‘Gone Fishing’ !! Angler hears strange footsteps around his tent.

As many of you know as a lass I used to go fishing often with my Dad, he was a keen angler and taught me how to fish from a very early age.  I was usually in the woods playing back then and could sort out a roach pole or rod pretty quickly.  Sometimes I would leave the rod set up will a bell so we could play and still hear if we got a bite.  Tackle and bait takes me right back to my childhood, and many of my Dads generation and mine, still fish at weekends or do a cheeky bit of night fishing and a camp out.  One of the places I would go to as a kid was Clifton Country Park along the River Irwell route, there is a large water body there called Clifton Marina and its fished most days by the local anglers. The lake is set in Clifton Country Deer Park which is a Nature Reserve in the North West of England in Lancashire, even now it is a wonderful place to fish or hike, I still visit most weeks and sit and watch the horses as its a lovely area to collect your thoughts or to let the kids run off a bit of stream. Back in the 80’s the area was much more rural than it is today.  

Clifton Marina, Lancs. 1988

DH Witness Account: In 1988 I got my first car and that was the start of a Summer of many nights spent fishing with a couple of my mates from down our street. One Saturday in late July we decided to go and fish at Clifton Marina off the A666 between Kearsley and Swinton, Salford. We got there about 8 pm and decided to setup at the bottom end of the lake, where the River Irwell winds around the back and heads off towards Stoneclough/Ringley.  When we arrived it was a warm still night, without a ripple on the surface and it looked like we had the place to ourselves, there no sign of any other gear set up, the pegs were empty and nobody else came  around as we fished. The three of us fished about 15 to 20 ft apart from each other as each peg spot was separated by reeds and bushes, so we couldn’t actually see each other, apart from the end of our rods sticking out.

Clifton Marina

I sat was on one end of the Marina so there wasn’t anyone fishing to my right side. Once darkness fell the night was pitch black, only our torches and headlights were visible, but because they attracted midges and all manor of flying bugs we didn’t leave them on for long. I had a bivvy type overwrap that fitted over my fishing umbrella and after an uneventful night I fell asleep. I was awoken to the sound of gravel shuffling from directly behind my bivvy, almost like someone was shifting their weight from one foot to the other.  This happened over and over and after a couple of minutes it stopped and all had gone quiet. I thought it was one of my mates who had climbed out of his bivvy silently and was just stood there having a fag and stretching his legs. I got up to look and peered around the back, but there was no one there! It was just starting to come light and it must of been about 4 am, I was still tired and dropped back off to sleep again until the sun came up. Later I went to see how my mates had got on and they had caught quite a few fish. I asked if one of them had been for a walk behind my peg in the night but they both said they hadn’t moved all night! I always thought it weird that if it was them, why they didn’t speak at all or ask if I had caught anything? For all those years I didn’t believe them and I just thought it was one of them messing about! But now I think differently.

It was only when a recent account came in to BBR from a Guy who was fishing a pond at night in Epping Forest when he was a kid that I started to rethink that night, the account from Epping jogged my memory and made me wonder and look at that night with a different perspective, especially as the area I was fishing is right on the River Irwell route and has had  numerous sightings of a Bigfoot type Creature since the 1970’s. Although this subject was not something I was tuned into at the time, it was only years later that I now wonder ‘who’ walked around my peg that night.

Reported taken by Deborah Hatswell British Bigfoot Team Member

Clifton Country Park. DLH Private Collection

Ricketts Mere Maldon Tent encounter 1997

Im into my fishing and always have been a few years back I had spent a night fishing at Ricketts mere,  now I fish a lot of nights and I am mostly on my own when I do, I am not afraid of the dark, and I have spent most of my life out and about in the countryside fishing. I have also spent many nights in the woods camping and rabbiting on foot after dark etc, so to be alone in the dark is not a problem for me. I actually feel more scared walking down my local high st at night than out in the woods and fields. So when I explain what happened you need to know I dont spook easily, I am used to the noises of the night whether its in the woods or out on the lake.

Ricketts Mere

Anyway…So I had done fishing for the night and I had not had any problems at all it was all quiet, too quiet as I had not had any takes either that night so I was wrapped in the sleeping bag all night waiting on the float bobbing, when (now im not sure if I was awake or I had nodded off and was dreaming at this point) but I heard something walking around in the grass behind my bivvy.  So I stayed still, just peeping out of my bag, and straining to hear what it was.

