Page 1

Angler Front Cover Spring_S&C_template_2010 19/03/2014 14:56 Page 1

Top tips from the experts

How we fight for fishing

A4 Advert template_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 14:33 Page 3

content_S&C_template_2010 20/03/2014 11:48 Page 3

Contents 22

The Angler NEWS 6 7 62 67 68 69

AGM 2014 Angling news Working for sea angling National Angling Strategy Voluntary Bailiff Service Building Bridges

COARSE 22 Anybody can catch carp by Julian Cundiff 46 Masterclass: Summer tench



32 The challenge of the sea by Callum Graham 48 Conservation: Saving the Black bream

GAME 27 Early season on the river by Oliver Edwards 44 Masterclass: Stalking trout


14 Taking part in Team England 59 Match diary 64 Captain’s corner



20 DNA makes polluters pay 51 Fighting for you – and winning

YOUNG ANGLERS 37 Fishing for all the family (#familyfishing) 42 Fishing on a budget – and a bike by Carl & Alex Smith

PEOPLE 16 56 57 60 61 66 70


Meet the new ambassadors Heroes on the water Wheelchair anglers put to sea Clubmark can help your club Coaching – get qualified Ambassador Keith Arthur has his say Volunteers – how to be a champion

FEATURES 12 Record breakers – what to do if you catch one 71 Preserving our angling heritage

REGULARS 4 19 26 31 58 72 74

First Cast Salter’s Soapbox Competition – win top titles Gallery Events – where to meet us Reviews – a good read The Final Cast

editor letter_S&C_template_2010 19/03/2014 15:46 Page 4

First Cast COVER: Carp expert Julian Cundiff shows the sort of carp you could catch if you follow his tips for success.

Angler The

is published by the Angling Trust and Fish Legal Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 8DQ Tel: 0844 770 0616 Email: Editor: Paul Sharman Email: Editorial adviser: Jeffrey Olstead — BASC Design: Alistair Kennedy — BASC Becky Bowyer — BASC Advertising: Paul Sharman Email:

© Angling Trust. Editorial and advertisements in The Angler are accepted for publication in good faith. Readers are, however, advised that the Angling Trust and Fish Legal cannot accept responsibility for statements made in the editorial or the advertisements. The editor and the Angling Trust reserve the right to withdraw any editorial or advertisements at any time. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the Angling Trust or Fish Legal.

The Angler is printed by Precision Colour Printing Ltd, Haldane, Halesfield 1, Telford TF7 4QQ

The paper used within this publication has been sourced from Chain-of-Custody certified manufacturers, operating within international environmental standards such as ISO14001, to ensure sustainable sourcing of the raw materials, sustainable production and to minimise our carbon footprint.


Angler The


to the spring issue of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal members’ magazine The Angler.


ith this past winter being one for the record books for all the wrong reasons, we hope that common sense and reason rather than blind reaction will now play a part in the future planning of flood prevention. Our own freshwater campaigns team was leading the calls for government to listen to expert advice on dredging for example, and will continue to push our message home that focusing on better land management in the uplands as well as the flood plains is the long-term solution.

As this magazine arrives with you, a debate about the river closed season for coarse fish is well under way on the Angling Trust website and Facebook page, with comments from both supporters of the closed season and those who would like to see it removed. Check out the letters on the subject on our website at under our freshwater campaigns section and submit your own thoughts if you feel strongly either one way or another – we’d like to read them. Whatever type of fishing you enjoy we have something of interest for you in this new issue of The Angler which we hope will encourage you to get out fishing more often and maybe even try something new this year. Our new #familyfishing campaign has also been launched with our partners Get Hooked on Fishing now and we hope you will join us at events being held around the country to encourage all family members to get out and enjoy some fishing together. The dates and venues are listed in the Family Fishing section inside. Invasive species remain a problem that is not going away and we are keen to remind all anglers of our CHECK, CLEAN, DRY campaign. Join the fight against invasive alien species and adopt CCD in your club. We have a limited number of aluminium signs available free on a first come-first served basis (just pay postage). You can download a highresolution copy of the CCD poster from our website under Freshwater Campaigns – Invasive Species.

Tight lines until the next issue

A4 Advert template_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 14:27 Page 1

he For t hing s ily Fi Fam ts diary even page go to 37


006 - AGM 2014_S&C_template_2010 19/03/2014 13:06 Page 6


Members should note that both Angling Trust and Fish Legal have amended their year ends from 31 December to 31 March. These changes will mean that the current financial periods will be extended to 31 March 2014 and will cover a 15 month period from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014. The sole reason for this change is to bring Angling Trust in line with the funding cycles of its two major funding partners; the Environment Agency and Sport England. Fish Legal has also changed its year end to remain in line with Angling Trust. This is to assist with budget setting and existing membership sharing arrangements. These changes are permitted through the Memorandum and Articles of Association of Angling Trust and the rules of Fish Legal and were approved the Angling Trust Board and Fish Legal Committee. In the case of Angling Trust, as a company limited by guarantee, this change complies with company legislation and has been registered at Companies House. The changes have also been notified to the auditor of both organisations.


Angler The


As a result of the change in year ends, it is necessary for the Annual General Meetings of the Angling Trust Subscribing Members Association and of Fish Legal to be held slightly later in the year. The AGMs are therefore provisionally scheduled for Saturday 4th October. Full details of the AGMs, including confirmation of date and venue, will be sent out to members in July 2014 and will also be available via our website.


to stand as a director of a limited company and you should ensure that you are not debarred from holding a directorship. Please send your nomination to: Company Secretary Angling Trust Eastwood House 6 Rainbow Street Leominster HR6 8DQ Or to using the Subject title of “Director Nomination�

If you wish to stand for election as a director of Angling Trust and/or as a committee member of Fish Legal, please submit your nomination in writing (by post or email) using the contact points below. In your nomination please detail whether you wish to stand in Angling Trust, Fish Legal or both organisations. Please also provide a short description of the skills, knowledge and attributes you would bring to the position in no more than 300 words. These descriptions will be used to inform members of the candidates standing prior to the AGMs. Nominations must be received by 5pm on 30th June 2014. Please note that you must be eligible

Spring 2014

News - The Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 16:17 Page 7

Angling news

Fighting for fish and fishing The recommendations contained in the report include:

• Avoid sensitive areas for •

Fit to frack?

• •

Could poorly regulated fracking harm threatened species and pollute our waterways? A report produced by the Angling Trust and some of UK’s leading wildlife and countryside groups thinks it might.


re We Fit to Frack? was launched by the Angling Trust in conjunction with the National Trust, the RSPB, the Salmon & Trout Association, The Wildlife Trusts and the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. It’s supported by a crossparty group of MPs including Zac Goldsmith (Con), Alan Whitehead (Lab) and Tessa Munt from the LibDems. The report contains ten recommendations for making fracking safer as the Government continues its push to get companies to apply for licences to let them explore and drill for shale gas.

• •

The report calls for all protected wildlife areas, nature reserves and national parks to be frack-free zones. It recommends that full environmental assessments be carried out for each drilling proposal, and for the shale gas industry to pay the costs of its regulation and any pollution clean-ups. The report highlights a lack of regulation around shale gas exploration that might harm a range of threatened species. It also raises concerns about drilling and water contamination on some of our most precious natural habitats

such as chalk streams – 85% of the world's chalk rivers are to be found in England. For further information, check out: dated 13.03.14

wildlife and water resources by creating shale gas extraction exclusion zones. Make Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) mandatory for shale gas extraction proposals. Require shale extraction companies to pay for a world-class regulatory regime. Prevent taxpayers from bearing the costs of accidental pollution. Require all hydraulic fracturing to operate under a Groundwater Permit. Ensure full transparency of the shale gas industry and its environmental impact. Ensure monitoring and testing of shale gas operations is rigorous and transparent.

Super saver Thanks to a fantastic new partnership with retailer Snows Toyota, Angling Trust member Phil Cundale saved over £2,000 on a new Toyota Rav4. The scheme, where members can save up to 15% on the basic price (and any factory fitted option) is open to all members. With the purchase of a

modest family vehicle, you could save around £2,000. That's equivalent to your AT membership 80 times over! If you are considering buying a new Toyota car or van in the next year, this is another great reason to join the Angling Trust. Check out for more details... and tell a friend!

Angler The


News - The Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 14:30 Page 8

Angling news Winter winners Thank you to everyone who entered our winter raffle and extra special thanks to our generous sponsor Daiwa for their support, fantastic prizes and the chance for winners to choose tackle from their 2014 catalogue.

The lucky winners were... • 1st prize – £1,500 cash – Mr Bruce of Somerset • 2nd Prize – £1,000 of Daiwa tackle – Thornaby Angling Association of Co. Durham • 3rd Prize – £750 of Daiwa tackle – Mr Pole of Manchester (who planned to donate most of the tackle to the junior

section of his local club.) • 4th Prize – £350 of Daiwa tackle - Ms Milner of West Yorkshire Congratulations to our winners and thank you to everyone who supported the raffle. Tickets for our next raffle will arrive by post later this year.

Cormorant and goosander control gets go-ahead The Angling Trust has successfully concluded some tense negotiations with the government on the implementation of new measures, announced last year, to improve the protection of vulnerable fish stocks from predation by cormorants and goosanders. The Trust has been campaigning for more than three years for a change to the current bureaucratic and


Angler The

ineffective licensing regime that governs the lethal control of these birds, which can eat between 1 and 2 lbs of fish every day, collectively consuming more than 1,000 tonnes every winter. However, there was a real prospect that the new measures would unravel unless ministers gave the go ahead to lift the ceiling on the total number of birds that could be shot. Now that the trust has secured this

commitment the final blockage has been cleared. The Angling Trust's Action on Cormorants campaign attracted cross-party support in parliament that included Labour's former fisheries minister Ben Bradshaw and the Conservative chairman of the All Party Group on Angling, George Hollingbery. High profile endorsers included celebrity angler Chris Tarrant and wildlife film maker

Hugh Miles. The new measures will include the funding of three fisheries management advisers (FMAs) to be employed by the Angling Trust from April 2014. They will help angling clubs and fishery owners reduce predation, to co-ordinate applications for licences across catchments and to gather better evidence about the number of birds in each catchment.

Spring 2014

News - The Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 16:24 Page 9


Fighting for fish and fishing

What’s sea angling worth?


wo billion pounds and supporting 23,000 jobs… that’s the value of recreational sea angling according to a new survey. Sea Angling 2012 – a report into recreational sea angling activity and its economic value in England – was set up by Defra to find out how many sea anglers there are, how many fish are caught and returned and what is the economic and social value of sea angling. The report estimates that nearly four million days of sea angling took place in England last year with an estimated ten million fish being caught and up to 75

per cent released alive by conservation-minded anglers. The vast majority of sea angling took place from the shore, followed by private boats and then charter boats. It also estimated that there are 890,000 recreational sea anglers in England – two per cent of the country’s total adult population! David Mitchell, the Angling Trust’s marine campaigns manager said: “This report highlights the immense economic value of sea angling and the role it plays in many coastal communities throughout England. More

people angling – more often – will lead to huge economic, social and health benefits for individuals and communities, with only very limited impacts on fish stocks in most cases. What we need now is to see fish stocks restored and angling to be seen as the major player in the management of some species. The evidence is there – we must now make sure it gets turned into policy.” Mark Lloyd, the Angling Trust’s chief executive said: “This report provides real evidence of the importance of sea angling to nearly a million people and many more that

rely on sea anglers spending money in their seaside towns and villages. Sea angling is great fun and there is a huge range of fish to be caught, but it could be so much better if stocks were better managed. This report should be a wakeup call for politicians who have traditionally paid too much attention to the demands of the commercial sector and ignored recreational anglers, who generate far more revenue to the economy." To read the full news article check out: dated 27.11.13

Junior fishing club formed in North Yorkshire It became obvious to Ripon resident Alan Cooper that during school holidays the local children were bored and spent time filling in the nearby ponds with debris of all kinds. He therefore invited several juniors between 7-14 to listen to his ideas on forming a Junior Angling Club, and teaching them the basics in safety and the importance of looking after the ponds rather

than abusing them. The North Yorkshire Junior Angling Club was born. Living in an area that over the years has been worked for the extraction of aggregates there were several large lagoons nearby used mainly by birds. Having approached the owners for permission, coarse fish such as rudd, roach and perch were introduced to provide coarse fishing for the

juniors. The fish bred well, so much so that the local Ripon Piscatorial Club were able to remove excess rudd, roach and hybrids for inclusion in the waters they control. Obtaining help from two exservicemen, one a major from the Parachute Regiment and the other a special services individual, the idea was to start the youngsters off with short rods and fixed spool reels

and the use of worms and maggots. Hooks would be barbless. Some tackle was obtained from anglers who because of age had given up fishing or had died, and they managed to obtain several outfits that way which got them moving in the right direction. The club now has about a dozen boys who are as keen as mustard, and eagerly await the new season.

Angler The


News - The Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 13:58 Page 10

Angling news

We need a reality check on dredging, says national report In the aftermath of this winter's record floods there was a real danger that we could have seen a return to widespread dredging which would be a disaster for the future of river fishing. However, the Angling Trust sprang into action and jointly commissioned a study published by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) and endorsed by the Blueprint for Water coalition of environmental organisations. Far from advocating dredging as a panacea, the report suggests that solely relying on dredging can even make some downstream communities more vulnerable to the risk of flooding by moving water too quickly down the river catchments. Anglers in particular are

concerned that politicians could be about to take us back to the 1960s and 70s and turn many rivers into straightened flood channels in order to be seen to be ‘doing something’. Floods and Dredging – a Reality Check demonstrates that all the evidence shows that flood risks are best managed by holding water back for as long as possible at the top of the catchments, ending damaging farming practices and protecting the floodplains from development. The report makes it clear that dredging is not a stand-alone

solution. It is one of a range of tools and interventions, such as reducing

run-off, working with natural processes to slow the flow of water, and increasing infiltration and flood storage throughout catchments. Martin Salter, national campaigns co-ordinator at the Angling Trust, who helped commission the report, said: “Rivers establish flood plains for a purpose and we abuse them at our peril. Dredging is no silver bullet but proper catchment management can make a difference. “The government also needs to toughen up, rather than weaken, planning protection for vulnerable floodplains. It's both ridiculous and worrying to hear at time like this that swingeing cuts are being planned to the Environment Agency.”


Better blueprint, better deal


Angler The

The Blueprint for Water coalition of environmental groups – which includes the Angling Trust – has welcomed changes to the government's Water Bill. The bill will increase the sustainability of the water industry by placing a new, strengthened ‘resilience duty’ on the regulator. The water bill will now give Ofwat a duty to promote ‘resilience’ by ensuring that water companies ‘manage water resources in sustainable ways and reduce demand for water.’ The Trust believes this duty could play an important role in ensuring water companies deliver environmental improvements to the UK’s already stressed and over-abstracted rivers and watercourses. However, the Blueprint for Water coalition believes that even with these amendments the Water Bill is still far too timid and fails to live up to the 2011 Water White Paper, which promised wholesale abstraction reform.

Spring 2014

News - The Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 13:58 Page 11

Fighting for fish and fishing

Dossier reveals deliberate canoe conflict on the riverbank


dossier of evidence documenting the rise of unlawful canoeing and the role of the UK’s canoeing governing bodies in blocking workable voluntary access agreements has been sent to government ministers. The dossier provides new evidence that the British Canoe Union has potentially misled its members and the public about the law relating to navigation on rivers and acted against the government’s policy of supporting voluntary access agreements. The document is published by the Angling Trust, which has called on Ministers to intervene and to consider withdrawing public funding from organisations which refuse to respect the law of the land.

The British Canoe Union (BCU) and its national arms Canoe England (CE) and Canoe Wales (CW) have provided what appears to be confusing and at times conflicting guidance to their members and the public which suggests that there might be access to and along all rivers by canoes and other vessels. The Angling Trust believes this has contributed to a widespread upsurge in unlawful canoeing and trespass throughout England and Wales. This hits the legitimate rights of millions of anglers and poses a serious and increased environmental threat of damage to fish spawn and spawning fish, which is a criminal offence. The dossier explains how canoeing also endangers

unsuspecting anglers wading on smaller rivers and streams, and how it can, in many circumstances, make fishing pointless or impossible for many hours as the fish are too frightened to feed. It also reveals that angling contributes £3.5 billion to the UK economy, employing nearly 40,000 people, and needs to be protected. Mark Lloyd, chief executive of the Angling Trust said: “Anglers are quite willing to share rivers with others, but in a crowded country we all have to accept that there have to be rules about how we manage our precious natural resources. These access agreements are in line with government policy in both England and Wales and make it possible for rules to be established for each river

to reflect the particular natural conditions, the species of fish present, the timing of their spawning, and the type of fishing carried out. Anglers have numerous by-laws, close seasons and other restrictions on their activity; they pay a licence fee to the Environment Agency and buy a permit to fish and their rights should be respected. Our dossier shows that the canoeing governing bodies have been unreasonable, irrational and misleading and we have called on ministers to intervene to stop this unacceptable behaviour by publicly-funded organisations.” Read the full news article on this topic and download a copy of the dossier at dated 20.11.13

Trust publishes 5 year anniversary brochure We often hear the question “What is the Angling Trust doing for my fishing?” Well wonder no longer as the Trust recently launched a new

brochure at The Big One show at Farnborough in February highlighting its main achievements over our first 5 years of operation since 2009.

You will be able to pick one up at any of the shows we are attending this year. You can also request a stock of the brochures to keep in your

tackle shop, fishery, charter boat or fishing club – just email us at or call us on 0844 770 0616.

