Planning trip brings trio big rewards

WEST & FENS: A pre-baiting campaign saw three anglers share an incredible bream catch after getting up with the lark on opening day.

Kelvin Allen, Ben Girdlestone and Peter Webb picked the Relief Channel for their first foray of the river season.

They did their homework, heavily baiting swims on an undisclosed stretch of the King's Lynn AA drain with bucket-fulls of pony mix and brown crumb for 10 days beforehand.

As the Glorious Sixteenth dawned, the bleary-eyed trio were on the bank at 4am to reap the rewards, fishing groundbait feeder laced with casters and red maggots on the hook.

In a five-hour session, they banked 65 bream averaging 6lbs apiece, with the biggest going 9lbs 8oz.

As they packed away 400lbs of fish to the good, they met Radio Norfolk reporter Jill Bennett, who found Allen and Girdlestone in a state of near shock after enjoying what must rank as one of the best-ever opening day catches in the Fens.

Bennett's report, broadcast during Friday morning's breakfast show, captured the moment. As Girdlestone waxed lyrical about the magic of June 16, it made you want to turn the car round, grab the rods and head for the river.

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For Lynn AA chairman Allen, the day affirmed his belief in the Relief Channel – a big, windswept water many struggle to get to grips with.

'Whatever will this river come up with next,' he said, when I badgered him for more details.

With another 100lbs bream net coming from a different stretch on June 16, the Relief Channel's clearly back with a bang.