It was just before dawn, around about 5 am when I swear that a ‘dark shape of a person’ walked right past the front of my oval brolly. I sat up quick smart and grabbed the hammer I keep under the bed chair and jumped out shouting. I was ready to have a small row with whoever was snooping around my rod’s. I knew nobody else was on the lake and there are no houses or any other reason for anyone to be there except to fish. So to my amazement on belting the torch into the swim and me shouting…nothing…just my rods and swingers on the floor where i left them…I even got the 2m candle light out and swept the meadow I was fishing from and nothing….now that scared the sh*t out of me….maybe it does not sound that bad…but it certainly made me think about doing nights on my own again.

The Beast of Bolam Lake, Northumberland. 2003

A strange’creature’ with glowing eyes was reported by fisherman’s in 2003. The man who made the report was with friends when the incident happened.

They all tell of many hours spent fishing in Bolam Lake near Belsay, Northumberland the men would  fish for Pike late at night. But their tranquillity was disturbed on one fishing trip by a catch they did not expect to make. The witness making the report is called Neil and he tells how he was between his friends Neil and Nathan as they were walking on a wooden path back to the car park, just after midnight.

Bolam Lake Boardwalk

About halfway along the path Neil turned around to talk to Nathan who was the last in line and was further back along the path picking his bag up off the track. Neil states “behind him, standing at the side of the wooden track, was a ‘dark figure’ the I could clearly see due to the  moonlight shining through the trees. The others did not see ‘It’ at first and I had to point ‘It’ out to them until they too could see the ‘figure’ I had noticed” He said ‘It’ was “a dark figure’ ‘It’ looked to be about 8 ft tall and was heavy built, Its’ eyes, or what seemed to be its eyes, glowed in the darkness.” “We ran at top speed all the way back to the car. We were scared out of our wits”

His friend Neil also reported seeing the ‘figure’ when he was alone one night camping on a hill close to the remains of an Iron Age settlement by the park boundary. He described the ‘creature’ as ‘dark brown’ in colour and with huge muscular arms. This witness who is a keen wild camper went on to add that a few weeks later while he was camping on the hill he was awoken at about 1am by a loud thud. He also heard a growling sound and ‘something’ rummaging in his bait box outside the tent. When he checked the camp in the morning he discovered large rocks had been placed or thrown around the camp and the fish from the bait box had been taken.

The Creature of Frensham Great Pond 70’s

I am making this report on my Father’s behalf, this encounter happened to him in the early 1970’s “I shall give my best description of what my dad experienced that night” It was quite late at night, but the area was well lit by the moon. My dad was with his then girlfriend at the time and they were both sat in his car by the pond/lake. (I believe this place is called Frensham great pond near Farnborough) it’s really quite a remote area he said.

Frensham Great Pond

Anyway, as the night unfolds, there they were my Dad and his girlfriend and one other car parked near by to them. They were sat chatting facing each other and Dad said his girlfriend suddenly looked in shock as she saw this “thing” go past the back window, Then suddenly the man in the car nearby got out and said to my Dad and his girlfriend something along the lines of “What the hell was that? did you see it?!” The man said ‘It’ jumped on his bonnet then ran off towards the lake. They went down to the lake to have a look for ‘It’ And that is when my Dad could see ‘It’ clearly, all of them could see ‘It’ running up the bank/hill on the other side of this pond, and ‘It’ was running fast. ‘It’ must have run right along the bank of this lake all the way to the other side. The man described the ‘creature’ as a youngish ‘Being’ totally covered in hair.

Report taken by Bigfoot Tony British Bigfoot Research Team.

Night Fishing

Red Eyes at Welney Fen 80’s

My Dad would like to report an experience he can’t explain that happened to him on his honeymoon many years ago now. Himself and my Mum along with another fisherman were out at the wetlands and saw a set of glowing red eyes blinking away in the darkness one night. My Dad is quite fearless with stuff like this so without hesitating he went over to see what ‘It’ was?  The eyes were very clear in the dark.

Welney Fens.

My Dad followed the eyes for a good 45 minutes, they were always keeping the same distance from my Dad as he walked, the distance between him and the eyes never closed. He then decided enough was enough and ran at ‘It’ in a bid to outrun ‘It’ to get a much closer look but he couldn’t catch ‘It’. This was in the 1980’s, at a place in the fens called Welney. My Dad says most people take the piss, saying he was drunk. He’s never drank and he is old school London so will only say what he sees.

