Dave Steuart wrote his first article 53 years ago. He was asked to be lead writer of Anglerís Mail when it first appeared, and did so until it was until it was sold to IPC. He then wrote regularly for Angling magazine until that was sold. About that time his partner died, and he was left to run a successful fishing tackle business on his own. He had by then also bought a small mixed game and coarse fishery on the River Test, which, coupled to the tackle business, left little time to write, although he had been asked to carry on writing by the new proprietors of Angling.
Since then, until retirement, pressure of business and the effort required over a period of ten years and 3 Public Inquiries, to defeat the Test Valley Borough Council who wished to acquire his land and fishery, also restricted his writing, but he did manage to catch hundreds of salmon, plus trout and coarse fish from his fishery, during those years. As soon as he built his home beside the river, the result of the final defeat of the TVBC, he retired. That was 15 years ago and he has penned a few things since Ė but only when asked.
During retirement he and his wife have fished some wonderful venues around the world for many species, but the success of these trips is usually due to the expertise of the guides and skippers, although the pair have been complimented on several occasions for their angling abilities.
Best fish? How long a list when fishing abroad comes into the equation? But at home, not large when compared to present monsters but large in Steuartís eyes. Barbel 12lb.3oz., pike 28lb., roach 2lb.12oz., dace 1lb.2oz., salmon 39lb., (a 51 pounder from Alaska) brown trout 10lb.12oz., rainbow 11lb., perch 4lb.4oz., chub 5lb.13oz., and etc. He says that if he is around a while longer he may improve on those but doesnít give a damn if he doesnít.
He dislikes the fact that politics are now so important in matters fishing, and considers that anglers are so apathetic they will eventually lose much more of the things that make up angling, due to the pressure of other interests in the availability of rivers, streams, and still waters, and the disinterest of Government. Appreciating the marvels of life and nature and a love of angling for its own sake is what itís all about, not the things he mentioned in the previous paragraph, Ďpersonal bests and monstersí.