English Stillwaters

England’s Stillwater fishing resources have rarely seemed so valuable or in such a rapid state of development as they are at the present time. As the number of anglers continues to grow so, too, does the pressure, especially on stillwaters which tend to be nearer the angler’s home than many rivers. The variety of fishing is enormous, ranging from small exclusive private fisheries to huge reservoirs.

Without doubt, the biggest single develop-ment on the Stillwater front in recent times has been in trout fishing. After the sensational opening of Graf ham Water with its big fish in the mid ‘60s Stillwater trouting received the biggest shot in the arm it had had for decades. Developments since have seen Stillwater trouting become the fastest growing branch of the sport. To cater for this ever increasing demand, more and more reservoirs and lakes have been opened as trout fisheries and with them has come the mushroom development of scores of privately operated put-and-take trout fisheries. Coupled with all this, there has been a seemingly insatiable desire for bigger and bigger fish and this demand, too, is now being met in ways few would have dreamed possible, thanks to the pioneering efforts of breeders like Sam Holland of Avington. Nowhere has this incredible change been more apparent than with rainbow trout, fish which grow faster than browns. At first, big rain bows force-fed in stew-ponds were dismissed by many pundits as beneath their consideration. While they were perfectly happy to catch big rainbow trout, they liked to think they were genuine wild fish and pointed to the fact that no rainbow weighing double figures or more had got that big in a natural habitat. For such anglers, the rainbow trout record has become an artificial statistic and they still cling to Edgeworth’s 1975 Grafham fish of 9 lb and Lt. Col. Creagh Scotf s 8 lb 81 oz Blagdon fish of 1924 as the true measure of a real rainbow’s stature. Others, however, are more than content to catch the new breed of super rainbows though the man who caught the current biggest, Richard Walker, the Fiitwick (Beds) angler, who rates as one of the greatest in the game, deigned not to claim what could have been his second record. Walker, of course, caught the British record carp.

The way things have changed so dramati-cally on the rainbow front is, perhaps, best highlighted by a comparison of a list of the top 25 rainbow as at the end of the 1972 trout season with the latest list, complete to the end of the 1976 season.

The rainbow comparison

The 1972 list 10-0-4 Lake near King’s Lynn 1 9-12-8 Nether Wallop 1 9-12-0 Nether Wallop 1 9-0-0 River Test 1 8-14-12 Packington 1 8-11-8 Nether Wallop 1 8-8-8 Blagdon 1 8-8-0 River Test 1 8-7-0 Nether Wallop 1 8-5-8 Packington 1 8-5-8 Nether Wallop 1 8-54) Nether Wallop 1 8-5-0 Packington 1 8-4-0 Two Lakes 1 8-44) River Test 1 8-3-8 Packington 1 8-3-0 River Wissey 1 8-2-0 River Test 1 8-2-0 River Test 1 8-1-0 Two Lakes 1

The 1976 fist 19-2-0 Swindon 1977 18-7-0 Avington 1977 18-4-0 Avington 1976 18-0-01 Avington 1976 17-12-0 Avington 1976 15-8-0 Avington 1977 14-84) Boringwheel 1976 14-6-0 Avington 1975 14-4-0 Boringwheel 1976 14-2-0 Stafford Moor 1976 13-8-0 Avington 1977 13-84) Avington 1976 13-74) Avington 1977 13-24) Longford 1974 13-14) Avington 1975 13-0-0 Exe Valley 1974 12-94) Avington 1975 12-54) Boringwheel 1976 12-44) Exe Valley 1974 12-44) Exe Valley 1 1this fish is the current British record rainbow Though the lists above emphasise dramati-cally the changes that are happening with rainbows – fish of 30 lb and more already being forecast – the situation with browns is different. Though someone is doubtless trying somewhere, it does not seem to have been found possible yet to feed up browns in the same way. It would be equally true to say that most Stillwater anglers, given the choice, would prefer to hit and land a big brownie than the equivalent rainbow because a big brown is usually a wild fish. Nevertheless, waters like Grafham, where rich agricultural land was flooded, have demonstrated that fish in general and browns in particular can grow to impressive proportions in a suitable environment. To the best of our knowledge, the very biggest browns were all river fish headed, according to our records, by a giant of 20J lb from the Hampshire Avon way back in 1828. The best Stillwater brown – as the top 20 list below shows – weighed exactly a stone, with Grafham Water showing as well as any water in the honours list with no less than three double figure browns.

