SATURDAYS see the good people at The Angling Trust, the single organisation to represent all game, coarse and sea anglers and angling in this country, take over our blog. Angling Trust Chief Executive, Mark Lloyd brings you this week’s blog.

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THEY say a week is a long time in politics and this week we’ve been working hard to get politicians to remember anglers when they make decisions.

Owen Patterson

This week has seen the reshuffle, or should I say shuffle, as it’s the first of the coalition government.  Caroline Spelman has gone as Secretary of State for the Environment, to be replaced by Owen Patterson.

The Angling Trust has welcomed the appointment of Mr Patterson, and in particular the retention of Richard Benyon as Minister for Environment and Fisheries – FULL STORY HERE.

We are reminding Mr Patterson of the promises he made to support anglers when he was in opposition, including that he would protect sea anglers interests by controlling commercial fishing at sea. The Angling Trust is happy to have a good working relationship with politicians from all sides but we will vigorously hold them to account for their actions and promises in the interests of Britain’s 3 million plus anglers.

Freshwater Environmental Campaigns Manager met the Shadow Fisheries & Environment Minister with Martin Salter at Teddington Lock on the Thames to hand over a briefing on the dangers of invasive non-native species including signal crayfish and mitten crabs.

Martin took the opportunity also to brief him on the present situation with regard to endocrine disrupters in our rivers, need for further investment by Water Companies in cleaning up our rivers, importance of maintaining the ring fencing of rod licence money to protect and improve fisheries and the need for this government to ratify urgently the IMO convention on ship’s ballast to help stop the spread of invasive species to these shores.

The Shadow Minister also visited Get Hooked on Fishing’s Ealing Project and saw how important angling can be for young people.

We’ve also been finalising our dossier of evidence on the damage that cormorants and goosanders do to our fisheries as part of our ongoing campaign to get these birds added to the general licence.  We feel that once politicians read about the impact on jobs in tackle shops and at fisheries, and the loss of fishing which is vitally important to their constituents, they will be persuaded that action is needed.  Thousands of our cormorant postcards are being sent to MPs of all parties urging them to support our campaign.  If you haven’t got involved yet, please visit to find out how you can help.


Influencing Europe over freshwater and sea fishing

Last week Mike Heylin, Mark Owen and David Mitchell represented anglers at the European Anglers Alliance meetings in Berlin. Mike Heylin was elected as the new chairman of the EAA’s sea sub-group and to the board of EAA.

With David Mitchell the current secretary of the sea sub-group the Angling Trust is now in an even stronger position to have an influence over European policies and directives that affect both sea and freshwater angling.

The reform of the Common Fisheries Policy continues to dominate discussions on sea angling while members of EAA also discussed the idea of holding a ‘European Angling day’ in 2013; raising awareness of angling around Europe and promoting it’s many benefits.

Don’t forget that the Bexhill Sea Angling Festival starts next Saturday kicking off with the boat specimen competition on Saturday 15th and the kayak fishing competition on Sunday 16th. Entries are being taken now so show your support for this new event and the biggest celebration of sea angling on the South coast by entering now at

We’ve just added the details for another sea-angling member of our Board of Directors to our website. You can read all about England International sea angler and coach educator Jo Hyde and the bios of all the other mad-keen anglers who sit on our board here. At the Angling Trust we all love our fishing as much as you do!


Are YOU right for the Volunteer Bailiff Project?

The Angling Trust has just announced that it is seeking applicants for the new post of Volunteer Bailiff Project Coordinator.

The Trust has been running a Pilot Volunteer Bailiff Scheme in the South East of England in partnership with the Environment Agency since early summer and with new recruits signing up daily the pilot is all set to expand rapidly.

Now the Trust is looking to appoint a part time Coordinator to drive the scheme forward.  Although the Pilot Scheme is being run in the South East, job applications are being invited from right around the country because much of the work can be done by working from home, or hot-desking at either of the Trust’s two offices in Leominster and Nottingham.

So if you have a passion to work for the good of fishing and believe you are a capable and confident individual with a good knowledge of fisheries and angling issues then head over to the Angling Trust website and click the link to “Job vacancies” on the homepage.

Stuart Sharp deserves a medal for working through the Sport England Business Assurance process this week.  He has had to upload hundreds of documents to their web site, including minutes of meetings, and all our policies and procedures so that Sport England can judge whether we are a well run business worthy of receiving public funds to promote angling participation.  This is some of the invisible work that our team does for the benefit of fish and fishing on your behalf.


Membership manager, Will Smith with his 10lb 9oz Teme barbel.

Our membership man Will’s smiling about big barbel

When I caught up with our Membership Manager Will Smith on Tuesday at the Leominster office he only needed very slight encouragement to explain that the smile on his face was the result of having caught an unusually large barbel from the upper middle River Teme (…or “lower upper” depending on what camp your foot is in!)

Will’s been trying to winkle out a double-figure fish from this stretch for several years and has only managed high 9lb’ers to date.

Then on Monday evening in a short post work session, a gentle knock on the rod tip was followed by the more usual “three foot twitch” and after a nerve-wracking fight in a snaggy area Will slipped the net under a 10lb 9oz beauty (pictured above).

The Teme has gone through a bit of a dip in the last three years with cormorants, low-flows and persistent agricultural abstraction combining to make less than ideal conditions for some species but this big barbel, from an area with little previous form, offers encouragement for anglers like Will who haven’t deserted the river and proves there’s always a surprise possible in angling.

This is another example why anyone who loves their river fishing should join the Angling Trust. Membership subs work out at less than a measly 50p a week for individual members and contribute to all the work the Trust and its legal arm Fish Legal (formerly known as the ACA) do to preserve the riverine environment for you and future generations of anglers. Can you afford not to join?

Finally, I managed to get a few hours on the Wear this week the night before a meeting in Haltwhistle in the North East and landed a 12 lb salmon that gave me an amazing fight.  Unfortunately she jumped out of my hands before we could get a photo, but it was good to see her go away so strongly to head upstream to spawn.



Here’s the list of all our new blogs and when they go live:

MONDAY: Carp crews on rotation – Korda, Fox, Nash and ACE.

TUESDAY: Steve Collett, Mail contributor and ultimate all-rounder.

WEDNESDAY: Angler’s Mail HQ – yes, us!

THURSDAY: Specialists from Pike Anglers Club, Korum and Pallatrax, on rotation.

FRIDAY: Carl & Alex, Angler’s Mail juniors and video diary makers.

SATURDAY: The Angling Trust – guys at the governing body.

SUNDAY: Colin Mitchell, veteran coarse angler and top journalist

Click HERE to catch up on all our latest blogs 


Be sure to get this week’s magazine for a special feature on the double layer Method feeder, and a news story on Cob House where Les Thompson fished for our cameras.