Record-holding angler says he was banned from Norfolk fishery because he is too good
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Fishing is often seen as a refuge from the backbiting and petty rivalries of every day life.
But now a Norfolk angler claims to have been banned a popular fishing lake because he is too good.
Kevin Clarke caught 848 pounds of carp, a county record, at Bergh Apton fishery in late August
He now claims that he has been told not to return.
The owner of the fishery, Derek Harvey, has denied banning Mr Clarke but was unavailable for further comment.
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Since early May, Mr Clarke, from Runham, near Great Yarmouth, had been competing with four other anglers from Mulbarton Fishing Club in a team named the Coffin Dodgers. The match at Bergh Apton lake was round 13 of their summer league.
The venue, a commercial carp fishery in south Norfolk, is well-known in the angling world for what Mr Clarke describes as 'regular good bags of fish'.
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'There are thousands of fish in there,' he says. 'There are so many fish in there, they are starving. They nearly climb up the bank after you.'
Before the match began, the five anglers drew lots to determine the position – known as a peg – from where they would cast out.
Mr Clarke was allocated peg number one and tackled up.
Normally, angling matches continue uninterrupted for five hours.
However, the day was warm, with the fish retained in the keep nets vulnerable to the heat, and such was Mr Clarke's haul – within an hour and a half he had bagged 200lb.
The match had to be stopped three times for the fish to be weighed and released back into the water.
In the end, he had caught the equivalent of almost four hundred bags of sugar worth of carp.
'I got a tremendous bag of fish,' Mr Clarke says. 'No-one will ever catch that again. It was an unbelievable weight.'
Three weeks later, the club's anglers returned to Bergh Apton.
Chris Forder, club chairman, says that the owner, Mr Harvey, told him that Mr Clarke, who was that week away on holidays, was now banned from fishing at the lake.
The chairman says Mr Harvey explained that he 'did not understand fishing but had been receiving phone calls from other clubs telling him Mr Clarke was up to all sorts of things'.
Mr Clarke is adamant. 'The only reason I got banned was for catching too many fish,' he says. 'I broke no rules.'