Brown trout: the top based on returns complete to the end of the 1976 trout season 14-0-0 Kennick fishery (Exeter) 1972 13-0-0 Cheddar Reservoir 1962 12-5-0 Grafham Water 1976 11-5-8 Grafham Water 1975 11-4-0 Eyebrook 1955 11-2-0 Grafham Water 1967 11-1-0 Burrator Reservoir 1967 11-0-8 St Austell lake 1922 11-0-0 Crummock Water 1955 10-12-0 Dam Flask Reservoir 1967 10-12-0 Chew Valley 1968 10-4-0 Blagdon 1926 10-4-0 Shustoke Reservoir 1947 10-4-0 Eyebrook 1955 10-4-0 Lower Rivington Reservoir 1969 10-2-0 Farmoor Reservoir 1973 10-2-0 Stafford Moor 1976 10-0-0 Farmoor Reservoir 1973 10-0-0 Cheddar 1963 9-14-0 Wilts, pit 1974

Clearly, big Stillwater browns are much less common than rainbows as the dates in the list above underline. And nothing seems more certain than that this trend will continue. Access to this class of water is excellent for the visitor.

Though Stillwater trouting has tended to capture many headlines in recent years, the coarse fisheries, an equally vital angling resource, have also gained in value. The major trend in this field has been the ever increasing demand for the chance to fish for carp. Carp angling was once a pretty exclusive game. Today, thanks to the opening up of more waters and the new development of others, carp fishing is on the increase in many parts of England. The most singular example would seem to be Cuttle Mill . This well managed water has demonstrated just what can be done with this kind of fisher/. Kent is another area where carp fishing is being widely developed. Indeed, it could be said that this county offers more opportunities to fish for big carp than any other. The major fisheries would all seem to be south of the Trent, including those still remaining exclusive like the famous Redmire Pool, producer of more big carp than any other water. North of this line, carp do not seem to thrive quite so well though patient men are seeking to develop carp waters, and some sizeable fish have been caught.

Carp, of course, are far from the only big coarse fish to be found in England’s stillwaters. Indeed, in the case of several more major species, the best chance of catching the biggest fish is in a Stillwater. Of these, we would cite in addition to carp, the following: bream, perch, pike, roach and tench. Demonstrating this point in the most graphic way are the big fish lists. Not only do they give a perspective as to the size of fish which can be caught in stillwaters, they reflect the regional distribution of specimen fish and the times of season which seem the most fruitful. Angling News Services point out that the details given in these lists are based on the monitoring of angling journals, personal reports made directly to them and in letters submitted from anglers and officials in many parts of the country who share the growing interest in the location of big coarse fish. While every effort has been made to make these lists as comprehensive as possible, there may be omissions and equally, there may be fish included which were later found to be something other than the species claimed. The lists are as up-to-date as possible, but the odd extremely recent fish may not be included and no fish resulting from the coarse fishing season beginning in June 1977 has been recorded. Despite these reservations, it is our belief that the lists do give an accurate and interesting perspective.

Not every fish in these lists came from a still-water – some came from rivers. It was felt necessary to include these under this heading to give the fullest possible perspective. Most lists begin with the currently accepted British record. Where fish in excess of this weight have been noted, they are the subject of special comment.

