Fine effort from anglers for East Anglian Air Ambulance charity

Caring anglers who support humanitarian good causes raised a hefty three-figure sum for East Anglian Air Ambulance at the inaugural Wensum Autumn Festival.

After the weigh-in along the banks of the Lenwade Bridge fishery, a grateful Amy Greenwood accepted on behalf of this vital service a sum of �400, with more to come from generous match sponsors and supporters expected to boost proceeds to the �500 mark.

Organiser Keith Westgate, who thanked all the sponsors, said he was delighted with the outcome and added: 'Unfortunately, we did not include the river Wensum in the match because of flood conditions. A snap poll on this issue resulted in an emphatic no vote so we pegged the whole event on the Lenwade lake fishery.'

The main quarry were small carp, bream and roach. On day one the man himself, Keith Westgate (Nisa Feeders), won with a mixed bag 14lbs 4oz while team-mate Nick Larkin was runner-up with 12lbs 5oz.

Day two winner was Mark Colman (Bait Tech) with 18lbs 10oz then Dave Jarvis (Deben) with 18lbs 8oz, including the heaviest fish of the day, a carp of 3lbs 11oz.

The individual champion was Kevin Humphrey (Suffolk AD) whose two-day aggregate of 19lbs 1lbs won a splendid trophy, match tackle worth �100 and pools cash.

Top team were NDAA trio Tony Gibbons, Brian Bygrave and Albert Farrow; their section points score of 37 gained a wondrous award of a crystal glass trophy, more fishing tackle and a share of the pools cash.

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Runners-up were the Nisa feeder squad of Nick Larkin, Keith Westgate and Mo Morrish with 34 points and they along with others in the frame – section winners etc – received consolation prizes.

'Fish were hard to tempt on the usual match baits,' said winning team captain Tony Gibbons. 'I think carp pellets have been the main bait on the lakes and it was quite a time before the fish, especially roach and bream, became accustomed to maggots and casters.'

That analysis was endorsed by second-day winner Mark Colman.

'In clear water I refined my tackle to 1lb breaking strain line and a tiny size 20 hook baited with double pinkie to tempt the vital bites,' he said.

On other match lakes, carp produced high double- and three-figure returns, the best of the week being Norwich rod Simon Denmark's 121lbs 8oz at Mill Farm on Sunday while Karen Brooks of Thetford netted a 98lb 14oz winner there on Monday.

Vince Cross (Nash Bait) was Cross Drove's best with 108lbs 6oz while at club level top veteran was Paul Manthorpe with 108lbs 4oz at Bergh Apton, with Mal Dobson completing the Vets midweek double with 63lbs 6oz at Topcroft and 38lbs 2oz at Aldeby.

In sporting terms, Ipswich for some years have remained in the shadow of the Norwich success story. But they came to the fore at the Suffolk water park where they beat Norwich by 201 to 162 section points in a post office challenge match, the city consolation individual winner Bob Didwell with 46lbs 6oz.

On the specimen carp lakes, fish of the week was a 32lbs 6oz Taswood mirror for Dave Fry, of Tasburgh, Richard Abbs of Hethersett netted a PB common of 31lbs 2oz and other specimens fell to permit holders Steve Page, Alan Holland, Mick Nock and Tony McKail.

Swangey Lakes' best was a 27lbs 1oz mirror for Yarmouth's Ian Miller with commons up to 25lbs for Jack Turner of Attleborough and Kevin Dennis, Besthorpe.

• Pike anglers fishing the upper river Thurne are mystified by the disappearance of dead baits from their hooks apparently without so much of a quiver from their floats or bite indicators.

'It is those blasted otters nicking our baits,' declared one angry pike man last week while others wonder whether they have been visited by alien American signal crayfish in this quiet stretch above Martham ferry.

At present there appears to be no feasible answer.

Otters cannot breathe nor eat beneath the surface and if one of them snatched a dead fish from the river bed it would head for the bank and surface dragging the fishing tackle behind it.

Mink, of which there are numbers on the Broads, would do likewise.

Signal crayfish, which can grow up to 12cm in length, could strip a dead fish from a pike hook in a matter of minutes, but according to the Environment Agency these aliens have not shown up at the top of the river Thurne even though Crayfish traps have been discovered containing dead otters down river.