Ian Fisher died after catching his biggest ever fishing to win a competition
Ian ‘Fish’ Fisher collapsed and died after catching 17 fish weighing a combined 52.8lbs. His family last night said it was the “perfect” way to go out.
The father-of-three, who had 12 grandchildren, died just a day after his 68th birthday.
Tragedy struck as he headed to the trophy presentation on the River Thames. An ambulance was called but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Daughter Melanie Bennett, 38, said her father would have died a happy man because he was “very excited by his catch.”
The mother-of-two said: “It was the perfect way for him to have gone. He wasn’t in any pain, he just went.
“It was a hard day’s fishing and he didn’t stop all day – the excitement probably got a bit too much for him.
“People laid some flowers on the riverbank and we drilled one of his hats to a post near where it happened with a note on it saying ‘gone fishing.”
The enthusiast died just a day after his 68th birthday a suspected hear attack
Mr Fisher’s death came 20 years after he shrugged off a heart attack to win another angling competition – thinking it was “indigestion”.
This is exactly how he would have wanted to go
Daughter Melanie Bennett
He was competing in his first match for the Marston Angling Club near his home in Wallingford, Oxon on March 12 when he died.
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He spent five hours coarse fishing and netted a haul of mostly bream which was more than the combined total of all other competitors.
Melanie added: “It’s very strange that history in a way has repeated itself and dad has suffered another heart attack in a competition.
“It was his first match after joining Marston Angling Club and he caught more than 50lb of fish – everyone else caught about 20lb so he was in front by a long way – it was one of his biggest catches.
“The whole fishing community will be saddened by this but this is exactly how he would have wanted to go.
“So many passers-by tried to help dad on the day he died and we would like to thank them all for their efforts.”
Mr Fisher’s winnings of £125 will now be put towards the cost of a memorial cup.
His wife, Carol, 65, said: “It has just left us in total disbelief. It happened a day after his 68th birthday.
His family said it was the 'perfect' way for him to go after he caught a competition winning 52.8lbs
“We were all at home waiting for him to come back for his party.
“He has had quite a few illnesses over the years and we have been expecting him to go anytime.
“He was not one to complain.”
Mrs Fisher, a retired Waitrose manager, said her husband, who worked as a builder, suffered multiple health complications over the years included a heart bypass, blood clots and blocked arteries.
He once ran his own fishing supply shop and suffered a heart attack during a contest near Wallingford in 1993 but ploughed on through the pain to land the first prize.
At the time Mr Fisher said he experienced chest pains after lugging his fishing gear to the furthest peg from rivals.
The angler was known as “Fish” among fellow anglers who paid tribute to the “well liked” veteran.
Close friend Julian Humm, chairman of North Oxford Angling Society, had known him for 40 years.
He said: “It’s sad news for the fishing community in Oxfordshire – Ian was a very keen and successful match angler.”