Bream: the top 12-14-0 G Harper, Sudbury (Suffolk Stour) July 1 12-13-0 A Brown, Crewe (Shropshire Mere) Aug 1 12-12-8 A J Fisher (Tring Reservoirs) July 1931 12-8-0 F Bench, Bedworth (Tring) July 1939 12-4-0 D Hathaway, Kidlington (Oxfords, pit) July 1 12-1-0 V Squire, Middle Barton (Oxfords, pit) July 1 12-0-8 R Davies, Ellesmere (Whitemere, Salop) Aug 1 12-0-0 Mr Pugh (Tring) July 1933 12-0-0 F Bench, Bedworth (Tring) July 1939 12-0-0 D Kelly, Newcastle under Lyme (White-mere, Salop) 1 12-0-0 N Cooper, Stoke (Staffs, lake) Sept. 1974 11-12-0 angler unknown (Tring) Aug 1933 11-12-0 W Gollins, Whitchurch (Cheshire mere) July 1 11-11-8 angler unknown (Tring) Sept 1933 11-10-0 T C Teasdale (Tring) Aug 1932 11-10-0 A Charlett, Oxford (lake at Sutton Cour-tenay, Oxon) July 1 11-10-0 found dying at a Staffs, reservoir 1973 11-9-0 W Freeman, Coventry (Tring) Aug 1 11-9-0 G Stratford, Oxford (Oxfords, pit) Sept 1 11-8-0 R W Ketton-Cremer (Beeston Regis, Norfolk) 1 11-84) F Cooper (Tring) Sept 1932 11-8-0 T Relf, Cranbrook (Romney Marsh drain) Aug 1 11-8-0 D Curtis, Chelmsford (River Chelmer) June 1 11-5-0 S Handley, Dursley (pit at Frampton-on-Severn) Oct 1 11-4-0 S Martin, London (River Thames) Mar 1 11-4-0 J Fulbrook, London (Queen Mary Res., Staines) July 1 11-4-0 K Baron (Walthamstow Res.) July 1965 11-4-0 A Harris (Doddington Lakes, Lines) Jan 1 11-3-0 Mr Hillditch (Ordnance Pool, Tot-tenham) Apr 1 11-2-0 K Denny (Godfrey’s pit, Essex) June 1 11-2-0 H Hartop (Tring) Sept 1930 11-2-0 captor unknown (Tring) July 1931 11-2-0 G W Bysouth (Tring) July 1939 11-2-0 captor unknown (Tring) Aug 1940 11-2-0 G Stratford, Oxford (Oxfords, gravel pit) July 1 11-2-0 B Green (Three Chimneys Lake, Kent) Feb 1 11-1-0 F Bench, Bedworth (Tring) July 1939 11-1-0 G Marsden, Crewe (Cheshire Mere) Oct 1 11-0-0 J Davis, Goodmayes (Linesman AC pit, Essex) Apr 1 11-0-0 R Machin, Stoke (Stanley Pool, Stoke) July 1 11-0-0 M Smith, Cambridge (Beds, lake) June 1 11-0-0 N Kerr, Burnham (River Thames) Aug 1 11-0-0 R Albam, Willington (Blunham, Sussex) Aug 1 10-15-0 captor unknown (Tring) Sept 1933 10-14-0 captor unknown (Tring) Sept 1933 10-13-8 J J Perkins, London (River Thames) Sept 1 10-12-0 captor unknown (Tring) Sept 1933 10-12-0 T Lane, London (Queen Mary Res., Staines) July 1 10-12-0 V Riley, Luton (N Beds, lake) Nov 1974 10-12-0 F Glover, Whitchurch (Chapel Mere, Cheshire) Sept 1 10-12-0 N Cooper, Stoke (Staffs, lake) Sept 1974 10-12-0 A J Emden, Norwich (River Bure) 1962 10-12-0 A Pemberton (Shropshire mere) Aug 1 The following bream in excess of, or equal to, the current record have been noted 17-0-01 captor unknown (River Trent) date unknown 13-12-0 found dying in Startops Res., Tring Nov 1 13-8-02 E G Costin (Chiddingstone Castle Lake) 1 13-4-03 J Fisher, London (Littleton Lakes) June 1 13-2-8 angler unknown (Tring) July 1 13-2-04 D Ankers, Crewe (Shropshire mere)

June 1 13-0-0 found dying in River Nar, Norfolk 1 13-0-0 R Wells (Duchess Lake Bristol) 1 12-15-05 F Bench, Bedworth (Tring) July 1 12-14-0 C G Pugh (Tring) July 1 ‘this fish is recorded by the late Dr Tate Regan but it is not known when or how it was caught 2the record fish until disallowed by the Record

Committee in 1 3no record was claimed as the fish was returned alive to the water 4no record was claimed as the rules governing fishing the water demanded no disclosure be made as to its whereabouts sthe record until displaced by Costin’s 1945fish

Carp: The top 44-0-0 R Walker, Flitwick (Redmire Pool) Sept 1 43-12-0 C Yates, Epsom (Redmire Pool) Aug 1 42-12-0 M Symonds, Fishers Green (Herts.