Angler The


012 - fish record - The Angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 12:33 Page 12

What to do with a record breaker The fish you’ve landed is big — very big. It could even be a record, so what next? BRFC Secretary, NICK SIMMONDS, explains how to submit a claim.


he British Record (rod-caught) Fish Committee (BRFC) first met in June 1957. The committee is made up of highly experienced anglers and expert fish scientists and has included many leading anglers among its members. The function of the BRFC is to verify and record claims of potential British record fish, to publish the record lists and maintain historical records of catches. Originally the BRFC was backed by the Angling Times, when Peter Tombleson, the committee’s first secretary, was the paper’s technical executive. Today the BRFC is supported by the Environment Agency, who have generously provided funding, and by the Angling Trust, who provide the secretarial service and host the BRFC web

page. The BRFC is also grateful to the Environment Agency and the Natural History Museum for contributing the services of two scientific experts, whose advice to the committee and involvement in verifying the identification of fish claimed as records is invaluable. The remaining BRFC members contribute their services entirely voluntarily. The BRFC currently documents record fish caught in, or in the seas surrounding, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands and each region has representation on the committee. Inevitably, during its history the BRFC has been criticised, praised and involved in controversial decisions. The members of

(L–R) Mike Heylin (Chairman); Nick Simmonds (Secretary); Keith Speer (Freshwater group); David Rowe (Marine group); Oliver Crimmen (Scientific Advisor, Marine fish); Nigel Hewlett (Scientific Advisor, Freshwater); Chris Clark (Marine group); Andy Nellist (Freshwater group). Not pictured — Len Le Page (Channel Islands); Paul King (Scotland); Paul Divito (Northern Ireland); Garry Reid (Isle of Man); Vacant (Wales).


Angler The

the committee remain committed to maintaining the accuracy and integrity of the British record fish lists to the very best of their ability.

What to do if you catch a record fish If you are lucky enough to catch a fish you think might be a record, the first thing to do (if the fish is to be returned alive) is to retain the fish in the water in as safe and secure a manner as possible. When you’re sure your fish is safe you can jump up and down a bit with a silly grin on your face and have a swig from your hip flask. The next thing to do is to find or contact a witness or two. If someone has witnessed the capture that’s great — you’ll need them to corroborate your claim, but if not we have a procedure whereby we may accept a claim without a witness to the capture. However, we will not consider a claim without at least one and preferably two independent witnesses to the weighing of the fish. The weighing is very important. The scale should be zeroed with the wet weighing sling in place, or the weight of the sling prior to weighing the fish should be noted. The fish should then be placed in the sling and carefully weighed in the presence of the witness(es). Any allowance for the weight of the sling is then deducted to give the claim weight.

Spring 2014

012 - fish record - The Angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 12:33 Page 13

Kristian Quenault’s 2lb 7oz 8 dr grey gurnard is the boat record caught from a wreck mark off Plymouth in 2013.

Scot Crook’s 2012 record breaking 22lb 11oz common bronze bream from Ferry Lagoon in Cambridgeshire.

Please provide good quality photographs of the fish. We like to receive; • A trophy shot (please hold the fish low over a wet unhooking mat or over the water, and close to your body —not with arms outstretched) • An image of the fish laid flat next to an identifiable object • A head-on shot.

Please provide good quality photographs of the fish. We like to receive; • A trophy shot (please hold the fish low over a wet unhooking mat or over the water, and close to your body — not with arms outstretched) • An image of the fish laid flat next to an identifiable object • A head-on shot. Note. Any particular features which will help to identify the species should also be clearly photographed. Try to be calm and methodical with the weighing and photography and think about providing the best evidence to substantiate your claim, making sure that the welfare of the fish takes priority. If your fish is a sea fish or a game fish which you have killed to eat please retain it, whole, in a freezer as the body may be requested for identification. To register your record claim call Nick Simmonds, the committee secretary, on

01568 620447, or email You will be asked to provide details of the capture and to forward photographs to start the claim process. Once the fish has been positively identified you will be sent the claim documents to complete. This will also entail obtaining witness statements and having the weighing scales checked by a weights and measures inspector. You return the completed paperwork to the secretary who will refer it to the committee’s specialist subgroup (marine or freshwater) for approval. The secretary will advise you of the outcome. The final stage is consideration of the claim by the whole committee for ratification at one of the twice-yearly meetings. Following ratification the new record will be added to the record lists and a record certificate will be issued to you.

Some useful points •

• •

If your fish is a species prone to hybridisation such as roach, rudd or crucian carp, you may submit a scale for DNA testing. (More details on the BRFC web page.) Claims in respect of imported non-native species, certain protected species and hybrids will not be considered. Witnesses should be independent and not related to the captor. The committee will not consider a record claim for a fish weighed afloat, as the movement of the boat can affect the scale reading. (However such fish may be entered for the Notable Fish List — see the BRFC web page for details.) If requested, the committee may treat the exact location of a record capture as confidential and not disclose it in the record lists or media releases. Visit the BRFC web page on the Angling Trust website at where you can download the current record fish lists and find more useful information.

Angler The


Team England - The Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 14:40 Page 14

Taking part

Team players We ask managers and squad members from each angling discipline what it means to represent their country. FLY FISHING

members will have enjoyed their experience of international competition and also felt a real sense of team spirit and pride through their participation and achievement.”

Alan Jenkins, Manager – bank stillwater international team “It’s both an honour and a privilege to be managing this particular England Fly Fishing team, a group formed after a series of countrywide qualifiers that culminated in a grand final. The six finalists with the best catch would compete as the international team for the ensuing year. Before any major match a squad day is organised where the team is given the opportunity to meet and share information on the forthcoming international. Tactics are discussed, along with the Captain’s duties and what is expected from both the anglers and me. The team usually meets three days before competition day in order to familiarise themselves with the venue and also to try out various flies and tactics. My role leading up to the international is to be there to support the team, realise

Gordon Swain – member of the bank stillwater international team England Fly Fishing Bank Stillwater International team preparing and tying flies for International

its strengths and weaknesses, keep the interests of each competitor at heart and, above all, to help the team succeed through coaching and feedback on performance. We have regular meetings and we all share a common vision and objective — i.e. to achieve the gold medal position. Finally, with mission accomplished, as team manager I would hope that all team

“When you first enter competition fishing it’s tempting to think “I have a dream...” Well, for me that dream came true when I was fortunate enough to win the 2012–13 bank championship… and secure my place in the international team. For the international in Scotland the team of anglers I would be fishing was awesome. Phil Dixon (Captain), Howard Croston, Glen Appleby, Rob Frame, Andy Taylor, and a great angler Tim Gilchrist was team reserve. We eventually fished the International against Scotland, Ireland, and Wales on Lochter fishery in Scotland. Back at the



Angler The

Spring 2014

Team England - The Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 14:40 Page 15

Taking part hotel after practise, we’d discuss what flies had caught and then tie enough for us all to try the next day. The night before the final I didn’t get to sleep until 5.00am, simply because of excitement! As defending champions we would lead the procession and Alan Jenkins had nominated me to carry the England flag. As we were getting piped to the water I began to cry, the overwhelming sense of the occasion was simply too much. I wished every member of my family had been there, I felt so proud. England eventually finished in the silver medal position, a close second to Scotland. A saving grace for me was that I came fourth in the event behind three good Scottish anglers. The experience is one that I know will never be bettered. I say to anyone considering taking up competition fly fishing, the dream is out there, go and live it.”


Mike Skipper, Manager – carnivorous artificial baits boat angling team It seems hard to believe that a year has passed since I was asked to take on the formation and management of the Team England Lure Squad (Boats). The magical moment for me was at last year’s opening ceremony in Ireland when we paraded in front of all the other nations. With our family members watching and the national anthem playing it’s a moment I will always cherish. While

England Carnivorous Boat Team 2013

we were all a little downbeat with our overall result, we are still able to look back and hold our heads up high with what we achieved in such a short space of time. This year sees us launch a series of trials around the country – followed by a grand final – from which the 2014 Team England Squad will be selected. Details of all these events will be available on I’ve recently been joined in my task by well-known angler, Trevor Gunning, who brings with him a wealth of international lure angling experience. France will host this year’s World Championships at Aix-Les-Bains in the South East of the country. With Geneva nearby and the Alps as a back-drop for the fishing, it’s going to be a fantastic experience for us all – I can’t wait!

Sam Edmonds, member – carnivorous artificial baits boat angling team “I can't put into words how amazing it felt to represent the first ever Angling Trust Team England Lure Squad in the lure angling World Championships. Every minute of the event was action-packed and adrenaline-fuelled. It was simply an incredible experience and I'd love to do it all again. Having my dad in the team too, especially as a boat partner, was fantastic. Although the results weren't entirely what we all hoped for, the Irish were great hosts and Lough Erne was the perfect water on which to stage a lure fishing world championships. I have many hopes for the future. I love the competitive side of lure fishing and I really enjoyed representing England last year. As such, retaining my place in the Team England Lure Squad would be fantastic… all I’ve got to do is be successful in qualifying again.”


Malcolm Stote, Manager – world youth U21s shore team – and member of the seniors home international shore team “Last year I took on the job of managing the England U21s World Youth Team. The position had become vacant at short notice but I’ve found that the new, unexpected opportunity has led to some amazing experiences. This year I have again been selected as the England U21s Youth Team Manager and we’re looking forward to representing the Angling Trust at the world championships at Tremblade (Royan) in France in May. There are a few new faces this year, but it’s a good and capable team. We would love to replicate last year’s fantastic gold medal win in Melilla, which for me was like achieving a dream and very exciting. I’ve also been selected to compete in the England home nations team in Scotland this July. I understand it’s quite rare to be competing as well as managing and it’s something of which I’m particularly proud. I have to thank the Angling Trust team of selectors for allowing me to continue competing at this level. To represent your country wearing a new Angling Trust shirt is a special feeling indeed.”

Angler The


016 - New Ambassadors- The Angler spring 2014 v2_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 12:12 Page 16



New ambassadors celebrate five years of the Angling Trust



he Angling Trust has marked its five year anniversary by appointing 25 new ambassadors to help promote its work and to encourage more anglers to join its growing membership. They will join the 40 ambassadors appointed in 2012 and fly fishing guide John Horsey (pictured right) added in 2013. Among the new appointees are some keen anglers who are also household names such as ex-England goalkeeper David Seaman, sports promoter Barry Hearn and recent environment and fisheries minister Richard Benyon MP. Importantly, the trust has also invited some younger ambassadors this year, with You Tube sensations Carl and Alex Smith, along with Alex Jardine who joins his father Charles on the team. David Seaman, ex-England and Arsenal goalkeeper said: “Fishing is really important to me and I want to see it protected and promoted. I can see that the future of fishing is in safe hands with the Angling Trust fighting our corner and I urge every serious angler to give them their support by becoming a member.”



Full list of new ambassadors 1. Richard Benyon MP 2. David Seaman 3. Barry Hearn 4. Dr. Mark Everard 5. Sarah Collins 6. Phil Smith 7. Nigel Botherway 8. Pete Reading 9. William Daniel 10/11. Carl & Alex Smith 12. Ian “Chilly” Chillcott 13. Paul Young 14. Duncan Charman 15. Peter Hayes 16. Paul Procter 17. Gary Newman 18. Andy Beadsley 19. Alex Jardine 20. Chris Turnbull 21. Barney Wright 22. Rae Borras 23. Tommy Pickering 24. Emma Pickering 25. Graham Mabey 16

Angler The

Ex-fisheries minister England and Arsenal goalkeeper Chairman of Matchroom Sport, World Snooker Ltd and the Professional Darts Corporation. Author and specialist roach angler CEO of Get Hooked on Fishing Specialist coarse angler and author Radio and TV presenter of angling shows Specialist angler and writer, Barbel Society research and conservation officer Founder of Famous Fishing Young video makers – Legendary carp angler and founder of English Carp Heritage organisation Actor and TV presenter of angling programmes Specialist angler, author and angling journalist Author and expert trout angler International fly fishing journalist Angling journalist Founder and director of the Wheelyboat Trust Team England youth fly fisher Specialist angler, angling artist and Illustrator Sea angling journalist Angling TV presenter (The Compleat Angler and The Game Fisher's Diary etc.) World champion Team England angler Team England angler Director – For Life Experiences





Spring 2014

016 - New Ambassadors- The Angler spring 2014 v2_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 12:12 Page 17






04 22

02 08










09 16

Angler The


Merchandise - Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 13:59 Page 1

019 - salters soapbox - angler spring 2014_S&C_template_2010 19/03/2014 13:57 Page 19

Dredging up lame excuses I know I wasn’t the only angler this winter raging at some of the stupid comments made by politicians and the media about the ‘magic dredging cure-all’ that could prevent flooding and restore order to our troubled land says Angling Trust campaigns co-ordinator MARTIN SALTER.


istening to some of these characters you would think that there was absolutely no link between the wettest January since 1766 and the floods that devastated large tracts of southern England. Of course someone had to be blamed so they picked on the Environment Agency for not dredging the hell out of enough rivers, never mind that all the evidence showed that in many cases dredging either has no impact on reducing flood risk or can make matters worse by moving water more quickly down the catchment and causing problems for areas downstream. As anglers we know that rivers are supposed to flood their floodplains — the clue is in the name. If politicians want something other than the weather to blame for the floods perhaps they should look at their own policies which have allowed ever more building on the floodplains and taxpayer subsidies for intensive farming practices that channel more and more water down the catchment at a faster rate. Simply claiming that dredging is the silver bullet that can resolve current and future flooding problems is not only unsupported by both the science and the

National Campaigns Coordinator, Martin Salter

evidence, it is a cruel offer of false hope to those living in flood prone communities. That is why the Angling Trust has taken the lead in calling for a reality check on dredging and flood risk management by commissioning a major report from the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Managers (CIWEM) which was also backed by all the major wildlife organisations. The report showed that no river channel is ever large enough to contain extreme floods, even after dredging, and by increasing flows other, unintended consequences, including re silting and downstream flooding, can easily occur. The Angling Trust has now given evidence to a parliamentary inquiry into the floods where we argued that dredging is often part of the problem and that we are now inheriting the consequences created 40 years ago when uplands and water meadows were drained, when rivers became supposed flood relief channels with trapezoidal banks, every obstacle and meander that might slow down the rate of flow removed. Not only was this shortsighted policy bad for fish and fishing, it did next to nothing to minimise flooding. Rather than paddling around in the

floodplain crying crocodile tears for the victims of the floods, politicians of all parties should start be accepting that we can’t dredge our way out of flooding but we can call a halt to policies that prevent the water meadows from doing their job and operating as natural reservoirs. Functioning water meadows are good for the environment, good for fish and wildlife and are the best flood defences we can have.

Twenty foot drain

Floods and Dredging — A Reality Check can be downloaded from the news story on our website at on 14 February 2014, called We need a reality check on dredging says new national report.

The report showed that no river channel is ever large enough to contain extreme floods, even after dredging

Angler The


020 - Cold case - angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 20/03/2014 13:31 Page 20

Fingering the villains Forensic science has made huge strides in uncovering historic crimes and now ‘cold case’ fingerprinting can help to protect our chalk streams, writes Fish Legal solicitor ANDREW KELTON.



Angler The

Spring 2014

020 - Cold case - angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 20/03/2014 13:31 Page 21


ather as advances in DNA profiling have brought to justice the perpetrators of many unsolved crimes, sometimes long after the event, so a new technique called ‘biological fingerprinting’ now promises to do something similar for the investigation of water pollution. Anglers across the UK have long been frustrated by the gradual degradation of their waters resulting from repeated but unspectacular, and therefore often unseen, pollution events. In these cases there may have been no direct or at least obvious fish kills to prove the impact beyond doubt or who caused it. Nowhere is that more apparent than on the English chalk streams. There, in many cases, there is a lingering sense that the (once spectacular) fly life has declined, that there are now few wild fish and even the water is not as clear as it once was, yet no-one seems to know quite why, or indeed how to do anything about it. Severe water discolouration ‘events’ in the middle River Test — on some of the most famous chalk stream fisheries of them all — in the summers of 2006 and 2009, when the water turned milky-white for days at a time, brought angry complaints from

a Fish Legal member club. This led to investigations by the Environment Agency alongside commissioned studies from our jointly-instructed expert Nick Everall, an aquatic eco-toxicologist of Aquascience Consultancy, who had been doing similar work on a Test tributary, the River Bourne. Dr Everall’s ‘biometrics’ system

The biometric analysis of historical GQA datasets from the Bourne has now identified exactly when the various pollution impacts previously occurred and, in fact, are continuing to occur. The same historical analysis will now be done on behalf of the club and Fish Legal for the Test. Where paired samples can be

(developed in tandem with Environment Agency scientists) provides a precise record of the history and level of each main type of pollution depending on the recorded absence of invertebrate species sensitive to certain types of pollution, which should be present but are not when samples are taken. The analysis can also be performed on historical datasets (such as the EA’s General Quality Assessment (GQA) invertebrate records) to build up a precise and definitive historical record of the occurrence of each type of pollution. Although the Environment Agency’s recent conventional water quality tests on the Test and Bourne, including datalogging, have provided indications, but no conclusive proof, of ‘eutrophication’ and other pollution impacts, Aquascience Consultany’s parallel results are now definitively demonstrating pollution impacts on both rivers (elevated nutrients, organic pollution and high silt levels) through biometric ‘signatures’.

taken — such as where there is a fork in the river system, so that results from the impacted branch can be compared against the unpolluted one — it may be possible to pin down the exact source of the pollution and match its occurrence with the history of activities at the source. On the Bourne, Aquascience Consultancy’s results put the — historical and continuing — effluent-creating activities of Vitacress Salads once more very firmly in the pollution frame. On the middle Test, where any impact had been rejected by the Environment Agency, we now have conclusive evidence of three different types of pollution and their impacts on the ecology. The next step, using the same technique, will be to identify the sources.

River Bourne

Dr Nick Everall at Aquascience Consultancy has 30 years’ experience in ecological condition and pollution assessment. Tel: 01246 239344 Email:

Angler The


022 - Carp - angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 14:47 Page 22

Anybody can


Angler The

Spring 2014

022 - Carp - angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 14:48 Page 23

catch carp Julian Cundiff’s top ten tips


ould it really be over 40 years ago that I caught my first fish; a glorious perch all of four ounces, I think? Well, it was and, as I put together this piece for the Angling Trust, I can hardly believe where the time has gone. Starting my apprenticeship with the smaller fish and then moving on to tench, bream, pike and eels was a great start, but when it came to carp for many years I floundered (no pun intended). Anglers were more than willing to help me catch

specimen fish of most species, but when it came to carp the advice was certainly not forthcoming, and in all honesty I did start to believe that they were a special mythical fish, almost uncatchable for the average angler. Of course that wasn't true then and certainly isn't true now, but it certainly still seems to be the perception of many a coarse angler. Last year, I spent much of my time on mixed fisheries targeting carp and often, when I landed one, fellow

coarse anglers were seemingly amazed that it was “that easy”. Some took some convincing but once I'd rigged them up with a sensible main line, a bag of boilies and showed them a rig or two, they soon realised that carp are very catchable summer and winter alike. So in this feature I am going to detail ten points that will enable anybody who can catch roach, bream, tench, and the like, to catch carp. I promise that if you follow these you CAN and WILL catch them.

