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Fishing Bait Provides a Fond Farewell

Like every angler, you probably have your preferred fishing bait. This could be anything from the tried and tested to the weird and wonderful. But had you ever thought of using your best friend’s ashes? Probably not!

Thai Monster

Recently two anglers turned their friend’s ashes into bait and managed to hook a monster carp in Thailand.

The three pals had just booked the fishing trip when Ron Hopper was diagnosed with aggressive liver cancer and given only weeks to live. Shortly before he died, Ron asked his pals Paul Fairbrass and Cliff Dale to take his ashes with them on the trip as he would not survive long enough to travel. They agreed but suggested that rather than scatter his ashes on the fishing lake, they should turn them into bait instead. Ron loved the idea!

Anglers use ashes of friend as bait to reel in monster 180lbs carp in his honour

— Telegraph News (@TelegraphNews)

Purple Ronnies

Fairbrass and Dale had to get special permission from the airline to carry the ashes in the cabin. They didn’t make the bait until they arrived in Thailand. The ashes were used to make boilies which they called "Purple Ronnies" and the special fishing bait ended up working a treat for them.

The pair landed a 180lb Siamese carp. The gigantic fish took three hours to reel in. The fish was then named Ronnie as a tribute to the absent friend and released. The anglers were thankful to their friend who they thought must have been there with them in spirit. The fish was believed to be one of the biggest in the lake and this was the first time that it had been caught.

Ron had himself landed a 10 stone carp last year so he clearly possessed a certain karma when it comes to Siamese carp! That fish was also caught in Thailand on a special trip the three pals took to celebrate their retirement. They enjoyed the experience so much that they booked another holiday to the same region but sadly Ron never got to enjoy the repeat visit.

World Record

The official world record for a Siamese carp is 134lbs but the International Game Fishing Association stopped listing the catches because the fish come from protected waters. Perhaps Ronnie was a record breaking fish.


Paul Fairbrass and Cliff Dale returned from Thailand with just one Purple Ronnie boilie. This has been preserved and will be kept in a presentation box as a souvenir of the adventure. Only half of Ron’s ashes were used for the unusual fishing bait, the other half were taken by his wife to be scattered on the beautiful Caribbean island of Grenada.

So there you have it! There are many ingredients that you can use in your bait but ashes are clearly highly effective. One wonders why but perhaps it is best not think about that. The enormous catch was a fitting tribute to a great friend and created a special memory which the anglers will always treasure.


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