Wake-up call brings only false alarms

WEST & THE FENS: It's nearly spring and the season's nearly over on the rivers.

Mild weather had the bite alarms singing as well as the birds over the weekend.

A dropped pull first chuck woke me up on Saturday, followed by half a dozen more from pike of varying sizes judging by the teeth marks left in the baits.

This on a water no-one pike fishes, so it can't have been down to fish spooked through angling pressure.

The story was the same on a nearby water the following day, with just dropped runs to show for several hours' sitting on the bank behind the rods like Buddha.

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'Never seen anyone catch anything here you know,' offered a passing dog walker to cheer me up.

One place they have been catching a few is Ten Mile Bank now the river's settled back into something resembling normality.

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Bream nets to 35lb making one or two wonder whether the river's going to finish the season on a high note.

Fishing the river is one of the few things in life that will be cheaper by the time June 16 comes around.

King's Lynn AA have brought in a new system of tiered membership charges, which see the price of a basic permit cut from �40 to �36.

The way things are going four quid will probably be nearly enough for a couple of litres of diesel by the time next winter comes around.

There's always the big society of course. One or two sources have told me the EA is looking to scale back even further when it comes to rod licence checks, with volunteers taking over.

You can see their point when it comes to getting fishery owners and club bailiffs to ask for your rod licence before they sell you a day ticket.

Tackle shops could do the same when it comes to club cards. But will the big society help keep some of the other problems on our waters under control..? Answers on a postcard.

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