Anglers on edge after upturn in fish thefts

Leeds water bailiff Lee Garrad with the kind of big money carp that has been targeted by thieves.
Leeds water bailiff Lee Garrad with the kind of big money carp that has been targeted by thieves.
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Kirkgate Anglers, affectionately known to everyone who now supports a few wrinkles as ‘Edgies’, surprised the trade and local anglers last week by announcing its imminent closure.

It seems fitting that the shop on Leeds’ oldest street, and just yards from its oldest building ‘white cloth hall’, has traded for over 60 years and is the last survivor of an angling era that supported another eight city-centre tackle shops and over 40 more within the Leeds boundary.

I remember in my early fishing years that most corner tackle shops relied on local CIU or Working Men’s Clubs’ match anglers for its customer base; most were within walking distance and very few could rely on passing trade.

By design, Bob and Phil Edge never had that problem, situated opposite the famous Leeds Kirkgate Market and just a few feet away from bus stops to every area of the city. Customers would travel miles, sometimes spending thousands of pounds, and others just calling for a ‘cuppa’ and a chat.

In the early days, most of the Leeds city national team were made up of the best from the massive Compton Arms and East End Park clubs, and as early as 1960 Bob was the first to offer large discounts on all bait and tackle to these well-known stars to use his shop, without realising those early actions were probably the start of the huge sponsorship deals that are now offered to the angling elite.

Along with Kirkgate, its sister shop at Outwood will also be closing its doors, both offering some massive discounts down to cost prices.

It seems like the end of an era, though I have been assured that the family name is to carry on with Marcus at its impressive Tackle 2 U Bradford superstore.

Meanwhile, reports of netting, rustling or just plain fish theft, have local angling clubs and fishery owners on red alert at the moment.

Carp fisheries have always been the main target, with clubs such as Leeds DASA, Bradford No1 and most private commercials having stocking policies that are open to view for anyone through social media, it’s never been easier for the criminal gangs to cherry pick its targets.

With large carp costing upwards of £3,000 each, and more clubs providing the bigger sought-after specimens for its members, it’s widely viewed that fellow anglers and fishery owners are, in part, responsible, as, without these being willing to give the stolen fish a cut-price home, there would be no point stealing them in the first place. Rivers have not escaped the attentions of the same sort of activity, and reports are already filtering through of illegal activities on the lower Swale.

With fish-theft law almost non-existent for rivers and so different to stillwaters, it’s about time the Environment Agency made things simple and changed its own rule of allowing up to 15 fish a day, including barbel, chub and bream, to be removed.

Knowing carp regularly ‘go on their holidays’ to a strange lake is bad enough, but river fish rehoused in an out-of-the way muddy puddle is unthinkable.

Results

Leeds & District Veterans KP Osprey: 1, R Freer 38-00; 2, S Goodhall 36-08; 3, E Harrison 30-00; 4, L Burton 27-08; 5, J Armitage 27-04.

North of England Championship Ulleskelf: 1, M Whalley 21-05; 2, M Shaw 13-14; 3, B Foster 12-04 ; 4, N Speight 12-02.

Leeds Thompson Longthorne Ulleskelf: 1, Bernard Nevison 33-10 (6 Barbel) 2, Chris Burton 21-06; 3, Lee Furness 17-11; 4, Dave Robson 11-14.

X Gates AC Forest Lane: 1, S Kay 69-14; 2, M Johnson 69-02; 3, J Bacon 60-14.

X Gates AC Sykhouse: 1, J Dudley 9-11; 2, M Johnson 8-08; 3, D Utley 5-12.

Bradford No 1 Raskelf: 1, M Wasilewski 31-12; 2, G Jackson 24-08; 3, J Walsh 20-15; 4, R Ashworth 15-12.

Bradford No1 Calder League: 1, P Bennet 28-04; ,2 C Turbitt 20-08; 3, D Wray 19-14; 4, T Hewitt16-08.

