SNL small fishing
4 January 2017

Fishing… and not for compliments

By Rachel Sloane

The unknown family arrived on the seafront in Felixstowe, set off purposefully down the beach with their folding chairs and rods and then sat contentedly in a row facing the sea, waiting for their first bite of the day. 

Usually it is older men, occasionally accompanied by a teenager or two, who sit with a flask and a sandwich, fishing on a beach, riverbank or lake. So what is the attraction of the sport, and what is the difference between fishing on a river or lake and from a beach? 

“It is entirely different with different equipment,” explained Richard Watson, President of the The Gipping Angling Preservation Society, who enjoys both types of fishing. “When angling you are trying to attract the fish to you or at least keep them in the same spot. In sea-fishing you can’t really do that. You find where they are, sit on the beach and, to some extent, hope they come along.” 

There are numerous places to fish across Norfolk and Suffolk: beaches, lakes, rivers, ponds, and the Broads of course. The Gipping Angling Preservation Society, (or GAPS), is one of the oldest angling clubs in the country, and one of the relatively few who own their own lakes. 

Standing by their headquarters, a large storage building built by members, at the beautiful Alderson Lakes at Needham Market, Richard Watson, and Peter Pollard, their Chairman, explained more about the sport of fishing: 

“At one time it was all about match-fishing,” added Peter. “But now a lot of our anglers solely fish for carp, which are in all our waters. They grow very big – in this lake we have one or two that weigh in excess of thirty pounds. It is size the carp fishers want.”



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This article was first published in Suffolk Norfolk Life Magazine, September 2016