There really are a few ancients who STILL see MKAA as some kind of upstart Johnny-come-lately outfit…even though it was formed just over half-a-century ago.

But, 50 odd years back, it came into being because angling in this part of North Bucks was under threat from big out-of-town clubs. 

The then newly formed minnow MKAA met that challenge head on!

Back in the early 1970s construction of ‘the New City’ was just getting underway when news leakedout that numerous balancing lakes – potential fisheries of the future – were to be built.

And that brought some of the country’s then larger clubs (BAA, LAA, Coventry, and Luton among them) banging on the development corporation’s door…flashing their cash and asserting some kind of ‘right’ to take over fishing on those waters.

Naturally some locals didn’t see why they should end up having to pay clubs scores of miles away for the privilege of fishing in their own backyards.

And a handful of local anglers quickly formed an association of local clubs, MKAA, with the late Ken Ball – a somewhat bloody-minded but forward thinking Londoner and ex-Para – as its first chairman(and later president).

They too went knocking on MKDC’s door, reasonably arguing that local waters should be for localpeople.

An instrument of government and master of all it surveyed locally, MKDC was not amused by the outsider clubs’ approach…especially when one man threatened to bring car workers in other towns out on strike if he didn’t get his way! 

That did it – MKDC promptly sided with MKAA, told the intruders to ‘get on their bikes’, and offered us our first water,  our Whitings Ouse section.

Ken had already promised locals that, if they each gave him 50p (things were cheaper then) he would try and get them some water…and the cash raised was ALMOST enough to cover the first year’s £25 rent.

The NFA (National Federation of Anglers, Angling Trust’s forerunner) really got the hump over that,‘blacking’ MKAA and its member clubs.

Defiant, the early days association carried on gaining waters and members until the NFA realised they were on a loser, and ‘invited’ MKAA – the first and only club ever to get such an invite – to join them.

It was somewhat edgy at first…but eventually led to Ken becoming NFA president!

Since then the association has continued to grow and consolidate, fought many battles (frequently against pollution) and, over the years, established many strong working partnerships with the likes of the Parks Trust, The Environment Agency’s fisheries team, Canal and River Trust fisheries team, the city council and others.


MKAA was formed by local clubs as an association of clubs on day one, and has remained as such – with individuals buying tickets to fish its array of waters.

It is run day to day by an elected committee of volunteers whose decisions are subject to approval/veto by meetings of delegates of the member clubs, who also have the say over applications for membership from would-be new member clubs.

In some ways it can be seen as a kind of ‘union’ for member clubs and may be called on to provide a collective voice or interface with authorities on their behalf, and as an information and guidance pipeline from outside sources.

Members of member clubs can also get discounted MKAA season tickets via their clubs or (with proof of club membership) from various tackle shops.

THE above can sometimes be a big ask, but the guiding ambition remains constant: TO WORKto protect, promote and enhance the interests of fishing and fisheries.

All while providing access to the best fishing at value for money prices that it can.

One thing has changed though: ‘local waters for local people’ has become ‘angling for all’ (but under local control).

And, such is the pulling power of the MKAA ticket, that some years we now have card holders from as far afield as Cornwall and the far North of England.


MKAA is always looking for people who would like to put something back into angling.

If you would like to help shape the future of MKAA by giving some of your time there are plenty of opportunities ranging from bailiffing, fisheries work, administrative (committee positions), match organisation, to just being an ambassador for MKAA. 

If you feel you have something to offer or would just like to find out more, please email info@mkaa.co.uk.