Warmer conditions bring out the rods

Roy WebsterThe welcome upturn in temperature has persuaded more anglers to visit the banks and weekend action took off in a sudden burst of warm sunshine and balming breezes.Roy Webster

The welcome upturn in temperature has persuaded more anglers to visit the banks and weekend action took off in a sudden burst of warm sunshine and balming breezes.

At Waveney Valley, Matthew Spurling of Diss netted a 33lb common carp and the first decent catfish of the year at 23lb, while Jonathan Bailey of Long Stratton banked a 27lb common.

Swangey lakes produced a number of double figure carp, the best of them around 21lb for Thetford's Stephen Oxbury and Rocklands' Rob Carter.

The Lyng Kingfisher lake produced as 22lb mirror carp for Caister's Chris Birdman and the first tench of the year came at 7lb 1oz for Lyng's Nick Munns.

At Hall Farm, Steve Aldous, reeled out nine quality carp to 17lb and Fraser Rankin, of Norwich had three to 16lb.

On the match circuit Dean Mason (Oddchaps) posted the first three-figure winner of the spring, 105 lb at Barford, while at Melton Ponds Stephen Rouse won the Wagglers with 92lb and Bill Bullock (Dereham) headed the Railway card with 85lb 5oz.

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Heaviest haul of the weekend was reported at the Burgh Castle Fishery, where Karl Hodgins downed tools to rescue disabled angler Dave Docwra who over-balanced while netting a fish to become immersed in six feet of murky water, his tackle box and other accoutrements floating around him.

The intrepid Yarmouth former international retrieved his equipment, drove home rapidly for a change of clothing and returned to the fray.

Alas, he failed to add sufficiently to the 5lb of roach he had caught before his mishap to impact on the final outcome, leaving Lee Arnold (Jolly boys) to clinch the series championship.

The final round of the North Norfolk Division of the National Sea League Qualifiers ended with the Holt blue team as champions.

But because the November final will be organised by the local division on Norfolk beaches every North Norfolk team is granted entry.

Before the first whistle a minutes silence was observed for regular national league angler Barry Tweddliy who died while fishing along the North East Coast.

t The alien zander will never be accepted as a lawful coarse fish in the Norfolk Broads under the present Countryside & Wildlife Act 1981 that governs the many Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in this important area of natural beauty.

That's the view of the East Norfolk and the Broads Land & Sea Mangement team of Natural England at Norwich, whose SSSI advisor, Chris Bielby, states that zander will never be considered a native species either within the SSSI nature reserve or in a neighbouring water where the fish could cross boundaries.

He writes: 'I can confirm that release of zander into the wild, including allowing to escape back into the wild fish that have been caught, is an offence under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).'

Explaining that the police, supported by the Environment Agency, are the prosecuting authorities in relation to these offences, he adds: 'Where the release (of zander) effects a SSSI and is listed as an operation likely to damage the site, Natural England can also issue proceedings.'

However, what is most important from the anglers' view point is: 'On deciding whether to take criminal proceedings against someone for the offence of releasing zander into the wild, the prosecuting authority would have to consider, among other factors, whether it was in the public interest to do so.'