Big catches are the stuff of dreams, despite conditions

Paul Hatch shows off a magnificent 40lb 5oz mirror carp which he calls Bonnie caught from Billingf

Paul Hatch shows off a magnificent 40lb 5oz mirror carp which he calls Bonnie caught from Billingford Lakes. Paul, from Norwich, spent two days walking around the lakes spotting the fish before he baited up a couple of spots with boilies. - Credit: Archant

We're fishin' in the rain, just fishin' in the rain. What a glorious feelin', we're fishin' again.

We're laughin' at the clouds, so dark up above, but the sun's in our hearts on the river we love.

Not quite the same as the lyrics sung by Gene Kelly in the 1952 film, but certainly in tune with the anglers orchestrating some quite phenomenal catches of roach and bream on the tidal River Yare on Saturday.

This was the fourth round of the Nisa Feeder series. Showers were forecast.

Showers? A relentless four-hour tropical monsoon was a more apt description.


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Amazingly, fish fed throughout the torrent on a split tide, marked by quality catches that were the stuff of dreams during such inclement weather conditions.

With the early ebb running crystal clear, Dusty Kidell (PWA) set out his stall for roach at peg 47. He sowed seeds of hemp and tares and his pole tactics produced a fabulous harvest totaling 30lb 4oz.

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By contrast, Ian Bailey (Dukes) stuck to the feeder rig with worm to claim runners-up spot from 143 with 26lb of mainly skimmers, followed by John Taylor (Sensas Mk1), who netted 24lb 8oz of roach from 46.

Considering the conditions, this was a truly amazing match where 54 anglers finished with double figures. This result will maintain enthusiasm for the Saturday series come what may and encourage a sell-out field to turn up at this venue for Sunday's Feeder Championship.

The annual Eastern Region Police Championship staged on the rivers Bure and Thurne was won by the Suffolk outfit with 14 penalty points, followed by Norfolk on 18 and Essex with the same score, but a lower aggregate.

Individual winner on the day was R Week (Suffolk) with 33lb 14oz from Cold Harbour, followed by T Rodgers (Herts) with 27lb 8oz from St Benets.

On the match lakes, Dave Jarvis (Suffolk AD) headed the Railway with 115lb 6oz, Kevin Clarke (Mulbarton) won at Hill Farm with 105lb 11oz and Paul Gardiner topped Barford Sunday with 156lb 8oz.

Club anglers bagged up too. At Wicklewood, David Newitt won the Billys event with 163lb 4oz, while at Bergh Apton, Jason Rowell led Zenith with 160lb.

Gareth Ward topped Mulbarton with 138lb 5oz at Bridge Farm, Litcham and Roy Turton completed the Aylsham double at Reepham, his best 113lb 11oz.

Adrian Scarfe headed Attleborough at Barford with 101lb while Nat Kopti crashed out 204lb 2oz with Oddfellows at Colton.

n Two of the top angling organisers in Norfolk and Suffolk have heartedly endorsed last week's proposal to take younger generations to the water by staging frequent well organised junior contests.

Both are respected parents and grandparents who complain that overbearing child protection law is deterring genuine adult volunteers coming forward.

Norwich and District Angling Association secretary Tony Gibbons said: 'Properly organised junior competitions offering attractive prizes would drive us forward to revive a sport which is seriously threatened. Steps have to be taken to hammer out a more formative blueprint for the future, for at present our sport is dominated by the elderly getting older.

'We are bogged down by severe legislation that requires sensible reform.'

That point was emphasised by Suffolk's leading event organiser Andy Wilson-Sutter.

'Years back I introduced primary school kids to angling activity and took them to watch senior matches to give them an appetite to fish against each other. It resulted in producing some of today's top match anglers.

'That's how to revive junior interest, but we have to unravel some of the tight knots of red tape that are holding us back.

'I say lower some of the legal barriers.'

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