angling Trust has revealed how it intends to spend a whopping £4.6m cash windfall from the Environment Agency.

As we reported last week, the EA has awarded angling’s governing body a four-year contract worth £1.15m annually. 

Now the Angling Trust has announced details of its spending plans, which address poaching, littering, fisheries enforcement and interaction with the nation’s one million-plus anglers over the next four years.

In addition, it has revealed how it will use a further £800,000 awarded by Sport England to promote participation and competitive fishing over the next two years.  

In this exclusive report, leading officers from the Angling Trust explain more about its plan to help the future of fishing...

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1) Enforcement

Dilip Sarkar MBE, National Enforcement Manager for the Angling Trust, says: 

“The Fisheries Enforcement Support Service continues to coordinate a partnership approach to fisheries crime through Operations Traverse and Leviathan – in which the Voluntary Bailiff Service plays a key role – while our Building Bridges team educates migrant anglers from Eastern and Central Europe regarding angling law, integrating them into our conservation-based culture.”

Goals and achievements

l We have recruited nearly 500 Volunteer Bailiffs to help reduce poaching, fish theft, fishing licence evasion and other crimes. Their presence is helping reduce the fear of crime that can deter people from going fishing.

l In the last year volunteer bailiffs across England undertook 10,978 patrols, contributing 25,054 hours to protecting fish and fisheries. A total of 102 patrols were jointly carried out with the Environment Agency, and 70 with the police.

l The Fisheries Enforcement Support Service initiated and coordinated Operations Traverse and Leviathan, targeting illegal fishing and fish theft, involving the Environment Agency and police in England and Wales.

l We ran Fisheries Enforcement Workshops across six regions in England, providing training from the policing professionals of our Fisheries Enforcement Support Service, Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officers and police Rural & Wildlife Crime Officers, and our partners at the Institute of Fisheries Management and Cefas Fish Health Inspectorate.

l Our Building Bridges team provided signage and material in up to 12 languages to educate and integrate migrant anglers. They have taught over 1,000 children the ways of UK fishing and provided events for them to catch their first fish. This reaches out to their parents as well.

2) Litter & the environment

Mark Owen, Head of Freshwater for The Angling Trust, says: 

“We will continue to raise awareness and encourage anglers to take part in our Take 5 campaign. This initiative revolves around anglers spending five minutes of their time to pick up litter from the bank after their session, or taking five items of litter home with them.”

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Goals and achievements 

The Angling Trust works with its extensive network of more than 2,200 clubs, fisheries and trade members to promote angling club litter clean-ups in which which anglers in their thousands take part across the country (see here). In addition to our Take 5 campaign we encourage anglers to send their used line for recycling with the Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme, all in partnership with the Environment Agency

3) Interaction with Angling comunity

John Cheyne, Regional Co-ordinator for the Angling Trust, says:

“Our Regional Fisheries Forums are a fantastic way for ourselves and the Environment Agency to meet with grass roots anglers, clubs and fisheries right around the country.

“We are delighted that these events will continue under the new contract and look forward to tackling local issues and getting anglers involved with positive initiatives that help to create better fisheries and get more people fishing.”

Goals and achievements 

Over 1,000 anglers attended 33 regional forums held all over England in the last 12 months, giving anglers the chance to have their say on important issues that affect them at both a national and local level.

l Digital engagement across eight regional Facebook groups which promote key campaigns, help spread good angling practice and support and promote local fishing clubs right round the country.

Read about Angling Trust work delivered on behalf of the Environment Agency at our blog https://linesonthewater.anglingtrust.net/

4) Predation & invasive species

Mark Owen, Head of Freshwater for the Angling Trust, says:

“The Fisheries Management Advisors will be continuing to advise clubs and fisheries on predation matters, so please contact them with any issues that you have around cormorants, goosanders, otters and seals. 

“We will also be administering the Angling Improvement Fund, on behalf of the Environment Agency, which reinvests money from licence sales in projects to protect fish stocks from predation.”

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Goals and achievements

In the last 12 months our Fisheries Management Advisors were contacted more than 900 times to provide fisheries specialist support on predation. 

In four years we have distributed over £480,000 provided by the Environment Agency for otter fencing and other deterrents through the Angling Improvement Fund.

From signal crayfish to floating pennywort, we have supported initiatives such as the Check, Clean, Dry campaign to help stop the spread of invasive non-native species.