Norfolk match angler Lee Carver targeting money events
An ambitious Norfolk match angler is this year targeting the main big money competitions offering cash prizes up to £50,000.
Norwich based Lee Carver, who tasted success last term with high place money, is bidding to emulate Warren Martin of Lyng who pocketed 31k last summer from winning the Fish 'O' Mania final at the Cudmore Fishery in Staffordshire.
'I would just love to make one of those big finals,' declared Carver, a 33-year-old ceramic tiler sponsored by the international tackle company Berghaus. 'I would be delighted to win some big money but just being there would be a wonderful experience.'
This is the angler who made his name by diving into Barford lakes in 2002 fully clothed to recover his fishing tackle being towed around by a 10lb carp and then in 2006 he stunned the whole of the angling world by catching a monster 23lb 6oz sea trout from the river Wensum in the heart of Norwich.
His first stab of 2013 at the new series of qualifying events happened on the Gold Valley lake near Aldershot this month. He finished with a catch of 64lbs 6oz for third spot.
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Not enough to make the final of the Maver Mega Match but still sufficient to guarantee a place in the line up for the British Pole Championship Final on Larford Lakes at the end of August.
Carver is by no means out of the running for the big events for he has in his possession four more tickets into the Maver qualifiers and seven paid up entries to the Fish O' Mania.
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His first excursion into this year's eliminators at Gold Valley earned him prize money of £200.
Just another couple of quality carp would have seen our Norfolk hopeful home and dry. As it was, Dorking entries Mark Goddard scaled 78lbs 10oz from peg 119 and Steve Sanders 67lbs 12oz from peg 63.
Warren Martin, meanwhile, has been sharpening his hooks at local level, preparing for the more furious fray in the high octane atmosphere generated by the thought of another five figured cheque. 'So far I have competed in two Fish O qualifiers and one Maver and achieved only section wins from poor swims. I have about seven tickets of each competition left and with a couple of decent draws I will certainly fancy my chances again,' he said.
One North Norfolk angler already benefiting from his all-round piscatorial prowess is Gareth Goldson. The Cromer rodman lifted the Drennan Cup and pocketed the £2,000 for his specimen hunting.
On the local match scene, the Barford Saturday Open was a cliff-hanger with the top three divided by ounces.
Winner Paul Ashford (Barford) netted 82lb 3oz, Kevin Ford (Barford) has 81lb 5oz and Paul Gardiner (Oddfellows) 80lb 14oz.
At the same venue, Costessey Crown winner D Mallett scaled 86lb 15oz, while top at Mill Farm was Ken Bird, of Banham, with 66lb.
On the home scene temperatures fired up to the low 20s at the weekend and the carp waters sprang to life with muttering moorhens fussily gathering dead rushes that served as nesting material.
At Taswood 20 carp over 20lb came lumping onto the landing nets, the biggest of them a common of 30lb 2oz for Michael Flynn of Norwich and another 30lb for Carl McKail also Norwich.
Others between 20lbs and 29lbs fell to the Norwich rods David Smith, Guy Sherwood, Craig Wilson, John and Chris Hearsey, James Wilkin, Jim Shaw, Danny Thompson, Tony McKail, and Julian Miller along with Gary Bowles of Gorleston, Byron Mann of Colton and Steve Aldous of Yarmouth.
At Swangey Lakes, East Harling teenager Toby Ridley bagged his pb common carp at 22lb and other in their 20s fell to Lee Youstaff of Attleborough, Lewis Brighton of Tacolneston, Shane Utting of Lowestoft and Barry Hector, Attleborough.