Lake) Sept 1 42-0-0 R Clay, Northampton (Billing

Aquadrome) Sept 1 40-8-0 E G Price (Redmire Pool) Sept 1 40-3-0 J Hilton, Hertford (Redmire Pool) Aug 1 40-0-8 R Groombridge, Hemel Hempstead (Heme! Hempstead lake) July 1 40-0-0 J Macleod, Birmingham (Redmire Pool)

July 1 40-0-0 angler unknown (Kent lake) July 1 38-12-0 R Jones, Newport (Redmire Pool) Aug 1 38-8-0 R Bowskill, Devon (Redmire Pool) Sept 1 38-2-0 W Quinlan, London (Redmire Pool) Sept 1 38-1-0 T Minram, Epsom (Redmire Pool) Sept 1 38-0-0 C Yates, Epsom (Redmire Pool) Sept 1 37-8-0 R Watson, Belper (pond at Belper) July 1 37-8-0 F Staples (Bures Lake) Sept 1 37-8-0 D Langley, Camberley (Surrey Lake)

June 1 36-10-0 J Hilton, Hertford (Redmire Pool) June 1 36-4-0 W Quinlan, London (Redmire Pool) Oct 1 364-0 W Walkden, Birmingham (Redmire

Pool) July 1 36-0-0 D Ritchie, Southend (Essex lake) July 1 35-12-0 R Johnson, Stroud (Kent Lake) Aug 1 35-8-0 P Manley, Loughton (lake near Birmingham) Aug 1 35-0-0 J Hilton, Hertford (Redmire Pool) Sept 1 35-0-0 M Cuzick, Birmingham (Cuttle Mill) Aug 1 34-8-0 W Beta, Neasden (Electricity Cut, Nene, Peterboro) June 1 34-8-0 J Ward, London (Finchampstead lake) July 1 34-2-0 B Ashby, Chatham (Kent lake) Sept 1973 34-2-0 M Oyez (Kent Lake) Sept 1973 34-0-0 P Chillingworth, Northampton (Billing Aquadrome) June 1970 34-0-0 J Mallin, Wednesbury (Cuttle Mill) Sept 1 33-12-0 P Harvey, Peterboro (Electricity Cut, Nene, Peterboro) Dec 1964 33-12-0 P Hemingway, London (Electricity Cut, Nene, Peterboro) Feb 1965 33-11-0 D Moulds, York (pond near York) Sept 1 33-10-0 W Kettle, Bracknell (Surrey lake) Mar 1 33-8-0 J Brough (Send Lake, Woking) Aug 1966 33-2-0 R Reynolds, Northampton (Billing Aquadrome) Aug 1 33-0-0 R Bowskill, Devon (Redmire Pool) Aug 1 33-0-0 N Whitehouse, Nentyglo (Cuttle Mill) June 1 33-0-0 J Mallin, Wednesbury (Cuttle Mill) July 1 33-0-0 E Ward (lake near Burnham) Aug 1973 33-0-0 R Haskins, Coventry (Cuttle Mill) July 1 33-0-0 G Oliver (Cuttle Mill) Sept 1974 33-0-0 L Arnold, Taverham (Norwich gravel pit) Aug 1 32-12-0 R Atkins, Birmingham (Cuttle Mill) July 1 32-8-0 J Hilton, Hertford (Redmire Pool) June 1 32-8-0 D Osborne, Bedford (Cuttle Mill) Aug 1 32-8-0 J Mercer (Kent Lake) June 1974 32-8-0 R Felton, Birmingham (Cuttle Mill) Aug . 1975 32-4-0 P Dukes, Hemel Hempstead (Herts, lake) June 1

Perch: the top

As the situation with perch is perhaps more chaotic than for any other fish as a result of the Record Fish Committee’s now famous 1968 re-think, ANS simply list the fish they have heard about with some additional comment. 10-0-01 captor unknown (Bala lake). 8-0-01 Mr Zerfall, London (Hants. Avon) 1928. 6-3-8 G Cooke, Rotherham (Wentworth lakes) Aug 1974. 6-3-0 W Griggs, Hounslow (place and date unknown). 5-15-62 P Clarke (Suffolk Stour) Jan 1950. 5-14-8 D Florey (Farlow’s Lake, Bucks) Dec 1953. 5-12-0 E V Hodd, London (Diana pond,

Hampton Court) Aug 1957.

