Coarse angling: John Clayton's immense contribution to angling

Tributes have been paid to John Clayton, respected voice of the coarse angling scene, who died after suffering a heart attack

It is with extreme sadness that this column reports the death of long-term coarse angling personality John Clayton, who suffered a heart attack last week.

He had been ill for some time but this cruel blow came just as he seemed to be overcoming several forms of cancer.

John’s contribution to the local coarse angling world was immense. He devoted more than 50 years of his life to angling administration, helping to form the University of Newcastle Employees Angling Club in the early sixties and was an official of the Tyne Anglers Alliance. He was articulate, well read and a true gentleman.

He was instrumental in promoting the first stockings of carp and tench north of the Tyne and of running regular club matches on the Tyne at Close House in the sixties and seventies when weights were often in excess of 50lbs. He will be deeply missed and on behalf of anglers in the region I would like to thank his devoted wife, Elaine, for allowing him so much of his time to champion angling causes.

Unlike in other parts of the country, coarse fishing had to be fought for up here, and although people who come into the sport now would never believe that 40-odd years ago you would be thrown off the Tyne and even barred for not killing any coarse fish caught, John was one of those men who helped make a real difference.

The latest match on Whins Pond was marred by the weather at the Penrith fishery and it only took a single 4lb 1oz tench to win for Brian Edwards. Runner-up Jodh Wardman had about 30 small roach for 2lb 11oz. There will be another match at Whins on May 3, with the draw at 8.45. Ring Tony on 07741 205062 to book.

The Angel complex continues to fish well and on Bowes roach and rudd have been taken up in water. Brian Whitley caught a fine 2lb 6oz perch from Lookout Lake. The best hook baits have been maggot, caster, worm, luncheon meat and paste.

Leazes Park Lake is also producing some encouraging catches at present, and is arguably one of the best inner city fisheries in the country. As well as a good selection of silver fish, Leazes also houses some fine bream and first class carp, so much so that the LPAA club has its own series of carp matches.

The latest match on Aldin Grange was fished on Blackbird Lake where Martin Cryer won with an impressive weight of 34lb. Dave Barret was runner-up on 25lb 10oz with Mick Fox third with 24lb. The next match on the complex takes place on Sunday. If interested, contact fishery manager Mick on 07901538587.


SATURDAY: Another match on Whins Pond take place, as well as an Open on Bowes Lake.

SUNDAY: There’s a Spring League on The Angel while a Summer Series Open on Aldin Grange goes ahead. WACAC fish the first match of their Summer League on The Oaks. Big Waters AC fish a senior league match on Bowes Lake. Sunderland FAC fish an away day match on The Oaks. Durham City AC hold a match on their Canal at Brasside from 9pm, and Ryton and District AC hold their first match of 2014 on Whittle Dene.

TUESDAY: South East Northumberland Branch of The Pike Anglers Club hold a meeting in the Northumbrian Piper, Red House Farm, Fawdon. WACAC Disabled and OAP members fish on Brenkley Pond.

WEDNESDAY: There are midweek Opens on both Woodlands and The Angel while Big Waters AC hold a monthly meeting in The Empire Club, Salters Road, off Gosforth High Street, Newcastle.

THURSDAY: There’s another Open on The Oaks at Sessay.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer