Browning Hot Rods win second round of Barford Winter League

Browning Hot Rods lived up to their name on Sunday when they scorched to victory in the second round of the Barford Winter League.

With only one man in the top four list they turned up the heat in the low catch sections to post 17 penalty points.

This score boosted their league total to 37, leaving them a comfortable seven points ahead of their nearest challengers.

They are Barford Tackle, who were league leaders after the first round but slumped in the second to 29 on the scoreboard to end with 44 in the table while Saxmundham Tackle, second on the day with 19, entered the main race to finish overall with 47.

Top individual on the day was league organiser and Saxmundham skipper Daniel Brydon.

He sat on peg 6 on the willow without a solitary bite for two hours. Then the carp suddenly switched into feeding mode.

'I admit I had given up hope and was about to take a stroll around the fishery when I had my first bite of the day.

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'This was a carp of around 10lb and then I had another turning a poor day into a good one,' he recalled.

'In the second half I netted a number of smaller fish and weighed in 64lb 10oz, enough to beat Matt Bunting of JB who weighed on 54lb 13oz from peg 2.'

Vince Cross (Saxmundham) was third with 47lb 7oz from peg 48 on the Railway and with another team section win Brydon's men seemed set for victory.

'Unfortunately, one of the team pulled a grueller of a peg but even so we are back in the running,' he smiled.

On the River Wensum bream up to 5lb featured in the Angling Direct series along riverside.

Mick Hanks (Suffolk AD) pulled off an incredible victory with his biggest fish hooked right on the final whistle without actually detecting a bite.

'Baiting a feeder with worm and maggot I had been in a real ding-dong battle with Tom Bindley who had been hauling out bream one after another in the final hour.

'I believed he had overtaken me but then I caught this best fish of the day at over 5lb.

'The whistle had gone but when I lifted my tackle to pack it away this huge slab was on the other end.

'And when I weighed in 52lb 1oz I still believed I was only runner-up,' he admitted.

However, Bindley (Daiwa AD) always believed he was beaten.

It turned out his bream taken on similar tactics came in at 50lb 13oz, just one small skimmer of 21oz short of the money.

A happy Hanks concluded. 'For around ten years I have been match fishing on the River Wensum and this was the first time I have drawn among the bream.

'I asked myself: is this the start of a good run?'

With the thermometer rising to almost spring levels, the fish fed at Cobble Acre where Mark Seaman (Aylsham) won the midweek open with 63lb 11oz of carp and clubmate Keith Ashman totalled 59lb 12oz.

On the strength of these returns former international angler Jim Randell is commencing a Saturday series there (01692 503014)

With a massive gallonage of floodwater still to run off from the flood plains river level are expected to remain high until next week.

Even so chub are expected where access to the bank is available on the rivers Wensum, Bure and Yare.

On the tidals the great torrent of drainage water running to the sea continues and some fish appear to have migrated to the lower reaches of the river Bure at Acle. Fish have also been caught from the river Thurne above Potter Heigham.

Fishing these spots can be hit or miss, with fish there today but gone tomorrow.

Thus river anglers may not wish to waste the remainder of their river season on such speculative venues when the River Yare at Bramerton, River Wensum in Norwich and River Bure at Wroxham are beckoning.

For pike anglers prospects are rated highly.

Employing deadbait or artificial lures that keep anglers on the move are recommended on the River Wensum in Norwich while on the River Bure from Wroxham to Horning a dinghy is required.

According to the regulars the best baits there are mackerel, herring and sardine and other fish smelling foodstuffs such as fish sausages recommended by Norwich expert Nick Beardmore.

And as reported on these pages last week pristine perch await the active angler with a spinning rod.

Another worthwhile tip – try a whitebait available from any fishmonger. These little silver morsels could temp a monster stripey.

On the pleasure lakes Swangey's potential for quality catches of carp to over 20lb and bream to 12lb rose following the thaw.

At Waveney Valley James Amhoff of Norwich bagged two mirrors in the high teens and Mark Benson of Suffolk one of 22lb 8oz.