Angler The


022 - Carp - angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 20/03/2014 13:35 Page 24

Believe in yourself

Boilies are an incredible bait

that will short-circuit your learning curve by years. Both are available from .

3 Decent main line.

While it is possible to land carp on light line you will probably lose plenty too. This is both daft and dangerous to the carp’s health. Get yourself some decent 10lb mainline, such as Daiwa Sensor. Load it to the lip of your spool to aid casting.

4 Good hooks. These are where many general anglers fall down and that's plain silly. Hooks in sizes 8 and 10 are perfect and my choice is Nash Tackle’s Fang X range, but ESP Big T and Gardner Muggas are great too.

5 Hook lengths. While you can catch on bog-standard monofilament line, a coated braid is your best friend. My choice is Nash Tackle’s Missing Link but ESP Stripteaze and Kryston Jackal are great. Choose a breaking strain of around 15lb.

6 Knots.

Jules’ top ten tips 1

1. Are they there? Don't try fishing for myths. The first key to catching carp is to have them to catch. I know a number of anglers who have wasted time fishing for carp that just don't exist. Obviously, the more carp there are in the water the better. Seeing others catch them regularly is the best evidence but seeing them with your own eyes is a bonus.


Angler The

You can't catch what isn't there but many, if not most, mixed fisheries do contain carp.

2 Get a head start.

When I started carp fishing in the early eighties there was little instructional advice to go on and I often had to make it up as I got to grips with the subject. Nowadays, there is probably too much and most of it isn’t aimed at those wanting simple ‘how-to’ advice. All I can do, is point you in the direction of Ali Hamidi’s book called Carp Fishing Masterclass and my own title called Short Session Success which are both instructional guides

Learn to tie them properly. The books I detailed above have the correct knots to use but a grinner for most knots and a knotless knot for hair rigs have you 90 per cent sorted. Pull tight, and then check — even if it’s ‘nearly’ right that's not good enough. Tie again until it’s 100 per cent right and it won’t let you down — especially if you add a drop of superglue. Carp fight hard and a bad knot usually equals a bad end to a fight.

7. 7 Boilies

Like it or not, whether you are a pleasure angler or a serious carp angler, boilies are an incredible bbait and catch carp both in summer and winter alike. Now, in the ‘olden’ days boilies were a black art and telling you to use them was not much use. Many were of poor quality, few were available and most needed

Spring 2014

022 - Carp - angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 14:54 Page 25

freezing. Nowadays, as with books, there are probably too many, so you end up being spoilt for choice and more than likely confused. That was then and this is now. You can get ready-made boilies with a good shelf life and they will catch you all you need. In summer, go for something fishy such as a Nash Bait Monster Squid and in winter fruity creamy such as Pineapple or White Chocolate. Look for 10–15 mm maximum size and a one kilo bag will last you ages. Keep them out of direct sunlight and free from moisture and they will stray fresh for months. One or two on the hair and a small handful around each hookbait will do the trick. No need to spend lots of money or throw lots in.

Carp will readily feed on the surface

Spool loaded to the lip with braid

8 Sweetcorn and groundbait. Carp love them and both are relatively cheap. Liquidise a tin of corn into a small bait bucket. Add hot water and then brown groundbait to make a mushy effect and it’s perfect in the margins. A few broken boilies and carp will soon home in on it. Maybe a few pellets too and a boilie pop-up over the top will trick them time and time again. Very few do it but from May to October it’s a winner!

9 Floaters. Carp love surface baits, particularly mixers that you feed dogs on. Go to any good supermarket and Chum Mixers are dirt cheap for a big bag. As soon as the water warms up I tend to fire them out and very often carp will be straight on them. Scatter a pouchful or two to see what happens and if fish start to take keep adding more till they really compete with each other on the surface. Then away you go with a bubble float and single mixer.

10 10. Believe You will never catch carp if you don't have a go, will you? If you can catch roach you can catch carp with the tips I have given you. Get the right gear, find yourself some fish and believe in yourself. Carp can be plain daft at times so go on, get out there and do it.

If you can catch roach you can catch carp

If you have anything you want to ask, simply use Twitter and find me at @juliancundiff. If I can help, I will.

Angler The


Competition Time

026 - Book Competition - The Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 12:09 Page 26

If you want to catch more fish…

We have four copies each of Redfin Diaries and Operation Sea Angler: The Second Wave to give away in our spring magazine competition. We included these great titles in our autumn issue book reviews and both are full of great tips on how to increase your catches. HOW TO ENTER

All you need to do is register (or please re-register) to receive our newsletter(s) via our website at • If you subscribe to the general Newscast newsletter you will be entered in the draw for Redfin Diaries.

• If you subscribe to our Sea Update newsletter you will be entered in the draw for Operation Sea Angler: The Second Wave. We will pick 8 names at random from all those who have registered or re-registered with us as of midnight on Wednesday 30th April 2014. Good luck!

The prizes

Operation Sea Angler: The Second Wave by Mike Ladle & Steve Pitts. Published by Bloomsbury Publishing

Redfin Diaries by Dr Mark Everard. Published by Coch-y-Bonddu Books

Modern methods of fishing aren't just for those in the know - they can work for everyone. Knowing why fish behave as they do is key to applying the right techniques and consequently catching more and larger fish. In this book, Mike Ladle and Steve Pitts reveal the inside story on what's going on under the water.

This is the record of a year in the life (or, as Mark puts it, a life in the year) of an obsessive roach angler. Redfin Diaries is a celebration of roach. It is a special, often lyrical, record, drawn from the vivid experiences of its author, Mark Everard.


Angler The

Spring 2014

GAME - spring 2014_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 11:53 Page 27

EARLY SEASON ON THE RIVER With sixty years’ experience on northern freestone rivers, Angling Trust Ambassador OLIVER EDWARDS says trout will still take a fly in the cool days of early spring and here’s how to tempt them.

Waterhen Bloa

Angler The


GAME - spring 2014_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 11:54 Page 28

Oliver returns an early brown trout


or those like me who fly-fish rivers which flow off the high peaty uplands, the rain fed ‘freestone’ rivers, the first few days, even first weeks of the season can be a testing time. Fortunately, not everything will be as dead as it looks, and even on chilly late March days, the large dark (spring) olive (Baetis rhodani) should be putting in an appearance on some river, somewhere. In fact, I’ve seen odd ones floating along as early as the second week of January as almost horizontal hail stung my cheeks. This small/medium dusky mayfly has a very well-deserved reputation for moving early season trout, and from my own observations there doesn’t need to be all that many riding the current to trigger a response from the trout. This one insect is certainly my prime start of season target, and both wet and dry patterns will be tied and ready. There are two other insects which emerge during the very early weeks of the season, and which fish feed heavily upon — one is the larvae of the blackfly (Simulium species) aka the reed smut and the other is the pupae and larvae of the Chironomid midges (many species.)

Because of their tiny size they often go unnoticed by us, but fish don’t miss them. These river ‘buzzers’ are really minute, and, without exaggerating, need a size 32 to copy them. To date, I haven’t cracked either of these frustrating little beasts but there’s sport to be had here, I’m sure. There is, of course, one other iconic early season mayfly — the true March brown (Rhithrogena germanica) but more April than March, and you may be one of those very lucky people who fish it. Happily, it seems to be increasing its range … one day maybe?

The set-up is simple, now I’ve just the flies to select and knot on. Then one last but very important job. The entire leader and dropper legs must be well degreased (Fuller’s Earth + Fairy Liquid + glycerine). Now I’m ready. FLY CHOICE — WETS Top dropper #14 or 16 Hare’s Lug and Plover. Middle dropper #14 or 16 Waterhen Bloa. Point #14 or 16 Baetis Nymph.

How do you best tackle early spring days? Now there’s a good question… I keep it simple. I’ll have my 9ft 4wt for dry fly (just in case) and my 10ft 4wt for spider wets (and any nymphing I may want to do), both with 4wt DT lines (forget WF lines.) If there’s no sign of surface activity I will opt straight away for wet fly, with a classic North Country spider on each dropper and a moderately weighted olive (baetis) nymph at point, (which could be exchanged for a slightly heavier 1.5 or 2mm tungsten bead head nymph for you bead head fans). My overall leader length will be about 11 to12 feet, (7.5ft 6x tapered leader, cut down to 5.5ft — removing 2ft at the thick butt end, and re-looping using a ‘perfection’ loop). The top dropper leg is formed on the 6x (3lb) tip end of this leader, then about 3ft of 6x tippet to the middle dropper, and another 3ft to the point. Tippet sections and 5 inch dropper legs are all 6x (basically 2.5 to 3lb BS). Dropper knots will be two or three turn water or surgeon’s.

Baetis Nymph (Large Dark Olive)

(Others to try: Partridge and Orange, Snipe and Purple, Snipe Bloa, Dark Woodcock, Winter Brown.) I have two styles of Hare’s Lug and Plover. One is tied Stewart style, i.e. semipalmered (front third to half); this style seems to fish particularly well at top dropper, and may represent a failed, struggling ‘half-out’. The other is tied as a straightforward North Country spider. Either style always has a place on my team in early spring. The Waterhen Bloa is considered by most North Country aficionados as the pattern when Spring Olives are on. It’s quite simply my go-to spring pattern. My latest baetis nymph now includes a couple of 1.5mm tungsten beads, buried under the thorax dubbing it’s lethal at Spring Olive time. I’m perfectly happy with this fly choice and I’ve known many early days when they’ve never been changed all day, and where all three have scored.

Looking upstream from the office


Angler The

Spring 2014

GAME - spring 2014_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 11:56 Page 29

FLY CHOICE — DRIES (just in case) Dark Olive Paradun #14, 16. (post wing of dark grey Poly-yarn) Dark Olive CDC and Poly Dun #14, 16. Just two patterns may seem a scant selection by some. However, if they are convincing patterns and work, why have more?

should make depth as they travel downstream. I’ll track their progress with the high rod tip — the ten footer helps — trying all the time to keep tension off the fly line as I keep pace with the rod tip. Eventually I’ll run out of rod tracking (reach) and tension will be felt on the rod tip as the flies start to swing (drag across the current.) I’ll allow them to go to full ‘hang’ and hold for a second or two every TACTICS now and then. I’ll be looking for the smoother, steadier Mostly I’ll pick-off and re-cast, just as, or flows, running my flies through water before, my flies have which is knee to waist deep — steady started to swing. My glides, pool tails, crinkly seams and pool casts won’t be long … bodies. I’ll leave well alone the thin, fast, two to three rod agitated water. These ‘rougher’ places are Free Living Caddis Larvae lengths only, often far for hot summer days and low water. (Hydropsyche) less. I’ll be moving regularly, very With the water so cold I’ll suspect the carefully and quietly — short drifts, trout will be lying quite close to the repeat casting, thoroughly and river bed, but hope they’ll be willing to carefully searching every likely rise to intercept any edible-looking To date, I haven’t cracked place. The trick is to keep moving. organism coming past their lie. The second method is for So, the trick now is to get my trio of either of these frustrating searching further out. Here I use flies to fish as deep as I possibly can, ‘The Escalator’. Now I cast only but I won’t turn and fish upstream. The little beasts but there’s sport slightly upstream … say ten degrees. short lining, classic upstream fishing I start the cast by holding a good with no weighted flies, just sparse to be had here, I’m sure. long loop of fly-line (hanging off the spiders is a summer tactic, but not reel), maybe trailing in the water. now, not at this water temperature. Immediately the forward cast is I won’t face downstream either, and made, and the fly-line and leader settle, I high and keeping almost all my fly line fish the ‘across and down’ swing. This make a big, smooth mend upstream , OFF the water there’s less chance of it ‘style’ is to many fly fishers the way to fish lying in rogue currents which want to form slipping the slack line — the loop — spiders, but ask yourself, how can a team through the rod rings, finishing and downstream bows, ‘pulley-wheeling’ my of flies possibly make any depth fished in stopping with the rod tip pointing fly line downstream and carrying the flies this way? Almost from the instant the flies upstream. I now have a very long ‘tracking’ unnaturally fast across the current. Any hit the surface they will be grabbed by the arc from rod tip upstream to tip downstream bows downstream. Now I simply track along which do try to form with the rod tip; I can beat the flow and will be quickly and Hare’s Lug & Plover Hare’s Lug & Plover (Stewart style) (Conventional NC spider) put in slack, just keep pace, or even neatly mended out at tighten slightly. It’s a very successful the first sign. Now, technique. there will be only very Large Dark Olives are afternoon light tension on my fly line, and the trio of flies emergers, so as it gets to one o’clock, I’ll current, and the leader and fly line will go into tension straight away. At best the trio of flies will be pushed to just under the surface and sit there, tracking fast towards the bank throughout the entire ‘swing’. Don’t think mending upstream will sort it either. Okay it may buy a little time, but very soon the flies will be right up there again, just a fraction below the surface, even the weighted nymph. I have two approaches. The first method is to cast quartering upstream of my stance — say 30, even 45 degrees — I then ‘hold-off’ as soon as the three flies have settled. By holding my rod tip

THE MYSTERY OF X The X sizing of monofil is inconsistent, and today most experienced fly-fishers consider diameter v breaking strain (BS). Today there are some quite incredible monofilaments on the market, and the diameters to breaking strains quoted seem unreal. One I’m about to test this season states 0.165mm as pulling 9.1 lb — which is about the same diameter as my old favourite Bayer Perlon nylon at 2.6 lb test… three times stronger… WHAT?

Angler The


GAME - spring 2014_News page A.qxd 20/03/2014 13:38 Page 30

be on the lookout for that first little duskywinged olive floating by. There may be another,then two, now three. Then, out of the blue it happens; the fly line draws animatedly a few inches across the current, I instinctively lift and meet solid resistance, the rod is instantly a bucking, throbbing hoop, and the first trout of the season goes airborne — a fit half-pounder on the Hare’s Lug and Plover — the top dropper. But what if nothing happens? What if no olives are seen, and several hours have passed without as much as a sniff. Is there a plan B? Yes, there is. Assuming that I’ve rung the changes and tried a few differently weighted nymphs, maybe a small bead head, and changed a spider or two and still nothing has happened, I’ll then have a complete change of tactics.

Still using the same 10ft 4wt rod, I’ll take off my spider set-up altogether and replace it with a Czech or French nymphing set-up. I’ll use two or three heavier Czech nymphs, maybe ring the changes and try a caddis larva pattern or two, say one of the free-living types, or a cased larva such as the peeping caddis, perhaps even a really heavy sacrificial one if the water is a touch strong and deep. By now it will have become obvious that the trout are more lethargic than you’d hoped. They’re screwed to the bottom and want to be ‘spoon-fed’ (on their noses!) and that’s where I’ll strive to get my flies, tripping the bottom. I’ll happily search through the same water, but also look for something a little deeper. This change will be my banker — I have no plan C. Well, strictly speaking that’s not true. There is a plan C — in desperation!

Streamers — something like a 2 to 2.5, even a 3 inch Sculpin, Snappy Poodle, Woolly Bugger or Rabbit Zonker, in black, olive or white. But that requires a third rod, a 9ft 6wt, with a sink tip line. The modus-operandi now will be to search the deeper holes, deep pool tails, slower glides, sudden drop-offs, etc. Such places can produce a trout or two in the early season — and big ones too, well certainly better than half-a-pound. So now we’re into April, the spring olives are putting in quite a regular appearance, and I’m getting my string well pulled on most visits. But now another insect takes centre stage, and this particular insect literally erupts, thousands in minutes, the small, fawny-grey, dayemerging caddis fly — the grannom. But where to start, and how many pages — a book!? Space dictates that we should leave this one for another time.

Large Dark Olive dun — spring female


Join the Huby Angling Club


Angler The

We are a small club with vacancies. Our fishing is approx. 2 miles in extent, mostly double bank, on the Middle Wharfe (see photos in this article) handy for Leeds, Harrogate, York, Bradford. The stretch is situated entirely on private land with NO public access or footpaths; it is very secluded and only lightly fished. The brown trout average about ¾ lb, with specimens (wild) above 3lb landed in recent years; grayling of 1¾ lb are also landed most years. Hatches include spring olives, BWOs, yellow mays, mayfly, pale wateries, brook duns, grannom and many other species of caddis fly, also terrestrials such as black gnat and hawthorn fly. For more details and arranging a viewing contact: Spring 2014

The Gallery_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 11:47 Page 31

Long Spined Sea Scorpion by Paul Sharman

032 - Sea Fishing - angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 15:06 Page 32

Punching out a cast from the beach


Angler The

Spring 2014

032 - Sea Fishing - angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 15:07 Page 33

Match angling –

fancy a challenge? England Youth International CALLUM GRAHAM sets out to dispel some misconceptions. “Sea fishing match anglers are a bunch of highly secretive, excessively competitive, point driven, ‘tiddler snatchers’!” Sadly that is the common misconception I and many other of my fellow match angling friends often hear or read. Match angling is actually a very open arena where anglers young and old, novice and experienced, can both educate and learn from other anglers. You don’t get judged on what gear you have or don’t have, or by who you know and fish with. At the end of the day you let your score card do the talking.

