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ONCE again I see it’s time for the Angling Times National Angling Awards (pages 8/9).
There is so much good in our sport – and some things not so good – that the idea of celebrating the best is a brilliant one.
In a year in which the Thames has been outstanding from one end to the other, with specimen fish and, especially, some incredible roach sport, I’m still going for the Trent as River of the Year for 2017.
Obviously the barbel sport has been phenomenal and, even though the number of fish in the lower river has been artificially enhanced by compensation stocking from Calverton, the remainder of the river has also produced good barbel.
Predator anglers have caught big perch and zander, and I’m sure anyone who targets pike with any degree of thought this winter will find some big, possibly huge, fish.
For the match and pleasure angler there have been bream, perch, dace, a resurgence in match-sized chub and simply millions of roach of all sizes.
Perhaps if my local section of Thames hadn’t died a complete death over the past month I’d have a different opinion, but it’s the Trent for me.
Achievement of the year? Although it’s certainly not just been 2017, the achievements of Andrew Alsop, and his White Water charter company, seem difficult to beat. He has turned shark fishing into an art form and I can’t believe he hasn’t provided more days of a lifetime for his customers than anyone else. For me, at least, that deserves official recognition.
Andrew Alsop has pioneered modern-day shark fishing off the UK. He deserves an award in my book.