West and Fens angling: It’s not looking too bad for the season

Wettest-ever drought, wrong kind of rain. Most rain in April. Coldest May in yonks.

Rain forecast on and off for the next few weeks might not have the grockles smiling.

But between you and me, there must be an outside chance the rivers are going to be in decent shape come the start of the season.

Make that our rivers, for those in the West Midlands and one or two places have the opposite problem to us, ie too much water at present.

Those in the know will already be plotting their opening day baiting campaigns.

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Last season, four anglers shared a catch of several hundred pounds of bream after heavy baiting on an undisclosed stretch.

There's no mystique about it, other than you need to be in the general vicinity of the fish, which aren't too hard to spot first and last thing this time of year.

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From time to time, you see little signs asking people to respect other anglers' baiting campaigns.

Gamesmanship being what it is, others pick an overgrown peg to pile it in, only trimming back the undergrowth when they're ready to start fishing.

Pulling such strokes was once part and parcel of the season's first few sorties, carried out in the belief that it gave you an edge at a time when everyone would be out fishing.

The abolition of the close season on stillwaters and one or two other places since has done a lot to take the shine off June 16.

Trading standards officers are warning about door to door salesmen selling vacuum-packed fish.

They say it's often not the sort of fish those who turn up on your doormat claim it is. In fact, past investigations have shown the fish concerned are sometimes of the freshwater variety, which begs the obvious question of where it comes from.

King's Lynn AA has its AGM at the William Burt Club, West Winch, tonight (8pm). Members are expected to hear that the recent fish rescue at Tottenhill was a success both for Tottenhill, where fishing has picked up, and Shepherd's Port, where many of the fish were transferred.

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