Fishing, Fun And Celebrities At Lake John

We were invited to a very special event yesterday, which included fishing with TV star Les Dennis and musician Dave Peacock from the famous Chas & Dave double act!

All smiles after a great day at Lake John: (From left) Dean Barlow, Les Dennis, Dave Peacock, Chris Vandervleit.

The event was organised by Colin Bartlett, the larger than life character who runs the popular Lake John Fishery in Essex. Although the wind and rain tried its very best to thwart the day, the fish still obliged and the two celebrities caught a few for the cameras. They were aided by top-flight match anglers Chris Vandervleit and Dean Barlow, who both kindly volunteered their tackle and expertise to ensure they caught a few fish.

TV star Les Dennis with Dean Barlow.
TV star Les Dennis with match ace Dean Barlow.

Les Dennis is famous for countless TV roles, including presenting Family Fortunes for 15 years and more recently starring in hit soap Coronation Street. He is now about to star as Uncle Fester in the Addams Family musical, which will soon be touring the UK. This was only his second time fishing, but he was soon, quite literally, into the swing of it with some chunky little roach on maggots.

“I loved it,” he commented as he posed with the team’s combined catch for the cameras. “It might have been a bit wet, but I can’t wait to go fishing again!”

Dave Peacock was paired up with fellow Londoner, Chris Vandervleit.
Dave Peacock was paired up with fellow Londoner, Chris Vandervleit.

Singer and bass guitarist Dave Peacock had eight top-40 singles with Chas & Dave. He also clearly enjoyed his day, as roach and small skimmers regularly came to the net. As one half of a very famous Cockney duo, he naturally still lives in London and very near to Lake John Fishery. “I remember catching roach on the River Lea when I was a kid,” he explained. “Fishing’s definitely come a long way from bent pins and cork!”

Alongside the celebrities, Colin was also having his lake professionally netted as part of his pro-active fishery management policy. Quality bream, perch, carp, tench, roach and hybrids were quickly returned to the lake while thousands of juvenile silverfish were removed, ready to be rehomed at another local fishery.

The silverfish breed so prolifically at Lake John that it’s important to thin out them each year like this. This keeps oxygen levels high and allows the mature fish to grow. It is also one of the reasons why Lake John is so famous for bags of quality roach, bream and skimmers throughout the year, as well as countless double-figure carp up to 40lb.

John Weedon is the England Disabled team manager and was also on the bank, putting on a great display of pole and waggler tactics. This was to help raise awareness for the disabled team, which relies heavily on the generosity and donations of others to be able to compete in the World Championship each year.

With so much going on at Lake John it turned out to be a very busy and successful day with plenty of smiles, plenty of fun and, of course, plenty of fish. That’s exactly what we have come to expect from this very special venue!