Angler The


032 - Sea Fishing - angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 15:08 Page 34

Callum lands a mullet

How I got started At around the age of ten, I joined my local sea angling club with my dad and fished their monthly Saturday night matches. I’ll happily admit I wasn’t the greatest of anglers at the time. However, by showing interest and turning up to every match with a willingness to learn, I found that other anglers soon helped me. They improved my casting, showed me new rigs, what baits to use when and where and would even give me lifts to venues if I needed. Not once was I made to feel uncomfortable as I cast over the line of the poor angler to my right for the tenth time! Nor did I feel embarrassed to ask a question or for advice. In fact it was given to me readily. People were starting to recognise my face; they’d come up and speak to me on the beach or talk to me in my local tackle shops. It boosted my confidence greatly and gave me a whole

lot of encouragement to carry on. This is what I love about match fishing. The unity created by gathering a group of people with a shared common interest is quite astounding. However, don’t think this only applies to junior anglers. Yes, I was quite lucky when I was younger to meet a lot of very helpful people, but this kind of advice and help is out there for anybody looking to start match fishing. It is incredibly important to go into fishing with an open mind. You need to suck up every bit of information you hear. OK, not all of it may be right, you just need to sift through and work out what works for you. Never, ever, lose this ability to take on board advice. No matter how accomplished you may have become, there are always opportunities to learn.

How you can get started

Now with an open mind, a hunger to learn and a slightly primal desire to fulfil the

whole ‘hunter-gatherer ’lifestyle, you need to find out basic information. If you’re entirely new to fishing, your local tackle shop will soon kit you out with tackle suited to the local area. Once that’s sorted I would recommend joining a club as soon as possible. When fishing by yourself you can get into some pretty bad fishing habits, however it is worth going once or twice. Even if you don’t catch anything, you can get to grips with your gear and how to use it. We can drain our local tackle shop’s knowledge yet again when deciding what club to join. They’ll have contact numbers and possibly membership forms for you to fill out. If you’re slightly apprehensive about going straight into a match it may be worth taking a walk along one of their competitions. This is a great way to meet members and get talking. Plus, while you’re there, you can make note of what kind of traces they’re using and how they

Travelling the length and breadth of the country is an experience in itself, let alone fishing in all these new and exciting places


Angler The

Spring 2014

032 - Sea Fishing - angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 15:08 Page 35

are set up on the beach; it will be worth taking into consideration before you venture out with them. Don’t be nervous, jump straight in. As long as you go to your first match with the desire to learn, you’ll come away a far better angler. Improvement will come with the more matches you fish, picking up tips and tricks as you go. Even if you think match fishing isn’t your chosen style, I can’t stress how useful it can be in those early stages. Skills learnt here can be translated into all aspects of your fishing. Watercraft, being able to read the water, is the most basic skill in fishing, and it is universally important, whatever your style. It is an aspect that, sadly, many anglers don’t even consider. They think you just throw a bait into the sea and hope for the best; well you don’t. A skill like this is invaluable, and fishing a variety of venues with a friendly group of anglers gives you the perfect opportunity to hone your skill.

Locations, locations, locations

I think the year I saw the largest development in my angling ability was when fishing one of the biggest match series on the south coast. It saw me travel through Dorset, Hampshire and Sussex, fishing a variety of different beaches for a mixed bag of fish. Having never fished some of these beaches before, I would have to work out a plan of attack from scratch. Admittedly, it didn’t always go to plan, but I accepted that. The fact that I didn’t always win only made me try harder. Although when I did do well, the intrinsic gain was immense and it boosted my confidence massively, adding fuel to that ever-burning passion. Like many people during the first match of that series I suspect, I felt nervous and slightly out of my depth. Looking back I have no regrets. I can’t stress how much I

Waiting patiently for the next bite

Callum (3rd from left) and his fellow England youth team squad members who were 2013 World Champions

developed my angling skill by fishing unfamiliar venues. Even if it means, as a club angler, you just travel around to the odd open competition, it will do your angling knowledge a world of good. Travelling the length and breadth of the country is an experience in itself, let alone fishing in all these new and exciting places. Visiting new venues, I find, helps keep that fire burning. Fishing the same venues over and over again does become repetitive, and while you may become incredibly good on your particular venue, you’re certainly not going to learn anything new.

Fishing for your country

The best thing I ever did with my fishing career was apply to join the England squad. I remember my very first squad day, fishing at Walmer beach in Kent; I was terrified. The fishing wasn’t great, but the selectors and

managers would come and have in-depth discussions with me about rigs, my set up and all things fishing. I really enjoyed it and took away buckets of information. From that moment onwards I have had the opportunity to represent my country on no fewer than eight separate occasions and each and every one has been an honour. This opportunity to represent your country is open to women, seniors, youth and junior anglers. Just by turning up to squad events (information is displayed on the Angling Trust website) you will fish alongside some of the country’s greatest anglers. Let me tell you, it’s not an easy process to get selected, let alone stay in the team. The selectors take into account everything from the chosen venue, species, fishing style and how compatible each and every angler is, the strength of your CV and squad day performances. That’s why it’s important to make yourself not only versatile but also knowledgeable in every aspect of fishing. If you are sat there now, wondering what it would be like to be stood on a podium - with that England badge displayed proudly on your blazer, receiving a gold medal - what’s stopping you? Just go for it. Believe me – you won’t regret it.

For more information on match fishing please see the competitions web page at

Angler The


4xQuarter Pages_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 12:28 Page 36


Angler The

Spring 2014

037 - family fishing - angler spring 2014 - V2_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 11:37 Page 37


Angler The


037 - family fishing - angler spring 2014 - V2_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 11:37 Page 38

Family Fishing is a new national and regional campaign designed around organising family-friendly events to help more people fish more often. It’s being run as a partnership between the Angling Trust and Get Hooked on Fishing, and is supported by the Environment Agency. WHO?

We’re taking a very broad definition of ‘family’…it’s what it means to you. WHERE? At Family Fishing-friendly venues around England. WHEN?


The Family Fishing campaign will begin on the 1 April 2014. Have a go sessions for beginners and returners will be led by Angling Trust qualified and licensed coaches. Top tips sessions for existing anglers from expert anglers under the supervision of qualified and licensed Angling Trust coaches.


Fishing is a key to the great outdoors. We’d like to create a fresh understanding of fishing and anglers.

A Family Fishing flagship event will:

Be fun for all the family at a safe, family-friendly venue.

Be held at venues with car parking, refreshments and toilets and be fully accessible by all.

Encourage those new to fishing to try our Have a go sessions.

Have Top tips and expert advice on hand so that existing anglers can improve their skills.

Have other family-friendly activities available — fun for all the family!

Have signposts to further Family Fishing-endorsed activities with the Angling Trust and Get Hooked on Fishing, plus advice about next steps.

Dean Macey

Dean Macey, athlete and angler and supporter of the Family Fishing Campaign said; “We all lead extremely busy lives. I know from my own experience that fishing as a family is a wonderful way to spend quality time together. “For me, my ‘fishing family’ often includes my wife, my sister and my young niece as well as people I am close to and consider to be a part of my family. Check out the Angling Trust and Get Hooked on Fishing’s Family Fishing events for one near you!”


Angler The

Spring 2014

037 - family fishing - angler spring 2014 - V2_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 11:38 Page 39

Keith Arthur and friend

Keith Arthur, ambassador for the Angling Trust, trustee of Get Hooked on Fishing and supporter of the Family Fishing campaign, said; “Every time I visit the USA I am impressed by the number of family groups fishing. Often there will be three generations and extended family groups, all enjoying our great sport. I know the weather when I’m there is usually brilliant with warm sun, but even in the height of summer in England, it’s usually dad fishing, sometimes with son in tow, but rarely the whole family group. “I think that should change and it is the main reason why I am wholeheartedly behind the Get Hooked on Fishing/Angling Trust Family Fishing initiative. It will encourage the family to go fishing together and with most modern fisheries boasting facilities such as toilets and cafes they create a perfect platform. “Why should mum and the girls be left behind while us blokes enjoy ourselves? The picture of an angler in sea-boot socks and a sou’wester is as old-fashioned as black and white telly and if angling wants to keep up with the 21st century we need the ladies alongside us. Come on ladies — you know it makes sense and you won’t have to use maggots, promise.”

Families struggle to spend quality time together outdoors — fishing does that for you!

Please see over for a full list of famiy fishing events. Please note, at the time of going to press some of the dates and venues were still to be confirmed. Please monitor the Angling Trust and Get Hooked on Fishing websites and social media for information on the events and the Family Fishing campaign.

Angler The


037 - family fishing - angler spring 2014 - V2_News page A.qxd 20/03/2014 13:25 Page 40



LAUNCH EVENT Get Hooked on Fishing — Ealing / Angling Trust Family Fishing Day



More info

Friday 18 April

Get Hooked on Fishing Ealing Northala Fields, Kensington Road Northolt, UB5 6UR

Friday 25 April

Cob House Fishery Worcester Rd, Wichenford Worcester, WR6 6YE


Environment Agency,Ealing Council, Ealing Park Rangers, Model Boat Club, Pro Active West London, local angling clubs, local fishing tackle shop, face painters, bouncy Castle, Woodland Hawking, Dogs Trust, London Angling Action Group.

EA, RSPB, Sky Sports, Worcestershire Bat Society, Newfoundland Dogs for Water Rescue, Pure Fishing, the Guild of Spinners and Weavers, the Racing Pigeon Society, a world class face painter.

REGIONAL EVENTS West Midlands Family Fishing Event

JUNE 2014

East Midlands Family Fishing Event

Sunday 29 June

Northamptonshire Angling Festival 2014 Barnwell Country Park, Barnwell Road Oundle, PE8 5PB

JULY 2014

Northamptonshire Angling Action Group, Brackley & District AC, ECL AC, Mid Northants Trout Fishers Association, Northampton Nene AC, Buckingham AC, Irthlingborough AC, Wellingborough & District Nene AC, Abington AC, Northamptonshire County Council, Environment Agency, Northamptonshire Sport (CSP), tackle shop support — Carpin Capers

Fish O Mania weekend — Family Fishing Event

Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 July

Cudmore Fisheries Pleck Lane, Whitmore Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5 5HW

(To be confirmed)

South East Family Fishing Event

Sunday 20 July

Ducklington Lake Witney Oxfordshire

Witney Town Council, Oxfordshire CSP, Witney Angling Society, Newlands Angling Club.

Saturday 26 July

Aston Park Fisheries Aston Way, Off Mansfield Road, Aston, Sheffield, S26 5EP

South Yorkshire CAAG, Drennan Barnsley Blacks, The Bait Bar, Bankside Tackle, Preston Innovations, Water’s Edge Café, Children’s entertainment/face painting and craft making.

Yorkshire and Humber Family Fishing Event


North East Family Fishing Event (to be confirmed*)

North West Family Fishing Day Event

South West Family Fishing Event

Friday 8 August

The National Glass Centre Liberty Way Sunderland, SR6 0GL

Saturday 9 August

Bradshaw Hall Fisheries Slack Lane, off Bradshaw Road Bradshaw, Bolton, BL2 4JW

Saturday 16 August

APEX Leisure & Wildlife Park Burnham-on-sea Somerset, TA8 1NQ

National Glass Centre Sunderland, Sunderland University, Tyne & Wear CAAG, Tyne & Wear Sports, Dragon Carp Direct Fishing, Fishing North East, Stockton Youth Services.

Environment Agency, Bradshaw Hall Fisheries, Greater Manchester CAAG, Merseyside CAAG, Heywood & District Angling Society, Southport & District Angling Club, Lymm Angling Club, Netherley Valley Angling Club, Tony Campbell – independent AT coach, Fir Tree Fishery.

Somerset County Council, Friends of Apex Park, Age UK, Zing website through CSP SASP, Lizzies Kitchen @ the APEX Park, , Fishing for life, Highbridge Anglers Association, AnglingTrust sea, game and coarse coaches

SEPTEMBER 2014 East Region Family Fishing Event (to be confirmed*)

Saturday 13 September

Apsley Locks Hemel Hempstead Hertfordshire

In partnership with the Canal & Rivers Trust.

041 - Fly for Course Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 15:12 Page 41

Be a code More and more anglers are crossing codes to discover the excitement of catching coarse species on fly tackle. With a panel of MATT HAYES, JOHN BAILEY and DOMINIC GARNETT, Fly For Coarse is a contest and website that captures the spirit of a growing community.


hat have a tiny dace, a giant pike and a surface browsing carp all got in common? The answer is that they’re part of a rapidly growing list of species now regularly targeted with a fly rod, as anglers seek new thrills and become ever harder to categorise. Why do more of us want to combine coarse and fly disciplines? The simple answer is the excitement of the exercise. This is not just a break from the norm, but a fantastically intimate, visual style of fishing. Virtually all species will take a suitable fly and even a small fish will put a serious bend in a fly rod. Moreover, it puts a bit of the soul back into fishing: the emphasis is firmly on enjoyment and adventure, rather than pounds and ounces. Fly For Coarse is a contest to celebrate this ethos and an invitation to Britain’s anglers to give it a try and see what is possible. The 2013 event threw up an incredible range of catches, from huge pike on streamers to carp on dry flies. Other entries included fine chub, roach, and even a tench. Appropriately enough, it was a river bream stalked with a wet fly that was voted the winner. Panelist and Angling Trust ambassador Matt Hayes describes Fly For Coarse as “the true spirit of angling”, while fellow enthusiast and also AT ambassador John Bailey has also been encouraged by the way the contest brings anglers together: “The barriers between coarse and game fishing must break down one day — and this is a fine way to do it,” he remarks.

Completing the panel is Flyfishing for Coarse Fish author Dominic Garnett. “The response has been excellent so far and it’s very much a community feel,” he said. “The focus isn’t big fish, but a sense of shared enjoyment and discovery. All species are valid, big and small, and everyone is welcome. The refreshing thing is that traditional categories no longer apply: we’re all just anglers with a common passion.” Share your own catches and get involved at: which also has a growing list of tips, fly patterns and free content. This is also an excellent place for newcomers to find guided days and professional tuition for coarse fish. You can also join the Flyfishing For Coarse Fish group on Facebook, which welcomes anglers from coarse and game backgrounds alike.

Angler The


Young Anglers Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 17:29 Page 42


Alex with a perfect pike, showing that spinning gear is an easy no fuss fishing option when time is short

No time, no money – no worries Don’t let a shortage of cash or too much time at work or study spoil your fishing. For CARL and ALEX SMITH mobile angling is the answer.


'm sure you will all have seen the DVDs, articles and videos where a bunch of top anglers turn up at a lake with all the tackle money can buy and proceed to catch big fish all day long. This style of fishing is all well and good, but for some of us a lack of money and time can get in the way of achieving that ideal session.


Angler The

For those with full-time jobs, busy lives, or all the juniors like us who have college or school to attend, fishing can often take the back seat, but if you are clever with your time and tackle you can still find ways to enjoy a spot of angling. First of all you can get away with just a small amount of tackle for a short session

If you can’t carry the basic tackle you need for a short session on a bike then you have too much

coarse fishing. The rods we use are telescopic but we also have a 4.5ft travel spinning rod which fits into our school/work bags easily and although it's a light spinning rod it is perfectly suited to float fishing down the edge. We use a rucksack for bait, terminal tackle and most importantly an unhooking mat and disgorger. When doing short lunch break sessions I often just bring spinning gear as it takes no time to set up and there is no smelly bait involved. Another point which we have learnt when it comes to fishing during work or school breaks is to be prepared. In the evening try tying up a few rigs or tidying your tackle box. This will save time next day when you are on the bank, and give you

Spring 2014

Young Anglers Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 17:29 Page 43


more chance to keep your line in the water. We recently had a one-hour gap between a driving lesson and heading back to school to help out with a fundraising event, so we took the rucksack and rod bag and walked to a pond near our house. We cast solid bags into the shallows where we could see carp. On our hair rigs we had bright smelly popups, the perfect bait for a quick bite. It took just minutes to bag one and we were soon heading home but it just showed how worthwhile a short session can be. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a lake nearby though, so the bus or train can always be an option. In the summer we took the train to the Avon a number of times and although we got some funny looks, bringing our fishing gear was well worth it. We managed to catch chub to over 6lb and pike into double figures. It really is worth using your time on the right venues, even if it does mean travelling a little. If you are pushed for time and you are desperate to catch on your short sessions, don't be tempted to over-complicate your fishing. We both catch more carp with

Carl and a cracking chub – a perfect species for a short mobile river session

It really is worth using your time on the right venues, even if it does mean travelling a little

sessions, find the fish, put baits to them, and you should catch. We hope you have a great year’s fishing ahead of you. Tight lines and wet nets! Congratulations to Carl and Alex after recently becoming Angling Trust Ambassadors.

freelining tactics than we do with leads, swivels, beads, and other bits and pieces on our line. We just walk round the lake until we see fish and simply cast a bunch of maggots or a grain of corn to them. The same goes for our barbel fishing - just a lump of meat rolled through the river covers lots of water and means that on a short session we can find the fish. We would highly advise being active on short

You can follow Carl and Alex on their Facebook page called Carl and Alex Fishing and on their YouTube channel at

Let the train take the strain. You can go fishing all around the country even if you don’t have your own transport

Angler The



044 - How to Game - The Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 15:25 Page 44

Stalking — the hunt for monster trout Fly fishing for trout has many styles and in small stillwaters, stalking is an effective way to target the specimen fish writes PAUL SHARMAN

Location, location, location There are several well-known, small stillwaters that have become synonymous with stalking over the years. Avington and Dever Springs in Hampshire, Chalk Springs in Sussex and Shimano Felindre in


Angler The

Wales are ones that many will know or have heard of. You can find others by reading the catch reports in the fly fishing press or looking at the websites of local fisheries to find those with larger than average fish that will be worth targeting. Match the catch If you plan to target specimen fish you will need to gear up accordingly. Firstly, check the fishery rules on minimum tippet and maximum hook sizes; these can vary from venue to venue. If you want to give yourself the best chance of landing your monster I would suggest using no lower than a modern 6 weight outfit fishing 6–8lb tippet. With finer line diameters these days you can get away with heavier breaking strains — so take advantage of that.

Also make sure your net is large enough to take a big fish — many are lost when only a head or tail can be scooped up and the fly comes loose or the tippet breaks. Low and slow Your approach to the water is quite important when stalking. Although in putand-take fisheries many of the specimen fish will be quite new to the water, they get to see a lot of flies very quickly and learn to be wary. Those that evade capture longest become even harder to catch and very selective.

Clear water helps spot the larger fish — always wear polarised sunglasses.

