Ashes to ashes, and dust to fish bait ...

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The Independent Online
A dedicated angler has changed his will so that after his death he can thank his favourite fish for a lifetime's pleasure - by becoming bait.

Pete Hodge, from Bridgwater in Somerset, has asked that his ashes be mixed with 50 balls of groundbait (finely minced crumbs) and then catapulted into the River Huntspill.

Like all devotees of their sport, Mr Hodge has very particular views on the specifics of his request. He can't be mixed with just any old crumb - he has to be mixed with the commercially sold "Sensas 3000".

"And I must be finely sieved," the hairdresser told Angler's Mail magazine. "That bait will attract my favourite fish - bream. That actual mix is a favourite of theirs ... it stimulates them."

Mr Hodge, who is known locally as "the Groundbait King" ("wherever I go I put groundbait in"), has other specifications: he has to be lobbed, not merely gently dropped, from Woolavington Bridge.

"I've got several friends who I'm sure would be willing to chuck me in, but you've got to put me in with a catapult. That's my style," he said.

Fifty balls of groundbait, he admitted yesterday, is a lot of balls. The most one would usually put in at any one time is six, so that part of the river is likely to attract veritable shoals of fish.

Mr Hodge acknowledged that if other anglers were to discover where his bait balls were going to be placed, they may well come and fish in that stretch. But he says he has no concerns that one of his friends - or even his wife - might end up eating him.

"No one eats bream. Eventually the fish will die, or they'll get eaten by eels or birds," he said. "Somebody should be able to catch them. For the rest of time I'll be swimming up and down that river."

His wife, he says, is perfectly happy with the arrangement.

In the meantime, the bream can look forward to a veritable feast. "They may have a bit of a wait yet," said Mr Hodge, who is aged 51. "But you never know, do you?"