High hopes for start of angling season

Local anglers completing their own fish surveys on the free tidal rivers are forecasting a bumper start to the new season that comes in on June 16, writes Roy Webster.

Local anglers completing their own fish surveys on the free tidal rivers are forecasting a bumper start to the new season that comes in on June 16, writes Roy Webster.

And backing their predictions are the Environment Agency's Norwich-based fishery officers who have noted during their winter surveys that the broads boatyards were teeming with fish and more importantly they found no evidence of fish poachers.

One Great Yarmouth angler equipped with a fish finder on board his dinghy carried out a reconnaissance on the tidal River Bure. His screen went black as he moved along a massive shoal of bream located on the bends below St Benet's Abbey. He ran into another of similar dimensions in the vicinity of the South Walsham drainage pump and in all these fish that individually ran up to double figures covered stretches of river of several hundred yards.

Similar encouraging news comes from the River Thurne between Martham and Potter Heigham and from the Yarmouth stretch of the River Yare at the Beauchamp Arms where fish were spotted rolling on the surface as the light was fading.

“It seems likely that match catches will run up to three figures this coming season,” declared one delighted match organiser who predicted that traditional river competitions such as the Broads Championship and the Summer League will draw an exceptional number of match men from Eastern England and the Home Counties.

This optimism is based on the fact that the Broads Summer League is virtually a sell-out with 25 teams of four booked in, and a similar line up is expected for the Broads Championship or even more now that the Environment Agency and the Broads Authority are combining in a bank clearance operation.

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So far the work has involved the important stretches of the River Thurne at Cold Harbour, Potter Heigham and Martham with additional platforms installed for disabled anglers. Equally important negotiations appear to be underway to provide anglers with a car park at the top of the River Thurne.

All of this adds up to a most promising outlook for the new Broads coarse fishing season.

Meanwhile sport continues to flourish on the commercial fisheries, despite the carp being in a state of spawning turmoil.

Lee Arnold heaved out a massive 106lb 4oz at Colton to win the Sportsman's outing then came Mick Bunn with 54lb 14oz and Karl Hodgins 49lb 10oz. The Burgh Castle open was won by Robert Silverwood (Sportsman's) with 34lb 12oz, then Karl Hodgins with 30lb 8oz and Mick Bunn 28lb 7oz. Lacons were at Bergh Apton where the winner was P Nicholls 58lb 11oz, then B Norton 28lb 13oz and Debbie Hewitt 23lb 6oz. Ormesby's Stephen Rouse won the Mill Farm Saturday open with 80lbs and Jolly Boy Ray Kent was runner-up at Mill Farm on Thursday with 35lb 4oz.

Michael Wright of Yarmouth heaved out a 20lb 6oz ghost carp from the Taswood Fishery while at Hall Farm, Burgh Castle Gorleston's Gary Price landed 23 carp, the best a 19�lb mirror while another local Chris Savory bagged six fish to 17�lbs.

SEA RESULTS: Gorleston Tackle Centre has taken over sponsorship of the Sam Hook Sea League and the league is now to be run as The Gorleston Tackle Centre Sea League.

The results for this week were: 1 M Gooch 2lb 9oz, 2 P Tovell 1lb 12oz, 3 G Medlar 1lb 11oz.

Match was fished at Bure Park (River Bure) and consisted of a cracking 2lb flounder (to Mark Gooch), the other bags were made up of eels, flounders and small bass.

Next match is June 1 at Second Avenue, Caister.