Anglers asked to be vigilant on banks

WEST NORFOLK & FENS: Anglers are being urged to watch out for illegal set lines and other suspicious activity on and around our waterways.

It comes amid renewed evidence that fish are being removed from the Fens by illegal means.

Last weekend, a pike was found on a set line on the River Wissey, near Hilgay Bridge.

'We need people to be vigilant and keep a look-out,' said King's Lynn AA secretary Ashley Brown. 'If people see anything they should report it to me and I'll report it to the EA.'

Brown said anyone finding anything suspicious should call 07876 491748 or e-mail

Anglers turn these up from time to time, usually finding them staked to the bank with a tent peg or similar, or concealed in the margins.

This line was well-hidden, with thick cord on a winder covered with leaves. Others have been found tied off to bottles or bankside structure like railings, bridge footings or even mooring rings.

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One way to reliably check is to drag a landing net handle or storm pole through the margins.

Plenty of people – myself included – have disabled illegal lines on finding them. The easiest way is to just cut the hook off.

Official advice used to be to leave them in situ and call the EA, but the risk is a fish, fish-eating bird or even an otter is going to end up dead – and I wonder who'd be blamed then.

Out and about, I managed one and a half on Sunday. Well I had a jack, then I had a double which I decided at the last moment to chin because it had a flying hook.

When it shook its head, it had two flying hooks – both went sailing over my head, still festooned with the lamprey. If I hadn't ducked, I'd be walking around looking like Elephant Man.

Most people I talk to seem to be struggling. Seven blanks in a row, one seasoned predator angler told me last night.

Also on the PAC front, the Lynn branch are teaming up with King's Lynn AA to run a Christmas roving predator match on the Ouse on Sunday, December 11.

The draw's at the EA car park at Denver, at 8am, with fishing from 9am to 3pm. There's a �250 first prize, plus �50 for the biggest fish.

Tickets are �15 and have to be booked by calling 07876 491748.