S-6-83 captor unknown (Waveney) pre 1930. 5-4-124 H Green (Stradsett Lake, W Norfolk)

Nov 1936. 5-4-0 W Leach (SandfordMill, Berks) 1873. 5-4-0 R Dunkley, West Melling (Medway) Dec 1975. 5-4-0 K Gardner, Mart ham (Norfolk lake) July 1966. 5-3-4 P Mulgrave, Colchester (Colchester pit)

Oct 1968. 5-2-0 R Brown, Worcester (Worcester Lake)

July 1966. 5-2-0 M Lawrence, Thetford (Suffolk lake) Nov 1968. 5-2-05 captor unknown (Waveney) 1889. 5-2-0 L Gordon (Waveney) 1886. 5-1-0 P Hall, Hullbridge (Rochford pit, Essex)

Jan 1972. 5-0-0 captor unknown (Daventry reservoir) 1908. 4-15-26 J Fidler, Birmingham (Birmingham pool) Mar 1976. 4-15-0 F Steel (Chertsey) 1941. 4-14-07 angler unknown (New River) unknown. 4-14-0 C Croasdale (Lune) Feb 1972. 4-13-4 R Graham (Derbyshire pond) 1911. 4-13-0 R Walker, Flitwick (Arlesey Lake) 1951.

The Current Record? 4-12-0 S F Baker, Norwich (Oulton Broad) Aug 1962. 1 recorded by the late Dr Tate Regan in his famous book, ‘British Freshwater Fishes’ 2 the record fish from the time of its capture until 1 3 seen in glass case by well-known Huntingdon angling official, Maurice Kausman 4 the record fish from 1936 to 1 5 believed netted and not caught on rod and line 6 no record claimable as this fish was taken in the close season 7 recorded in the writings of the late J W Martin, known as ‘The Trent Otter’.

Pike: The top

As with perch, the record situation is confused, the Record Committee having declared this species open for claims at 35 Ibl The ANS list below excludes Scotland and Ireland. 47-4-01 R Manley, London (Hollow Pond,

Epping Forest) Feb 1977. 46-0-0 captor unknown (Chillington Pool,

Staffs) circa 1800. 42(H)2 J Nudd (Wroxham Broad) 1901. 40-3-83M Waby, Ruskington (Billinghay Skerth,

