Big catches in Barford contest

A keen quartet of Suffolk match men carried off the high class Teams-of-Four challenge tournament staged on the Barford Fishery last Saturday.

A keen quartet of Suffolk match men carried off the high class Teams-of-Four challenge tournament staged on the Barford Fishery last Saturday.

Steve Tyler, Stuart Bracey, Tony Dawson and Dave Carter, competing under a God Knows team tag, chalked up one section win, two seconds and a seventh to run away with the top cash prize of £300 plus section awards after returning an almost invincible score of 11 penalty points that was streets ahead of Lowestoft Drifters on 25 points and Barford Allstars on 26.

A total of 21 teams comprising 84 top rods from all over East Anglia lined up on the Barford Match and Pleasure Lakes, the Willow and the Railway with an angler from each team staked out on each.

And almost from the first whistle sizeable carp came tumbling into landing nets, and although they were not aware that it was a neck-and-neck confrontation the top three individuals at the end were divided by the equivalent of just one small fish.

Warren Martin, one of the resident aces of Barford Allstars finished with 85lb 11oz from the Railway, Glen Mason (Oddfellows) scored 84lb on the Match Lake while Steve Tyler (God Knows) was third with 82lb on the Willow for a section victory that helped boost his team to the top.

Winning team skipper Tony Dawson said: “We had a decent draw and made use of it with a tremendous performance from the lads. We fished to a plan that worked out well for us in what was really a top class team event.”

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The match organiser Daniel Brydon said the challenge went without a hitch and added: “We were delighted to accommodate a sell-out field, and I am most grateful to all those anglers for their support, and to the guys who helped at the weigh-in. It has become clear that winter stillwater tournaments are as popular as ever and we shall certainly consider more of the same in the New Year providing they can be fitted in between the coming league matches.”

Elsewhere on the open circuit the Ferryboat Cup event on the River Wensum was poorly supported mainly due to fixture clashes and an abysmal lack of convenient car parking along Riverside.

The trophy winner was Norwich rod David Gooch who weighed in 10 sizeable bream and some roach for a grand total of 40lb 15oz.

For the remainder of the season match organiser Frank Thompson says he has arranged additional car parking facilities at the skill centre next door to the Ferryboat and hopes this will attract more competitor to the Jim Boulton Memorial annual contest on Boxing Day (entry 01603 764099).

The dates of the New Year Series are January 1, 6, 20; February 10, March 10.

Despite plunging temperatures local clubs were out in force at the weekend with some anglers bagging excellent catches.

Top bag was a quite remarkable 145lb for Terry Gray top of the Oddfellow's card at Barford. Ron Ashby headed the CMG at Railway with 77lb 7oz while on River Waveney at Beccles Paul Cooper of Norwich was top among the Norfolk and Suffolk Veterans with 28lb 6oz of roach.

Beach match catches were excellent especially in North Norfolk where Tony Thomas of Sheringham had whiting to over 1lb in his catch of 12lb 2oz to win round two of the North Norfolk Sea League at Weybourne, thus completing the double after topping the Holt card at Kelling with 8lb 5½oz.

• A plunging thermometer did not deter Bungay carp enthusiast Alan Drain who heaved out a quartet of splendid fish, the best a 31lb 11oz mirror and a common of 24lb from Waveney Valley Lakes where other fish into the high-teens were also noted.

At Swangey Glen Hales of Norwich and Simon Allen of Diss bagged five carp apiece to over 18lbs plus two surprise winter tench of 5lb.

Taverham Lake has been very quiet and by now may well be ice bound as will many others without the aid of aeration pumps.

Top Taverham fish were a 28lb 2oz mirror for Norwich rod Paul Pegg while bailiff Matt Playford had one just under 20lbs.

The 17lb-plus barbel reeled in by Norwich rod Keith Cracknell has regenerated interest on the River Wensum especially at Lenwade Bridge where decent chub to over 5lb have been reported since the floodwater receded (permits at the Bridge pub).

Pike anglers have been out in force on many venues with the most popular the tidal reaches of the Rivers Yare below Thorpe, the Waveney around Beccles and the Bure between Coltishall and Horning, and these are recommended during the Christmas holiday break.

On the main Broads South Walsham and Ranworth are rated excellent prospects as is Martham North Broad where permits must be obtained from the Norfolk Wildlife Trust - application with sae to NWT, 22 Thorpe Road, Norwich.

Predator anglers should be warned that the Environment Agency is establishing a network of informants prepared to note vehicle numbers of rod men taking live fish away in containers. It is understood investigations have already commenced into reported incidents recorded in one local boatyard area. EA law enforcement officer Rupert Piatt commented: “The only way we can get on top of this bylaw abuse is by receiving this sort of information. And vehicle numbers are essential to give us a start.”

• The nation's anglers have voted Norfolk's own local hero John Wilson as the greatest rod man of all time.

Out of 30 well-known names Wilson received 20 per cent of the votes cast by readers of the Angling Times weekly.

The Great Witchingham based all-rounder who has fished all over the world recording his popular TV angling programmes including Go Fishing which ran for 17 years on terrestrial channels and his current series being screened now on the Discovery Channel, is without doubt the most recognised face in the sport.

A gent's hairdresser by trade Wilson took over a Norwich tackle shop in Bridewell Alley which he immediately renamed John's Tackle Den and continued to publish one of the country's most popular Where to Fish in Norfolk and Suffolk - an essential guide for the many thousands of tourists who visited the Broads and Fens for angling during the summer as well as for local beginners.

No other angling programme has ever come close to Go Fishing that captured over three million viewers in the early years. The programme was directly responsible for thousands of people of all ages taking up the sport. Unfortunately the series was switched to a late hour when the younger generation of potential anglers were tucked up in bed and then viewing numbers began to fall away.


