Gardiner smashes Barford match record

Forklift driver Paul Gardiner might have thought he required the assistance of his mechanical hoist last week to winch out a giant haul of carp on to the banks of the Barford match lake.

Forklift driver Paul Gardiner might have thought he required the assistance of his mechanical hoist last week to winch out a giant haul of carp on to the banks of the Barford match lake.

In the five hour midweek tournament he filled four keepnets with some 50 fish averaging nearly 5lb apiece to smash to smithereens the venue record, finishing with an aggregate of 248lb 1oz which beat by more than 20lb the total caught by Jim Randell of North Walsham only last year.

The 24-year-old rod man, who lives just a stone's throw from the prolific Barford complex, set out his stall for his massive catch, opting for the traditional rod and reel float rig baited with Barford pellet paste fished hard on the bottom.

“I kept feeding in Barford pellets two rod lengths out and just could not go wrong,” he recalled. “It was by far my best ever match return since I began tournament fishing about five years ago. During my younger years I pleasure fished at Barford, then graduated to match fishing, and I just love it here.”


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The fishery manager Sarah Thomson added: “Paul Gardiner served his match apprenticeship on our lakes and this season he has seldom been out of the money. He is certainly one of our great young prospects.”

A venue record was also written at the ever improving Holly Farm Lakes, South Walsham. There Michael Moore of the Viking Whaler Club also fished pellet paste to heave out his personal best and lake record of 179lb 4oz, beating the previous best by 30lb.

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The fishery boss Gerald Marjoram said he was delighted his fishery had become so popular, adding: “We've been going only four years and I'm happy to say the banks are almost always full of both match and pleasure anglers. It's been a huge success.”

Elsewhere on the match scene Tony Kitchen of JMP Tackle won the Mill Farm open with 120lb 2oz while at Barford City Works rod Alan Ling scored with 154lb 2oz. Top club catch came at Barford where Roger Taylor won the CMG with 143lb 6oz.

On the River Yare, Saturday's Individual League was won by John Whincup (Essex) with 29lb of roach and hybrids while on the same venue the following day the top catch in the Suffolk League was 23lb 12oz of skimmer bream for Deben's Steve Dunn while the top team was SAD Blue with 86lb 12oz.

The Sam Hook Sea League concluded with a low key final round at Lowestoft where Wayne Perring won with 1lb 5oz.

The champion was Clyde Legatt of Gorleston, whose second spot with just 12½oz on the day completed his points score at 202 with Martham's Gary Medler runner-up overall with 198.

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