I popped into FTB tackle shop in Northway the other day to buy some bait and got talking to Andrew Crisp, doyen of North Oxford Angling Society, writes Gerald Stratford.

He told me all about the history of this long-established club.

The society was formed in the early 1920s. Initially, there may have been connections with Oxford University Press and in their heyday NOAS might have boasted 100 members.

However, like all angling clubs, membership has fallen away. That has nothing to do with the quality of fishing, it’s just that so many anglers prefer to fish commercial match waters now.

North Oxford have a broad variety of local waters on their ticket, with the Thames being the main river, plus its tributaries and the Oxford Canal.

Among their members are angling journalists Martin Bowler and John Wadham, who comes all the way from Rutland to fly-fish the canal for chub.

Some of our older readers will remember Wally Harper. Now he could catch chub using floating crust when snow was on the ground!

The great Peter Stone, the Oxford Mail’s angling corresondent for 28 years, was also a member and when I was a youngster I used to hide on the opposite bank of a stretch of NOAS water and watch him catch chub from under my feet.

On the Sunday, I would fish that same swim, but not with the same success as Mr Stone!

Oxford Mail:

  • Former Oxford Mail angling correspondent Peter Stone, pictured with a barbel two years before his death in 2000, fished North Oxford AS waters for many years

More recently, I did bag a 6lb 10.0oz chub from that swim using a whole sardine on pike tackle.

In the meantime, I’m off to Farmoor for another blank after the pike, but one day it will happen!