Lee’s Broads love affair

A Cambridgeshire angler has achieved the almost impossible fishing feat by carrying off the Norfolk Broads Championship for the third time in four years.

Lee Klimczuk of Polish wartime ancestry now residing in Whittlesey in the heart of Fenland, ended his five-hour interaction with the river Thurne roach on Saturday to place 25lbs on the scales before stepping up to the rostrum to receive the Cyril Wigg trophy and a cash prize of �200 from Keith Latchford of sponsors Mead Sport and Leisure insurance brokers.

The 36-year-old roofer's chances of victory were tiled with gold after drawing peg number five in the section upstream of Potter Heigham bridge. Question was: could he equal his two triumphs of 2009 (24lbs 12ozs from the river Bure) and 2011 (28lbs 1oz from the river Thurne) to complete an improbable hat trick in this Broads blue ribband of competition fishing?

It soon became apparent that the two-time winner was heading for another fabulous finish for he was lifting out roach with such frequency it would have impressed a time and motion expert.

Afterwards the Bait Tech-sponsored champion said: 'I had a great start coming runner-up in the midweek festival. I feel honoured to have won this championship three times and I love these Broads rivers. We have no matches like these in the Fens nowadays and that's why I would love to move and live here if the opportunity arose.


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'Quite honestly there's not the same natural beauty or magic fishing the match lakes. Tony Gibbons, who runs these Broads events, is an absolute gem.'

Runner-up was well-known Daiwa AD squad man Kevin Humphreys who registered 21lb 3oz from peg 70 on the river Bure while Mick Brown (Wymondham) was third with 20lb 6oz from peg 39 at Martham.

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There were the usual tales of woe. Brian Weavers was catching quality roach from the river Bure when something swooped from the sky. Was it a plane or was it a bird? In fact it was a hungry heron that had snatched a roach that was being netted, and an aerial battle ensued. Neither benefited, for the fish, now detached from the tiny hook, dropped into the water and swam off. 'I never had another bite for more than an hour,' grumbled Weavers.

David Docwra, also of the Sportsmans club, was heading towards the runners-up spot when a yachtsman intruded at the moment a 7oz roach was being ushered into the landing net.

'This fellow was attempting to moor up beside me and that fish, with others I was almost certain to catch during the last 15 minutes, cost me second place,' he said.

Earlier in the week the NDAA's two-day festival on the river Thurne was won by Tony Anderson (Suffolk AD) with perfect section wins on both days. First-day winner was Kevin Fuller (NDAA) with 34lbs from peg 25 – a catch taken on pole feeder rig and worm that temped his best bream of 6lbs 12oz.

Anderson was runner-up with the section win of 24lbs 14oz from peg 12 and on day two he earned the top cash prize of �330 with a section winning roach net of 20lbs 2oz from peg five for a points total of 28.

Klimczuk, with a section first and second, was one point adrift with 27 points and the cash prize of �260 tended to put him the right frame of mind for Saturday's big confrontation.

Anderson, a 40-year-old steam engineer, said: 'I was happy with my week's work. I was disappointed not to feature in the championship, but you can't win them all.'

Organiser of this fishing fiesta Tony Gibbons added: 'The quality of the fishing held up throughout the week. We weighed in 1160lb of fish at the two-day event and we raised more than �300 for EA Air Ambulance. Our final big event of the season is the NDAA individual championship on the river Thurne next Sunday. The draw is at Potter Heigham bridge at 7.30am.'

In the County Championship finals, on Heron Brook, Norfolk finished a creditable eighth place among 38 teams, with 39 points. Suffolk were 31st with 75, while Warwickshire were the 2012 champions with 27.

• A giant common carp scaling 42lbs 5oz, believed to be the heaviest from any Norfolk open permit water this year, was winched out of the Taswood fishery during the early hours of Sunday morning by an autumn holiday angler.

David Ashley tempted his PB and venue record at 4am on a cell boilie baiting a size 6 hook to 15lb breaking strain line.

The Nottingham man had baited up the Broadwing Lake swim and beneath the light of a waning moon he cast out at 3am. He had waited patiently for his first bite, but was in for a shock when it came an hour later. The bite alarm went off and the power of the fish came close to dislocating his shoulder as it tore off yards of line.

After 20 minutes this leviathan was subdued and safely in the landing net, its weight confirmed by a number of other anglers in attendance.

'I am absolutely over the moon,' declared the proud captor.

Mathew Ellis a member of the family owning the fishery, said: 'This carp came in at 38lbs 12oz last year and if it continues to put on weight at this rate it will be heading for the 50lbs mark soon.'

Other Taswood carp were taken by Dereham duo Ryan Kilby and James Beeby, Kevin Smith of Lingwood and Andy Buck of Norwich. Swangey's best of the week was a 28lbs mirror for Tony Gunn, of Norwich.

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