Spring 2014


England has a huge variety of trout fishing available to fly anglers. It ranges from wild streams and lakes to fisheries artificially stocked with reared fish, such as our reservoirs and trout ponds. Small stillwater fisheries have been popular for several decades now and many of them choose to stock some exceptionally large trout to add excitement for their anglers. Doubtless, many will be caught by chance by anglers just fishing for fun, but many fly fishers enjoy the challenge of selectively sight fishing and stalking these larger fish. There are a few ways you can increase your chances of success if you are new to this game and fancy giving it a go. The first is perhaps obvious.

044 - How to Game - The Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 15:26 Page 45

stalking trout

The best stalking waters have lots of cover for fish and angler like this lake at Chalk Springs.

Below: Small stillwaters often stock specimen fish like this brown trout reared on-site at Chalk Springs.

Large rainbow trout like this one from Avington are great stalking targets

Those that evade capture longest become even harder to catch and very selective

They also get to see a lot of anglers who just trundle up to the bank and cast to them, and the fish are quite likely to associate this with trouble. So keep a low profile behind cover, such as reeds and trees, and move slowly while scanning the water (you’ve got your polarised sunglasses and a cap on right?) By using this stealthy approach you stand a much better chance of, firstly, spotting the fish before they see you and, then, being able carefully to place your fly in front of them while remaining, at least partially, hidden. Le menu

very important when it only comes into view once in a while. Colour in your fly (including white) can also help you monitor its position in relation to the fish so you can start to move it at just the right moment. Blind casting can be fun but for stalking you need to be able to see your quarry and, ideally, your fly. Sometimes, though, natural patterns work best. These may be hard to see, so you will have to rely on careful casting and judging where your fly is. Red letter days may see your intended target sipping down flies off the surface, so be prepared for that with some terrestrials and dry fly patterns to match the hatch. Mayflies in the spring and early summer and daddy long legs from late summer onwards can be a good bet.

Fair play

Once you have hooked your target fish play it carefully but confidently — use side strain to help turn a fish away from snags or vertical pressure if it is trying to dive into a weed bed. Keep your actions smooth so as not to put any undue pressure on your tippet and hook hold, and do not be in too much of a hurry but just keep the pressure on. If your net is a folding model have it open ready to land the fish, this will avoid last minute complications. The rest is up to you.

Tight lines!

While there are no guaranteed giant killers in terms of fly patterns, there are some general rules which will help when stalking. If you would like to give stalking a try, details of the fisheries I mentioned can be found online. Weight is often your friend Avington — Chalk Springs — — getting your fly down Dever Springs — Felindre — quickly to a cruising fish is

Angler The



How to Coarse - The Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 15:27 Page 46


Phil Jackson

The warmer months bring thoughts of targeting tench and so PHIL JACKSON, Tenchfishers committee member, selects some key ideas from his tench fishing that will help you increase your chances. Starting

There is no clear date to start but early on tench fishing may be inconsistent - or even non-existent. In general terms, the shallower and further south your water, the more likely the tench are to feed before March is out. On many larger, deeper pits early May will be the time to get going, so don’t start too early and squander your enthusiasm. To generalise, it is worth remembering that the majority of tench are caught in the morning and not necessarily at dawn.


Fish where you know the tench are. Observing your water will help enormously and even if you can only visit


Angler The

when you are fishing, fish on the buzzers and use your eyes (and binoculars). Remember tench love to feed on slopes and silt traps and the margin is often the best “swim” on the lake. Classic “near and far” tench fishing is a good exploratory approach with one rod in the margins and one fishing to a more distant feature.

Putting camo tape on your feeders prevents glare and increases their longevity

Early Season – use the feeder

Steve Innes’s basic inline feeder rig

The majority of anglers start their tench fishing with a swim feeder, often with a short braided hook link. The basic inline feeder rig is perhaps the most commonly used and will allow you to tuck the braid in the feeder and avoid tangles. See the diagram of Steve Innes’s version. Maggots,

especially reds, are likely to be as productive as any bait in the cooler temperatures. Feeder fishing will require rods of 1¾ lb test curve and a quality mainline of around 10lb breaking strain – it is best not to go light and take unnecessary risks.

Spring 2014

How to Coarse - The Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 15:27 Page 47

summer tench

Hook bait presentation Presentation can be improved by the use of buoyant artificials (fake corn is particularly useful), cork balls or even slithers of rig foam shaped roughly like a maggot, to pop up the bait slightly. How much you pop up your bait will depend on the nature of the bottom you are fishing over. The aim is to ensure the bait is just visible over any detritus or blanket weed. Mini boilies are worth a try where the tench see plenty of modern baits: tutti frutti, pineapple or seafood flavours are good places to start. Even popped-up boilies on “chod” rigs may sometimes be employed to get the bait above the bottom weed.

The PVA alternative

Always use a free-running or semi-fixed rig that is entirely safe. If weed makes retrieving your feeder rig remotely difficult do not hesitate to switch to a PVA rig. The illustration shows one example, Colin Allchin’s caster rig, which is based on a “helicopter” setup.

Be flexible

Colin Allchin’s caster rig

In late summer fishing the feeder becomes less productive and recourse to float fishing may be the only way of getting a positive bite. A sliding waggler float rig (illustrated) offers significant flexibility, allowing various depths to be fished easily and making it much easier to cast under over-hanging tress.


Siding waggler rig

Les Probert with a nine-pounder caught on a popped up boilie in weedy conditions


Love your tench!

Fishing close in may involve dragging a swim. A light drag used a couple of times may ginger up the swim but if you need to clear a significant amount of weed, contrary to popular belief, this often disturbs the tench and is best done a few days before you fish. It is important to check the club rules and be careful not to upset nearby anglers

These days finding a good tench water is not as easy as it used to be. It is vital to check that your venue has the numbers and sizes of tench you want, so use information from the weekly press, your tackle shop or local angling club. Beware, exaggeration is rife and ensure your information is up-to-date as tench waters can be rapidly overtaken by the stocking of other species. If you like tench fishing make sure your club or fishery managers know this is the case. Sometimes tench stocks fluctuate and fisheries should be encouraged to make support stockings when required.

Ground bait

Ground bait is of immense value. It should be fired out accurately, to a marker float if necessary, with a metal-framed catapult that is designed for the job. As a rule, ground baits should provide more of a flavouring than a feed, and molasses and corn steep liquor are effective additives. However, particles – such as casters and corn - can easily be carried and a sugary binder like PV1 will add flavour and stop the feed falling apart. One other piece of advice is: never feed anything you can’t present on a hook. Tench can show marked preferences and it pays to know what they are on.

Choose the right target for you

To learn more why not join and interact with members of the Tenchfishers? Go to to join up, especially if you want to conserve your tench fishing. You may also be interested in their book: Tinca Tinca from the same website. The EA have stocked Sywell Reservoir with young tench – other tench waters would benefit from such support stocking

Your target weight should be whatever you are happy catching. Anyone can enjoy tench fishing but there is much to learn. So, learn by catching - and enjoy!

Angler The



048 - How to Sea - The Angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 20/03/2014 14:11 Page 48

TIM MACPHERSON of the Sussex marine region of the Angling Trust looks at why we must do more to protect black bream — an iconic Sussex sport fish.



he black bream is a very unusual fish in all sorts of ways. For sea anglers and particularly those in Sussex, it is a prime sport fish despite the fact it barely reaches 6lbs in UK waters. Yet, despite its status as one of Sussex’s most highly prized angling species, it remains almost totally unprotected. Over the years, anglers have seen a decline in the quality and abundance of bream as unsustainable commercial fishing pressure has

taken its toll on vulnerable breeding and nesting bream stocks. According to recent landing statistics from the Marine Management Organisation, black bream are not a major commercial target although £275,000 of the fish are landed each year, equivalent to 160,000 tonnes. That is still a lot of fish.

Unusual biology and breeding makes them vulnerable Black bream are unusual in UK waters because they are protogynous, meaning the females turn into males when they reach 35cm in length. This is not generally unusual in fish

species, but is rare for us to have a fish like this in our waters. It is, however, their breeding habits that set them apart in terms of stock management. Males, typically larger and more colourful, arrive first in the breeding grounds and make a nest in the sea bed by scraping out a depression with their tails. To be able to do this successfully they require certain types of substrate, hence their prevalence for the soft sandstone and chalk of places off the Sussex coast like the Kingmere reef and Worthing lumps. The males will then use their impressive colours to court females while fighting off rival males. It is probable that several females will lay eggs in a single nest. The males will then guard the nest until the eggs hatch. The shoals of bream fry will then stay close to the shoreline and the breeding site for at least two years before joining the adults in deeper water.

Black bream


Angler The

Spring 2014

048 - How to Sea - The Angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 20/03/2014 14:12 Page 49

The Kingmere — a crucial breeding site



Black bream

In Sussex the Kingmere reef, six miles off Littlehampton, provides the perfect habitat and is a key black bream breeding site. As a result of this, the area around the reef has been designated a Marine Conservation Zone. This will mean that commercial fishing will be severely restricted or even banned on the reef during the breeding season. You would think this might be enough to protect the breeding fish but, in reality, once they’ve spawned the females will move away and gather either above or beyond the reef making them vulnerable to commercial trawling, even during the breeding season. The nests are also extremely vulnerable to bottomtowed gear — the product of a whole breeding season could be wiped out by one boat. The shoals of young fish are vulnerable because they remain in the area for two years and are prey to commercial fishing as bycatch and the entire stock is vulnerable because in reality the Kingmere is only one of many breeding sites identified or suspected in Sussex waters and the others are not protected. This why the Angling Trust in Sussex has launched a campaign to ensure that stock management measures are introduced for the fish in the whole region

Commercial bream catch

its importance to Sussex as both a recreational and commercial resource.

What happens next?

We’re asking the IFCA to consider a proper management plan for black bream. What does this mean? Well, in simple terms it means managing the landing of fish, either commercially or recreationally. For instance, it could be based on

Males . . . arrive first in the breeding grounds and make a nest in the sea bed by scraping out a depression with their tails.

and not just in this one area. This is under the control of the Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (or IFCA), the local body charged with managing fish stocks The campaign aims are: • Highlight black bream as one of Sussex’s most valuable assets. • Get it widely recognised as the ‘county fish’ of Sussex. • Ensure that angling is fairly represented in decisions on how the proposed Kingmere Marine Conservation Zone is managed. • Identify other important nesting and aggregating sites for black bream in Sussex waters. • Introduce a species management plan for black bream that recognises

quantity, minimum size, it could be location (and the IFCA could argue that by designating an MCZ they are in effect managing the stock), could be based on the type of fishing or the time of year. In the case of black bream this needs to be a combination of all of these. Part of this will almost certainly be an exercise in data collection to find out more about the fish in the area. We will also need to work closely with commercial concerns particularly inshore netting fleets, dredging concerns and other

marine users to build a consensus and help in educating people about what a prized asset Spondyliosoma cantharus is to the economy and ecology of Sussex. Bearing this in mind our recommendations will concentrate on the following: • A ban on trawling in all the identified breeding areas • A minimum size for landing black bream — Southern IFCA has one already at 23cms • A ban on trawling on identified nesting habitat • Increase in net size for static gear in aggregation areas to prevent mortality of small females and immature bream • Return of all adult female fish during the breeding season • Voluntary bag limits for recreational anglers But this would just be the start, we aim to put as much pressure as we can on the local authority to ensure that future stocks are managed properly so future generations can enjoy this fantastic sport fish.

If you want to know more about the campaign or get involved then email us at or call us on 01424 892287.

Angler The


050 - Fishing Info Advert_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 15:44 Page 50

Sign into from the Angling Trust today – the best way to store all your favourite fishing spots, look up EA river level gauges and find tackle shops, guides and fishing clubs plus local weather information on your pc, tablet and smartphone.

051 - fish legal - the angler spring 2014_S&C_template_2010 19/03/2014 10:59 Page 51

For more than 60 years Fish Legal (formerly the Anglers’ Conservation Association) has been fighting those who damage our waterways. It has won hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation for fishing clubs and remains the anglers’ strongest defence against polluters.

New life comes to the River Ellen B

ack in March 2008, three Fish Legal member clubs were facing huge losses of brown trout, sea trout and salmon in the River Ellen, in Cumbria, as a result of a careless pollution caused by a cheese producer based in Aspatria. The First Milk Cheese Company Ltd, who run an industrial-scale cheesemaking plant in the Cumbrian town, had been storing chemicals near to a surface water drain, apparently oblivious to the fact that any spillage would go straight into the river and kill everything in its path. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened; thousands of fish were killed over a 4km stretch. The plant and company had form as a polluter. In 1989, when it was owned by Dairy Crest, hydrochloric acid ended up in

the river. In 1994, after the First Milk Cheese Company took over operations, around 6000 litres of caustic soda escaped. Nevertheless, they were unrepentent and refused to agree to a compensation settlement, forcing Fish Legal to take court proceedings to secure a £33,000 pay-out for its three affected member clubs. When their cheque arrived members of the River Ellen Angling Society were split over whether to restock or not. The river, only 7m across in places, had been managed as a wild fishery up until the 2008 incident. After much debate, they decided to spend the money on making the habitat along the main stem of the river and two of its tributaries the best possible so that when fish did start to return, they would not only survive, but

Tree planting and fencing along the River Ellen

thrive. The club drew on the expertise of their local rivers trust and, in the words of the club, an “exceptional” Environment Agency fisheries officer, to direct their efforts. The advice was clear. There was a problem with cattle and sheep eroding the banks and causing sedimentation. Cover for trout had all but disappeared along the river banks as a result of grazing right up to the river’s edge. If the club wanted to restore their waters they should use their compensation to plant trees and fence-out livestock. So that is what they did. Over 600 alder, willow, oak and hawthorn saplings have now been planted along the main river, with a further 500-odd lining the banks of the two tributaries. The club has driven in post-and-wire fencing along 800m of the fishery, adding gates and stiles to avoid ripped waders, and also including drinking points to water neighbouring farmers’ livestock. The next phase is to keep a watchful eye on how the fishery performs and monitor its progress. Everyone at Fish Legal hopes that the hard-won settlement money invested in restoring the River Ellen will see it, once again, teeming with life.

Thousands of fish were killed over a 4km stretch

Angler The


051 - fish legal - the angler spring 2014_S&C_template_2010 20/03/2014 11:58 Page 52

Fighting pollution for more than 60 years

Silt pollution by Network Rail – 8 years and counting

You may have noticed occasionally during this winter’s heavy rain the chocolatebrown colour in the water where you fish or as you cross a river. Imagine if this was a near constant occurrence — and not just after heavy rain. Fish Legal currently represents a coarse fishery owner near Bristol whose fishery is almost constantly polluted with fine silt from a train line operated by Network Rail, almost as often as the trains go by. This has been happening for around eight years, ever since they re-opened the line for freight traffic and dug into the ground to widen the track. Whereas previously this silt was not present in the lakes, the works have now destabilised the ground causing it to run into the fishery frequently, making any fishing impossible and clogging up the lake. Network Rail are yet to take action

which stops the pollution occurring. They had stated they would fix the underlying problem by April 2013 but have failed miserably. The filters installed between the train line and lakes are unsuitable for the fine silt that causes the problem; the pollution continues. Fish Legal has been to see its member on a number of occasions and witnessed the pollution first hand. Having agreed a plan of action with our member we wrote to Network Rail and met them on site to outline a claim for losses and — more importantly — demanding a resolution of the problem, so that fishing can take place again and the lake return to its natural state. The silt’s impact on the lake ecology is doubly worrying as it also smothers shrimp on which the lake’s carp feed, so

the carp are losing weight and the valuable fishery stock suffers. We have also raised this with the Environment Agency, highlighting that Network Rail is committing environmental offences under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010, asking the EA to reopen its investigation and consider enforcement action against them. Sedimentation pollution is a real problem for anglers experienced throughout the country, and we want to see it stopped.

Club and riparian owner members affected by pollution should contact Fish Legal now for advice on 01568 620447 or email

The carp are losing weight and the valuable fishery stock suffers


Angler The

Spring 2014

051 - fish legal - the angler spring 2014_S&C_template_2010 19/03/2014 10:45 Page 53

Fertiliser pollution kills 2,000 wild trout A

Environment Agency analysis confirmed that ammonia levels five days after the pollution were 50 times greater than levels recorded five hours before the pollution. The pollution eventually affected water approximately 14 km away as the crow flies (more when allowing for the meandering nature of the river). Fish Legal has now prepared a detailed claim for the club to recover its losses and help restore the fishery. Included in this will be a claim based on the deaths of over 2,200 fish, together with loss of amenity for an estimated recovery period of six to eight years. It may always seem likely to happen to someone else, but pollution can happen anywhere. In this case a passing tanker overturned on a nearby road.

devastating pollution and fish kill in April 2012 led our members in Grantham to contact us for help. Approximately 6,000 litres of liquid ammonia fertiliser entered the River Witham, close to Grantham in Lincolnshire, after a farm tanker overturned. This was particularly upsetting as the club involved had done excellent work over the years to conserve and enhance this wild trout fishery to a very high standard. The polluter — farmers Messrs C J Grindal — pleaded guilty to causing poisonous, noxious or polluting matter to enter inland freshwaters without an environmental permit. They were fined £15,000 and ordered to pay full prosecution costs of £6,761. The River Witham is a renowned and award winning fishery of primarily wild brown trout. Its upstream beats affected by this pollution were self-sustaining prior to the pollution but will now take many years to fully recover.

Make sure your club or fishery is a member of Fish Legal so we can help you restock and restore. Fish Legal acts free of charge for members who receive 100% of the compensation won.

News from Fish Legal Scotland. . .

Success on the River Clyde O ne of our 2013 highlights was securing a £5,000 settlement from Scottish Water for a pollution incident on the Logan Water, a tributary of the River Clyde. While it transpired that no major damage was caused by the pollution, the United Clyde Angling Protective

Association had understandably been concerned and commissioned a report to find out. This left them significantly out of pocket to the tune of £5,000 and Fish Legal was pleased recover the full sum back from the polluter. The Clyde catchment, with its large nearby population is vulnerable to

pollution and Fish Legal is currently investigating a separate incident in 2013, caused by the release of sewage liquor into the River Clyde that resulted in the death of hundreds of salmon. In 2012, the river had a declared salmon catch of around 1,500 salmon and 500 sea trout.

