ONCE they’ve bitten, you can’t stop fishin’.
Angling is an addiction, so says Bob Roberts. And once you’ve hooked your first fish, it’s actually you that’s hooked forever.
Throwing a line into a body of water has long been the country’s most popular participant sport. And today, as part of Tuesday Retro’s A-Z series of South Yorkshire’s favourite hobbies, we bring you ‘F is for fishing’.
“It gets in your bloodstream,” says Bob, The Star’s angling correspondent and a man who’s been making catches for more than half a century. “Once it’s in you, you don’t ever want to stop.
“Why would you? Right now, I’m sitting on the River Trent, getting fresh air, time to myself and completely at one with nature. Today I’ve seen a sparrowhawk and had a pair of wrens stay with me all day. You’re at one with yourself and the world when you fish.”
Certainly, The Star has always taken this most relaxing of pastimes seriously.
We’ve covered it ever since we had a sports page. At one point we had an entire newspaper - The Angling Star - dedicated to it. Several trophies have been sponsored by this publication.
But these colour pictures from the Eighties and Nineties show the joy not just of trying to hook the big one - but of simply enjoying a day by the river or canal. Even if the British weather sometimes leaves a little to be desired.
“Sheffield has some terrific places to fish,” says Bob, a 63-year-old retired railway engineer, of Barnburgh, Doncaster. “If I recommend one, I’ll get it in the neck from other anglers who’ll ask me why I didn’t say their spot.
“But I love the Don. These days you get all sorts of fish. You can catch brown trout and greyling right behind Meadowhall. There’s bream and roach in the canal too.
“Let me tell you, I’ve travelled the world fishing. I’ve done it in the Himalayas and in the jungles of Uganda but fishing in the Don is just as good. Why? Because it’s never about the fish, it’s always about the bite.”