ONE of the Midlands’ best veteran match anglers, Fred Bailey, passed away peacefully last week aged 87.
Fred, who lived close to the River Severn, didn’t started match fishing until he was 40, yet he took to it like a duck to water and was probably the most prolific winner of matches in his heyday of the 1970s. He became known as Fred the Bread by many, a tribute to his chub-catching exploits.
Prior to that he was a noted salmon angler and never tired of telling how he once caught eight salmon in one day on the River Severn at Lincoln Weir. Halcyon days those!

Fred was one of the country’s first experts on the swimfeeder, and he won plenty of money on the River Trent while the anglers there were catching up on the method. He often traveled there with Halesowen tackle dealer Mal Storey.

Mal said: “Fred was one of those anglers who everybody loved. He won more matches on the Severn than anyone else I can remember and as well as being ace on the stick float and feeder, he was also an absolutely brilliant bleak angler. We’ll miss him, but I think he died a happy man.”
Fred included a Division One National win with Kidderminster AA among his man big match wins. He had not been seriously ill and died peacefully in his sleep last Thursday following a chest infection.


* A full tribute to Fred Bailey will appear in March’s Midland Angler magazine, out February 12.