Fish Legal has now prepared a detailed claim for the club

Angler The


051 - fish legal - the angler spring 2014_S&C_template_2010 19/03/2014 10:45 Page 54

Fighting pollution for more than 60 years News from Fish Legal Scotland. . .

Time to decide on beaver trial O

n 31 May 2014 the Scottish Beaver trial at Knapdale in Argyll will have completed its five-year scientific monitoring phase, and a decision on the future of beavers in Scotland is expected from the Scottish Government in 2015. Fish Legal wrote to the Scottish Government in 2010 to ask what criteria will be used to evaluate the case for permanent introduction. The response at the time was that the Scottish Government had not yet developed such criteria. Fish Legal will shortly be contacting the Scottish Government again to find out whether these criteria have now been developed and what weight will be given to the expected impacts of beaver dams on fish migration. The legalisation of beaver in Scotland would inevitably mean their recolonisation of England in due course and, therefore, any decision taken by the Scottish Government is of concern for the management of English fisheries too.

News from Fish Legal Scotland. . .

Is Salmond a friend of salmon


cottish First Minister Alex Salmond was invited to cast the first fly into the turbid waters of the River Tay on 15th January to mark the opening of the Scottish salmon season. The decision to invite Mr Salmond was a controversial one, since many believe that despite his name, Mr Salmond has been no friend to Scottish salmon fishing. For his part, Mr Salmond used the opportunity to announce a Scottish Government review of the management of salmon and freshwater fisheries to ensure that it is 'robust, sustainable and fit for purpose in the 21st century'. The review is to be undertaken by Andrew Thin, the outgoing chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage. Fish Legal will be seeking to make a ‘robust’ contribution. Alex Salmond on the River Tay

A decision on the future of beavers in Scotland is expected


Angler The

Spring 2014

051 - fish legal - the angler spring 2014_S&C_template_2010 19/03/2014 10:46 Page 55

Going with the flow A new rivers trust is born F

ish Legal is delighted to have worked alongside the founding trustees of the new Flow Country Rivers Trust in Scotland. They are the latest to join a nationwide network of rivers trusts covering all the major Scottish catchments. These rivers trusts are charitable bodies dedicated to understanding, protecting and enhancing the flora and fauna of their river catchments. The accumulated knowledge of these trusts in Scotland has been effectively used over the years to positively influence and promote an ‘ecosystem approach’ to salmon fisheries management, based on detailed understanding of the fish and its habitat. Here James Fleming one of the founding trustees of the Flow Country Rivers Trust, explains the significance of this new venture. What is special about the Flow Country? The Flow Country is located in the far northeast of Scotland. It’s the largest area

of blanket bog in the world and is one of just three sites in the Scottish 2010 listing as a possible UNESCO World Heritage Site. It remains one of our last true wildernesses with only 55,000 people living in its 1,500 square miles. Not only does the Flow Country have a unique topography, flora and fauna, it is also the home to some of Scotland’s most famous salmon rivers. What can the new trust do to help salmon? The Atlantic salmon is one of our truly great assets. The salmon running these rivers increasingly need our protection from multiple threats including that posed by global warming. Should we just stand by and watch as its value is written off the books? Of course not. We must help improve our rivers. We must take advantage of everything that science and money have to offer, and that’s the business of the Flow Country Rivers Trust, to protect not only the

salmon but all species of fish in one of the most extraordinary regions of Europe. What does the Trust see as its priorities? The trust will move quickly to establish baselines by implementing a programme of electro-fishing. We will then design a temporal monitoring programme that will allow us to begin to understand what is happening to our local salmon populations. We will also use genetics to establish much more precisely the profile and characteristics of the salmon stocks running Flow Country rivers. Finally the trust will begin a programme of habitat improvement to maximise the productivity of the riverine habitat which will not only bring benefit to salmonids but also to all native flora and fauna. Fish Legal wishes the Flow Country Rivers Trust the very best of luck in its mission to protect and enhance the fisheries of the Flow Country.

A typical Flow Country river

We must help improve our rivers

Angler The


Heroes on the water - Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 15:46 Page 56


HEROES ON THE WATER UK (HOW UK) is a charity that provides kayak angling to both wounded military personnel and members of the public who have been injured when carrying out a public duty.


he HOW (UK) organisation provides physical and therapeutic rehabilitation to help our heroes regain their freedom and confidence. The service is provided free to all participants so your support and donations are vital. Please join in and help deliver and share the proven benefits of kayak angling. The Angling Trust recently unveiled the new CAST awards — a recognisable achievement award scheme — that’s been drawn up in a three-way conjunction alongside the Environment Agency and Sport England. This stage-knowledge base is the foundation of all further training, and provides coaches and fishery personnel with a recognised level of angler achievement. As such, further knowledge and learning can be tailored specifically to


Angler The

Paul Fennell (left) awards Martin Payne with his CAST 3 certificate

the participant. The initiative has been instigated to help newcomers to angling or expand existing anglers’ knowledge and enjoyment. A perfect example of how the coaching pathway scheme works is Martin Payne, an injured former Royal Marine who only started fishing last August. Martin is the first user of the Heroes on the water service in the country to gain the CAST 3 award. Martin progressed at such a pace that he entered his first competition in December, being placed in the list of prize winners. By the end of February Martin had advanced to CAST 3 and he was presented with his certificate by his coach, Paul Fennell, in front of the British Forces Broadcasting Service television cameras. Martin is the first person to achieve the

CAST 3 award — the minimum standard required for entry into Level 1 coach education. Simon Everett

For further information — and to see how you can help — check out the HOW website:

Spring 2014

057 - wet wheels - The Angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 15:48 Page 57

Cheetah catamaran Length: 9 metres Beam: 3.8 metres Power: twin Suzuki 300hp outboard Electronics: Raymarine

Wheelchair anglers put to sea A group dedicated to sea angling for disabled people is making its mark on the South Coast. etwheels, a purpose-built, fully accessible powerboat, has enabled scores of disabled anglers, experienced and novice, to get afloat and try their hand at sea fishing. Based at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, Wetwheels is the brainchild of disabled angler Geoff Holt, himself a wheelchair user for more than 30 years after breaking his neck at the age of 18. “I loved sea angling when I was younger but after my accident I was frustrated at how few opportunities there were to go fishing, at sea in my wheelchair. I’m not talking about fishing on a lake or river, I mean getting right out there, fishing with big gear, deep water, never quite knowing what species you were going to catch”. Wetwheels is a fully coded, MCA Cat 2 vessel licensed to carry up to tenpassengers, of whom three can be wheelchair users. The catamaran hull and wide deck give extra stability and comfort. Anglers can bring their own gear or use the onboard suite of Daiwa rods and reels, including electric reels for those with little


hand dexterity, generously provided at cost by Daiwa. Wetwheels skipper and experienced angler Keith Plumridge is keen to get more disabled people fishing; “Disabled anglers are often surprised at just how easy and fun sea fishing on Wetwheels can be. For many it is their first experience and it’s not long before they are booking their next trip”. The boat is gaining an impressive reputation for putting anglers on the fish too, with species ranging from cod and rays to bass and plaice, Wetwheels can cover most marks within a 30 mile radius in comfort and safety, in most weathers. Wetwheels is run as a not-for-profit enterprise and relies on donations and grants to continue its work. The organisation is working with the Angling Trust and the British Disabled Angling Association to help develop sea angling for disabled people in the UK.

For further information, visit

Fishing at sea on Wetwheels, I forget about my disability, I’m just another one of the guys

B Harding (disabled angler)

Geoff Holt holds his plaice on the boat

Angler The


Diary - The Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 15:59 Page 58

Meet the team

The Angling Trust will be at the following shows and events in the coming months. Come and meet the team and find out all about our latest campaigns to protect fish and fishing and get more people fishing. Bring along a friend so they can learn more too.

Barbel Society Show

CLA Game Fair

Chesford Grange Hotel, Coventry CV8 2LD

Friday 17 to Sunday 19 July 2014 Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire OX20 1PP

Sunday 4 May 2014

Burton-onTrent Game Fishing and Fly Tying Festival

Burton Festival

Tackle & Guns Show

Sunday 5 October 2014 BurtonTown Hall. Burton-On-Trent DE14 2EB

Sunday 12 and Monday 13 October 2014 Stoneleigh Park Coventry CV8 2LZ


Evesham Festival of Angling August Bank Holiday 2014 Evesham Crown Meadows WR11 4ST

Piking 2014

The Pike Anglers Club Annual Convention

Sunday 5 October 2014 Ricoh Arena, Coventry CV6 6GE


Carp Society Winter Show

Saturday 22 November 2014 Clair Hall, Perrymount Road, West Sussex RH16 3DN

Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 November 2014 Sandown Park Racecourse, Surrey KT10 9AJ

Save money at dozens of fisheries just show your AT membership card 10% of your ticket at 10% Club Fisheries

Your Angling Trust membership saves you money at dozens of Angling Trust 10% Club Fisheries where you can enjoy at least 10% off the cost of a day and/or a season ticket. You will find all the current 10% fisheries listed at under Membership Benefits. Watch out for more fisheries joining up, or if you are an owner please get in touch via to sign up.


Angler The

Spring 2014

Diary - The Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 15:50 Page 59


• Pike Qualifiers held at various venues around the country – details at • 5–11 – FIPS–M 22nd World Championship Shore Angling for Clubs – Spain • Saturday 5 – Fish ‘O’ Mania – Viaduct Fishery, Somerset • Saturday 5 – Winter League Semi Final – Garbolino Lindholme Lakes, Doncaster • Sunday 6 – Winter League Semi Final – Keadby Canal, South Yorkshire • Sunday 6 – U18s England Coarse Youth Assessment/Trial – Makins Fishery, Nuneaton • Saturday 12 – Fish ‘O’ Mania – Preston Innovations Boldings, Bridgnorth • Sunday 13 – AT & C&RT Stillwater Championship – Boddington Reservoir, Northants • Wednesday 16 – Fish ‘O’ Mania – Makins Fishery, Warwickshire • Saturday 19 – Fish ‘O’ Mania – Hayfield Lakes, Doncaster • Wednesday 23 – Fish ‘O’ Mania –Gold Valley Lakes, Aldershot • Saturday 26 – Fish ‘O’ Mania – Maver Larford Lakes, Worcestershire


• Saturday 3 – Fish ‘O’ Mania – Tunnel Barn Farm, Warwick • Wednesday 7 – Fish ‘O’ Mania – Monk Lakes Fishery, Kent • 3–10 – FIPS – M World Youth U16s and U21s Shore Championships – France • Saturday 10 – Fish ‘O’ Mania – The Oaks, Thirsk • Sunday 11 – AT & C&RT Stillwater Championship – Boddington Reservoir, Northants • Saturday 17 – Fish ‘O’ Mania – Barford Lakes, Norwich • Thursday 22 – Ladies Home Fly Fishing International – Trawsfynydd, Wales • Saturday 24 – Fish ‘O’ Mania – Colemans Cottage Fishery, Essex • 27–31 – Senior Spring Home Fly Fishing International – Ireland • 27–31 – FIPS–Mouche World Fly Fishing Championship – Czech Republic • Wednesday 28 – Fish ‘O’ Mania – Hallcroft Fisheries, Retford, • Saturday 31 – Fish ‘O’ Mania – Partridge Lakes Fishery, Warrington


• Saturday 7 – AT & C&RT Stillwater Championship – Earlswood Lakes, Solihull • Saturday 7 – Ladies National Championship – Preston Innovations Boldings, Shropshire

• 7–8 – FIPSed World Clubs Championship – Radece, Slovenia • Sunday 8 – Anglers with Disabilities National Championship – Preston Innovations Boldings, Shropshire • Wednesday 11 – AT & C&RT Stillwater Championship – Blythe, Solihull • Wednesday 11 – Fish ‘O’ Mania – Woodlands View Fishery, Droitwich • 13–14 – Team England European Fly Fishing – Belgium • Saturday 14 – Fish ‘O’ Mania – Woodlands Lakes Fishery, Thirsk • 18–22 – FIPS–M European Championship – Italy • Saturday 21 – AT & C&RT Stillwater Championship – Clattercote, Northamptonshire • Sunday 22 – AT RiverFest – River Calder, Mirfield • Wednesday 25 – Fish ‘O’ Mania – Garbolino Lindholme Lakes Fishery, Doncaster • 25–28 – Seniors Rivers Home Fly Fishing International – River Ure, England • Saturday 28 – AT RiverFest – River Swale, Morton • Saturday 28 – Cadets, Juniors & Intermediates National Championship – Makins Fishery, Warwickshire • 28–29 – FIPSed European World Championship – Bermossart, Belgium


• Wednesday 2 – AT & C&RT Stillwater Championship – Kiveton, Sheffield • 3–6 – SALC Home Shore Championships for Ladies, Seniors, Youth (U21s) & Juniors (U16s) – Montrose, Scotland • Saturday 5 – AT RiverFest – River Severn, Lower Lode • 5–6 – England Ladies Coarse Angling Assessment/Trial – Stainforth & Keadby Canal, Thorne • Sunday 6 – AT Winter League Final – TBC • Saturday 12 – Fish ‘O’ Mania Grand Final – TBC • Sunday 13 – AT RiverFest – Bristol Avon, Newbridge • Sunday 13 – Fish ‘O’ Mania International Pairs – TBC • Wednesday 16 – AT & C&RT Stillwater Championship – Boddington Reservoir, Northants • Wednesday 16 – Schools National Championship – Hallcroft Fishery, Retford • Saturday 19 – AT RiverFest – River Trent, Newark Dyke • 19–20 – FIPSed Feeder World Coarse Angling Championship – Coachford, Ireland • 25–26 – FIPSed U18s & U23s Youth Coarse Angling World Championships – Assen, Netherlands

• Saturday 26 – AT & C&RT Stillwater Championship – Blythe, Solihull • Wednesday 30 – Veterans National Championship – Woodlands View Fishery, Droitwich


• Saturday 2 – AT Riverfest Qualifiers – River Weaver, Northwich • Sunday 3 – Individual National Championship – River Trent • 3–7 – Youth Loch Style Home Fly Fishing International – Graham Water, England • 7–9 – SALC Home Boat Championship – Portrush, Ireland • 8–9 – FIPSed Veterans & Anglers with Disabilities Coarse Angling World Championship – Rome, Italy • Saturday 9 – Division 1 National Championship – River Trent (Tidal & Non Tidal) • Sunday 10 – AT Riverfest Qualifier – River Soar, Sutton Bonnington • 12–18 – FIPS–Mouche Seniors European Fly Fishing Championship – Ostersund, Sweden • Saturday 16 – Team Commercial Stillwater Championship – (Split between – Heronbrook Fishery & Cudmore Fishery, Staffordshire • Sunday 17 – AT Riverfest Qualifier – River Yare, Beauchamp Arms • Saturday 23 – AT Riverfest Qualifier – River Tees, Boewsfield Yarm • Saturday 23 – AT & C&RT Stillwater Championship – Earlswood Lakes, Solihull • 23–24 – FIPSed Ladies Coarse Angling World Championship – Coruche, Portugal • 25–31 – FIPS–M World Championships for Long Casting of Sea Weights – Italy • Saturday 30 – AT Riverfest Qualifier – River Don, Sprotborough • Saturday 30 – AT Masters Championship – The Glebe, Leicestershire


• Pike Qualifiers held at various venues around the country – details at • TBC – AT RiverFest Qualifiers – Various • Wednesday 3 – AT & C&RT Stillwater Championship – Earlswood Lakes, Solihull • Sunday 7 – AT Riverfest Qualifier – Great Ouse, Littleport • 9–13 – Senior Autumn Home Fly Fishing International – Wales • Wednesday 10 – AT & C&RT Stillwater Championship – Blythe Waters, Solihull • Saturday 13 – Division 2 National Championship – Leeds & Liverpool Canal • Sunday 14 – AT Riverfest Qualifier – River Wye, Breinton

• 13–14 – FIPSed Nations Coarse Angling World Championship – Sveta Marija, Croatia • Saturday 20 – AT RiverFest Qualifiers – River Severn, Bridgnorth • Saturday 20 – AT & C&RT Stillwater Championship Grand Final – Blythe Waters, Solihull • 20–27 – FIPS–M World Championships for Shore Angling Seniors & Ladies – France • 27–4– FIPS–M World Seniors & U21s Boat Championships – Weymouth • Sunday 28 – AT RiverFest Qualifiers – River Trent, Burton


• Pike Qualifiers held at various venues around the country – details at • TBC – AT Winter League – Various • 4 – AT RiverFest Qualifiers – River Thames, Oxford • 4–5 – 7th Carnivorous Artificial Baits Boat Angling World Championship – Aix Les Bains, France • Saturday 11 – AT RiverFest Qualifiers – River Severn, Worcester • 15–18 – FIPSed Carp Angling World Championship – TBC • Saturday 18 – AT RiverFest Qualifiers – Warwickshire Avon, Evesham • Saturday 25 – AT RiverFest Qualifiers – Yorkshire Ouse, Hunters Lodge • 25–1 November – FIPS–M 7th World Championship Boat Angling Clubs – Portugal • Wednesday 29 – Bank Stillwater Seniors International Fly Fishing Championship – Northumberland, England


• Pike Qualifiers held at various venues around the country – details at • TBC – AT Winter League – Various • Saturday 1 – AT RiverFest Qualifiers – River Nene, March • TBC – AT RiverFest Grand Final – TBC


• Pike Qualifiers held at various venues around the country – details at • TBC – AT Winter League – Various


At the time of going to press details for the following competitions have still to be confirmed and will be announced on the Angling Trust website when available: • AT British pike final • Marine trials • Coarse world championship trials for various categories • Various fly fishing championships

Angler The


Club Mark - The Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 16:05 Page 60

The Angling Trust’s Clive Copeland and Frankie Gianoncelli award Aston Park Fisheries with their Clubmark for Angling certificate

Making your ma k… All you’ve ever wanted to know about Clubmark for Angling – but were afraid to ask! o, what is Clubmark for Angling? Clubmark for Angling is the Angling Trust’s national accreditation scheme for angling clubs and commercial fisheries. Clubmark is the national Sport England scheme for quality sports clubs, recognised across the country. Clubmark has been introduced to provide a focus around which national governing bodies – Sport England, Sports Coach UK, Child Protection in Sport Unit, County Sports Partnerships, English Federation of Disability Sport, Women’s Sports Foundation, Sporting Equals, local authorities and others – can come together to support good practice in sports clubs working with children and young people.


