Barry Harding wins Yare contest

Shortening hours of daylight, cold nights, crystal clear waters and the annual instinct of tidal water coarse fish to migrate into safer winter havens immune from the threat of toxic saltwater surges combined to dash anglers' hopes of heavy catches staged along the Beauchamp Arms in the revived River Yare championship.

Just two hefty bream tempted on worm baiting a feeder rig, and a smattering of small roach totalled 10lb 2oz and was sufficient to win the title and a �250 cash prize for Norwich rod Barry Harding.

Drawing peg 102 the PW Angling matchman netted his two vital slabs in the early stages before the flood tide slackened and turned to ebb sucking in chilled drainage from the non-tidals, the floodplain dykes and Rockland Broad.

'We had a fair turnout for this hastily-arranged championship but were unlucky the weather turned against us,' declared organiser Andy Wilson-Sutter. 'The winner was the only angler to bag decent bream and he was in front after the first hour.'

Paul Cooper, of the East Anglian Piscatorials who correctly judged a roach net would put him in the money, scaled 8lb 10oz from peg 143 then the next four in the frame headed by Mick Mirgaux of Deben with 6lb 11oz all finished within the 6lbs bracket.

This was the final open event on the River Yare until next season and Wilson-Sutter declared satisfaction with anglers' response since he took over the organisation and administration of the popular venue.

'We have enjoyed a brilliant summer and early autumn here and the river remained busy all most everyday.'

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Elsewhere the final of the Cross Drove series was won by Mark Pollard (Shimano) who pocketed the �1000 first prize for his two day catch of 118lb 12oz.

On the lakes Norwich matchman David Cooper completed a splendid Thursday/Saturday double at Barford with 111lb 8oz and 144lb while the top club catch fell to Oddfellows winner Nat Kopti with 111lb 2oz.

What with the two-day midweek festival and Saturday's Broads Championship the tidal rivers were expected to feature hectic match action.

So what are the championship prospects? Last week Tony Anderson (Suffolk AD) won on the Thurne with a mixed net of skimmers and roach totaling 32lb 2oz lifted out on the pole from a swim below Cess Road boatyard.

This area has to be strongly fancied on Saturday but unless high tides force some colour back into the water a low mixed catch of skimmers and roach in the 20lb range could clinch it.

Yesterday NDAA chairman and Broads organsier Tony Gibbons took time off from cutting out the pegs to offer an up-to-date bulletin from the banks. 'There is a massive head of fish in these rivers but plunging temperatures have taken the edge off their appetites. With the days shortening and massive tides the fish are on the move migrating from the threat of saltwater surges so anglers will fancy the Thurne to produce the 2012 champion.'

On the specimen carp waters fish of the week was a 28lb mirror at Swangey Lakes for Shaun Gee of Halesworth.

Miles Barrell of Ipswich had a common of 21lbsand Banhams John Read an 8lb 8oz tench.

Taswood recorded mirror and common carp in the mid-twenties for Eddie Stevenson of Hempnall, Kevin Smith of Lingwood and Steve Aldous, Great Yarmouth.