Angling: Support to end controversial close season is on the rise

Andy Mortimer had a fruitful day on the River NIdd. PIC: Steve Fearnley
Andy Mortimer had a fruitful day on the River NIdd. PIC: Steve Fearnley
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Saturday’s glorious June 16 opening could well be the last of a long-standing but controversial angling tradition.

A recent angling poll showed 71 per cent of 7,000 votes in favour of abolishing the coarse fish close season, and the research study group assessment stated: “As a consequence they found no conclusive evidence that the close season is necessary to protect fish stocks in rivers, and the current evidence of the impact of angling around the spawning period on coarse fish populations remaining circumstantial.”

With that in mind, the days of the close season could be numbered.

Meanwhile, all reliable river monitoring stations are showing levels to be at an all-time low, with some registering minus on the average summertime level scale, and all major venues are running crystal clear – not ideal for the long-awaited opening few days.

River craft will play a big part over the coming weeks with most of those in the know looking for the shallow gravel runs and naturally oxygenated swims.

Leeds & District’s Kirk Hammerton on the River Nidd has been transformed recently by a group of dedicated volunteers and should be a great place to start any early-season trips, with the famous Horseshoe Bend and downstream Farmhouse runs near-certainties for a decent catch of chub and barbel to traditional stick and caster or maggot tactics.

The Swale could be a ‘river of two halves’ this season due to the exploits of Mr Unwelcome Monster Common Seal, and, unfortunately, the usual stocks to be seen beneath Topcliffe’s river bridge look to have suffered from someone’s veracious dietary needs.

Slightly better news though from Bradford No 1, and reports from its Thornton Bridge fishery farther downstream are that enormous shoals of chub and barbel are present and onlookers are watching them take thrown-free offerings with no signs of anxiety. Let’s hope these reported ‘exaggerated shoals’ at Thornton are the result of a migration from the danger at Topcliffe (or perhaps it’s just coincidence).

The last of the spring league events saw records tumble on the Aire and Calder Canal around Great Heck with the first super ton of the season.

Bradford’s Craig Turbitt took the win with 40 bream and skimmers for a staggering 105-12. Big-weight specialist John Cyrowski was pushed into second with another bumper canal catch of 70lb consisting of 29 breamlets. As this part of the canal sees fewer matches because of the river season opening it could be a great place to have a day’s feeder fishing as the shoals should feel less pressured, and you might just have the bank to yourself. Always a one-off and a venue helped by daily tides and resulting flow, the Wharfe at Ulleskelf fished brilliantly for the first of the big Leeds DASA opens.

Headingley star Stuart Thompson took the coveted Brittania Trophy with 12 barbel for a terrific 38-12, all on his trusty but dusty home-made stick floats.

Results

Armley Ac at Redwood on Redwood Lake: 1, M Cooper 80; 2, D Fish 53; 3, P Howard 50; 4, D Wilson 39.

Dragon AC at Barnburg, Middle Lake: 1, Robby Robins 63-01 (also won Golden Peg); 2, Dale Evans 57-10; 3, Kevin Legg 55-04; 4, VisitorNeil 54-13.

Nosher’s Old Boys (Viking Hawk Tues): 1, B Huntington 81-02; 2, J Sims 53-06; 3, R Evans 48-00.

Viking Saturday Open (Hawk): 1, S Bean 91-02; 2, B Hardcastle 70-02; 3, L Hardcastle 68-12; 4, ABlythe 68-09.

Spring Close Old Boys (Viking Hawk): 1, F Buike 85-11; 2, R Scott 78-08; 3, L Varley 70-05; 4,J Chapman 63-02.

Apollo AC (Viking Fox): 1, A Bowness 71-15; 2, M Bainton 47-06; 3, J Greenwood 46-06.

Rothwell AS (Viking Deer): 1, F Britton 87-08; 2, C Wardman 64-12; 2,P Hurdis 46-08.

Angle Lakes, Open Lookout Sunday: 1, John Nelson 137-09; 2, John Dryden 128-06; 3, Geordie Atkins 66-06; 4, Lee Slater 62-13.

Angel Lakes, Open Bowes Friday: 1, Ethan Bradley 141-07; 2, Liam Doyle 76-15; 3, John Foster 73-03.

Leeds Brittania Ham Ulleskelf: 1, S Thompson 38-04; 2, A Parr 18-12; 3, J Jordan 11-12; 4. B Foster 11-02.

