New angling season starts with a bangs

PUBLISHED: 12:30 16 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:02 22 October 2010

After suffering the traumatic and heart-palpitating experience of watching England struggle to qualify for the World Cup second round, there was only one place to head for to regain a relaxed mood - the waterside.

After suffering the traumatic and heart-palpitating experience of watching England struggle to qualify for the World Cup second round, there was only one place to head for to regain a relaxed mood - the waterside.

And from midnight onwards anglers kicked off their new season with a far greater resolve for putting something in the net than the English strikers, with the objects of their desire the huge river bream.

Paul Sparkes and Karl Gidney were occupying their favourite swims on the River Bure at Upton long before daybreak this morning and at the end of their five-hour session the two Martham rodmen had netted nearly 200lb of fish, mostly bream averaging 6lb apiece plus an unusual tench of 5lb.

Said Sparkes: “We watched the football which was pretty dismal until England scored their goals, but it was the result that was important, and so was ours. We caught bream almost from the first cast while fishing worm and sweetcorn but I was amazed to bag the 5lb tench which was an unusual specimen for the lower tidal River Bure.”

Further along the river the NDAA stretch at St Benets Abbey was in spectacular form. Wymondham veteran Keith Fickling, in his first two hours on the bank, netted 10 superb bream, the best two giants on the 11 to 12lb mark.

“These were two of the largest bream I've ever seen from our stretch,” said Norwich chairman Tony Gibbons, who carried out an early morning patrol of the banks.

“Two more of our pensioners, Messrs Woodhouse and Cottrell, also made huge catches of bream during the night with a joint haul of 250lb. This news will create enormous interest for our match and pleasure anglers alike.”

Sport was also brisk on the River Thurne below Martham boatyard where Yarmouth's Ian Shepherd made his first cast at midnight and by 6am he had taken nearly 80lb of bream on a feeder rig baited with worm. Nearby, John Goodwin, of Martham, and Henry Fairhead, of Honing, both had skimmer bream, small roach and quality perch in catches around 14lb made in their first hour.

Shepherd said: “This stretch of the River Thurne is teeming with quality bream and I always expect to make a catch here of 100lb or more.”

Father and son Terry and David Daplyn, of Yarmouth, were preparing their swims on the River Thurne at Cold Harbour while listening to the England game on the radio.

“Fortunately the fishing was more entertaining than the game, and by 7am we'd caught 28 bream between us, the best 9lb as well as a few quality roach which fell for sweetcorn tipped with a single maggot on the feeder rig,” said Daplyn senior.

Martham Ponds also reopened this morning after a three-month break and the car park was full not long after dawn. Typical fish like those caught by Martham member Paul Punchard were carp to double figures with numerous tench, bream and roach featuring.

On the big River Yare it was a similar success story for another Yarmouth rodmen Tony Wilson, who moored his boat on the Thorpe stretch to reel in 17 bream, the best specimens 12lb. For good measure he also tempted four pike to double figures.

This was excellent news for River Yare match organiser Andy Sutter, who said: “I think we are all hoping for some phenomenal catches in our first match of the season, and this latest news suggests we shan't be disappointed.”

This is one of the most encouraging starts to the Broad coarse fishing season in recent years and the remainder of the weekend will most certainly continue to produce giant hauls of bream from almost every venue, as well as quality perch and small fish species such as roach.

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