John Wilson (angler)

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John Wilson MBE
Born 1943
Enfield, London.
Residence Thailand
Known for Television programmes on angling, author of many books on fishing

John Wilson MBE (born 1943) is a British angler who has been involved with angling television production for the last 20 years featuring on Channel 4 Television and more recently on the digital TV channel, Discovery Real Time. Wilson was voted 'The Greatest Angler of all Time' in a 2004 poll by readers of the Angling Times Newspaper.[1]

Wilson was born in Enfield, London where he fished on several local waters including the River Lea. He had careers in hairdressing, the Merchant Navy and printing before opening his own fishing tackle shop based in Norwich in 1971.[2] Wilson lived at Great Witchingham, Norfolk where he fished on his local River Wensum and owned his own lake complex before moving to Thailand in 2013.

Wilson was awarded a MBE in the 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours List.[3]

In April 2013, Wilson announced his intention of selling his Norfolk home and settling in Thailand.[4][5]

Published works[edit]

Wilson is best known for his television programmes which cover coarse fishing, game fishing and sea angling. He has fished all over the world in locations such as the River Nile, Zambezi, Fraser River system and River Ebro as well as many locations within the UK. Target species are varied from coarse fish such as pike, perch and carp to exotic species such as Sturgeon, shark and catfish.

Wilson's latest series, John Wilsons Dream Fishing aired in Autumn 2008 on Discovery Real Time TV. The series featured Wilson, his daughter Lisa Wilson and nephew Martin Bowler going 'dream' fishing across the world including New York State, Norway, Scotland and Wales.

Wilson is also an author on the subject with several published works, and wrote a column for the Sunday Express newspaper until 2009 and continues to write within the UK angling press.

Television series and available DVDs[edit]

  • Go Fishing - (1986–2002)
  • Go Fishing Specials (2002 -)
  • John Wilson's Fishing Safari (2004)
  • John Wilson's Dream Fishing (2007)
  • John Wilson's 20 Greatest Catches (2008)
  • John Wilson's Fishing World (2009)


  • Where to Fish in Norfolk and Suffolk (1985)(1996) ISBN 0-7117-0183-0
  • Wilson's Angle (1993)
  • Catch Pike (1994)
  • "Go Fishing" Year (A Channel Four book) (1991)
  • The Complete Coarse Fisherman (1996) ISBN 1-85283-155-3
  • John Wilson's Coarse Fishing Method Manual (1997)
  • "Go Fishing": Programme Notes from the Anglia Television Series Presented by John Wilson (1997)
  • Fifty Years a Fisherman (1999)
  • John Wilson's Fishing Encyclopedia (2000)
  • John Wilson's Book of Baits (2001)
  • Catch Carp and Tench with John Wilson (2001)
  • John Wilson's Little Book of Knots (2002)
  • John Wilson's Greatest Fishing Adventures (2002)
  • The Definitive Guide on Where to Fish in Norfolk and Suffolk (2002) ISBN 0-9531851-8-4
  • John Wilson's World of Fishing (2004)
  • Another Fishing Year (2006)
  • John Wilson's 1001 Top Angling Tips (2007)
  • Sixty years a Fisherman (2008)
  • Catfishing: A Practical Guide - Foreword
  • 'The Biggest Fish Of All' by The Perchfishers (2011) - Contributor


In addition to his television and written work John Wilson has his own branded range of fishing tackle covering everything from fishing rods and fishing reels to sunglasses. He also offers angling holidays.


  1. ^ Wilson voted greatest angler of all time Retrieved 14 July 2011
  2. ^ Wilson,J, Where to Fish in Norfolk and Suffolk ISBN 0-7117-0183-0 Retrieved June 18, 2008
  3. ^ News report Wilson awarded MBE Retrieved 15 June 2009
  4. ^ News report April 19, 2013
  5. ^ News report Retrieved 2 October 2013

External links[edit]