Friday, June 12, 2009

Pike fishing loses one of the good guys - a tribute to James Holgate

Predator anglers across the UK are mourning James Holgate, editor of Pike and Predators magazine and a lifelong supporter of the Pike Anglers Club, who has passed away in hospital after suffering a brief illness.

Neville Fickling, fellow author and former PAC committee member who like James also did a stint as editor of Pikelines, said: "We were only in Sweden on a trip three weeks ago and he was his usual self, the cutting wit he's always been.

"He was a genuinely decent man, there's no two ways about it. He never did anyone any harm, but it's the same old story, they're always the ones who die first."

James, who lived in Lancaster, did a three year stint as editor of Pikelines in the mid-1980s.

Neville said he was the natural choice as editor, when the monthly Pike and Predators was launched more than 10 years ago.

Many of today's top names owe their first break to James, who nurtured many would-be angling writers into print.

Steve Ormrod, current editor of Pikelines, said: "It's really knocked me sideways and I'm struggling to come to terms with it.

"James was a great friend and such a gent, he was one of the best and I'll miss him a lot.

"He'd had more than his fair share of illness of late but was a strong-willed chap and just shrugged off his ailments with his usual brand of good humour and faith."

PAC secretary Graham Slater said: "Pike fishing's lost one of the nice guys.

"He did a lot to encourage first time writers, many people's first published piece was down to James."