Anglers out in force for charity
The generous turnout of caring anglers put their hands in their pockets last week to raise a princely sum of £841.50 to help keep the Cromer Life Boat afloat.
It happened in the annual charity event staged on North Norfolk's Cobble Acre Fishery to raise funds for the good cause. This was the sixth successive year that North Walsham couple Barbara and Jim Randell have organised this Jackson and Starling Funeral Services sponsored event, bringing the running total of cash handed over the RNLI to more than £2500.
'A good day was had by all,' declared Barbara. 'Our thanks go to the sponsors, all those who assisted on the day and the anglers who provided more than 70 prizes for the raffle.'
Competitors travelled from far and wide but come the final whistle it was Suffolk's former national champion Rodney Finch (Deben) who collected the winner's Jackson and Starling trophy after weighing in a carp catch off 62lb 13oz from peg 5 on Adam's lake, all tempted on sweet corn.
Phil Walpole (Hinderclay) was runner up with 50lb 13oz of carp that fell to cat food at peg 7 on Adam's and third was Kelly Flood (North Walsham Kingfishers) 38lb 14oz from Amy's lake.
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Jackson and Starling funded trophies for the top three and financed refreshments provided by Claridges Catering.
Elsewhere on the match lakes Paul Fleet headed the Norwich Police with 146lb at Holly Farm and Matt Wiles (AMG) completed the double with 179lb at Willow and 91lb 7oz at Barford.
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Bob Ramsbottom headed the Norwich disabled with 142lb 4oz at Barford and Alec Penman was top Codger scaling 133lb 10oz at Railway.
• Grim forecasts that coarse and inland trout fishing rod licences in England and Wales would show a steep fall have become stark reality with the Environment Agency statistics illustrating a costly tumble of the national numbers from 1,440,125 in 2011/12 to 1,269,836 in the fiscal year ending March 31st 2013 with full adult permits down from 656,058 to 588,110. In financial terms this represents a reduction of revenue or around £1.5 million for maintaining and improving fisheries.
According to Roger Handford at the Environment Agency these disappointing returns were expected due to exceptional circumstances.
He explained 'Last year was a particular challenge with the combination of poor weather, recession and the two Olympic games impacting on how many licences were sold.
We would love for more people to enjoy angling and are working with the Angling Trust and others to get more people especially youngsters to participate'
He went on 'although the number of rod licences has dropped we generated over £23 million of income, every penny of which gets reinvested in angling'
Commenting on the significant fall of junior licences from 9137 to 7517 which some commentators have linked to the proposals to cull predators, he said, 'We have not received any correspondence suggesting the Predator Action Group has affected licence sales'
At the Angling Trust Will Smith, the membership manager, disclosed numbers had remained stable and had actually increased during the last fiscal year.
Trust membership now stands as follows: adults 11,137, juniors 3,635, life members 1,523, young adults 152, total individual members 16,447, Clubs 1330.
'We have introduced a new policy accepting juniors free of charge, young adults at £10 with the full adult fee pegged at £25.'
To join the Angling Trust fighting for your fishing sign up online or call 0844 7700616 (option 1) or by post to Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, HR6 8DQ.
So how is the Broads area affected by the downturn?
We are in the Anglia region (east) where all licences issued have fallen from 107,830 to 96,095.
Tony Gibbons chairman of the Norwich and District Anglers said 'Our membership was also down last season and I think this is a trend. This is bad for the tourist industry for many anglers come here on holiday. Unfortunately we are also suffering from lack of recruitment. No one can force young people to go fishing and we have to accept that'
• Carp anglers enjoyed great sport. At Taswood Adam Newcombe of Great Yarmouth landed his pb common at 30lb 12oz while Chris Deary of Norwich had one of 30lb 2oz.
James Bygrave of Chedgrave netted 19 fish in a 48 hour session, four of them in their 20's headed by a 29lb 6oz common. Others in the frame with 20's were Norwich rods Adie Revell, Matt Arthurton, Julian Miller and the ever present Kevin Smith of Lingwood.
At Swangey lakes Wayne Davey of Garboldisham recorded his pb mirror at 29lb and a similar fish was landed by Gary Eckett of Caister. Others to catch were Nick Fullbrook of Diss with three carp in their 20's while his friend Lawrence Bolton had on of 22lb 10oz.