Lines) date unknown. 40-0-0 P Hancock, South Creke (Horsey Mere) Feb 1967. 40-0-0 captor unknown (Totteridge) 1797. 40-0-0 Col Fitzgerald (Lupton House, Edgehill) 1865. 40-0-0 J Young, Sheffield (River Don, near Don-caster) Apr 1866. 40-0-0 R S Fennings (’somewhere in Suffolk’) circa 1880. 39-7-0 G F Parrott (Dorset Stour) Mar 1909. 39-0-0 C Loveland, Leicester (Knipton Reser-voir) Feb 1967. 38-4-0 P Emmings, London (pit at Cheshunt) Dec 1969. 38-0-0 Capt C Yarde, Northampton (Overstone Park Lake) Mar 1941. 38-0-04 captor unknown (Frogmore pits) Oct 1972. 38-0-0 B netted from Norfolk mere circa 1960. 37-8-0 captor unknown (Burlington pool) Nov 1849. 37-8-0 C Warwick, Birmingham (Hants. Avon) Oct 1944. 37-4-06captor unknown (Exton lake) June 1796. 37-0-07 Maj W H Booth (River Wye) May 1910. 37-0-06 Lord Gainsborough (private pond) 1796. 36-12-0 caught by ‘an evacuee’ (Fonthill Lake, Wilts) 1945. 36-8-0 Col H Atherton (Vandervells Lake, Welney) Feb 1957. 36-0-0 G Keen (Rapley Lake, Windsor) 1874. 36-0-0 G Forbes (Luton Hoo) 1875. 36-0-0 Fthornes (Haveringland Lake) Feb 1878. 36-0-0 captor unknown (Norfolk) Feb 1880. 36-0-0 captor unknown (Hants. Avon) 1896. 36-0-0 netted and returned to water (Old Bed-ford) 1957. 35-8-0 A Jackson (Heigham Sound) Dec 1948. 35-84) A Jardine (Leeds Castle, Maidstone) 1877. 35-0-0 A Jardine (Shardeloes Lake, Bucks) Nov 1879. 35-0-0 G Ball, Stoke (Stanley Pool, Stoke) Feb 1976. 35-0-0 R Pownall (Martham Broad) Feb 1961. 35-0-0 F Wright (Horsey Mere) Nov 1967. 35-0-0 S Wright, Maidstone (Maidstone Lake) Mar 1971. 35-0-0 S Canned, London (Staines reservoir) Nov 1938. 35-0-0 D Jennings, Clapmore End (Herts, lake) Mar 1 34-10-0 W Harmsworth, Chichester (Leythorne Lake) Jan 1961. 34-10-0 R Manley, London (Hollow Pond, Epping Forest) Nov 1976. 34-8-0 A W Angerson (Wiltshire) 1907. 34-8-0 L Kashmoor (Frensham pond, Surrey) Oct 1925. 34-8-0 S Wheelton, Southampton (Hants. Avon) Jan 1970. 34-8-0 M Rich, Hatfield (Kent Lake) Nov 1973. 34-84) C Brown, Tonbridge (undisclosed venue) Nov 1976. 34-2-0 D Pye, Norwich (Horsey Mere) 1965. 34-0-0 L Spencer, Martham (Horsey Mere) Mar 1967. 34-04) D Stranix, Brent (Beds, lake) Nov 1970. 34-0-0 T Pembridge (Wye) 1903. 34-0-0 F Cass (private Notts, lake) Nov 1931. 34-04) A L Higgins, Selly Oak (Worcester lake)

Jan 1951. 1 no record claim could be considered as this fish was returned alive to the water. Since it was caught there have been serious doubts about its weight 2 this fish exists in a glass case 3 returned with no witness, rated dubious 4 widely reported in the angling press, this fish was never verified, also rated dubious 5 this fish was released, alive, in the Great Ouse at Over 6 it is likely these are one and the same fish 7 taken by a salmon angler in the coarse fish close season

Roach: The top 4-14) R Jones, Nottingham (Notts, lake) June 1975. 3-14-12 J Hope, Bruton (River Brue) Mar 1976. 3-144) W Penney, London (Lambeth Res.,

Molesey) Sept 1938. 3-144) A Brown, Oakham (Stamford gravel pit)

Aug 1964. 3-114) J Harriman (Mapperley Res.) 1917. 3-10-0 W Cutting (Hornsea Mere) Aug 1917. 3-104) A Whittock (Hants Avon) Jan 1935. 3-104) J Scott, Hartford (Billinge pool, Ches.)

July 1975. 3-104) D Ling, Colchester (Suffolk Stour) July 1975. 3-9-12 T G Player (Thames) June 1949. 3-94) H R Howard, Shifnal (Shropshire pool)

July 1956. 3-94) L R E Bell (River Lee) Jan 1934. 3-94) J Osborne, London (River Thurne) July 1962. 3-94) P Lambeth, Wolverhampton (pool at Pat- shull) Aug 1969. 34)4) P Ladbrook, Cheam (Chelsea Res.,

Molesey) Nov 1963. 34)4) R Robinson, Watford (Startops Res.,

Tring) Aug 1976. 34)4) M Stanners, Croydon (Sonning Eye pit)

June 1975. 34)4) W Morfitt (pond at Howden, Yorks) Sept 1935. 3-84) W Elliott, Mansfield (pond at Mansfield)

Aug 1969. 34)4) R Toyne, Scunthorpe (Scunthorpe gravel pit) Oct 1969.