Report taken by Bigfoot Tony of the British Bigfoot Research Team.

The Nairn Net Raider Sept 2015

Close to the Battlefield of Culloden there is an area used quite often for fishing by the locals and the odd poacher, A male from the area who is out in the fields late at night and early in the morning had a strange story to report to a member of the BBR Team . The gentleman stated he has seen ‘something’ about 3 – 4 times now down in the area where he fishes. The first time he was out in the fields covertly and was laying low keeping out of site of any landowners or groundsman, when he heard ‘someone’ approaching his hiding spot and whoever it was they were coming along the river bank in his direction, so he dived for cover and stayed hidden. As ‘It’ passed him by the ‘thing’ appeared to be enormous both in height and width, and stank to high heaven!

His best view of the ‘creature’ was one night he had his nets out on the river and had walked away downstream (presumably to scare the fish towards the net, although he didn’t specify that) When he came back about half an hour later to check for his catch he stated “This bloody great hairy ‘thing’ was taking the fish from my net” He yelled at ‘It’ and ‘It’ stood up, turned – complete with fish – and walked off into the trees completely ignoring the annoyed fisherman. ‘It’ wasn’t in any hurry!

Our researcher asked the witness for a general description and he said the height on this ‘thing’ was really tall and he estimated it on his height as he himself is  6″3 he thinks the “thing” was around 7 ft, much taller and broader than him.  He has also seen the ‘creature’ on other occasions on the opposite bank of the river, but ‘It’ always kept a distance of at least 30 feet away from the banks, and ‘It’ would  try to hide in the tree/bush line. He also mentioned in the passing that his brother xxxxxxxxx has seen the same ‘figure’ cross the actual battlefield at Culloden.

Report taken by M. C British Bigfoot Research Member

Whistles and Stones Thrown. Loch Lomond 2017

I would like to report something that happened to me and a friend when we were fishing the Lochan in 2017, we are two fisherman from Scotland and we were fishing for Pike in a small Lochan within the loch Lomond national park. Its something we both enjoy doing, and we are outdoors whenever we can get out or have free time, we have fished all over this area and many others and we are used to the usual noises out there at night, sounds change due to the lay of the land or the body of water, but what happened that day is just unexplainable.

This all happened at roughly 10:15 pm it was Autumn so around October and we had been there awhile and the weather was pretty cold, we had fished for most of the evening and around 10 pm we decided to call it a day. We had stopped our fishing and we both returned to the car together to pack all our things away. I hadn’t mentioned to Richard that most of the time we were out there that evening I felt uneasy and could not settle as I had a very real feeling ‘something’ was watching us.

I packed away quickly as by this time I was getting quite cold and hungry and we were both ready for something to eat. Packing my tackle into car I heard a loud whistle only about 50 metres away.  This startled me as I had said before hand I was feeling quite nervous and anxious to get away quickly. I’ve fished this area many times and I had never felt like this before so I was really on edge when I heard that whistle. It was pitch dark and I looked around in the general area I heard it from  but it was so dark I didn’t see anything, or make anything or anyone out clearly.  I would of put this down to an animal or a bird to be honest, but near enough immediately after the whistle I had a medium sized rock thrown at my car.  Luckily it didn’t hit it or it would have caused a great deal of damage.  It landed with a thud and we couldn’t make out where rock had been thrown from or by whom?

I hurried into the car and took off and just got out of there. This area is permitted on my permit so it wasn’t as if we were poaching or illegally fishing, so I couldn’t think why anyone would be throwing a rock at me on a cold night in the dark. And the houses are too far away for it to  have been a dog walker or we would have seen them on the deer track, or at least we would of heard them walking along in the gravel and im certain we were the only ones around the lochan that night.

I still fish the area from time to time, but we just don’t fish anywhere near sundown as we were both shaken up by the experience and Richard is ex army but it spooked him too and we are both on edge at dark after what happened that night.

Loch Lomond Deer

Something I would like to add is a weird conversation I had when I worked at the Glasgow Angling Centre Fishing megastore. I was chatting to a regular customer called James McDonald who was in the Royal Marines some years ago now and we were talking about our kayak fishing on the national park and he said that his friend had seen two Bears standing up on one of the Islands. I’ve kayaked to the Islands, nearly all of them in fact and one in particular at Balmaha has a large population of Wallabies and strikingly marked fallow deer.

Report taken by Deborah Hatswell British Bigfoot Research Team.

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