Recreational angling gains support from government
The importance of recreational angling was endorsed by senior politicians from all sides at three rural receptions jointly hosted by the Angling Trust and the British Association for Shooting at the Liberal Democrats' conference in Brighton, the Labour party in Manchester, and the Conservatives in Birmingham.
All three political parties pledged to work closely with the Angling Trust on developing policies that would benefit both fish and angling.
Martin Salter, the Trust's national campaigns co-ordinator, said angling is now in the happy position where politicians of all parties are keen to be seen on the side the sport. "It is the result of years of hard work by the Angling Trust and predecessor organisations," he said.
Owen Patterson, the new Secretary of State for the Environment, wished to make it clear that he was extremely supportive of the work the Angling Trust carries out.
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For Labour, Tom Harris, the Shadow Environment Affairs Minister, said he had been taught how to catch his first coarse fish by the Trust as part of the briefings for his new role. Huw Irranca-Davies MP said the Labour Party needed to fully recognise the importance of field and country sports and their impact.
The 14th World Carp Angling Championships, held in Romania, were marred by the use of a venue where the fish had been fed on a single soluble bait for the best part of five months.
This information was only known by a few countries which gave a very significant advantage to those in the know, and the England Carp Team therefore had no chance of success.
Romania dominated the event and took the Team Gold and the Individual. Bulgaria were runners-up and Serbia clinched third place.
On the home carp front, representatives of the Advance Carp Fishing Magazine visited Devon's Emperor Lakes to compile a feature. Steve Renyard fished for 48 hours to catch for the cameras and, using a variety of tactics, he notched five fish to 28lb 12oz.
On the day-ticket water, Aaron Lidstone banked a beautiful ghost common of 13lb 10oz and a good many common carp to 25lb 10oz were banked this by Chris Rampling.
Paul Lingham had the best of the mirrors out, an excellent fish of 31lb 14oz.
What is being described as a hitherto unfished lake on the extensive Emperor site is being currently explored for the big pike it is rumoured to hold.
Staff from Pike & Predator Magazine have been invited to fish it and the result should be very interesting.
On the saltwater front, only the odd offshore sea day is possible but, if the boats can get out to the deep marks, there are rewards.
Members of Plymouth's Seafarers SAC were lucky to find a window, and fishing from Malcolm Jones Sea Angler II off the south Devon coast, had spurdogs, the heaviest of 15lb 8oz going to Shaun Bacon, and a 15lb blonde ray reeled in by Richard Ing.
Members of Camborne Angling Association had very satisfactory catches, principally at shore marks on the Atlantic coast.
Bull huss of 13lb 12oz and 12lb 8oz were caught by Alan and Jason Rule and the heaviest of the ballan wrasse recorded was a fish of 5lb 9oz by Jason Hawke, who is now leading the 'Top Ten' competition by a very satisfactory margin over Alan Rule.