It is with great sadness I report the passing of Clive Gammon, an angling legend! Clive was born in 1929 in Swansea and began fishing at the age of six with his grandfather. He caught his first fish, a whiting, from Swansea’s West Pier. His interest in fishing quickly escalated and he spent his formative years fishing for bass on the beautiful Gower coast, fishing the banks of the Towy river chasing sea trout (sewin) and salmon, but also pioneered much of the shore tope fishing on the west Wales beaches.
He was a teacher, and, after university, first worked in Manchester, then took up a teaching role at Pembroke Grammar School. He began writing about fishing with columns in The Daily Express, Sunday Times, Angling Times, and also wrote articles for Creel Magazine and Angling Magazine as well as being a TV critic for The Spectator. He was also one of the first to recognise the potential Ireland offered and wrote frequently on the Kerry bass and general fishing. Clive’s writing could entertain and tell such a vivid story, that as a reader, you could feel the damp wind on your face, hear the crashing surf, and feel the rod tip hammer over to the pull of a big bass. He was also a thinking angler and had input in to many of the modern methods we use today. His abilities were recognised by the American publication, Sports Illustrated, and he duly moved to Manhattan where he wrote about, and reported on major sports around the world, including covering Mohamed Ali’s famous fight the “Rumble in the Jungle” and his other bouts, plus five World Cup tournaments.
He has numerous books to his name, but “A Tide Of Fish”, “I Know A Good Place” and “The Angling Guide To Wales” are all timeless classics and remain some of the best angling titles available.
I met and fished with Clive just once, at his invite off Swansea after he retired and returned to Wales. It was a horrible day weather wise, wet, windy and with an increasing swell. We were after bass, but it was almost impossible to fish. It was fitting that the only bass of the day fell to Clive’s rod. I will remember him for many things, his influence on my own angling career via his writing, his entertaining books of which I have most, but above all for the infectious smile that fired across his face when he caught that bass off Swansea!
Rest in peace, Clive!