Gary Knowles

Northern Specimen Ace

I class myself as a very fortunate angler as I have been brought up in a fishing family, my father and my grandfather were all fanatical anglers and this meant that my earliest memories all revolve around fishing. This meant that far from leaping straight into specialist angling I have served what could be classed an ‘angling apprenticeship’ which started as a 4-year-old fishing the Shropshire Union canal for gudgeon and has spanned to fishing Glacial lakes for huge a pike and even foreign destinations in search exotic species such as tarpon and barracuda.

Over the years I have been fortunate to have written articles for most of the main angling publications, I had a monthly feature with the Angling Times for 7 years, and have contributed regularly to publications such as Coarse Fisherman, Coarse Angling Today, Pike and Predator and Improve Your Coarse Fishing.

As angling has been good to me I like to put something back and do regular slideshows all over the country for specialist groups and regional branches of single species groups. This culminated in being the guest speaker for the national conferences of both the Barbel Society and the Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain last year.

My angling time is limited to (usually) one day a week. This means any time on the bank is precious to me and I will do all I can to be successful and more importantly to make it enjoyable…anyone who has fished with me will tell you I don’t take myself too seriously. But because of my limited time I’m fussy about where I fish, I will only fish venues that I enjoy fishing, I wouldn’t consider wasting my time on a venue that I didn’t like just because it contained big fish.

I also feel my flexibility contributes to my success because I will fish for whatever species I feel conditions dictate would give me my best chance of success. For example, a cold snap will see me in search of chub or grayling on the Ribble or Dove, coloured warm water will see me heading to the river with barbel gear. Through spring and summer the tench and bream of the Cheshire meres will be my mainstay and as winter approaches I’ll get the itch for pike, and the large glacial lakes and huge trout waters will become my haunt. 

Fishing to me always has and always will be about diversity and fun!

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