W Boulton, Lincoln (River Witham) Aug 1971. 34)4) B Cox, Thornton Heath (Dorset Stour)

Aug 1973. 3-7-8 J Clarke, London (Kentish Stour) Jan 1970. 3-7-8 R Hodges, Welling (Kent gravel pit) June 1971. 3-7-0 K Armstrong, Lichfield (Lichfield lake) Dec 1973.

Tench:Thetop 10-1-2 L Brown, Peterboro (Peterboro brick pit)

Aug 1975. 9-3-4 P Martin, Chertsey (Chertsey lake) Aug 1964. 9-2-0 P Davidson, Bridgend (Kenfig pool,

Bridgend) June 1976. 9-2-0 J Parker, Henley (Surrey lake) Oct 1959. 9-2-0 B Wiseman, Kelvedon (Rivenhall lake) date unknown. 9-1-0 J Salisbury, Chatteris (Hemingford Grey)

July 1963. 9-1-0 G Young, Basingstoke (Berks pond) Oct 1964. 9-0-0 G Young, Basingstoke (Berks, pond) Oct 1964. 9-0-0 S Smith, Stockport (Redesmere) Sept 1976. 8-14-0 K Baldock, Stroud (Staplehurst pit) Aug 1970. 8-12-0 P Pilley, Harrow (Middlesex lake) June 1970. 8-12-0 C Tolley, Brierley (Fens pool, Staffs)

June 1 8-10-0 R Bone, Goole (E Yorks lake) July 1974. 8-9-0 F Bailey, Sheffield (Lines drain) Aug 1970. 8-8-0 M Foode (Leicester canal) Aug 1950. 8-8-0 J Lowe, Rushden (Ditchford lakes) Sept 1976. 8-8-0 J Searson, (River Thames) Oct 1 8-7-0 J Hall, Wickwarkford (Earith pit, Cambs)

July 1973. 8-6-0 K Morris, Enfield (North Met. Pit,

Cheshunt) Aug 1 8-6-0 J Brooksbank, London (Farningham pit)

Dec 1 8-6-0 W Marsh, Dagenham (Childerditch lake,

Essex) Oct 1975. 8-4-0 J Marshall, Grantham (Grantham lake) 1961. 8-4-0 R Hill, Hillingdon (Bucks, lake) Aug 1970. 8-4-0 S Challis, Colchester (Wiston Mill pool,

Suffolk) Sept 1974. 8-2-0 A Lowe (Wraysbury pit) not known. 8-2-0 J Haydon, Tollesbury (Bures lake, Essex)

June 1973. 8-2-0 R Bone, Goole (Selby lake, Yorks) June 1976. 8-2-0 J Knowles (Glover lake) June 1976. 8-2-0 L Head, Great Cornard (Essex pit) June 1975. 8-0-8 T Sanford, London (Crystal Palace lake)

Oct 1976.

The following fish above the record weight of 10-1-2 have been noted: 12-8-01 R Blaber (River Kennet) Feb 1951. 12-0-02 captor unknown (lake at Burnham on

Sea) 1947. 11-0-01 D Laing, Wraysbury (Wraysbury pit)

July 1959. 1 these fish were found to be suffering from a dropsical disease causing excess fluid in the body 2 this fish was not caught on rod and line but was found in the margins

Note: several interesting points emerge from the above list. More than half the biggest fish were taken from August onwards, considered late by regular tench fishers. Nearly two thirds of the fish were taken since 1970, a fact which suggests that either many more people are going tenching or that the quality of fish to be caught is showing considerable improvement.

So much for perspectives on English still-water fishing. Manyofthefish in the lists above were caught from waters which can only be described as private though ticket fisheries produced their fair share. In the Fishing Guide entries which follow, the availability of a ticket has been the main arbiter governing inclusion, the exceptions being certain privately operated season ticket waters. Not included because of the difficulties involved are the many stillwa-ters covered by associations anyone can join. In these instances, it has been left to the angler to check on the controlling club and follow through as necessary. Of some help is the undoubted fact that many of the associations listed in the English rivers section of this Guide are likely to control Stillwater fishing as well.

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