Good luck George

I thought I’d open with a few words on the closure of the one fishing shop I’ve visited more than any other in my life – Sudbury Angling Centre – or George’s as it’s become more commonly known.

Sudbury Angling Centre
Sudbury Angling Centre

George has run a fishing shop in the centre of Sudbury for well over 20 years. It was originally based just a couple of doors down from its current location on North Street. It then moved to Acton Square for many years, before moving to its current location back on North Street a few years ago.

Like so many of the old high street fishing shops, increased rates, fierce competition from online sales and a lack of anglers simply dropping in to buy bait has led to George deciding it was time to shut up shop.

George always was a top guy; kind, informative and mild mannered.  He always raised a smile when, as a lads, we used to pile into the shop only to buy a quarter of a pint of maggot between us.

In the early days of my fishing life there were actually three fishing shops in the centre of Sudbury – George’s, Robert Nunn’s and Stour Valley trophies/tackle – halcyon years indeed.

Good luck George. EADT piece

*****

I’ve got a bit of a bee in my bonnet fishing wise at the moment – a three pound perch. I rarely obsess over specific fish at specific weights, but at the moment all I can think about is where, when and how I’m going to catch a three pound stripy.

Perch have always been one of my favourite species. But until recently they were a bit of a bogey fish for me, certainly the bigger ones anyway.

However, since a spell spent fishing for them at the excellent Lake John in Essex which culminated in a fish of 2lbs 3ozs one cold March afternoon, I’ve notched up a handful over the 2lbs mark, up to a personal best of 2lbs 7ozs caught on a memorable first visit to the Great Ouse.

I’ve had some good fish from a local commercial fishery over the last year and with a few hours spare last week I made my first official ‘mission three’ trip.

I was confident – the pool had been fishing well in the milder, overcast weather and with a bag of Tesco’s finest king prawns in the bag and a bit of firsthand knowledge regarding the resident perch and their general behaviour – a three was surely in the bag!

Needless to say, as dusk began to descend and with only a couple of bream to show, my confidence was clearly misplaced. Upon talking to the bailiff he suggested worms had been tempting the perch recently and that the now ubiquitous use of king prawns on the pool had seen the perch wise up to them to an extent.

I impaled a wriggler and after another couple of bream, finally a perch arrived, but only a smaller fish of around 14ozs or so.

Camera phone snap of my sole perch
Camera phone snap of my sole perch

The final fish I hooked gave a couple of heavy head shakes, leaving me wondering if I’d finally tempted my target. But then it zoomed off and after a right old tussle I landed a nice mirror carp.

A nice mirror carp
A nice mirror carp

So perhaps it isn’t going to be as easy as I thought. It never is. I have a few ideas up my sleeve in terms of venues and I’m determined to try a light lure/drop-shotting approach as well as more traditional bait fishing tactics. I think it may be a slightly longer term plan, especially as we enter the long, cold winter.

Anyway, tight lines to all the good people who I’ve conversed with on and offline this year. I might even get a few hours fishing in over the holiday period. Merry Christmas.

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Author: tescovalue79

Age: 37. Work: Marketing & communications. Like: fishing, art, ITFC, good music, bad pubs.

6 thoughts on “Good luck George”

    1. Thanks for the tip Monty! That is a superb perch, what a stunning fish. That stretch is now on my list of venues. I hope you had a good Christmas – get anything good?

  1. Sad to hear of yet another local tackle shop closing its doors. It’s a very worrying trend. I’ve yet to catch a 3lb perch too, so it’s high on my bucket list. Anyway Ben hope you have a great Christmas and thanks for another great blog post.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Nathan, I hope you had a good one mate.

      It is a sad, but unsurprising trend. The smaller, high street shops have been hit hard by the rise in online sales and, to an extent, the decline in people using fresh bait. I’m now determined to go and spend my Christmas money in my local shop rather than online.

      Here’s to the three pound perch! Tight lines for 2014.

  2. Hi Ben

    What a shame about SAC. After being LAA members since 1965, we decided to join Sudbury & Long Melford Angling Club for the first time this year, purchasing our membership tickets from George’s shop in April. As you say, a really nice bloke. Just Fishin (behind B&Q) is, I believe, the only one left now. The same has happened in Colchester – only one shop in the town centre with a couple on the outskirts.

    An update on the Stour – has been terrible for us this year with many blanks. Fished two or three stretches either side of Sudbury from July onwards and could only manage a few small fish no matter what bait – maggots, caster, bread, cheesepaste etc. Can only hope that the recent rain has given it a good flush through. Will be targeting the chub and pike during the last few months of the season so keeping our fingers crossed.

    Really envy you with the Wye on your doorstop!!! Good luck for 2014.

  3. Hello Malcolm.

    Good to hear from you. Yes it’s a real shame George has had to shut up shop, but it can’t be easy in the current climate. I had heard there was another shop – I’ll check it out next time I’m back.

    That’s a real shame about the Stour. Again, I’d heard reports from friends saying it has been poor this year. Hopefully it’s a cyclical thing rather than anything more sinister, but only time well tell in that respect. Do let me know how you get on over the coming weeks.

    The Wye has been good again this year, but like any wild venue it takes a bit of thought to find a few fish. It’s been unfishable through the Christmas break sadly, I just hope I can get a few trips in before the end of the season.

    All the best for 2014 Malcolm.

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