Anglers are frozen out at most venues

ANGLING: Much freshwater fishing was clamped down by deep frost this week when a thick covering of ice was spread across lakes, pits and ponds that were not stirred up by mechanical means, writes Roy Webster.

By Wednesday, all boatyard lagoons and dykes were also sealed, leaving scant prospect of any rod and line action this weekend unless anglers decided on an ice-clearance operation.

Hickling Broad, Horsey Mere and the Trinty Broads were also frozen over and, unless there is a considerable rise in air temperatures, there will be no angling on these waters until early next week.

In the Yarmouth area, only two commercial fisheries were open for angling — at Burgh Castle, where sport cannot be guaranteed from waters just above zero.

Keen members of the Stalham club, who enjoyed excellent fishing from their lagoon last Sunday where Dave Jones was the winner with 14lb 13oz, followed by W Plummer with 8lb 6oz and C Timms, 7lb 2oz, will probably attempt to clear the ice on Sunday.

At Burgh Castle, the Sunday open event was won by M Jenkins (Huntsmans) with 6lb 8oz, then S Johnson (Mulbarton) 6lb 4oz, and R Silverwood (Sportsmans) 4lb 10oz.

Prospects for beach anglers remain obscure in such wintry conditions, but the die-hards still report whiting and dabs.

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At this time of the year, the main quarry are codling for the family freezer. Unfortunately, surveys show that this popular culinary fish is again threatened through over-fishing by the commercial fleets, but it is a fact that the long odds against tempting a monster double-figure specimen are shortened during bone-chilling weather . . . but don’t bank on it.

Anglers who fish Hickling Broad on cheap permits that allow them to take live bait free of charge for pike fishing on the nature reserve are able to show their appreciation this Christmas by purchasing a gift for a child that will help sustain the wildlife.

For just �20, a wide choice of sponsorship to support endangered species is available and a certificate will be issued for the child to treasure.