It’s all out there for you

Giant carp from rivers, barbel populating the match lakes – it's a topsy-turvy world of angling right now.

The modern trend of such a wide range of just about any species for leisure and competition anglers on running or still waters of their choice would have been in the realms of fancy or even fantasy some 30 years back.

Admittedly, carp that originated from Ingworth Lake were introduced into the rivers Wensum and Yare via the floodwater from the Costessey fish farm.

The escapees flourished, bred and put on weight rapidly in their new natural habitat, growing into monster commons and mirrors up to 40lb.

The first carp caught from the River Wensum on rod and line came out of the top of the tidals at New Mill in Norwich.

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Now they populate almost the whole of the river to the confluence with the River Yare, the old course of the Yare through Thorpe Green, while further down river between Surlingham and Cantley monsters in excess of 35lb have been reported on a pretty secretive big fish grapevine.

Various restocking of new fish on the northern rivers Ant, Bure and Thurne included a few stray carp. These also flourished and today carp to over double figures are reported from these tidal fisheries.

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Occasionally, a match angler will hook a monster carp that breaks away from the flimsy tackle, but one came in at more than 22lb at the top of the tide during a match on the River Yare, a tiddler compared with some of its elder relatives.

So far in Norfolk, traditional river species in local lakes consist of roach, bream and rudd with a few alien chub put in recently.

But, with half a dozen sizeable barbel, a vital component of the 20.53kgs that earn 30-year-old Shane Atkin the Fish O'Mania �30,000 cash prize at Cudmere, then it maybe only a matter of a short time before this species by popular request becomes serious quarry in our local match lakes.

• The Nisa Feeder League on Saturday was won by Tony Watling with 46lb 14oz of skimmer bream from peg 117 on the River Yare.

It was a scrap between Mark Airey at peg 120 and Bob Wessells for runners-up spot with Airey shaving it with 40lb 7oz to Wessells' 40lb.

On the club scene, Colin Nicholls heaved out a personal best and club match record for the Romany, at Bergh Apton, netting nearly 50 carp on pole-fished pellet for a magnificent total of 168lb 7oz.

Club secretary Steven Reeve said: 'For a small club this was a great catch of fish and I hope it will encourage more members to join us.'

At Cross Drove, Jim Barrowman (Angler's World) scored with 136lb, Paul Ashford (Barford Tackle) won on the Railway with 129lb 4oz, Paul Gardiner was top Oddfellow at Barford with 122lb 10oz and D Collins headed Carols' card at Melton with 125lb 8oz.

As the competitors entered the final lap of the Shimano/Angling Times county championship, which closes at the end of this month, for the semi-finals of the top 20 to select teams of five for the final showdown for the �10,000 prize, here are the main contenders for Norfolk and Suffolk.

Norfolk: A Martin 376 points, M Ayers 254, D Jarvis 160, P Ashford 156, J Randell 141, T Brook 129, D Brydon 125, R King 113, G Kiddell 110, D Le Conte 109, J Odey 104, D Priestley 99, R Hubbard 98, S Parker 93, M Bartrum 92, D Roe 89, J Brooks 89, A Gibbons 87, J Taylor 84, A Moss 82.

Suffolk: R Bond 349, V Cross 314, J Barrowman 251, A Tuck 231, J Boughton 210, S Wheeler 207, S Bracey 196, T Anderson 185, R Finch 183, A Coleman 171, G Reeve 126, M Hanks 124, A Jackson 118, R Watson 109, S Greatbatch 106, J Millard 81, C Kelly 75, M Sawyer 74, B Cant 67, B Wessells 67.

The last chance to compete for the Maver Match This finals for the �50,000 cash prize looms large with the two remaining qualifiers scheduled for the Makins Fishery on July 30 and Hallcroft on July 31. Entry forms in this week's AT.

Local anglers Warren Martin and Andy Leathers have already qualified at Barford for the final staged on the Maver Larford Lakes, August 20.

• On the big carp waters catches were down generally. At Waveney Valley, Matt Spurling of Diss and Peter Charles of Blofield netted mirrors of 28lb, while at Taswood specimens in the low 20s fell to Bradley Brown, of Gorleston, Bill Germaine and Kevin Smith, of Wymondham, and Sam Leaper, of Lowestoft.

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