REBEL anglers defied a fishing ban at Canvey Lake.

Around 20 members of Canvey Island Coarse Anglers turned out for a fishing competition on Saturday.

They used the end of the lake where Canvey Town Council has banned fishing because of complaints from nearby residents of anglers making a racket late at night, urinating up garden fences, and arguing with an elderly lady who tried to feed the ducks.

The police were called, but officers just took down the anglers’ personal details and did not arrest anyone.

John Bannister, treasurer of the fishing club, said: “The fishing was good and residents even supported us by bringing out cold drinks. The police came over, but it was all very friendly.

“The council wants us to only use the other end of the lake, but it’s too shallow and there’s too much rubbish to catch your line on.”

The club previously managed the lake on behalf of Castle Point Council, but decided not to renew its license in May after Canvey Town Council took over the lake.

Mr Bannister said: “We don’t want to run the lake any more. We just want to fish it.

“Unfortunately, we are only volunteers and couldn’t have stopped people night fishing or urinating on fences. I don’t think our members would have been rude to an elderly lady.”

The town council is planning a major overhaul of Canvey Lake to make it a popular family attraction for everyone on the island, not just fishermen.

Work could include installing extra seating, improving paths, creating a duck feeding platform, and dredging the bed and cutting-back reeds to improve fishing around the rest of the lake.

Dave Blackwell, Canvey Town councillor for finance, said: “We aren’t anti-fishing. However, residents around that end of the lake have gone through hell and the ban was introduced to give them a break. That elderly woman had been feeding the ducks on the lake for years, but an angler snatched the bread from her hands and swore at her.”

Police spokesman Nishan Wijeratne said: “Police were contacted by a councillor on behalf of residents, who reported illegal fishing.

“The matter is not a criminal offence, but a bye-law for local authorities to enforce. Our officers took the details of the people present and will be forwarding them to the council.”