New Trust faces cool reception
The seemingly relentless Siberian bite in the atmosphere appears to have relented.The half-inch thickness of ice that sealed local lakes and ponds against anglers hoping to enjoy a happy start to their new year was steadily melting this week and rod-and-line sport is now poised to return to normal winter levels.
The seemingly relentless Siberian bite in the atmosphere appears to have relented.
The half-inch thickness of ice that sealed local lakes and ponds against anglers hoping to enjoy a happy start to their new year was steadily melting this week and rod-and-line sport is now poised to return to normal winter levels.
However, it may be reported that the brand new unified sporting body, carefully named the Angling Trust, has not come in from the cold and still faces a chilly reception among grass-roots rodmen and women.
Formed 'to defend our rights at the highest level' many of its critics believe this combination of various failed bodies of the past is already dead in the water.
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The long-serving Aylsham and District Angling Society secretary Keith Sutton declared the Trust offered his members nothing and certainly no more than the National Federation of Anglers had done before it was swallowed up by the Trust along with the National Federation of Sea Anglers and various other disparate bodies.
Notable names who have not joined up are the Salmon and Trout Association, the National Pike Anglers Club and perhaps even more significant the Professional and Commercial Fisheries Association otherwise the proprietors of local permit waters.
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'I understand that some of our big local angling bodies such as the Norwich and District Anglers Association will not be subscribing to this new organisation, and if there is nothing in it for them so it is the case for my club members,' declared Sutton.
'We already pay rod licence fees for a full adult of around �25 so for my club to fork out �200 for membership and another �20 per annum for individuals without any tangible benefits it is simply not on.'
That view was echoed by the respected president of the Stalham Angling Club Len Reeves who said: 'The Stalham Club will not be joining the Angling Trust nor I believe will my members. Personally I cannot see any tangible benefits for our money.'
It seems that the National Federation of Sea Anglers and the Sea Anglers Matchmen's Federation have both been assimilated into the new Trust so it is probable that clubs and individuals that wish to compete in competitions controlled by the Trust will be forced to pay up one way or another.
Sheringham's Tony Thomas, who organises beach events along the East Coast, said: 'It is probable that individuals and angling clubs who want to compete in tournaments run by the Trust will be obliged to pay up but small clubs will not see any benefits in paying a subscription and they along with individuals fishing for the pot are likely to give it a miss.'
Local anglers who braved the bitter conditions were not suitably rewarded. After breaking the ice on Sunday to clear swims in their local boatyard lagoons, Stalham members weighed in abysmal catches.
Winner was Roger Farmer with 1lb 9oz, then Denis Pyecroft 1lb 2oz with a tie between Colin Jonas and Dave Dearman with 1lb.
Nearly 40 anglers turned out for the Holt New Year Open at Kelling, the winner Richard Burt with 5lb 6oz, then Mark Pinder 2lb 15oz and Craig Buy 1lb 11oz.
The North Norfolk Evening Sea League at Kelling resulted in P Symmons (Briston) 5lb 13oz, Tony Thomas (Sheringham) 5lb 4oz, Bill Temple (Blakeney) 3lb 14oz.