Crackdown on pike poachers

THE conservation bodies in charge of wildlife protection on Horsey Mere have cracked down on the pike poachers who have been rocking the boat of angling decency in recent months.

THE conservation bodies in charge of wildlife protection on Horsey Mere have cracked down on the pike poachers who have been rocking the boat of angling decency in recent months.

The Broads Authority (BA) has confirmed that two anglers have been caught fishing without the prescribed permits that allow two anglers per day in one boat on the Mere during the period between November 1 and the end of February - when migratory wildfowl require visit the Mere as an over-winter haven, writes Roy Webster.

The BA is now considering measures of bringing a successful prosecution under National and European Wildlife Protection Legislation as well as the possibility of laying charges under the Theft Act because the Mere is privately owned.

“This matter is in the hands of our solicitors and they are dealing with this blatant disregard of our conservation rules on Horsey Mere. We are certainly considering taking further legal action in this case,” said Broads Authority press relations officer Hilary Franzen.

The one boat per day system was introduced three seasons ago in the hope that repeated unlawful entry by anglers on to Horsey Mere during the special bird protection closed period will be observed and further deter the hooligans that pelted Horsey estate owner John Buxton with dead herrings.

But as the Horsey warden has repeatedly observed, there have been more rods out there without permits than those legally fishing, and following complaints by caring anglers and bird lovers the Broads Authority have now acted.

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If the BA fails to succeed in bringing prosecutions of the two accused anglers say it would be the equivalent of pulling the chain on the one boat/two anglers deal, for most surely a mere caution or a ban from the fishery would not prove to be a deterrent to others.

The big fear is that these repeated rule violations will eventually lead to Horsey Mere being closed to all angling, and at least one angler who loves his Horsey fishing said he was delighted the authorities had taken action.

In the meantime pike anglers have been devoting time on the Trinity Broads have been rewarded with considerable success.

Richard Barnes who runs a syndicate fleet of fishing dinghies at Filby said it had been the best autumn and winter for predator fishing for some considerable time.

“So far our best specimen came in at 27lb 8oz, caught twice on different rods. In addition there have been substantial numbers of fish in the teens and low 20s, so along with the splendid catches of tench I believe the current season on the Trinity Broads will go down as the best since the turn of the millennium,” declared Barnes.

On the fishing tournament circuit the Yarmouth based Browning/Pownalls outfit continue to bring publicity to the town by their performances at local open events.

Tony Anderson completed an excellent double last week, first heading the card of the midweek silverfish contest at Barford with 39lb 6oz of bream then he scaled a 79lb 6oz winner at the Barford Saturday open.

Yarmouth's former England international rod Dave Docwra joined the Norfolk and Suffolk Veterans at Beccles Quay to win his first outing there with 4lb 14oz of tiny bream while at the Burgh Castle Fishery Sportsman's Robert Silverwood won with 35lb 7oz.

Martham Angling Club's hopes of repeating last season's success in the first round of the National Super Cup Knockout Tournament were dashed by a moody River Waveney that produced five empty nets for the Broadland squad who were narrowly beaten by Gipping AC with 19 points to Martham's 16.

Even though Martham failed they still produced the top two catches with Kevin Chaplin weighing in 19lb 4oz and Mick Burton 7lb 11oz.

“As the match was on a section points basis we lost because we had more blanks than they did,” explained team captain Paul Sparks.

The Holt beach open at Kelling was a successful venue for town anglers who filled the first three places. Paul Tovell (Gorleston) was the winner with 8lb 1oz of decent whiting and flat fish, Clyde Leggatt (Gorleston) was runner-up with 7lb 1oz and John Lacey (Yarmouth) was third with 6lb 2oz.

The Stalham Club visited their local boatyards where the result was Dave Agass 6lb 1oz, Dave Egerton 5lb 15oz, Mick Brown 4lb 4oz.

On the tidal River Bure there are further reports of huge bream catches from the Oby to Acle reach where Sportsman's match men Paul Bunnewell and Brian Weavers have been heaving out joint catches of up to 75 giant slabs in one session.

Diary date: Sportsmans AGM Thursday, March 6, 7.30pm. Sportsman's PH, new members welcome.