Joy for Glen Hubbard at festival
The rising tide of honest angling endeavour by Norfolk anglers on national and international waters has resulted in more local names becoming engraved on the most important leader-boards and trophies at home and abroad.
Well-known Norwich match man, the former river Yare champion Glen Hubbard pulled off a fabulous fishing feat on Holland's river Ijssel to win the Anglo Dutch four-day festival.
Nearer home Lyng's county champion and Fish'O'Mania celebrity Warren Martin clinched the Westwood lakes two day festival in Lincolnshire.
Hubbard, the 50-year-old manager of Angling Direct, Norfolk's biggest tackle and bait retailer in Aylsham Road Norwich, completely devastated all comers on the star studded Netherlands venue with three section wins and a second, the latter discarded under the best three of four format.
Our local hero takes up the story: 'My brother Robert and I entered the competition but he was taken down with a stomach bug and was too uncomfortable to complete the distance. I spent three days of the week practicing on the big river that was up to 20 feet in depth and contained barbel, roach and ide.
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'I opted for a feeder rig, baiting a size 12 hook on a 8lbs bs line with maggot and casters.
'Fishing 20 yards out on a running reel I netted 47lbs of fish on the first day, six of them barbel. On day two I bagged five barbel up to 10lbs and other fish to bring the total to 54lbs and on the final days I caught ide to 4lbs and some roach to weigh in 27lbs and 21lbs.
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'Dropping the two points score I was able to card a perfect three and my nearest challenger was an English angler with four points,' he recalled.
And his rewards? A wad of Euros equivalent to �1200 and a free holiday in the host nation next year.
Warren Martin who has become Norfolk county champion for the third successive year requires no introduction on these pages.
And having banked a sum well exceeding �30,000 this year, the Matrix and Barford sponsored match ace decided to enter the final qualifier at Eastwood hoping to join the final showdown.
There are no prizes for guessing that our 36-year-old quantity surveyor not only won the eliminator on the Boston water but went on to collar the major award from this two-day line up, scoring top section points twice with 125lbs 12oz and 90lbs 8oz.
'None of this was pre-planned but rather a spur of the moment decision to chance my arm at Eastwood. And fortunately it came off,' smiled one of the county's top anglers whose expertise in this particular field is almost unrivalled.
This latest triumph added another �1000 plus to his bank roll and there maybe more to come.
He along with Ray King (Barford Tackle) and Ray Smart (Daiwa Angling Direct) are scheduled to compete in the Angling Times National County Championship Finals staged on the Herronbrook fishery in Staffordshire on October 6. The three Suffolk representatives are S Bracey (Shimano/Dynamite), V Cross (Nashbaits) and A Coleman (Curu/Bait tech).
'This will be a difficult match to win because many competitors will come from surrounding counties but if we are lucky at the draw we could pull it off,' declared Martin hopefully.
Meanwhile, the feverish fishing for fame and fortune in the Nisa Feeder League on the river Yare appears to have distilled down to a two-horse race.
The penultimate round on Saturday produced a magnificent bream bash and 22 catches of over 22lbs but also prospects of a desperate duel on the banks on Saturday.
The 13th round winner was Simon Newman (Diawa AD) with 43lbs 12oz from peg 63 followed by the sole member of the distaff side competing, Jeanette Halliday (Diawa AD) with 42lb 1oz from peg 104 and Kevin Paynter (PW Angling) with 38lbs 8oz from 117.
While those three appear out of the running Mark Pollard (Suffolk AD) in sixth spot with 32lbs 8oz made significant progress and boosted his aggregate to 236lbs 6oz behind Wayne Anderson (Diawa AD) who failed to improve his 238lbs 5oz.
League boss Andy Wilson-Sutter explained that both these contestants were able to discard their lowest catches of about 14lbs if they bettered on Saturday.
'It is on a knife-edge with just a couple of pounds in it and either could come through as champion. On the other hand if those two fail to improve and Paul Abbott came in with around 55lbs of bream, that could result in a major upset.'
On the local match lakes winners made treble figures. Top Romany man at Holly Farm was Simon Denmark with a best of year 162lbs 9oz, Mark Wiles headed the Attleborough MG card at Hinderclay with 150lbs 2oz, Joe Carey was top Oddfellow at Colton with a 109lbs 2oz and Martham's top rod was Mick Harmon with 105lbs 4oz at Barford.
On the carp waters specimen fish were fewer. Best at Taswood was a 28lbs 8oz common for Liam Standley of Thetford with fish to the mid twenties for Norwich regulars Jack Solomon, Neil Faulkner and Kevin Smith of Lyngwood.
A splendid 8lbs tench featured at Swangey Lakes caught by Jamie Nelson of Great Ellingham who added a 20lbs plus common carp with similar fish for Martin Page of Beccles and David Evans of Thetford. Bream to over 12lbs were also reported.