Litter plea to beach anglers

Roy Webster’s Angling

Beach anglers are being urged to take home their litter and bin it in order to smarten up their sport’s image in the public eye.

The request comes from one of the top men administering local match fishing. It follows criticism from the general public that some areas of Norfolk shingle and sand are “becoming tips” with empty drink cans, food wrappers and tangled lengths of fishing line with hooks attached blemishing the beaches.

According to Tony Thomas, a top tournament competitor along the east coast and also recognised as a sea league supremo, no blame can be laid at the doors of angling clubs or competitors. They have to abide by strict rules whose infringement could result in disqualification.

Further more, Thomas has revealed that one Norfolk club, Holt, is setting an example, the members requested to clear the beaches of all litter as part of their duty as conscientious caretakers of their sporting environment.

“The Holt initiative is one that should be followed by all angling clubs,” Thomas insisted this week.

“I accept that club anglers are not to blame for dumping litter, and perhaps in summer it may be caused by visitors, especially picnickers.

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“During the autumn and winter, though, the only people along the beaches, apart from the odd dog walker, are anglers – and they cannot pass the buck,” he continued.

“I should point out that fishing line with hooks discovered along the high tide mark is deposited there by the sea. This stuff has been broken and lost on offshore snags and washed up later.

“There is nothing the angler can do to prevent this, and it is a problem we have been facing ever since rod-and-line fishing began.”

He concluded: “We gather it up wherever possible, but it is often buried in the sand and revealed later.”

There is a lack of cod along the local shoreline this year. The great majority of sizeable fish that have appeared in the past two years have been trawled up and there are insufficient one and two-year-old specimens coming through to replace them.

Some hefty cod are often caught by anglers boat fishing up to two miles offshore, but the bread and butter 2-3lb fish for beach anglers have been conspicuous by their absence.

Fishery ministers’ plans to reintroduce no-go zones is certain to improve the cod populations, as it did when a trial embargo was brought in on the cod spawning grounds a few years back.

On the freshwater scene, Hall Farm, Burgh Castle, lake has been in great form.

Frank Rose, of Cobholm, reeled in a dozen carp, the best a 20lb 3oz mirror, David Richards, of Oulton Broad, had a baker’s dozen up to 22lb 13oz, Tom Gardner, Bradwell, had half a dozen, with three in the upper teens, and another Bradwell rod, Rob Webb, netted two in the upper teens.

On the local match circuit, the River Thurne open event last week was another bream bash, the winner Mike Whittaker with 29lb 1oz.

Other match results. Potter Heigham Sea Anglers (Yarmouth): G Hewitt 2-13; T Watson 2-12; C Bell 1-15. Stalham (Club Lagoon): D Egerton 17-6; D Hammond 17-4; J Higginson 13-15.

Freshwater fixtures. Marsh Trail Lakes Open, Saturday, November 13, Lake C. Draw 9am, fish 10am to 3pm, �15 per head all in fee. Optional gold/silver pegs standing over �200, for booking and details contact Dave on 01502 476219 or 07913 115610.

Freshwater results. Marsh Trail Lakes Open Lake A: 1 Kevin Howard 31lb 13oz, 2 Neville Cooke 21lb 3oz.

Winner section A Matt Collett 12lb 11oz, section B Tony Burden 18lb 7oz.