Angling by Trevor Johnson: November 27

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COULD the future at last be beginning to look brighter for our long-suffering canal fisheries?

For the first time, certainly that I can recall, British Waterways (now the Canal & River Trust) is developing a national angling strategy.

That has to be a HUGE step forward, with those running our canals finally publicly acknowledging angling as an important part of canal life. And YOU can make an input.

You can see and comment on the eight page draft at MKAA’s website – under the ‘News 4’ button.

Perhaps written mainly with non-angling trust members in mind, it creditably makes much of the social, well-being, and environmental benefits of fishing to the community as a whole.

Aping in parts the Angling Trust strategy, it spells out some potential ways of getting more – especially younger – people fishing the cut.

Where it falls short in my view is – while chronicling the declining popularity (due in part to emergence of so many other attractive new fisheries) of cut fishing over the past 20 years – it almost completely fails to mention problems faced by those who DO try to fish it.

Avoiding mention of ‘would-be wiggo’ lycra loonies, dog poo, poor access, speeding boats and uncontrolled fly mooring (and need for ways to resolve them) will not engage anglers, inform non-anglers, or serve those tempted to try cut fishing.

As well as being optimistic and forward looking for the future, for the sakes of this and the next generation it needs to be a bit more realistic about today. Go have a look. Have your own say.

As the year drew to a close on a filthy brown floodwater tide, SOME people were still catching from local waters.

The Angling Times records 14-year-old Raphael Kyte bagging a clonking 7-11 chub from the Ouse on feeder. And – even though it took him six hours – Marc Bull (pictured) caught a 3lb perch on lobworm.

Carp at Lakeside were in loopy mood for Osprey’s match as Tony Winnock had 130lb, with Des Proud on 97lb and Barry Mason 74lb.

Fish didn’t come quite so fast in MK vets’ Alders do, but using bread and pop-up boilie, John Harvey put 62-8 on the scales. Paul Chapman had 44-4 and Dave MacClellan 37-10. John Hewison (pictured into a good fish) was fifth with 30 lb.

Towcester vets’ outing on DATS’ Navvi canal saw Gerald Green win with more than 100 ‘razor back’ roach for 4-10. Tom Whelldon had 4-6 and Grenville Read 2-1.

Matchgroup’s John Kent made second in Castle Ashby’s midweeker with 15 feeder bream for 38-6.

Fixtures: Jan 1 MKAA ‘hangover Ouse open and, Jan 13, start of teams of four winter league 07703 556788.