An invitation arrived to the opening day of Moonfleet Angling in Felling where Paul Hardy, the new owner, has not only taken over the existing business but also revamped and added 1000’s of new products to compliment the exclusive range of their renowned hand tied rigs. The new shop and showroom also incorporates the Brookbank Kayak Angling Centre and Hardy Boats Ltd, giving anglers of all disciplines something to get to grips with.
A little after nine in the morning I arrived on a cold and frosty morning after a five-hour drive, even as I turned the corner I could see plenty of vehicles parked and eager anglers entering the shop and leaving with bags of goodies. First impressions of the extremely well stocked shelves is that the tackle is among the best quality available and at prices we can all live with, everything from Tronix Pro, Anyfish Anywhere and Colmic, not to mention the Maruku Isotopes and the usual suspects of Gemini, Breakaway and Ultima. I felt like a kid in a sweet shop, I was not alone in that feeling, as the Boat Fishing Monthly men Dave Barham, and Jim Midgely eagerly grabbed handfuls of tackle as the company card took a pounding.
Meets, greets and introductions were in full flow with anglers meeting not only the BFM lads but also Wendy Perry from Marukyu UK and Ian Peacock from Din Tur, Ed Turnball from Fishing Northeast and myself from Rite Gear Ltd. Local angling legend Andy Copeland did a great job as the new manager and effortlessly engaged customers and offered advice on venues, bait and tactics.
In any tackle shop, bait, in my opinion, must be of the highest quality, and many tackle shops forget this important ingredient. With that in mind, I asked Andy what the bait situation was like, being a local lad he has made some excellent contacts in the bait digging world and the worm they supply are of exceptional quality. The lugworm, rag, blacks and a full range of ammo frozen baits, will surely give Moonfleet Angling a reputation for the best bait in the North East. If in doubt just go and ask to see a sample of their stock and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Into the Kayak and boat showroom, it was immediately obvious that Paul and the staff had been working very hard with the displays. On hand to offer kayak advice was Laurence Arnold, the manager from the Stockport branch of Brookbank, his enthusiasm for kayaking almost got me thinking about buying one myself. If kayaking is your passion, then you will know Brookbank are one of the largest distributors in the country. The quality of their equipment is second to none, Moonfleet’s showroom certainly wets the appetite, and I was pleasantly surprised at how affordable a full setup can be.
Paul also had several of the Pathfinder boats on display along with several smaller boats ideal for Pike Fishing and other pursuits, not being a boat person myself, I will leave the experts to fill you in, but at £4500 for a fully fitted boat of exceptional quality, you will be hard pushed to find better.
In summary, my trip to the North East was an excellent experience and I can honestly say Moonfleet Angling will soon have a glowing reputation among the angling fraternity, not only for products but also for customer care, quality control and friendliness. For those not based in the northeast the fresh and clean looking website is certainly one to bookmark. No matter where you live in the country, Moonfleet Angling promise to serve and impress you.
The vagaries of the current financial climate were clearly illustrated this week when Brookbank, the initial supplier of Moonfleet’s kayaks and equipment, went into administration with the sad loss of all jobs in the business.
Fortunately Paul has been able to quickly source new suppliers and North East Kayaks and Paddles will fill the breach. Moonfleet will also be stocking an even wider range of angling kayaks and Dorado kayaks are due in soon.
Thanks to Jim for the photos.