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West & Fens: Cold nights hamper any real net gains

There were plenty of anglers on the banks as King’s Lynn AA’s Shepherd’s Port complex re-opened on Sunday.

But fish were few and far between, with the consensus being a run of cold nights had put them off the feed.

Jordan Brown had a 7lbs bream from Stantons and there were a few bream caught on Shepherd’s Lake. Bear Lake threw up the odd carp in the 5lbs bracket.

Hopes are high that a re-stocking of carp to all three lakes will spice things up a bit as the water warms. While the bites were few and far between, there was plenty of banter as anglers got back on the banks of waters that have become synonymous with the arrival of spring and summer for many.

“Bad cast,” one opined, as his mate’s rig fell short of the island on Bear. “What you on about – that’s landed in the water,” was the response. “People take this all too seriously sometimes.”

Fishing hits a more laid-back groove for many as the warmer weather comes. But these club lakes can give most places a run for their money when the fish are having it.

I caught carp that pulled like trains on there last summer with my £20 float rod and a few quids’ worth of corn and pellets. This is fun fishing, as m’learned friend on Bear Lake observed.

Stillwater fishing is at a premium in some parts of the country, where conservation groups are buying up waters and turfing anglers off. Something like 60 pits have been lost in the East Midlands, according to local pike anglers.

Now there are fears some of Cemex’s portfolio of pits could go the same way as the company looks to unload the lot.

The Angling Trust is trying to broker a deal and unite clubs which might have the financial muscle to buy some of those in the Thames and Lea valleys. What will happen to some of the lesser-known waters is anyone’s guess.

There’s an obvious question angling needs to be asking here, behind the scenes. If our biggest commercial fishery provider wants out, what does it say about the future of our stillwaters.

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