Crisis averted for anglers on the River Wensum

A first-hand account by a Norwich pensioner describing how he was ordered to stop fishing from a popular city bank of the River Wensum appeared to have thrown a grenade between anglers and the governing bodies.

Fortunately EDP Angling was able to step in and crush the seeds before they could germinate into a major dispute.

The Broads Authority (BA) leased the bank between the Foundry and Bishop's Bridge, commonly known as the Yacht Station, for exclusive use as a public mooring, thus curtailing all angling in spring and summer, re-opening on November 1 to the end of the coarse season on March 14.

It was this month that 79-year-old Stan Karn, who walked from his home in City Road to fish by Bishop's Bridge, was approached by an individual in uniform who intimated that angling was banned there.

When contacted for clarification, BA press officer Hilary Franzen, said they leased the bank for the summer season and it was officially handed back on November 8, when they were requested to leave 'No Fishing' signs in place.

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Until 2005 when the BA first became involved, Norwich City Council amenities department took a relaxed view of angling along this river bank and actually issued cheap match permits for angling clubs to deter participants overcrowding.

A request to City Hall for help to unravel this municipal muddle was instantly answered by a courteous spokeswoman with the news that anglers had hoped for.

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'We have removed the 'No Fishing' signs and angling between the locked gate at the bottom end up to Bishop's Bridge can continue as usual until the end of the season.'

And Stan Karn's reaction: 'Just the job, thanks a lot, I'll be on the bank again anytime soon.'

The value of this venue was again emphasised on the Angling Direct Sunday Series, where a sell-out field strove to gain the ascendency among shoals of small roach surprisingly willing to feed with some abandon despite cold crystal clear conditions.

Just two pounds of fish parted the top five, headed by Pete Swan (Daiwa AD) with 13lb 14oz followed by another DAD man Robert Hubbard with 13lb 6oz and Paul Lawrence (Earlham Silvers) 13lb 1oz.

On the lakes, Deben's Rod Finch heaved out an exceptional November net winner of 102lb 11oz from the Railway, while top of the clubs was Norfolk and Suffolk Vets winner at Topcroft, David Roe, with 70lb 7oz.

On the carp lakes Catch 22 was the place to be for Chris Claxton, with mirrors of 30lb 4oz and 30lb 2oz, while Dave Weston netted three commons headed by a lump scaling 31lb 8oz.

At Swangey a common of 27lb and a mirror of 21lb fell to Jim Burdett and Shaun Kett, while the best of 10 fish for Guy Sherwood at Taswood were a brace of mirrors in the low twenties.

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