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Angling memories rekindled

PUBLISHED: 09:46 13 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:13 03 July 2010

ONCE there were two sporting summer dates that were described as glorious - June 16 and August 12.

The first was the re-opening of the coarse fishing season when anglers, who had spent 93 disconsolate days waiting to cast a line into their favourite venues, were suddenly released in one great eruption of rod and line activity.

ONCE there were two sporting summer dates that were described as glorious - June 16 and August 12.

The first was the re-opening of the coarse fishing season when anglers, who had spent 93 disconsolate days waiting to cast a line into their favourite venues, were suddenly released in one great eruption of rod and line activity.

The second date marked the start of the shooting season.

Now neither of these dates is so significant. Coarse fishing is available all the year round on lakes and canals and grouse appear to be a threatened species, writes Roy Webster.

However, on Monday morning, just after the clock turns midnight angling will re-commence on all our rivers and broads. It used to be one great rush by anglers to collar their favourite bream, tench and roach spots. Now there is no rush.

Even so, there are still diehards who observe the close season, most of them pensioners who could not get to grips with fishing commercial lakes, often shoulder to shoulder.

And the venues these venerable ladies and gentleman will head for are the tidal embankments of the Rivers Bure, Thurne and Yare or perhaps they will take a boat out on to those idyllic nature reserves Hickling Broad, Horsey Mere or the Trinities.

There is something special in boat fishing the Broads, and the interest is not only those creatures that swim beneath the surface for on an early morning shift it is possible to catch an exciting glimpse of a rare bittern, or once the sun is up spot the gaily-painted swallowtail butterfly.

This season angling prospects on the main broads are most encouraging. Most species have spawned, leaving a legacy of a few dead bream in the margins, but these casualties are not unusual.

With the water becoming crystal clear the bream may be hard to tempt after sun-up, so the right time might be night time.

Horsey Mere is teeming with fish which include giant perch to over 3lb and stately bream ranging to double figures. Anglers who possess their own fishing dinghies may well prepare for their sport by pre-ground baiting for a couple of days while those who need to hire a vessel should visit Hickling's Whispering Reeds boatyard.

On the Trinity Broads Richard Barnes' Filby fleet of fishing dinghies is now run on a syndicate basis (inquiries 01493 368142). Day boats may be hired from the Eel's Foot Inn off the main A149 (01493 730342).

Night fishing is not allowed on these Broads, but as illustrated last winter there are some truly wondrous tench populating these waters as well as giant bream and perch and quality pike.

The main banks of the River Bure are St Benets Abbey and the River Thurne at Cold Harbour are controlled by the Norwich and District Anglers' Association. Non-members can achieve cheap day permits from Pownall's Fishing Tackle Shop in Regent Road, Yarmouth and from Thrower's Stores in Ludham.

There is little doubt that last November's damaging salt water penetrations into the rivers killed substantial numbers of fish. However, new stocks are certain to have migrated from the higher reaches to fill any void left by serious fish kills so sport expected on the rivers is forecast to be fair.

This judgment also applies to the River Yare between Rockland and Langley under the control of the Great Yarmouth Anglers' Association. Day permits are issued on the banks for non-members and secretary Keith Ford will run an opening day competition if demand is sufficient (01603 483923).

Local anglers bagged up on the main lakes last week.

Bradwell rodmen Mark McGee visited Waveney Valley to winch out two massive catfish scaling 45lb and 38lb.

Wayne Flowergay of Yarmouth caught his personal best mirror carp of 27lb 8oz from Taverham Lake and Caister's Darren Stamp netted a common, a ghost and a grass carp from Taswood all on the 21lb mark.

Club match results:

Sportsmans (Railway Lake): L Arnold 66lb 2oz, M Bunn 54lb, K Southey 25lb.

Stalham (Little Melton): P Gardiner 59lb 1oz, J Hehir 13lb 8oz, D Dearman 9lb 4oz.

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