Confidence in Latham’s/Nash Bait match squad is rewarded

Team boss Daniel Brydon had sufficient confidence in his Latham's/Nash Bait match squad to take his winter holiday and miss the rearranged final round of the Barford Winter Angling League for teams of five.

His belief that the anglers he left behind to defend the title holder's 10 point lead was not misplaced, for Tony Watling came off the bench to join regulars Paul Goldstraw, Andy Leathers, Vince Cross and Ricky Martin to romp home winners with 15 penalty points leaving Dynamite Deben and DAIWA Angling Direct Gold both trailing on 19.

Without a man in the top three list the rampant champions scored vital section points to clinch the title with a score of 90 followed by Dynamite Deben on 104 and DAIWA AD with a previous discrepancy corrected, with 113.

Kevin Ford in charge of Sunday's proceedings with Warren Martin declared 'Daniel Brydon's outfit clearly had the edge over the other challengers in that they scored highly in low weight sections. They have been consistent all through and that is why they have won this contest again.'

And the reaction from the triumphant champions? 'We've done it for Daniel, he knew we could,' smiled Vince Cross who finished individual runner up of the series behind Richard Bond who forged ahead with a 101lb 4oz winner in the final leg thus boosting his winning margin to 26lb 10oz over Cross who had fished a tie with 12 points.

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Bond not shaken but certainly stirred by his plum draw at peg 17 on the Pleasure lake could not go wrong and heaved out carp to 8lb in his three figure catch followed by Kevin Kingston-Miles (Barford Tackle) with 83lb 8oz from peg 16 on the Willow and Warren Martin (Dynamite Deben) with 74lb 5oz from Pleasure lake 9.

Commenting on the strength of the league, fished during the coldest weeks of the year, fishery manager Sarah Thomson who constantly strives to maintain interest, said 'Its been a splendid league this year and Daniel (Brydon) has organised it superbly and his team fished brilliantly to win it again.'

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The end of season open events on the tidal rivers produced mixed results.

On the river Yare at the Beachamp Arms Brian Weavers (Sportsmans) lifted out a 27lb 10oz winning bag of bream on worm on the feeder. Ian Bailey (NDAA) was runner up with 22lb 6oz but he most amazing haul fell to organiser Andy Sutter whose 21lb 11oz contained many quality dace.

According to Sutter who administers the fishing on these popular banks the river Yare is now teaming with dace not to be mistaken for baby chub.

The last chance open on a crystal clear river Bure at St Benets Abbey benefited the anglers drawing the end pegs. Veteran Keith Fickling won with 12lbs 14oz from the bottom end while Bob Nutt (North Walsham) was runner up with 12lb 12oz of similar fish from below Ant mouth.

It was a superb end of season for pleasure anglers on the river Yare at Bramerton specially after nightfall when bream to 7lb featured in nets well into three figures.

On the non tidals chub were numerous from the river Wensum freshened by recent rainfall and one of the best reported was a 7lb 7oz monster for Norwich expert Steve Hunt.

Reviewing the season there was great encouragement for pike anglers with repeated reports that anglers using lures and dead baits on the rivers Thurne, Bure and Wensum as well as the main Broads bagged numerous pike to low double figures. Not all of these were Jacks but female juveniles that augur well for the future.

However, as the Environment Agency has warned, the unlawful practice of setting baited long lines for pike that has been ongoing ever since the species had a market value, now around �2 per pound, is continuing.

Suspicious activities of this nature must be instantly reported as must the discovery of eel nets containing many coarse fish for almost certainly their destiny is a freezing plant.

It is understood forensic science is capable of identifying the water source of a frozen coarse fish bait. Time now perhaps to take a few samples into the laboratories.

• If we do not have enough alien species in the Broads,l what with an estimated three to four thousand marauding mink, hundreds of american signal crayfish, as well as zander and catfish.

We are now informed we have another in Barton Broad – a foreign killer shrimp (Dikerogammorus villosus) otherwise known as the pink peril.

This is no innocent one and a quarter inch long crustacean but a voracious mini-monster that will sink its teeth into anything that resembles protein. Its quarry are aquatic insects, water snails, native fresh water shrimps and worse still fish spawn and newly hatched fish larvae.

It is feared it will spread from Barton to all parts of the Broads and rivers by natural flow, bird plumage or on anglers wellies for it seems to possess a rubber fetish.

So is this new plague really a threat to fish stocks?

Too early to say but on Grafham Water where the shrimp were discovered in 2010 the resident trout seem to regard this little pest as a welcome addition to their diet to the point where Fly fishermen are imitating it as a sunken lure.

It is encouraging that the signal crayfish infestation appears to be under control targeted by humans, otters and most recently a deadly virus.

Perhaps we should trust Mother Nature to deal with the killer shrimp as she has done with other aliens such as the zander and the catfish that anglers have accepted as worthy quarry.

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