Why you need to be involved

Clubs achieving the Clubmark for Angling award are recognised as providing a safe, effective and child-friendly fishing environment. Those clubs that obtain Clubmark accreditation have been able to demonstrate clearly that they follow approved minimum operating standards. County Sports Partnerships and funding agencies are increasingly recognising these clubs – and choosing to work with them as a priority. The Environment Agency is keen to help and support the growth of angling and is committed to working with clubs that achieve accreditation. Achieving this award also sends a clear message to parents that their needs have been thoroughly considered and addressed.


Angler The

Benefits The benefits identified by clubs who have already obtained the Clubmark for Angling Award include: Easier access to grants offered by Sport England and local authorities Professional management of the club Support to develop a modernised quality assured club Improved integration between the club and local schools and community Increased publicity and in press, websites and local media Access to facilities grants from Sport England and the Environment Agency Increased membership levels of both adults and juniors Improved availability and quality of coaches and coaching Better recognition and support from County Sports Partnership, local authorities and schools Higher profile of the club within the local community Increased safety for all members Improved framework and focus on future club development A serious and professional approach from members to the development of the club For further information on Clubmark contact your Regional Development Officer or Dean Asplin, National Clubmark Lead, email: tel: 07854 239731

Spring 2014

Coaching - The Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 16:09 Page 61



A safe start for youngsters

Coaching development manager BEN SNOOK explains that to help children and young people receive coaching in a safe and supportive environment we recommend that coaches are appropriately qualified and licensed with the Angling Trust. Why a qualification?

A coaching qualification provides an understanding of how to work safely with people in a coaching capacity. It focuses on the different ways in which individuals learn and how to apply appropriate methods to the people we work with. Coaching is not just about telling someone how to do something; it is about understanding the person, their background and motivation and using this information to provide effective support and coaching. The Angling Trust worked with industry leaders to establish an internationally recognised coaching qualification and the Angling Trust is the only qualification provider to have a UK coaching certificate (UKCC) endorsed angling qualification, which recognises its high standard of development. However, qualifications can be awarded by organisations other than the Angling Trust, so this accreditation should never be accepted in isolation as evidence of somebody’s suitability to work with children and young people. This is the reason the Angling Trust coach licence exists, as it helps us to find out more information about

qualified coaches to assess their suitability to work with children and young people.

Why the Angling Trust coach licence?

As the national governing body for angling in England, the Angling Trust has a responsibility to ensure the safety of children and young people in the sport. To do this, we run the coach licence scheme. This not-for-profit programme follows a safe recruitment policy to promote the right coaches to support safe environments for children in angling. The Angling Trust is the only angling body working directly with the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) and NSPCC to make sure their scheme is fit for purpose. The Angling Trust has a skilled and trained team of personnel who work

directly with the CPSU to decide on the suitability of individual applications to the scheme. As part of our governance agreements with Sport England, we must produce a safeguarding policy and action plan, which is approved by the CPSU and the NSPCC. Top match anglers Lee Kerry, Tom Scholey, Matt Godfrey and Frankie Gianoncelli have all signed up to become qualified and licensed Level 2 coaches with the Angling Trust. It’s great news to have some of our best match anglers recognize and understand the importance this qualification and licensing scheme. Lee, Tom, Matt and Frankie will be helping to develop young anglers across the country through the Angling Trust Team England talent pathway programme.

For more information on the Angling Trust coach licence and qualifications, see the coaches’ blog at or the Angling Trust website at You can also get in touch with the coaching development manager Ben Snook via

Angler The


Marine DPS Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 16:10 Page 62

WORKING FOR SEA ANG Give fish a chance

The Angling Trust has joined forces with the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network (SSACN) to promote the Give Fish A Chance policy. SSACN has been providing conservation advice to anglers, carrying out tagging studies and influencing marine conservation policy since 2006. Both organisations are keen to promote the work that has already been done in Scotland and produce a common Give Fish A Chance (GFAC) table so that anglers can be confident what size each species must be to have had the opportunity to have bred at least once. Both organisations are keen to promote the work that has already been done in Scotland ( and produce a common GFAC table in order anglers can be confident what size each species must be to have had the opportunity to have bred at least once – this approach recognises the common threats and problems facing sea fishing in both English and Scottish waters.

Lyme Bay fisheries & conservation reserve.

The Angling Trust has helped the voice of sea anglers be heard on the working group of the Lyme Bay fisheries and conservation reserve – a group set up to help promote sustainable fishing after bottom trawling was banned in order to protect the rich reef habitats. Mike Spiller, Secretary of the Angling Trust’s Wyvern marine region now represents the interests of recreational anglers on the project. “I’m pleased with the way the meetings go, everybody is trying to bring this beautiful area of the Lyme Bay reserve to the forefront of people’s minds.” Mike is proposing recreational sea anglers follow a simple voluntary code of conduct when fishing in the reserve. “I believe we should also be telling everybody in the area what is being done to protect the site.” For more information about the project visit:


Angler The

Sussex black bream

The Angling Trust’s Sussex marine region has started a campaign to protect and sustainably manage one of the county’s most iconic sea-angling species, the Black bream. Anglers travel from around the country to fish for bream over the reefs on which this species nests and spawns during the Spring, yet there are currently no restrictions on commercial catches of these vulnerable fish. As well as campaigning for a black bream management plan to be introduced, the Sussex marine region is also working with local sea anglers to ensure fishing is not unnecessarily restricted on the new Kingmere marine conservation zone (a prime Black bream fishing mark) when the Sussex Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority introduces measures to protect the new zone. For more information on the black bream campaign see the separate article on page 48 and check out :

EU Bass management – avoiding a TAC The decline in Bass stocks has been well publicised in the media over recent months, and the European Union has now been forced to look at how Bass stocks are managed and take action to avoid a catastrophic collapse in the stock across Europe. The Angling Trust has been working with colleagues within the European Anglers’ Alliance to oppose a total allowable catch (TAC) limit and propose alternative ‘technical measures’ that will help rebuild the stock and recognise the value of Bass angling across Europe. This is an extremely complex issue so we believe it would be helpful to provide members with details of why we are opposing a TAC: • The use of TAC to manage other fish through the Common Fisheries Policy has resulted in a decline and overfishing of virtually every species – we don’t believe adding Bass to this list is a sensible idea. • Bass used to be primarily a recreational angling species before it was commercially valuable – a TAC will only reinforce the notion that Bass is now a ‘commercial species’ and make it more difficult for Bass to ever be managed as a recreational fishery.

Spring 2014

Marine DPS Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 20/03/2014 14:34 Page 63


• There is a danger that the new discards ban, or ‘landings obligation’ introduced by the reformed Common Fisheries Policy could incentivise an increase in commercial landings of immature Bass if a TAC was introduced.

AT Charter Boat Member Mark Vale of She Likes It II taking kids out fishing on a coaching day arranged by The Sussex Marine Region

Marine Regions – get involved


Find out how you can get involved in all areas of our work in by contacting your local Marine Region. • Isle of Wight – contact Secretary Andrew Wenden: • Midlands – Secretary, Tim Metcalfe • Northumberland – contact Les Weller: • Sussex – contact Tim Macpherson: • Wessex (Dorset and Hampshire) – contact Richard Prosser: • Wyvern (Devon) – contact Mike Spiller: We are planning two new marine regions in 2014 so watch this space! Keep an eye out for details in our regular email updates or on the Angling Trust website at

Angler The


064 - competitions - The Angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 16:13 Page 64

HAVE YOUR SAY The competitive edge… Darren Massey Team Captain Shakespeare Superteam

The Angling Trust helps match team captains on a regular basis. AT’s competitions and events manager, Sandra Drew, lets a well-known trio have their say... AT Division One National 2013 Shakespeare Superteam win gold


Angler The

Darren Massey, team captain of Shakespeare Superteam We need to support the Angling Trust because I feel it's important to have a governing body that’s able to help with all anglers’ needs… pollution, legal problems, etc. Also, as part of a major team, I reckon it's important for the Angling Trust to organise big national contests such as the national championships and Angling Trust winter leagues — without the Angling Trust we would not have these big, high-profile team events which we all agree that once lost would never return. It’s a must that the senior national championship is fished on natural venues as commercials already have their own national and stage a lot of individual large events such as Fish ‘O’ Mania. As an aside, I feel that unless you can dedicate all your time to a particular commercial venue it's difficult to win. (On all these

Spring 2014

064 - competitions - The Angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 16:14 Page 65

venues you get a load of so-called venue experts who often go there four times a week!) It's important to keep up-and-coming young anglers interested in natural venues — and the corresponding wide range of skills needed to fish them — or we’ll end up falling behind on the international scene. It’s also important for the Angling Trust to cater for all anglers, and from surveys I’ve seen over 50% of anglers prefer natural venues. I feel these venues, where you have to learn a better watercraft to catch fish, provide a greater challenge. And finally, becoming captain of Shakespeare Superteam a year ago — and lifting the trophy of the division one national championship in my first year — was a brilliant feeling. I’m immensely proud of the team and its performance. Tackle-TO-Fish Team Photo AT Senior Divisional National Championship 2009

Ian Elliott, team captain, Tackle-TO-Fish We support the Angling Trust as we appreciate that the trust not only gives us a voice with government but also is committed to work on pollution issues. The Angling Trust organises and manages all the international teams competing for their country, and without the Angling Trust this would not be possible. I have fished nationals for the last 20 years, but we have anglers that started out fishing in the junior nationals (Nathan Younge and Richard Wilson, for instance) who are now in their 40s and still compete in AT matches every year. We believe fishing natural venues on these events is so important to the development of younger anglers,

especially when they might go on to represent England at world championship level. Tackle-TO-Fish also supports the new team commercial championship and took part in its launch last year. Tackle-TO-Fish was formed in 2009 when we entered the division three national championships (then called Tackle2Fish). Sadly our local shop closed in December 2013, but has been reopened with new owners and is now called Tackle-TO-Fish who have only this morning agreed to enter our team in this year’s division one national championship on the River Trent.Someone asked recently what I look for when entering a

competition? Obviously costs are important but getting as much information as possible before a match is vital to all the teams, especially the section information. It helps to have this early so teams can practise at least eight weeks in advance of the match taking place. And what would I like to see in the future for match fishing? Well, maybe having regional national matches — with a final of, say, 15 to 20 teams in an allEngland match — to decide who represents everyone in the world club championship. Also, having some regional matches would help reduce travelling and accommodation costs.

Chris Gorrell, team captain of Ted Carter Southport The senior national championship is a big day in the match angling calendar. Our team look forward to this event each year, and continue to support the Angling Trust as we have done for many years. It gives anglers a great opportunity to compete against the very best in English match fishing. Our team members have many fond memories of competing in nationals over the years. This match is often a challenging one, but it can be equally rewarding too. Anglers need to be given the opportunity to compete on natural venues and although there will always be a core of anglers that favour natural venues exclusively, it’s only right that anglers are given a choice. The Angling Trust has set up a stillwater commercial team championship to meet the requirements of the growing number of commercially orientated teams. Some of the bigger squads now have

the opportunity to fish both nationals. To fish these events you need a team of ten. From a personal point of view, and as captain of a relatively big squad, I reckon ten anglers is about right. However, I know from speaking to captains of smaller teams fielding ten anglers can be more of a challenge. The Angling Trust could try reducing team sizes down to eight which might see more teams competing.

However, we really must be careful with this — the last thing we want to do is see the bigger squads with anglers sat on the side-lines. We are fortunate that we have a good nucleus of younger anglers as well as some more experienced ones. This is vital for the continuity of any team. This year our team is looking forward to competing in the commercial national on Cudmore and Heronbrook fisheries. This gives the commercially focussed anglers the opportunity to fish a big team match organised by the Angling Trust. I feel commercial venues will play a part in safeguarding the future of match angling and the Angling Trust has shown vision in introducing this event. I reckon its popularity will grow over the next few years, especially given the fact that many newcomers to the sport have been brought up fishing commercial Ted Carter Southport Team pic 2014 venues.

Angler The


066 - ambassador - The Angler spring 2014 v2_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 16:20 Page 66



Millions missing at the weigh-in, says Keith Arthur

hen the Angling Trust invited me to become an ambassador it really didn’t change my attitude towards our sport’s representative and governing body. You see, I had been writing for years about how we needed a unified stand on angling’s behalf. The old NFA (National Federation of Anglers) did its very best for coarse anglers but it has to be realised this was a group ostensibly set up to manage the huge club fishing sector that developed in the years after the Second World War. Operating at a political level wasn’t its strong point, but it did its best, especially on the competition scene. Now our governing body is able to function at the very highest level politically and our views are carried by voices far stronger than our weight of numbers justifies — and that’s because our weight of numbers is a disgrace. Whichever way you look at it we have a minimum of two million anglers in England and only 15,000 are individual members of the Angling Trust. Shocking! The most upsetting thing for me is how few dedicated sea anglers are amongst that number. They are simply missing in action. In my opinion, they are being influenced



Angler The

by people with a bias against any form of regulation and representation who then moan that their fishing is rubbish compared to what it was. Well, guess what, being under the radar and moaning in chat rooms ain’t helping guys (and gals). I realise I am preaching to the converted here, but if you have a chance to tell your mates about the good things we do ... well, you know the rest. A great double-whammy for me currently is a strong and growing bond

“ ” Please don’t be a moaner, be a doer

between the Angling Trust and Get Hooked on Fishing. This is a wonderful, long-standing charity whose role it is to increase angling participation, originally among young people but increasingly it involves all age groups. I am a trustee and I can tell you that if you want a charity to support, we will spend your donation wisely and economically. Working with the Angling Trust, the Environment Agency and other bodies we are bringing the sport that you

and I love so much, that has done so much for us, to people that would never find it on their own. Finally, there are always plenty of moaners in chat rooms banging on about ‘illegal fishing’. Please don't be a moaner, be a doer. If you see people fishing illegally, or using illegal methods, that’s a job for the EA Hotline. The number is the same as for pollution incidents — 0800 80 70 60 — so set it in your phone please. There is another number you need to keep for people seen stealing fish. This is police business, and you have every right to call the non-emergency number 101 if you have information about fish theft, or you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Please don’t leave it to the other bloke. Finally, thanks for being a member and supporting the Angling Trust. They do a great job, are underpaid and are understaffed so don’t expect miracles immediately. Give them a few days ...

Don’t forget to tune in to Keith who hosts Tight Lines every Friday evening on Sky Sports 3.

Spring 2014

Angling strategy - The Angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 17:27 Page 67

DR RICK WARNER, National Angling Strategy manager for the Angling Trust, updates us on progress. n 2012, Defra and the Environment Agency commissioned the Angling Trust to compile a national strategy for the future of angling participation. Fishing for Life aims to find ways of overcoming barriers to increasing the number and diversity of anglers and maximising the benefits to society from people going fishing. We know that being outdoors is an important motivation for many anglers, and increasingly, fishing is seen as a good way to help manage anxiety, get exercise and meet friends. The Angling Trust is determined to sell these benefits to anglers and non-anglers alike and we’ll be seeking major funding this year to drive a social benefits campaign for angling. A major concern to all of us must be the decline in fishing among young people, evidenced by a marked drop in junior rod licence sales. We are always conscious that while we want people to go fishing more often, we don’t want this to be at the expense of shared family time. So that’s why, in the coming year, we intend to put a lot more focus on family fishing, designing events which will appeal to the whole family. I wonder how many of us have struggled to drag our kit to pegs and swims these last few months? Unfortunately, for the one in


five anglers with a disability or health issue, getting to the bankside is a year-round problem. Angling Trust has therefore teamed up with the British Disabled Angling Association (BDAA), the Wheelyboat Trust and Get Hooked on Fishing to produce a plan for increasing the number of venues offering disabled access facilities. Another key part of the strategy is to increase the numbers of low cost and local angling venues. The trust will support anglers campaigning for the reinstatement of lost fishing waters, inland or on the coast, and we will shortly be producing specialised guidance on how to work with local authorities to bring these projects to fruition. On the environmental front, a project I am very excited by is a new signal crayfish

trapping trial led by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas). Five sites, a mixture of club and public waters, have now been recruited and over the next year or so they will be submitting monthly data on numbers, size and sex of trapped signal crayfish. Ultimately we hope to turn the study’s findings into practical guidance available to all clubs to help control the impact of this nuisance alien invader.

If you’d like more information on any of the areas described, please give me a call on 07850 774857, or better still – join the new National Angling Strategy Group on my LinkedIn page!

