Freeman is king of the Yare again
- Credit: Archant
Will Freeman topped the River Yare's catches again, not once but twice at the weekend, taking his season's winning sequence on Norfolk's supreme tournament venue to five from eight starts.
At Saturday's Nisa Feeder League 10th round he swept the board from golden peg 61 that earned him a cash bonus of £500 for his catch of 25lbs 6oz.
On Sunday he carried off the Preston Innovations All England Feeder Championship by beating a galaxy of match stars with 25lbs 8oz from peg 110.
Taken at face value this was an outstanding feat by our Framlingham fisherman. But there was much more to it than just catching enough fish to beat off his opponents in the sell-out field lining up for riches and glory.
For Preston-sponsored Freeman it is almost always a battle for brains over brawn and certainly it was a thoughtful assessment by marrying method to momentum that gave him that vital edge.
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Now seriously regarded as Freeman of the Yare, the 41-year-old fishing tackle agent, who kick-started his summer season by winning the Irish Feeder Festival, opted for pole tactics for roach on Saturday when he bagged 120 fish to finish more than 7lbs ahead of runner-up John Taylor (Sensas) with 19lbs 14oz from peg 103, followed by Wayne Anderson (Daiwa AD) with 19lbs 13oz from 101.
'Saturday's results suggested the bream were either absent or not feeding in numbers. On Sunday at peg 110 in the feeder event I opted for a light 30gram rig baited with tiny bits of worm bouncing along the river bed and I finished with 141 roach,' said the champion, who ended the weekend nearly £800 richer.
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Mick Hanks (Suffolk AD) was Sunday's runner-up with a mixed bag of 16lbs 8oz from 148 then Brian Weavers (Sportsmans) 15lbs 14oz from 101.
River Yare events promoter Andy Wilson-Sutter hailed the weekend results of local and national competitions as 'terrific'.
'They came from all over the country to fish for bream, but they had to bow to Will Freeman who assessed his peg potential and tackled up accordingly to catch roach,' he said.
'In addition, Will played a major role in bringing the National Feeder event to our river.'
Meanwhile, our women, including Norwich-based Jeanette Halliday, were defending their title in the ladies World Championship fished on the River Sorria in Portugal. They finished seventh with 33 penalty points on day one, but on day two they scored 19 to earn a creditable final fourth spot with 52 while Italy were champions with 26.
Jeanette said: 'We did not draw well on the first day and the Italians ran away with quality fish, but unlike last year we were unable to come from behind to win it.'
On the lakes, Bury's Richard Bond achieved a Cross Drove hat-trick with three returns in treble figures, best 130lb 2oz.
Kevin Ford won at Barford with 117lb 4oz and Neil Paske at Mill Farm with 126lb 8oz.
At club level, top catch fell to veterans' winner Tony Burdon with 156lb 12oz at Bergh Apton.
On the big fish venues, Taswood saw a PB common carp of 35lb 1oz for Carl McKail, Mick Butler bagged one of 33lbs and others were Matthew Ireland with a mirror of 30lb 12oz and Michael Dixon a ghost of 30lbs.
At Catch 22 end-of-the-month specimens were a 32lb 12oz mirror for Tom List and a 31lb 6oz common for Jerry Curtis.
Swangey Lakes' best was a near 30lb common for Kingsley Martin, while father and son Kevin and Joe Woods headed a host of doubles around 20lbs. A surprise 4lb roach fell to Fakenham angler Sean Jackson, who was fishing for carp at the Highbridge irrigation lake.