Pool-View - Hi Neville, thanks for taking time out to chat to Pool-Siders. Let’s get in the deep end and talk about your pike fishing and all things pike. How has your winter started and what are you up to?
Neville - Things have got off to a much better start than usual with 6 twenties to 28-04. It is weird that life feels a lot better having caught a few daft pike, but if that is the only mental problem I am ever going to have I’ll settle for that !. As usual I’m fishing a few new waters, none of which have produced a thing. Chew was not brilliant for me, but that’s Chew for you. Not everyone catches big fish every year. Netting a couple of 30’s at least meant I was close to catching one !
Pool-View - You have pike fished all over the UK and Ireland and tackled most water types for many years. Where have you been happiest catching big pike and why?
Neville - I am happiest catching pike without lots of competition from other anglers. I usually do poorly in competition though I am quite willing to get to the right swims before others if that is required. I still enjoy Ireland even though the fishing is not easy. Being out alone on the Shannon with only the ducks for company reminds me of the Thurne before it got busy.
Pool-view - If you could turn back the clock and rectify a missed opportunity or have done something differently in your pikeing life, what would it have been?
Neville - If I could turn back the clock I would have had another try at catching a 30lb pike from the South Holland and I’d have not got myself banned for life from the club owning the drain. I was fishing into dark and night fishing is not allowed. I would have stuck with the area on Corrib that I had found and fished it in February like the Welsh lads did. I might have tried a bit harder on Ladybower, but things worked out OK there anyway.
Pool-view - If you could change one thing in pike angling today, what would it be and why?
Neville – Sadly I think we as pike anglers have to be more restrained on some waters. Sanctuary areas for pike like those on the Thurne ought to be left in peace because those areas are the ones where pike can grow big without being disturbed. That’s good coming from someone who fished both Martham North and South Broad when he shouldn’t have done !. The desire to catch big pike can over rule the need to give them some form of a sanctuary. This is wrong, but I did not realise this until quite recently.
Pool-view - In February 1985 when you returned home after catching the new record pike. What did you say to your wife/family and what was the reaction to the news?
Neville - I had no children at that point. I think I was a bit numb about the whole thing. I remember going to a call box to tell her and I can remember how excited I was. I’m sure she would have been very pleased for me, but 26 years on my memory does not run to fine detail.
Pool-view - Pick three pike anglers past or present you have not fished with to have a day in a boat pike fishing, who would they be and why?
Neville - God that’s a hard one !. Alfred Jardine would be interesting. Dennis Pye so I could get a first hand impression of the man rather than that supplied by Derrick Amies.It would have been nice to have sat in a boat next to Tommy Morgan to see what really happened!
Pool-view - It’s interesting to note that you have picked on the deceased !. Lets push you a bit further and ask you the pick three pike anglers who are alive today and why !
Neville - Are you asking why they are alive or wanting me to chose three!. I suspect the latter. I have probably fished with most of the well known pikers. Gord was the worst while Derrick Amies and Derek MacDonald were good company and interesting to talk to. The modern pikers I’d like to fish with are the ones I do not know much about. Dennis Smith from Peterborough is one of the keenest pikers I have ever known. A day with him would be fascinating and I might find out a bit more about his pike catches! Also Phil Pearson from Wales would be another good one. I have been on Corrib and Mask when he was about but only ever spoke to him a couple of times. Carl Garret would be a good one as well because I suspect he has some tales to tell.
Pool-view - Do you think we will see another Mammoth Pike book from you?
Neville - I’m keeping it updated all the time and I will do an update at some point. It all depends on the production costs of a short print production run.I sold 2500 of the original, but would not expect to be able to repeat that.
Pool-view - Could your New Years resolution be a return to visiting the Pikers Pit forum? If not what will it be?
Neville – I’ll not be returning anywhere I’ve not actually been to !. I do not have a New Year’s resolution because when I have I’ve not kept to them !
Pool-view - Merry Christmas and a healthy New Year to you Neville from us all on the Pool.