Moor Monkton Pool Cyprio: 1, Matt Gallagher 150-06; 2, John Mills 95-12; 3, Alex Warren 82-01.

Kippax Park Lapwing: 1, Steve Pearson 144-07; 2, Adrian Broomhead 120-11; 3, Luca Willshaw 110-13; 4, Steve Raper 77-06.

West Yorkshire Wagglers Tollerton Coot: 1, J Brierley 86-05; 2, J Stark 62-01; 3, M Killbride 60-14; 4, P Grey 60-09.

Park Piscatorials Weston Lake: 1, A Roze 37-06; 2, D Hicks 18-01; 3, C Broadley 15-13.

Osprey Lake Kippax Park: 1, J Wake 73-14; 2, J Whitely 67-07; 3, M Shorter 63-06; 4, A Rawson 61-08.

Yarnbury AC River Don: 1, S Parsons 3-08; 2, R Juniper 3-00; 3, S Worley 2-02; 4, J Purdey 1-11.

Toms Pond Yarnbury Juniors: 1, H Coates 11-00; 2, N Siddle 9-15; 3, Q Carver 7-06; 4, D Hobson 5-15.

JT Rodgers Round 16 at Redwood: 1, D Shaw 90-06; 2, D Watson 77-09; 3, I Jordan 66-03.

JT Rodgers Round 17 at Moorfields: 1, D Shaw109-04; 2, D Jackson 75-08; 3, I Jordan 75-04.

Armley AC at Brafferton F1 Lake: 1, D Fish 70-11, 2, C Greenwood 70-00; 3, R Varty 68-02; 4, J Levery 55-05.

Viking Saturday Open (Hawk): 1, F Williamson 79-03, 2, N Taylor 74-10; 3, T Reeves 65-12; 4, S Bean 62-00.

Rodley Nomads (Viking Hawk Wed): 1, P Mills 90-04; 2, M Bell 71-14; 3, I Hardisty 65-14; 4, B Bairdoe 65-08.

Harehills WMC (Viking Deer): 1, R Smith 62-08; 2, C Dunne 60-09; 3, M Robinson 53-15.

Roadline AC (Viking Fox): 1, M Brotherton 85-09; 2, R Milner 73-03; 3, R Whitehead 57-15.

Match Diary

Saturday

Viking Saturday Open: Deer Pond, 24 pegs, £16, contact 01405 785206.

Kippax Park: Saturday Open, Lapwing or Osprey, contact 07967000746.

Poppleton Saturday Open: pools, £15, draw cafe 10am, contact Roger 01904737279.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscar’s, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Moorfields Farm: 54 pegs, tickets £16, contact 07710817150.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Birkwood Farm: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01132 80609.

Viking, Hawk Pond: 30 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01405 860764.

Tollerton Ponds: open match, all ages, (Kingfisher 20 pegs, Coot 18 pegs, Heron 32 pegs), contact 01347 838115.

Sunday

Leeds & Liverpool: Kirkstall, contact Roger Movley 01132 772215.

Listerhills: Leeds & Liverpool Canal, contact Eddie Harrison 07518721051.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Oak Tree Leisure: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01347 810686.

Poppleton Sunday Open: 50 pegs, draw 11am Cafe, contact 07425 146677.

Monday

Woodlands: over-50s, 30 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01845 520110.

Langwith Lakes: over-60s, 30 pegs, tickets £10, contact 01904 431874.

Tollerton Ponds: over-50s, tickets £16, contact 01347 838115.

Tuesday

Kippax Park: over-50s, draw 10am, tickets £10, contact 07967000746.

Wednesday

Leeds & District: Moor Monkton Pools, draw 10am, contact 07967000746.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscar’s, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Tollerton Ponds: open match, all ages, contact 01347 838115.

Thursday

Poppleton Lakes: Thursday evening, draw car park 5pm, pools, £11, contact Roger 01904 737279.

Stuart Fotheringham.

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