THE angler who is attempting to catch a fish in all 33 London Borough in one year has nearly finished the challenge after ticking off the 31st and 32nd boroughs.

But a fish from the City Of London is the last one that still eludes London angling specialist Shaun Luke.

The intrepid Plumstead, South East London-based rod has been trying hard to land an in-season sea fish from the tidal Thames at Tower Bridge.

But in 16 attempts he has only had one bite and that was when he hooked a surprise giant catfish.

Sadly that fish, estimated as much as 6 foot in length, was lost after a 50-minute battle when a youngster grabbed Shaun’s line and it snapped.

As it is the river Close Season (until June 16), the London angling ace is being careful how he fishes in the heart of the city.

He is sticking strictly to using sea tackle and baits which he believes make it perfectly legal for him to fish there even though the Thames byelaws are ambiguous.

The 51-year-old explained: “That catfish was probably a one in a million chance as I was only expecting flounders.

“Nobody usually fishes here but the publicity surrounding my catch has now brought some catfish anglers down but I don’t think they have caught anything.

“I’m using ragworms or mackerel as bait and I have been advised by someone in the know that it is perfectly legal as there is no Close Season for sea fishing which is what I am doing.”

Angler’s Mail asked the EA to clarify the law for fishing for sea fish on sea tackle and baits on the tidal Thames.

An EA spokesman said: “Anglers fishing in the lower Thames for sea fish don’t require a fishing licence and the Close Season does not apply to them.

“Anglers fishing for coarse fish on rivers do require a licence and the Close Season does apply.”

Dagenham is now ticked off the London boroughs list after Shaun Luke caught this carp.

London angling mission ticks off boroughs

Shaun continued: “I’ve now completed all 32 of the actual boroughs with the latest being a nice carp from Dagenham and a bream from Southwark.

“There is nowhere else but the Thames to fish in the City of London so I am going to stick at trying to hook a sea fish there, but with ragworms at nine quid a pack it is quite expensive.

“If I haven’t caught by the start of the new river season, I can switch to coarse tactics and hopefully pick up a fish fairly quickly.

“I want to finish before (June 16)  if I can so I can have a short break before I start my next challenge on June 21.

“This involves catching a fish in all 69 of the UK’s cities and all the 48 English counties.  I am starting with the River Stour in Canterbury, Kent.

“As I only use public transport it is going to take me quite a while, and I don’t want to stress myself out, so I’m going to allow four years to complete this next challenge.

“It’s also one way to explore our country and meet a lot of interesting people along the way,” concluded gardener Shaun..

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