Welcome to the 50 most influential people in fishing, 2023

19 min read

influence: noun; the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself

EVERY angler in the UK has, in some way, been influenced by the people on this list, which is the first ranking of its kind to be created in the history of our sport.

Whether you’ve read an article, bought a certain item of tackle, watched a clip on YouTube, liked a social media post or fished a particular venue, chances are that the 50 individuals detailed on the following pages will have in some way contributed to the experience. As a collective bunch, their reach is certainly impressive.

Of course, the meaning of the word ‘influencer’ has changed quite markedly over the past few decades. Scroll back 30 or 40 years and those who helped form opinion and inspire others were, in the main, masters of the written word or presenters of terrestrial TV fishing programmes. Think Dick Walker, John Wilson, Fred J Taylor and the like. While many bemoan the rapid rise of the digital era, it’s safe to say that the growth of the internet and, in particular, social media, has in many ways created more of a level playing field, one where everyone has a voice.

Some of the names on this list are more influential than others across these different platforms, and therefore more well-known, but the rankings also include people whose names you may not be all that familiar with, but who have nonetheless played a significant role in determining the direction in which the sport of angling has headed over the past 12 months.

The ranking system

So, how was the list decided upon? After drawing up an initial shortlist of more than 100 people, our expert editorial team scored each nominee on a range of factors including ‘inspiration and impact’, ‘tips and advice’, ‘social media influence’, ‘personal achievements’ and ‘product innovation’ to get an overall picture as to what degree they have each influenced the way you have enjoyed, and consumed, your angling over the last 12 months.

So, here goes – we hope you enjoy it!

The Anglers Paradise host and keen angler continues to be a great role model, getting families fishing and representing our sport with aplomb. Besides sharing the joy of angling on social media, she has also made a great case for the sport's wellbeing benefits across wider media, including on BBC national radio.

His recovery from a major kidney transplant operation was inspirational stuff, and Bob’s monthly column in sister title Improve Your Coarse Fishing continued to be a major hit throughout 2023, with plenty of big fish banked in front of the cameras. A man with a rich angling pedigree across both match and specimen circles, Bob is a fountain of fishing knowledge, and was a very popular speaker at the Big One show in March, wher