Team UKMA Profile Al Rawlings
Tue 28 October 14
I’ve always been into the fishing as long as can remember, it’s a familiar story with lot’s of anglers I’m sure. My father took me to the local canal when I was 5 years old and I caught a small Perch which really just hung itself like they do, I was hooked from then. Dad use to take me to the big nationals to watch the top match boys do their magic, waters like the River Wellend where I saw big black Bream being caught. Later when comprehensive school started I started match fishing myself and I can say I have a match fishing background. Winning several school boy trophies, and Sherpa AC junior trophies I was becoming a dab hand at this fishing lark. Also while in the winter holidays I use to go Pike fishing, cycling down to the local lakes rods tied to the cross bar, and an old wicker basket on the back rack, inside a big bag of Sprats bought from the fishmongers the day before used only for sink and draw fishing.
Many singles and doubles were caught and I remember it being very addictive fishing. One day when I was at the fishmongers for bait, a huge Pike lay on the slab, I enquired inquisitively where was it caught, from “Barton Broad” the man said, I had to go there. I asked for my usual 2Ib of Sprats, but received only a 1Ib. Then I was offered some huge Herrings, so I reluctantly bought the huge things. The following afternoon found me running out of Sprats after a mornings good sink and draw fishing, out came the huge Herrings, you can guess what was coming, first chuck with the Huge Herring a massive Pike followed it back to the bank, with trembling leg’s I recast and hooked her. Weighed on little Samson’s she went 22.08 my first 20+ Pike. I’ve been hooked on 20Ib+ Pike from that day on.
Later in life when I was just 19 I started a tackle shop in Rushden, Northants, I ran it for 10 years before another opened up with better parking facilities after the council painted double yellows everywhere near to me! In this time I was match fishing rubbing shoulders with the big names and pike fishing in the winter months in between the winter league matches. I won both the winter and summer leagues one year, and I could have easily gone down the match fishing route allot further but Esox were calling. A move to Cornwall to look after my grandmother’s house after her parting, found me sea Trout fishing the river Camel which I had 9 miles of fishing rights too as the river flowed through my grandmothers land.
At this stage I was wondering what to do with my life next? I was saving up money working as a welder/fabricator and contemplating full time Pike fishing for possibly a full winter either on the Norfolk Broads or Ireland. Well Obviously Ireland won and I stayed, 17 years later I’ve notched up 425 Pike over the magic 20Ib barrier, 11 over 30Ib and 125 over 25Ib mark, PB is a Lough caught 32.09 (static dead bait) 30.12 (lure), 32.04 (drifter float) 32.01 (bait boat, static dead bait) The Pike fishing became addictive and still is to this day.
Next in life is to write a book, and I am currently working on this project, the title is