Plenty of cod for anglers

Seize the chance to stock up the domestic freezer with succulent cod fillets.That's the immediate message for beach anglers following reports of fair catches of these tasty round fish from the local shores in recent days, writes Roy Webster.

Seize the chance to stock up the domestic freezer with succulent cod fillets.

That's the immediate message for beach anglers following reports of fair catches of these tasty round fish from the local shores in recent days, writes Roy Webster.

Last weekend's brisk easterly winds brought a small run of codling within casting range with well-known beach angler Paul Kerry declaring conditions had been ideal for the fish to move in and likely to stay as the peeler crab shed their hard outer protection during the annual moult.

While these improved catches do not herald a massive revival in the depleted North Sea cod populations, this present flurry of fish suggests that implementing “no go” zones for the commercial fleets on some of the spawning beds a couple of years or more ago has resulted in an upturn in the numbers of surviving cod fry that have grown on to the point where there are more fish between 3lb-5lb available to rod and line anglers both from beach and boat.

“Last weekend's spring tide put some movement in the water and reports from Hopton and Gorleston Pier spoke of individuals taking up to 10 fish with the odd one on the 7lb mark,” said Kerry who bagged a few fish to over 5lb for himself on Monday.

Further south sport was even brisker with one beach match won with around 40lb while anglers fishing for the pot also had fair numbers averaging 3lb apiece.

Most Read

On the freshwater lakes more giant carp were reported from Taswood Fishery. Yarmouth rod David Hawes bagged a brace of commons on the 22lb mark, Chris Neave of Hemsby netted two 21lb mirrors and a 22lb common while Geoff Benson of Stalham banked a common of 21lb 7oz.

Hall Farm Lake, Burgh Castle, was in fair form for medium size carp and with the thermometer rising for the weekend prospects here for carp and tench are rated above average.

Last week competition attention was focused on the Yarmouth Inter-Schools Challenge event staged on the Burgh Castle Fishery by Pete Ready and his wife Kaz.

This event received a five-star rating of success and prompted well-known local club secretary and top match man Lee Arnold, who assisted at the event to declare: “As an angling club secretary concerned about the decline of youngsters at the waterside I was most impressed by this initiative to persuade schoolkids to take up the rod and line. Everyone enjoyed this day and some very fair catches were put on the scales.”

Match result - Individuals: Liam Leyton 20lb 7oz, Zak Pierrie 14lb 1oz, Payson Micklethwaite 6lb 1oz. Section winners L Leyton, G Arnold, A Crowe, Z Pierrie, J Ready, P Micklethwaite.

Team result: Caister High School 10 points, Cliff Park High School 16, Oriel 18, Lynn Grove 22.

Other match results - Jolly Boys, Glen Farm: C Hodgins 56lb 13oz, M Watson 28lb 4oz, C Leonard 24lb 13oz.

The final round of the East Anglia Division of the National Sea League staged at Orford produced fair catches of codling and flatfish. Top individual was Wayne Perring (EA Baits) with 10lb 8oz followed by Yarmouth's John Lacey fishing for No Hope, with 8lb 11oz.

The two teams qualifying for the grand final staged at Blackpool in the autumn are champions North Norfolk Lads and runners-up East Anglia Baits.

Team result on day: No Hope 8 points, North Norfolk Lads 9, Angling Direct Beccles and Morston Creek both 10.

The Environment Agency's decision to try and bridge a shortfall in revenues by raising the cost of the new fishing rod licence for pensioners and disabled by £4.75, while limiting the rise of the full adult permit to 50p to £25 and freezing the juniors at £5, has hit the pockets of the most vulnerable members of the fishing fraternity least able to afford it.

One of the Town's disabled anglers Dave Docwra said he was absolutely outraged by the licence increase and added: “The Environment Agency has singled us out, knowing we don't have the muscle to oppose the people who have upped our permit hugely above the rate of inflation. It's a disgrace,” he stormed.

The new licence tariff which came into effect on April 1 is: full annual adult £25, concessionary for pensioners and disabled £16.75, juniors over the age of 12 £5, children of primary school age exempt.

This week it was reported that the Environment Agency is launching a strenuous crackdown on licence cheats.

Oil-rich fish-based boilies are being banned on a number of carp fisheries after being labelled as piscatorial junk food by scientists.

Simon Coote a fishery expert at the Sparsholt College declared: “Any fish fed on a high oil diet of pellets or boilies is going to suffer health problems similar to ourselves eating nothing but steak and chips.”