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Good angling prospects

PUBLISHED: 13:48 16 April 2009 | UPDATED: 09:18 11 May 2010

The capture of a giant 41lb cod on a baited long line set by local commercial fisherman Paul Dyble and an encouraging new forecast from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) that North Sea cod are set to reach the critical breeding biomass of 70,000 tonnes this year.

The capture of a giant 41lb cod on a baited long line set by local commercial fisherman Paul Dyble and an encouraging new forecast from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) that North Sea cod are set to reach the critical breeding biomass of 70,000 tonnes this year.

These have left East Coast beach and boat anglers in a state of bubbling anticipation of great sport to come next autumn and beyond, writes Roy Webster.

Dyble told the Angling Times that his catches for the market had been the best for some 40 years - with most of his sizeable fish up to 6lb, sometimes boating 180 of them in one trip.

Gorleston fishing tackle shop boss Derrick Amies has always been upbeat about the recovery of local cod stocks and said: “Local anglers are catching plenty of fish from 2-4lb but I know of at least 26 shore-caught doubles this season, and this bodes well for the future.”

All this sudden optimism concerning North Sea cod has been generated following the successful imposition of

no-go areas for the trawl fleet on important cod spawning grounds, plus more rigorous enforcement of conservation measures including the dumping of small fish, abiding by mesh sizes and reducing the number of days trawlers can put out to sea.

ICES expects the number of adult cod to increase by 42 per cent this year, and on the strength of that European Fishery Ministers upped North Sea cod quotas by 30 per cent.

However, while it is clear that cod have enjoyed two or three successful spawning years there are fewer yearlings showing up along the local coastline right now, which suggests that the vital cold-water plankton for the newly- hatched larvae was not available.

Some years this natural phenomenon is out of synch and that may well have been the case last year, and perhaps for some years to come, because of the effect of rising sea temperatures due to global warming.

It was a marvellous Easter parade of local carp anglers last weekend with Hall Farm, Burgh Castle, coming to form at the right time.

Gorleston's Herbie Patz put in a three-day marathon to catch a fine total of 58 carp to 16lb, their aggregate estimated at more than 300lb. Another Gorleston rod Steve Aldous bagged 51 fish to 13½lb over the holiday break, his total 250lb while Royce Doroba, Belton, netted 17 fish to 15lb in a one-day session.

Elsewhere on the big carp scene, Caister's Darren Stamp recorded a brilliant quartet - three commons of 27lb 12oz, 29lb 15oz and 31lb 2oz and a mirror of 20lb 6oz on his favourite Taswood Fishery. At the same venue Geoff Benson of Stalham netted a common of 31lb 10oz.

In the Teams of Three Challenge at Barford the Browning Pownalls trio put up a fair show against some fierce competition and finished runners-up with a penalty points score of 10, just two adrift of winners Big Hits/Anglers World whose top man was Warren Martin with 158lb 7oz while Pownalls best was Dennis Goodwin, runner-up with 132lb 9oz.

Joe Hammond (Jolly Boys) won the Burgh Castle open with 29lb 14oz, then Steve Miller (Huntsman) 26lb 14oz and Dave Docwra (Sportsman's) 23lb 3oz.

Gorleston Jolly Boys' Ray Kent headed the Mill Farm card with 81lb 12oz while at club level Lee Arnold won the Sportsman's at Taswood with 76lb 10oz followed by Robert Silverwood 42lb 11oz, and Mick Bunn 34lb 3oz.


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