Mirfield Saturday League Great Heck: 1, C Turbitt 105-12; 2, J Cyrowski 70-00; 3, S Crossley 48-14; 4, S Haigh 37-11; 5, P Barron 33-07. Final League Result: 1, S Clegg 246pts; 2, S Haigh 224pts; 3, B Farrar 218pts.

Mirfield Open Aire and Calder: 1, S Haigh 19-06; 2, P Barron 19-03; 3, D Kershaw 16-12; 4 I Dawson/ J Deakin 15-04.

Yarnbury AC Bacon Pond Woodlands Cup: 1, A Addy 26-02; 2, F Prudham19-12; 3, D Atha 13-08; 4, R Juniper 10-03.

AJ Tackle Rowland Rd Lindholme Bonsai: 1, A Thornton 91-06; 2, A Burdeken 56-15; 3, G Thornton 52-04.

West Yorkshire Wagglers AC Pool Bridge Farm: 1, J Slater 39-08; 2, G Hargreaves 31-13; 3, D Owens 22-03; 4, S Parsons 21-06.

Park Piscatorials Raker Highbank: 1, D Shaw 99-00; 2, A Roze 79-00; 3, G Mallinson 48-00.

Bradford No1 Raskelf Veterans: 1, Bill Scott 45-11; 2, Ricky Malone 32-08; 3, John Stark/ Pete Wilson 30-06.

European Team Feeder Challenge Ostellato Canal, Italy: 1, Team England Green 38pts; 2, Team England Blue 39pts; 3, Holland 40pts; 4, Italy 47pts; 5, France 48.5 pts.

Kippax Park, Lapwing: 1, Gareth Watson 93-02; 2, Neil Rymer 67-13; 3, Andy Barker 58-12; 4, Nigel Carr 57-13.

Kippax Park, Lapwing: 1, Neil Rymer 82-13; 2, Bob Rymer 66-14; 3, Andy Barker 66-05; 4, Jonny Wake 61-10.

Moor Monkton Pools, Wednesday Rover: 1, Matt Wharton 94-15; 2, Dave Wright 78-12; 3, Mick Green 77-12; 4, Tony Hewson 74-11.

White Horse AC, Ben Lee Lakes, Ben: 1, P Sharpe 29-10; 2, I Day 24-08; 3, P Smolka 23-00; 4, D Hurley 19-04.

K L Tackle, Poppleton, Horseshoe: 1, R Pickles 132-00; 2, D Bolland 80-00; 3, J Sawyer 75-00.

Westlands AC, Poppleton, Horseshoe: 1, S Holmes 76-00; 2, C Greenwood 75-04; 3, G Chalk 74-02; 4, P Roberts 68-08; 5, P Hutley 68-00.

Poppleton Lakes, Horseshoe, Thursday Evening: 1, S Brown 81-06; 2, T Bainbridge 74-10; 3, G Peake 69-14.

Match Diary

Saturday

Kippax Park: Saturday Open, Lapwing or Osprey, contact 07967000746.

Poppleton: Saturday Open, pools £15, draw cafe 10am, contact Roger 01904737279.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscar’s, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Moorfields Farm: 54 pegs, tickets £16, contact 07710817150.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Birkwood Farm: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01132 80609.

Viking: Saturday Open, Deer Pond, 24 pegs, £16, contact 01405 785206.

Tollerton Ponds: Open Match all ages, (Kingfisher 20 pegs, Coot 18 pegs, Heron 32 pegs), contact 01347 838115.

Sunday

Leeds and Liverpool: Kirkstall ,contact Roger Movley 01132 772215.

Listerhills: Leeds and Liverpool Canal, contact Eddie Harrison 07518721051.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Oak Tree Leisure: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01347 810686.

Poppleton: Sunday Open, 50 pegs draw 11am Cafe, contact 07425 146677.

Monday

Woodlands: over-50s, 30 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01845 520110.

Langwith Lakes: over-60s, 30 pegs, tickets £10, contact 01904 431874.

Tollerton Ponds: over-50s, tickets £16, contact 01347 838115.

Tuesday

Kippax Park: over-50s, draw 10am, tickets £10, contact 07967000746.

Wednesday

Leeds and District: Moor Monkton Pools, draw 10am, contact 07967000746.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscar’s, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Tollerton Ponds: open match, all ages, contact 01347 838115.

Thursday

Poppleton Lakes: Thursday, draw car park 5pm, pools £11, contact Roger 01904 737279.