Plenty on match agenda to satisfy anglers’ appetites

John Ditton shows off the pick of the bunch from a catch taken at the Larkwood fishery a 10lb 10oz

John Ditton shows off the pick of the bunch from a catch taken at the Larkwood fishery a 10lb 10oz rainbow. - Credit: Archant

Local match anglers will barely have time to carve the turkey and pull a cracker before revisiting the waterside to continue participation in a hectic Christmas holiday period on rivers and lakes.

Yuletide action commences this Saturday at the special Barford Lakes Open, followed by Sunday's round five of the Angling Direct River Wensum League.

Monday brings the popular Mill Farm Open, Tuesday the versatile Cobbleacre Midweek and a possible visit to Holly Farm.

It's back to the Wensum for the Jim Boulton Memorial on Boxing Day and similar remembrance for Linda Thomson on New Year's Day. And for beach anglers, Holt SAC are staging their Christmas Open at Cley on Sunday.

These are contests likely to produce top-class results in unseasonable warmth, pepping up piscatorial promise everywhere.

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A best four of five format commences on the River Yare, the dates January 9 and 23, February 6 and 20 and March 5.

The season ends with a last-chance open on this prolific river on March 13. Entries should go to Andy Wilson-Sutter now on 01502 531776 or 07990 572729.

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Last week's midweek result at Cobbleacre featured, in poker parlance, 'a bad beat' for NDAA regular Tony Gibbons.

He weighed in 26lb 12oz of small roach and perch from the golden peg and, with one catch to be put on the scales, he was favourite to lift a handsome cash prize of £100 from his draw.

Gibbons was the scalesman pacing confidently to the final peg. Unfortunately for him, the occupant, Sid Huggins, returned just one ounce more to dash Gibbons' hopes.

Despite the constant attention of pike, match results on the River Wensum again topped double figures. Winner of the Earlham Silvers was Pete Swan, whose vestal qualities ignited the appetites of 20lb 7oz of small roach and perch.

The one major problem facing anglers fishing this city venue is the lack of car parking and facilities to deal with the urgent calls of nature for the more elderly.

Former international veteran Jim Randell and Gibbons are not noted complainers, but both insist they are incapable of fishing five solid hours without a break.

'Common decency does not permit us to hide behind our brollies and pollute the river,' reasoned Gibbons. 'The only toilets available are at the railway station and that's too far for us old'uns.'

• Since it was formed from a merger of several angling and fish conservation bodies in 2009, the Angling Trust, rightly or wrongly, has been criticised on a number of fishing forums.

However, the officers cannot be faulted for their efforts to deal with Eastern European immigrants and their lack of our fish conservation principles.

The latest effort involves recruiting Polish and Lithuanian English speakers whose remit is to persuade incomers to discard their national culture of taking many fish for the table and instead abide by our own bylaws laid out under our Acts of Parliament.

This has resulted in a new Fisheries Enforcement Support service administered by the Angling Trust on behalf of the Environment Agency and funded by rod licence revenue.

Multi-lingual immigrants have been recruited to explain Britain's accepted angling culture to avoid violent verbal and possible physical clashes between residents and newcomers visiting our rivers and lakes.

The UK has a catch and return format, while allowing small numbers of fish to be retained for the table or to be used as bait.

This is being fully explained to non-English speaking anglers, who are being encouraged to join an angling club or form one of their own.

Multi-lingual advisory leaflets are available from the Angling Trust and fishing tackle centres explaining all this.

Rado Papiewski, founder member and now manager of the Building Bridges organisation, who visited Norwich soon after his appointment, welcomes the development.

He said: 'The trust's initiative will build even stronger links between local and immigrant anglers.'

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