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ANGLING: Leave dredging to the experts
4:30pm Saturday 2nd November 2013 in Sport
Gerald Stratford writes a monthly angling column for the Mail
I HEARD some rather disturbing news this week – Owen Patterson, the environment secretary, wants to introduce a ‘dredge your own river’ scheme.
Dredging is a highly skilled job (I know, having worked as a dredger in the past) and it is not a task to be undertaken by any Tom, Dick or Harry.
I’m also a countryman who has spent his life in and around farms with land drainage problems and I have yet to see a farmer with the skills needed to manage a dredging operation.
Dredging on Oxfordshire’s main artery, the Thames, has almost stopped, with the professionals who used to do the job having mostly retired without passing on their training to younger people.
Outside contractors will be too expensive and may also lack the skills needed for the job.
I’ve seen ditches dug the wrong way, which actually increases flooding.
I’m sorry to say that this stinks of DEFRA trying to do the work on the cheap without thinking of the consequences. It doesn’t just affect us fishermen, but the whole community.
So come on Mr Patterson, get real and think long term, not just a quick fix.
IT’S that time of year for some of us to have a crack at the Farmoor pike (as reported in last week’s paper).
I can’t wait to have a go for its famed, but elusive, monsters. I’ve made new traces and loaded new braid on my reels, so it’s all systems go!
I KNOW there are a fair few sea anglers residing in the county and for any shore fishermen, now is a good time to try for a cod or whiting.
At popular spots like Chesil Beach, you need to cast a minimum of 100 yards with a pulley rig loaded with ragworm and squid.
Be prepared to blank, but the rewards can be great.
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