Barford lives up to its reputation with some big holiday festival treats

Barford Lakes lived up to its reputation. Picture: Antony Kelly

Barford Lakes lived up to its reputation. Picture: Antony Kelly - Credit: Evening News � 2005

Fishing festivals – the alliteration rolls off the tongue with poetic ease, tempting match anglers to enter these marquee events with high hopes of great sport and handsome prizes.

And most often their interest pays off, for collective failure is just a bad dream.

Certainly the Barford Fishery lived up to its piscatorial promise during its holiday festival when keen competitors banking on three figure catches were rewarded on the Railway/Willow Lakes venue.

Ben Smith, one of Norfolk's most successful open event participants and national still water champion, compiled a day one top catch of 137lb 3oz from peg 22.

On day two he achieved runner-up with 140lb 4oz from peg 40 – his aggregate of 277lb 7oz scoring three vital penalty points, which earned him the top prize of £190.

Commenting on his best performance of the year, the 33-year-old Stalham paint sprayer, fishing under the Marukyu brand, revealed his success was due to hitting the right tactics from get go.

'On day one I fished pellet close in and even during a violent thunderstorm which soaked me to the skin, I kept catching,' he said.

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'On day two, conditions were totally different and I caught the fish well up in the water to complete a satisfactory weekend.'

Dave Jarvis (Suffolk Angling Direct) was runner-up after recording the top catch of 167lb 5oz, which added to his first day score of 72lb 13oz guaranteed him cash prizes totalling £185.

Paul Ashford (Barford Tackle) was third with 5pp (175lb 5oz), then Andy Turner (Wensum Valley) 6pp.

Jarvis, a vital cog in Barford's match machinery, said the event had met great expectations and added: 'Generally, it was a test of skill and resolve, especially in Saturday's erratic climate.'

Results on the domestic open match circuit also boomed.

At Wicklewood, Steve English (Fakenham) won with 149lb, Craig Glading (Rhino) scored with 119lb 11oz at Reepham and Paul Ashford (Barford) won with 112lb 14oz on the Match Lake.

Three figure nets at Cross Drove were headed by Dave Pearce (Wisbech) with 123lb 9oz and Aidie Moore (Avenue Angling) with 126lb 4oz.

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