West & Fens Fishing: Waiting for a fair wind to blow - on and off the banks

One or two reports of fish are coming out, with Tottenhill and Springside producing a few silvers and the odd small carp respectively.

With neither being big waters by any standards, they should warm up fast once the mercury finds its way into double figures and the wind veers round from the east. My money's on both to start producing as the fish start feeding to make up for lost time before spawning.

Some 450 anglers had their licences checked by Environment Agency bailiffs over the Easter weekend in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Northants and Essex. While just 6pc of them – or 28 in old money – were reported for not having licences, I wonder how much of a barometer such stats provide when it comes to the true scale of illegal fishing or the success the powers that be are having in combating it.

Reports of illegal activities in one or two areas of the Fens last autumn were also met with enforcement action which was publicised in advance by the EA.

Lesley Robertson, its environmental crime team leader is right about one thing – the law-abiding majority are more than happy to see bailiffs pounding the banks. But we'd be a lot happier if they could act on intelligence received without advertising where they're going to be having a crackdown in advance.

Anglers who care about such matters have the opportunity to have their say on Saturday, April 20, when the Angling Trust stages a regional forum at the EA's HQ at Bromholme Lane, Brampton, near Huntingdon.

The event runs from 10am-3pm and is open to members and non-members of the trust. The agenda for what promises to be an interesting day includes an update on the trust's activities across the region, ongoing issues, and angling development.

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Speakers include Martin Salter, the trust's national campaigns manager; Clive Copland, its head of participation and Geoff Bateman, head of fisheries and biodiversity with the EA.

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