New campaign gets off to a good start

Roy WebsterAnglers have been out in force on local rivers and broads enjoying one of the most prolific and satisfying openings on the new coarse season for many a year.Roy Webster

Anglers have been out in force on local rivers and broads enjoying one of the most prolific and satisfying openings on the new coarse season for many a year.

Despite the chilly northerly breezes, massive bream and roach catches have been reported from the tidal rivers by match and pleasure anglers alike, lining up on the well-groomed banks on the rivers Yare, Bure and Thurne.

Local match promoter Keith Ford's first day open event on the river Yare along the Beachamp Arms match stretch was a triumph for Mark Haverson (Suffolk Angling Direct) who ended his session with a mixed net of 41lb 2oz from peg 78. He fished the standard groundbait feeder rig baited with red maggot to net bream to 4lbs and quality roach.

Rod Finch also fished the feeder to take 32lb 9oz and runners-up spot from the same area.

Saturday's event on this venue was described as 'similar to a late November grueller' with air temperatures remaining in low double figures with a stiff northerly blowing in the anglers' teeth.

However, Robert Hubbard (Daiwa Angling Direct) defeated the adverse conditions and the high quality field with a master-class of feeder fishing resulting in a runaway winning total of 46lb 14oz, consisting of bream to 4lb and sizable roach taken on red maggot and worm from peg 22, the designated golden peg which increased his cash winnings by �60 to a handsome three-figure sum.

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On the river Bure at St Bennet's Abbey the sparkling roach appearing in club matches were a glory to behold with these superb redfin ranging up to 1lb 12oz along with skimmer bream to 3lb featuring in the Dukes outing won by Shaun James with 25lb 9oz.

On the river Thurne at Cold Harbour Gorleston father and son Terry and David Daplyn revisited the spot below Womack Dyke they had fished on opening week for the past 10 years. They were not disappointed as the popular free bank produced around 30lbs of bream and roach for each of them by 9.30 am as well as notable perch nudging 2lbs.

For 73-year-old Terry the river bank make-over by the Environment Agency was equally impressive.

'I have been fishing here during opening week for many years and have always come prepared to cut my way through over grown banks to reach the water,' he said. 'The EA has done a splendid job this season levelling the foot path along the embankment and trimming back spaces for easy access to the water.'

On the river Thurne at Martham the resident bream shoal located below Candle Dyke relinquished a catch of more than 50lbs for Martham club member Mark Colby while on the river Ant below Ludham Bridge roach and perch were coming out almost every cast on opening morning.

On the main Broads the Whispering Reeds boat yard at Hickling reports quality catches of bream from the deep Dyke area, mostly fish to 3lbs with odd specimens to over 7lbs.

Similar reports from Horsey Mere where anglers fishing from boat and bank were bagging up with skimmer bream and roach as well as quality perch. On the Trinity Broads pike enthusiasts were greeted with excellent sport with specimens to 17lbs on spinners and the Filby Hire fleet boss Richard Barnes also witnessed one angler with a quartet of monster bream just a few ounces short of 10lbs apiece.

On the commercial lakes Cobble Acre's two-day festival was rated a huge success with mixed nets of carp and silver fish on both days.

The most unlucky angler was Wayne Anderson (Angling Direct) who won on Amy's lake with 37lb 12oz and on Adam's with 35lb 9oz. On the points system he would have carried off top honours with the maximum score. Alas for him it was aggregate weights that counted leaving the overall winner Lee Coomber (Angling Direct) with 35lb 10oz on day one and 45lb 10oz on day two with the top aggregate of 81lb 4oz.