Barford Teams-of-Four: Individuals: W Martin (Barford Allstars) 85lb 11oz, G Mason (Oddfellows) 84lb, Steve Tyler (God Knows) 82; Teams: God Knows 11 points, Lowestoft Drifters 25, Barford Allstars 26.

Barford Silverfish: T Anderson (SAD) 19lb 4oz, J Randell (Future Whizzo) 16lb 10oz, M Eales (Pownalls) 11lb 4oz.

Melton Ponds: D Agass (Stalham) 52lb 8oz, J Barrowman (Barford Tackle) 34lb 12oz, R Finch (Deben) 32lb 2oz.

Cross Drove, Saturday: R Frost (Coopers) 28lb 15oz, A Warren (Riverside) 23lb 9oz, D Pearce (Wisbech) 17lb 10oz. Sunday: N Parkinson (Dynamite) 43lb 7oz, S Bracey (Suffolk) 40lb 5oz, D Reeve (Fox Match) 36lb 7oz.

Hill Farm, Banham: D Chadwick (Wymondham) 13lb 3oz, C Wright (Lopham) 11lb 8oz, Jane Burrows (Banham) 8lb 13oz.

King's Lynn Cut Off: A Gibbons (Norwich) 14lb 1oz, R Malle (Clegg Mk1) 13lb 7oz, M Smith (King's Lynn) 12lb 10oz.

Highflyers Lake: F Nixon (March) 72lb, R Burch (Highflyers) 65lb 8oz, D Lee (Wisbech) 48lb 8oz.

Highflyers Lake: J Odey (Methwold) 65lb 8oz, D Pearce Jnr (Wisbech) 63lb 8oz, D Pearce Snr (Wisbech) 28lb 13oz.

ACA Pike Qualifier, North Level: C Neeve (Holbeach) 15lb 3oz, P Roberts (Wisbech) 12lb 8oz, G Gibbons (Wisbech) 11lb 10oz.

River Wensum Ferryboat Cup: D Gooch (Norwich) 40lb 15oz, P Swann (Angling Direct) 27lb, F Thompson (Norwich) 24lb 8oz.

Mill Farm, Thursday: S Rouse (Nomads) 36lb 8oz, D Bates (Kev's Tackle) 21lb 12oz, C Wright (Harleston) 20lb 1oz. Sunday: D Robinson (Aylsham) 42lb 8oz, B Bygraves (EMG) 12lb, P Ashton (Anglers Corner) 10lb 14oz. Monday: D Bates (Kev's) 24lb 3oz, Jane Burrows (Banham) 12lb 5oz, B Bygraves (EMG) 10lb 10oz.

North Norfolk Sea League, Weybourne, round one: R Ives (Blakeney) 5lb 10oz, T Thomas (Sheringham) 5lb 5oz, K Read (Langham) 4lb 8oz. Round two: T Thomas (Sheringham) 12lb 2oz, R Hayward (Cromer) 9lb 13½oz, K Kibblewhite (Sheringham) 9lb 12½oz.


Norfolk and Suffolk Veterans, River Waveney: R Foster 21lb 12oz, D Thompson 18lb 12oz, J Smith 17lb 1oz.

Norfolk and Suffolk Veterans, River Waveney: P Cooper 28lb 6oz, W Coote 24lb 13oz, M Critoph 24lb 3oz.

Mulbarton, River Wensum: S Parker 17lb 4oz, T Bolingbroke 14lb 10oz, C Townsend 13lb 6oz.

Costessey Crown, Railway: R Gray 62lb 3oz, R Haystead 46lb 10oz, N Reynolds 45lb 2oz.

Stalham, Boatyards: A Purdy 12lb 8oz, J Cross 11lb 6oz, L Reeves 9lb 12oz.

Long Stratton, Melton Ponds: M Masters 26lb 4oz, E Brown 14lb 8oz, M Bambridge 13lb 5oz.

Wymondham, Shropham: D Woodley 6lb, M Woodley 4lb 2oz, M Ireland 3lb 8oz.

Jolly Boys, Barford: S Huggins 59lb 6oz, M Manning 46lb 8, B Rilings 30lb 11oz

Prior Engineering, River Waveney: A Hebditch 18lb 8oz, P Newman 14lb 12oz, S Lowe 5lb 8oz.

Prior Engineering, River Waveney: K Colman 16lb 8oz, P Newman 15lb 4oz, S Lowe 13lb 4oz

Norwich Busmen, Taswood: C Canham 23lb 4oz, J French 7lb 14oz, R Buckingham 7lb.

Norwich Disabled, Barford: J Chaplin 47lb 2oz, C Humphreys 23lb 12oz, D Goose 18lb 15oz.

CMG, Railway: R Ashby 77lb 7oz, R Taylor 68lb 2oz, R Gray 36lb 5oz.

CMG, Colton: S Mickleburgh 23lb 12oz, M Covell 22lb 1oz, R Ashby 15lb 6oz.

Oddfellows, Barford: T Gray 145lb, D Mason 45lb 12oz, J Carey 39lb 15oz.

Holt SAC, Kelling: T Thomas 8lb 5½oz, C Howard 7lb 2½oz, T Chadwick 6lb 2oz.


Mill Farm, December 21, 24, 01953 452769.

Jim Boulton Memorial, River Wensum, December 26, 01603 764099.

North Norfolk Rocket House Beach Open, Salthouse, December 30, 01263 822400 or 01263 740989.

Lowestoft Sea Anglers Beach Open, Hopton, December 26, 07889082967.

Holt Sea Anglers Open, January 1, Kelling, 01263 822400

Barford Fishery Clubs should note that the fishery will be closed from Sunday December 24 to January 5 inclusive.