Will ‘cost-cutter’ series help those who just can’t keep up with sponsored anglers?

Dandrobaena red worm baits used by the thousands by sponsored anglers. Photo: Submitted

Dandrobaena red worm baits used by the thousands by sponsored anglers. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Match anglers who have the most worms earn the most money.

That's the verdict of some critics along the banks of the major match venues, where sponsored competitors turn up with numerous kilos of the purpose-reared wrigglers to out-fish the field for the major trophies and cash prizes.

The normal angler simply cannot afford to purchase thousands of worms for groundbait, at prices up to £25 per kilo, while the heavily-sponsored competitor could turn up with three or four kilos of the free bait provided the supplier receives appropriate publicity in return. Non-sponsored anglers are running up costs of around £40 for bait plus entry fees, pools, travelling and food, amounting to a total outlay of around £100 per outing.

For the ordinary family man committed to mortgage payment or rent, this expense is beyond his means and he has to make do with less, while witnessing the so-called elite winning the majority of the big events.

This has led to Andy Wilson-Sutter, chief of the Great Yarmouth and Norfolk AA who runs the majority of the important tournaments on the River Yare, being lobbied by local anglers to stage 'cost-cutter' open matches next season.

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This move to level the playing field would limit the use of expensive baits while possibly banning worms altogether.

If supported, these matches would be run on weekday summer evenings and Wilson-Sutter needs to know whether this could prove popular.

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'I am open to receive comments or suggestions, whether cheap evening matches would be well-attended,' he said – call him on 07990 572729.

Well-known Norwich angler Lee Carver, who competes in top national events such as Fish O'Mania, commented: 'I agree that amendments are required to protect the working class angler at top events. A kilo of worms cost me around £20 and I regard more as extravagant. It is not fair that we are competing against sponsored anglers who can bring unlimited numbers of worms to chop up for ground bait and I support the idea that regulation is required.'

In the close season we'll be giving advice on how to produce low cost worms and maggots.

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