Angler The


VBS - Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 20/03/2014 14:44 Page 68

Left to right: John Witham, Grant Hincks, Dilip Sarkar MBE and David Hincks

THE FIGHT CONTINUES… Progress on the enforcement front goes from strength to strength, says AT Fisheries Enforcement Manager DILIP SARKAR.


he Voluntary Bailiff Service (VBS) gets stronger day by day, with yet more volunteers being inducted into the Environment Agency’s South East Region in April. We’re also poised to train further and empower various existing volunteers to inspect rod licences and deal with certain byelaw offences. Over 400 anglers throughout England are now registered on our database, pending formally applying to VBS as and when the service extends to other regions later this year. In an effort to train as many anglers as possible — in partnership with the Environment Agency (EA), the Institute of Fisheries Management, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the National Wildlife Crime Unit — we’re providing fisheries enforcement workshops for Angling Trust members. These sessions cover the law, the role of the angling club’s bailiff, health & safety, risk assessment, conflict resolution and much more. The first of these, organised for members in the Midlands, was a great success and workshops will be delivered in our other seven regions later this year. Of crucial importance is the ongoing task to cooperate with and educate police forces regarding the wider implications of poaching. We are working increasingly closely with forces in West Mercia, Warwickshire, Thames Valley, Hertfordshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Kent and Essex. What we’re doing is seeking to make intelligence sharing and cooperation


Angler The

between the EA and police consistent and, in due course, create a formal National Waterways Enforcement Partnership — ensuring a cohesive operational approach to this issue involving all stakeholders. The VBS and EA are currently gearing up for operation CLAMP DOWN 2 in the south east of England. The scheme targets illegal fishing in the coarse close season and is supported by police forces in the area. Next summer, combined operations are already planned with Midlands’ forces, all of which dovetail with both Project Trespass — driven by the England & Wales Poaching Priority Group and National Wildlife Crime Unit —


Neig ei hbourh oods




and printe

d by North

Y Yorks orksh o hire ire Polic e Print &

Design Unit

V Versi ersio on n - Septe www.n mber 2013 orth rthyyor Re-Order orkksh shiire. Ref: NYP1 re.p pol olic 3-0086 ice e.u .ukk/c /cri rim me epr pre eve ven ntio tion n

A poster produced in partnership with North Yorkshire Police, emphasising that poaching – fishing without permission – is a criminal offence

and the forthcoming National Rural Crime Strategy. Key objectives of the new strategy are to increase public confidence in the police throughout rural areas, and increase intelligence arising from it as a result. Several million anglers are an intelligence resource that cannot be ignored. This is also our opportunity to impress upon the Association of Chief Police Officers that poaching is not a victimless crime — but one that negatively affects livelihoods and that’s quantifiable in financial terms. We all have a part to play in protecting our fisheries, and can do so very simply by reporting all information and incidents to either the EA and/or local police as appropriate: 0800 80 70 60 or 101. The importance of logging incidents, to provide an accurate impression of the problem’s true extent, cannot be over emphasised. The main priority, however, is to stay safe. This is one reason why the workshops are important for angling club bailiffs — I look forward to seeing you there. Email: or call 07971 677638 for more information or to register for the VBS. Spring 2014

069 - building bridges - The Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 17:19 Page 69


Building Bridges Three years into the scheme, Building Bridges Manager Rado Papiewski tells us how the project to integrate and educate migrant anglers is progressing…


key way to combat poaching is to ensure that everyone knows the rules and what is expected of them when fishing, and the AT’s new multilingual Play by the rules leaflet has proved to be an invaluable tool in achieving these aims. Issues with Chinese anglers fishing illegally in London, for instance, were becoming increasingly common so we made contact with community representatives and distributed our leaflets accordingly. Unfortunately my colleague, Pawel, left at the end of last year so we have now started recruiting regional volunteers from the various migrant angling communities to help with coaching, bailiffing and regional forums. The first appointment was Lithuanian angler Martynas Pranaitis, who offered his help — not only to the Building Bridges project but also by enrolling in the voluntary bailiff service. His experience and contacts will help us to educate and integrate Lithuanian migrants about the UK style of fishing. This links into our efforts to produce a region-by-region plan of how to roll out the Building Bridges project more effectively. We’re currently preparing a questionnaire to find out what help is needed in each region. I’m working closely with our Fisheries Enforcement Manager, Dilip Sarkar, and any enforcement issues that are identified by this questionnaire will be shared with him and our colleagues in the Environment Agency.

New opportunities January saw the AGM of the Polish Anglers Association where I was proud to be appointed their new President. I look forward to leading the association towards better integration with local anglers, and

NO FISHING! CLOSE SEASON Under the salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act, 1975 it is an offence to fish for coarse fish species between March 15th and June 15th (inclusive) MAXIMUM PENALTY £50,000. If you see anyone coarse fishing out of season call the EA incident hotline on: 0800 80 70 60.

ZVEJOTI DRAUDZIAMA! UŽDARAS SEZONAS. Pagal 1975 metÐ LašišiniÐ ir GÐlavandeniÐ vandens telkiniÐ aktÐ, šitame vandens telkinyje yra draudžiama žvejoti nuo Kovo 15d. iki Birželio 15d. (imtinai). MAKSIMALI BAUDA 50000£. Jeigu pastebesite asmenis zvejojancius uzdaro sezono metu, skubiai praneskite EA (Gamtos Apsaugos Tarnybai) Karstaja Linija siuo telefono numeriu: 0800 80 70 60.

ZAKAZ LOVENIA RYB! KONIEC SEZONY Podla vyhlasky z roku 1975 o salmone aKoniec sezonyPodla Vyhlasky o losose a sladkovodnom rybarstve z roku 1975je zakazane na tychto vodach lovit ryby v obdobi od 15 Marca do 15 Juna vratane.

This poster produced by

MAXIMALNA POKUTA DO VYSKY Â £50.000. V pripade, ze uvidite kohokolvek lovit ryby mimo sezony nahlaste to prosim na ea pohotovostnu linku na cislo: 0800 80 70 60.

ZAKAZ WEDKOWANIA! SEZON WEDKARSKI ZAMKNIETY! Ustawa z 1975 dotyczaca polowu ryb w rzekach zakazuje polowu na tych wodach, w okresie od 15 Marca do 15 Czerwca wlacznie. MAKSYMALNA KARA ZA ZLAMANIE ZAKAZU WYNOSI £50,000 Jezeli zauwazyles kogos lamiacego zakaz polowu w sezonie zamknietym, zglos to pod anonimowym numerem telefonu: 0800 80 70 60.

PESCUITUL INTERZIS! SEZON DE PESCUIT INCHIS Conform Actului din 1975 privind pescuitul de somon si a speciilor de peste de apa dulce este interzis pescuitul acestora intre 15 martie si 15 iunie (inclusiv). SE POT APLICA AMENZI PANA LA 50,000 DE LIRE STERLINE. Va rugam sa informati EA hotline la numarul de tel 0800 80 70 60 daca vedeti pe cineva pescuind in afara sezonului in aceste ape.

educating newcomers about British fishing law and culture. Unfortunately, within days of the AGM we heard about a club bailiff being attacked by two people (possible migrants) who were fishing illegally. Obviously my attention turned to this area immediately and I visited various

community centres and talked to other clubs in order to avoid such incidents in future. I received assurance, however, that this is not a common situation and generally there are good relationships with migrant anglers. One message we are keen to share — especially during the close season - is the benefit clubs receive by displaying multilingual signage around their fisheries. We’ve now developed key signs, translated into several languages and they are available at To make things simpler we can even help tailor signs for your specific needs so if you have particular wording that is necessary for your club — we can help. Finally, the project I’m most excited about at the moment is the idea to produce a short ‘responsible fishing’ film. This would be available in multiple languages and could become a fantastic new tool to help educate and integrate migrant anglers and help them understand UK fishing culture and rules. It’s going to be a busy year and (hopefully) a successful one! Contact Details Find out more about Building Bridges with our leaflets and posters available on the Angling Trust website at

One of my personal highlights of 2013 was our integration lure fishing competition that attracted over 60 anglers — worldwide and not just from the UK. This proved that we can enjoy fishing and socialising together despite cultural differences.

Angler The


070 - volunteer profile - The Angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 20/03/2014 14:46 Page 70



You too can be a champion Kevin (inset) and, above, helping an angler

Last year the Angling Trust and Sport England agreed a new angling participation plan. Under the heading Let’s Fish, it is aimed at getting more adults fishing regularly. We set about training a small army of volunteer champions to provide Let’s Fish programmes across England. DEAN ASPLIN, the Angling Trust’s regional officer for the South West of England, met one of the new champions. evin Richardson is one of the Volunteer Champions I have been supporting in the South West and he sat down with me for a chat recently so I could dig a bit deeper as to why he decided to become a volunteer. He explained; “I have been a member of the Angling Trust for about four years now and in that time I have seen the organisation go from strength to strength, I really appreciate what the trust is trying to do for angling. I wanted to be part of it and also give something back to this fantastic sport.” Always nice to hear, but what did he think of the free Volunteer Champion training he was given and had it been useful? “It was very useful, yes! Not only did it teach me how to run the Let’s Fish programmes in a safe manner and to the Angling Trust guidelines but it was also a



Angler The

If you would like to become a Volunteer Champion or would like to be introduced to another Volunteer Champion based locally to you then please contact me on or 07854 239731. chance to meet the other Volunteer Champions and share in each other’s knowledge and experiences. The free waterproof clothing we received was a nice touch too!” The Angling Trust Let’s Fish sessions are designed to offer single anglers the chance to come along and meet other anglers while having a fish and socialising a little. Had it been easy though? “Well to be honest we had a bit of a slow start and, disappointingly, I had to cancel

my first attempt due to a lack of participants but things are looking much better now. Numbers have been increasing steadily. People are already asking when the next event will be, which after all, is what the Let’s Fish programme is all about, getting more people fishing more often. I already have 25 people booked in for our next Let’s Fish event at Burton Springs fishery in Somerset.” It just goes to show how many anglers out there can be encouraged to fish more often given the right environment. So what plans does Kevin have next? “Well I have just completed the Level 2 coaching award so I not only hope to carry on as a Volunteer Champion but now be able to offer some small group or even individual coaching.”

Tight lines and Let’s Fish! Spring 2014

Angling Heritage - Angler Spring 2014_News page A.qxd 20/03/2014 14:51 Page 71

Fred J Taylor and Fred Buller

Preserving our angling heritage Henry Acteson

A trust has been established to ensure that the history and traditions of angling are not lost to future generations, and you can help.


ngling Heritage is a not-for-profit trust established in 2009 in memory of Fred J Taylor MBE, the sole aim of which is to preserve the oral, written and photographic history of anglers from all walks of life. Angling Heritage (UK) is supported by Fred Buller MBE as patron, with trustees Chris Yates, Reg Talbot (secretary and treasurer) and Des Taylor. People worldwide can access information for free, or premium content at a minimal cost, at New material is being added on a regular basis. A tremendous amount of historical data is in the form of old letters, photographs and diaries, much of which is often mistakenly regarded as being of little importance and discarded. That

information can never be retrieved and to avoid this loss of angling history, Angling Heritage needs your help: We simply ask that we are allowed to borrow items such as documents or photographs so we can scan and digitise them before returning them to you. Scanned or photocopied material would also be appreciated as this can be added to the archive too. We are delighted to receive donations of old fishing magazines along with videos, CDs and DVDs. We currently have full sets of several magazines and are collecting others. These publications are being stored in readiness for the opening of Torrington Museum where they will be made available for research purposes. We are seeking fishing items with real history and a story to tell. We currently

have a temporary display in River Reads Bookshop in Torrington, Devon, that includes a variety of items such as the first carbon fibre rod, which was donated by Fred Buller, scales from a Redmire carp, a collection of fishing hats from the great and the good, plus acetate film of Clarissa — the record carp caught by Dick Walker. This host of historically important items forms just part of the Angling Heritage archive. The trust would also be delighted to receive donations, or items which we can sell to raise funds for future projects. We would also like to include any articles on angling history you may like to write (subject to editorial discretion). Information about the history of angling clubs is also a key source of data such as when they were started (and closed), who founded them, are minutes still available for research? In other words, as much background information as people can recall. Angling Heritage is not just interested in celebrated angling figures. The history we preserve covers anglers from all walks of life such as river keepers, netsmen, fly fishermen, sea anglers and even poachers.

Membership scheme Friends of Angling Heritage can sign up for a year and get unlimited access to the database. This costs just ÂŁ25 and in return you will also receive an enamelled badge with the Angling Heritage logo and a copy of the proposed annual journal which will contain articles written by our trustees and anyone who would like to contribute their angling history. For more information you can visit or telephone Sandy or Keith Armishaw at River Reads 01805 622064

Angler The


072 - Books - The Angler spring 2014_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 16:41 Page 72

Angler’s bookshelf Globe-trotting trout, monster pike, fly fishing theologies and a bumper crop of angling stories. This collection of books will contain something to interest everyone whether you are a sea, coarse or game angler and help while away those long summer days when you are not out on the water yourself. Running with the Tide

The Trout’s Tale

By Chris Newton. Published by Medlar Press – £20.

With characteristic wit, charm and passion Chris Newton tells this tale of how brown trout were scattered to the far corners of Britain’s Empire. He has evidently undertaken encyclopaedic research in writing this excellent book about a small group of eccentric men who took it upon themselves to transport Salmo trutta to their colonial outposts, carrying fertilised eggs in intricate boxes full of ice and moss around the globe to stock into other rivers. The men involved demonstrate the manic persistence that is characteristic of any real angler, and enormous creative ingenuity, but the trout are the real heroes of the story. A highly recommended read for any trout fanatic. Mark Lloyd

Fly Fishing Outside the Box: Emerging Heresies By Peter Hayes. Published by by Coch-y-Bonddu Books – £25.

When Peter rang and asked me to review this book for The Angler his plea was for me to be critical “everyone has been too nice — say something bad about it.” Sorry Peter, can’t oblige I’m afraid. This is the first time that I have read such a comprehensive review of famous angling theologies going back in time together with current thoughts from our present stock of famous anglers which includes the author. I know that there will be anglers that will have fits when they read this (especially chapter 11) but let’s have that debate. Mark Owen

Mammoth Pike 2004–13

By Neville Fickling. Published by Harper Angling Books – £35.


Angler The

If ever a name was associated with just one species of fish then Neville Fickling and pike would be it surely. This musthave book for pike anglers follows on from his earlier 2004 book titled Mammoth Pike and updates us with all the latest pike caught over the magic 35lb mark up to 2013. There are some cracking photos and stories along with a sprinkling of historic captures, too often featuring photos of mounted fish, which are very interesting from a historical perspective. A truly fascinating anthology of recent big pike captures, and the magnificent cover image by Chris Turnbull stands out a mile. Paul Sharman

By Simon Smith Published by Medlar Press – £20. There is something about sea air – it adds just a little extra frisson to a fishing trip somehow and in Running with the Tide, author Simon Smith does a fine job of bringing that whiff of ozone and salt spray onto the pages. Telling his own story of how he started sea fishing as a boy in Port Talbot where he still lives and fishes today, we are entertained by stories of ancient hand-medown tackle, new species encounters and his unavoidable interactions with courting couples, drunks and various mentors, starting with his granddad, which all make for a fascinating insight into one man’s journey into fishing. Paul Sharman

Alive on a Rainy Day By Geoffrey Bucknall Published by Coch-YBonddu Books – £25. This is Geoffrey Bucknall’s autobiography, setting out why and how fishing became his way of life, from his rural upbringing in the Weald during the Second World War, post-war National Service and his subsequent career as a laboratory technician, fishing tackle manufacturer and tackle dealer. Bucknall is, of course, the author of many well-thought-of books and innumerable articles in the angling press. The book was first published in 2009 as a limited edition and soon sold out. This then is his enlarged and updated second edition chock-full of even more great stories from a lifetime in fishing.

Spring 2014

A4 Advert template_News page A.qxd 18/03/2014 16:36 Page 58

COCH-Y-BONDDU BOOKS Machynlleth, Mid-Wales SY20 8DG

Tel: 01654 702837

Hbk £100 £50.00

Pbk £25.00 £7.95

POLES APART: THE HISTORY OF THE LONDON ROACH POLE. Michael Nadell. Hardback £35.00 Signed Collector’s Edition. £50.00

Hbk £25.00 £9.95

Hbk £25.00 £9.95

Pbk £19.95

Pbk £19.95

Hbk £30.00 £14.95

Hbk £25.00

Hbk £25.00

Hbk £25.00

Hbk £25.00

Hbk £19.95 £9.95

Almost 10,000 angling books, old & new, are listed on our website - Mastercard / Visa / Maestro / Paypal


Overseas postage at cost

074 - Final Cast - angler spring 2014_S&C_template_2010 18/03/2014 17:09 Page 74

The Final Cast

Mr Crabtree Goes Fishing has dominated my life for three years and excuse me if this just comes out as a stream of consciousness. It’s what I think and I’m afraid you’re going to have to deal with it writes AT Ambassador JOHN BAILEY.

was at an angling show recently and at least three or four score of the public asked me why I had become so involved in the Crabtree project. I signed up to Crabtree over three years ago and became part of the shareholding team dedicated to creating a Crabtree revival. As I said to the guys at the show, I’m not in Fishing in the Footsteps of Mr Crabtree for the money. At this point in time we’re still building a business and, over the last three years, that’s meant us all digging deep. I love being a part of the Crabtree movement because I’ve been a fan all my life. I met Bernard Venables in his latter days and he was everything a hero should be. But above all, I’ve thrown myself into the Crabtree Project because I adore fishing, I’m passionate about it, it’s given me my life. And I sincerely believe that fishing is in real danger of dying. Bernard Venables realised that angling needed kids coming in to refresh and renew the sport all those years ago but the imperative is fifty times greater today. Crabtree has to be the vehicle for this. Kids



Angler The

“ ” watch TV. If the sport is not on TV then it’s not cool and it doesn’t register. This is crucial. It doesn’t matter if it’s Mr Crabtree, Mr Cherry or whoever. There has to be angling on mainstream TV and angling that is accessible and sympathetic. If I’m right and if there is not a Crabtreelike programme on TV, kids will simply continue to fall away like autum leaves.

. . . when you take kids fishing, they love it. It’s real excitement

That has to be bad for them because when you take kids fishing, they love it. It’s real excitement. It’s a genuine challenge and learning experience. If fishing died, it would be hugely detrimental for those family and friendship bondings that have been strengthened by angling for decades. There’s something about fishing that is fundamental to the father/son

relationship. Mother/daughter, uncle/nephew, whatever pairing you like. Angling just encourages togetherness, sharing and a mini-adventure that is waiting often just round the next corner. If angling fails, there will simply be no money for the conservation and defence of aquatic habitats. The dredger will rule again. The polluter won’t have to pay. Anglers are amongst the only people in society who understand fisheries and fish and they are the only people who ultimately care. If angling fails, we won’t only have lost one of our oldest sports but one of our most important sports when it comes to conservation. If Crabtree succeeds in its aims, then we all succeed. We’re part of an industry that needs to be collectively working for a greater good, looking in on itself and inviting others to do the same and board the train. If it fails then it’s another nail in the coffin of our beautiful sport. However, my wealth has always been my fishing and, in that respect, Mr Crabtree has already made me a millionaire.


Spring 2014

A4 Advert template_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 14:42 Page 4

A4 Advert template_News page A.qxd 19/03/2014 14:45 Page 2


The Angler - Spring 2014  

The Angling Trust and Fish Legal magazine, showcasing our work, news and also fishing features and how-to's from experts in coarse, sea and...

The Angler - Spring 2014  

The Angling Trust and Fish Legal magazine, showcasing our work, news and also fishing features and how-to's from experts in coarse, sea and...