A DISILLUSIONED angler has revealed why he is giving up the sport and has donated his extensive tackle collection to charity.

All-rounder Kevin Keep kindly gave all his kit – that he paid over £10,000 for – to the Angling Projects centre run by angling hero Les Webber in Berkshire. Chris Tarrant (pictured) is a patron.

It included 18 rods, a £1,700 pole and seatbox, six Shimano reels, five Abu reels, a bait boat and 80 kg of bait.

Normanton on Soar, Nottinghamshire-based Kevin, 56, explained: “I try to do something for charity every year and I had heard of Angling Projects (run by Les Webber) through several radio programmes.

“I have been a keen fisherman for 50 years since boyhood and had acquired a lot of tackle along the way for various types of fishing.

“But I had been going less and less in the past few years, even though I had bought a house on the banks of the River Soar eight years ago.

“Frankly I have been put off by a number of things including the rise in illegal fishing and fish being taken from our rivers, as well as swans, which I have reported several times but nothing seems to get done.

“In all my years fishing I have never once had my rod licence checked.

“Also there has been a rise in commercials which I detest, a decline in the fishing generally and by the arrival here of wretched floating pennywort which isn’t being dealt with properly.

“And pike have become a nuisance fish on the river, with every session spoiled by fish being grabbed on the retrieve.

“I’m the sort of guy who likes to be properly equipped for the job, so I had a set of tackle for each carp fishing scenario – long range, short range, river carp – you name it and I had it.

“I hadn’t been carp fishing for a couple of years and originally I was going to donate just the carp gear but in the end I thought blow it, I’m going to let the lot go, and give up all together.

“I have enjoyed my time fishing and hope the gear will help bring youngsters into the sport but I have had enough,” concluded the landscaper.

In addition to Kevin’s huge donation, Les Webber has also just had a £3,000 cash donation from an angler’s will.

Les Webber

Les Webber

Les Webber MBE, explained: “I got a phone call out of the blue from Kevin saying he had lots of tackle he wanted to donate if I could come up to collect it.

“I drove up in the van and was just amazed by how much there was.

“The tackle will be put to good use when our beginners come to fish and we could possibly sell any we can’t use.

“At the same time I heard that Buckinghamshire’s Howard Mann, who had been chief executive of McCain Foods had sadly passed away last September, aged 71. And he had asked for his tackle to be sold and the proceeds to come to us.

“That £3,000 will help pay for the refurbishment of the roof of our residential building where we offer accommodation for the youngsters.

“We are hugely grateful for both donations which will help to keep the scheme running,” Les added.

Anyone interest in making a donation or learning more should go to: www.angling-projects.org.uk

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