Family and friends from the world of pike fishing today have paid their last respects to popular London lure angler Gerry Castles.


Gerry lost his long battle with illness in December, aged 62. His 93-year-old father Jeremiah has been comforted throughout his loss by his son’s fishing friends.


Trevor Salmon spoke for many as he paid tribute to Gerry, at a thanksgiving service at West Norwood Crematorium, close to Gerry’s home in Lambeth.


“I first met Gerry many years ago on a fishing trip and my first real impression was of a true gentleman and over the years that’s been strengthened and strengthened,” he said.


“We got to be very good friends through his passion for fishing and ours. He was an honest, caring, giving man, he’d do anything for anybody.


“He was a very caring person. I’m sure he’s up there somewhere today looking down on us, saying thank you for everything we had together.”


Minister Joan Drury, who conducted the service, told mourners: “The thing that’s come over most about Gerry was he was a fisherman.


“His fishing began in Stepney, when he was a little boy and he went on to fish in many, many places.


“The quality of friendship Gerry gave and enjoyed was one of the hallmarks of people who are passionate about fishing.


“He was articulate, intelligent, he had a great sense of humour and he was a friend to many people.”


The strains of Gone Fishing rang out as the curtains closed for committal.


Outside a note attached to one of many wreaths read simply: “To Gerald – one of nature’s gentlemen.”