Piers in pieces

Anglers Mail - - Anglers -

Star of the snow

It wasn’t a great start to the year in 1979. Heavy rain and a chilly Arc­tic blast meant that those brave enough to go fish­ing had the odds stacked against them.

A pic­ture of match­man Billy Makin cov­ered with a dust­ing of snow showed clearly what the bravest were up against. Billy was lead­ing the An­gler’s Mail Shake­speare 3000 Match­man of the Year con­test, and had ven­tured out to at­tend the Leamington Open, con­tested on a partly frozen Grand Union Canal at War­wick.

The Ather­stone Na­tional

Orange bar­bel taken to London Zoo

A 3 lb 8 oz bar­bel wouldn’t usu­ally make the An­gler’s Mail news pages, but this ex­am­ple, caught by Trevor Shaw, was dif­fer­ent – it was vivid orange.

Mid­lan­der Trevor, who was fish­ing with his friend, John Ed­wards, both of whom raced at Brands Hatch and team star fished through the ice with blood­worm to tempt eight perch for a mere 14 oz 8 dr, but it was enough to earn him sec­ond place and an­other five valu­able points, to keep up his chal­lenge for the pres­ti­gious ti­tle.

At Stour­port, an Open match at Win­nals, on the Sev­ern, had to be can­celled, as the river had burst its banks, mak­ing fish­ing im­pos­si­ble. The flooded fields meant that an­glers couldn’t gain ac­cess to any of the pegs on the match length.

Wor­ried sea an­glers were rush­ing to vol­un­teer to re­pair two storm-rav­aged piers at Clac­ton and Wal­ton, on the Es­sex coast. Gi­gan­tic seas, whipped up by gale-force winds, had smashed away sup­ports and lifted deck­ing on the two cod and whit­ing hotspots.

An­other pier, fur­ther down the coast, had also suc­cumbed to the se­vere north-east­er­lies and a large tide. Vol­un­teer work par­ties would be­gin re­pair work as soon as the weather had abated, said a pier spokesman.

Fick­ling’s brace of 20s

There were some mer­i­to­ri­ous catches grac­ing the pages in this week’s copy of the Mail. Pike

Sil­ver­stone, had caught the im­pres­sive-look­ing spec­i­men in the River Sev­ern.

The pair con­tacted the As­so­ci­a­tion of Bar­bel En­thu­si­asts boss Fred Crouch, ask­ing for an ex­pla­na­tion of their ‘gold fish’. Fred was able to ex­plain the strange catch as an ex­tremely rare con­di­tion of colour pig­ment dis­crep­ancy. Fred ex­plained: “Bar­bel have three colours from which all shades are ar­rived at. The colours are red, yel­low and brown. This par­tic­u­lar fish has no brown pig­ment, and can there­fore only get its colour from the com­bi­na­tion of yel­low and red, hence the orange.”

The fish was sub­se­quently taken to London Zoo, where it was dis­played to the pub­lic. an­glers brave enough to ven­ture out en­joyed some pro­duc­tive sport, as in­di­cated by a brace of 20-pounders caught by Neville Fick­ling. The Mail’s pike ex­pert had two runs from a Midlands still­wa­ter, re­sult­ing in two stun­ning ‘crocs’, weigh­ing 27 lb (a per­sonal best for the re­search stu­dent) and 20 lb 9 oz.

“Nei­ther fish fought par­tic­u­larly hard, and the hooks fell out of the mouth of the largest fish when I net­ted it,” said Neville, who used float-pa­ter­nos­tered 3 oz rudd and roach live­baits on 12 lb line and 15 lb wire traces.

The brace pushed the 25-year-old preda­tor hunter’s tally of 20 lb-plus pike to 23.

Fast-for­ward 40 years, and learn from Nev’s wis­dom by turn­ing to p.42.

Killer carp dis­ease strikes again

The dreaded carp dis­ease Spring Vi­raemia had yet again be­gun to rear its ugly head at fish­eries in Nor­folk and Sus­sex, fol­low­ing an out­break back in April. The Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture had des­ig­nated

Mill Farm, at Ayl­shum, in Nor­folk, fol­low­ing an out­break at the site. This meant that the move­ment of live fish or eggs from ei­ther venue was banned. It was be­lieved that the killer virus may have crossed the English Chan­nel from Bel­gium, where it was more com­mon. Is­field AC, in Sus­sex, waited for a Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Fish­eries and Food re­port af­ter carp were found dead at their Wilder­ness Lake, in East Grin­stead, fear­ing Spring Vi­raemia was the cause.

Plas­tic prob­lem

The plas­tic peril in our seas isn’t just a re­cent con­cern, as Sea Gos­sip colum­nist Bob

Pike pride

Young Ni­cholas Hansen beamed with pride as he cra­dled his first ever pike, weigh­ing 10 lb 12 oz. The Grimsby lad was fish­ing with his dad at the Sib­sey

Trader Drain, near Bos­ton, in Lin­colnshire, and tempted the fish – the best of three – us­ing a float fished her­ring mounted on size 8 tre­bles.

Chub for Miles

Spec­i­men hunter Tony Miles wrapped up warm to tackle chub on the War­wick­shire Leam. The late Coventry ace was duly re­warded with a fine ‘chevin’ of 5 lb 3 oz, fol­lowed by an­other weigh­ing 4 lb 2 oz.

Both fish were caught close to the bank on pieces of crust on a size 6 hook.

Gled­hill re­ported in his wor­ry­ing ar­ti­cle. The na­tion­wide prob­lem had re­sulted in the Gov­ern­ment mount­ing a cam­paign to beat the grow­ing marine me­nace, mak­ing it an of­fence, as from Jan­uary 1, to dump plas­tic waste from boats.

The Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Fish­eries and Food launched a pub­lic­ity cam­paign to co­in­cide with tougher laws on dump­ing plas­tic, by is­su­ing thou­sands of leaflets to boat own­ers.


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