Record breakers at Barford Fishery

Barford Fishery lived up to its name as one of Britain's top still water match venues by producing record returns in last week's big Fish-O-Mania qualifier.

Barford Fishery lived up to its name as one of Britain's top still water match venues by producing record returns in last week's big Fish-O-Mania qualifier.

A total of 130 top rods from all over the country lined up along the banks, but it was Suffolk's Mick Godfrey who came through with flying colours, heading an amazing run-own of nine three-fgure catches with 128lb 15oz.

These returns were a record for the tournament and the result hung in the balance until it emerged that the Ipswich Viscount ace, competing at peg 16 on the Barford Pleasure Lake, had emerged triumphant over Shipdham's Kevin Kingston-Miles, who was fishing immediately opposite the winner from peg 30.

Godfrey, who pocketed prize money of £225, will be one of 16 finalists lining up for a four-figure pay-out on the Midlands Hayfield Fishery in the early summer.

The 47-year-old catering manager described his performance as “the best of my career” and added: “I can't wait for the final. Obviously I shall be putting a fair amount of practice on the venue, and given a reasonable draw I think I will be in with a fair chance of pocketing the winner's £10,000 prize money.”

Barford Fishery manager Sarah Thomson said she was thrilled that the family fishery - the brainchild of her father Alan - had achieved national recognition.

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“Many of the competitors said how they had really enjoyed their day here, and it is a shame there was only one qualifier going through to the final,” she said.

“I am absolutely delighted he is one of our own regulars and we wish him every success at Hayfield.”

The winter series of qualifiers at the Crossdrove Fishery ended with Suffolk open circuit ace Dave Reeve pocketing the £1,000 top cash prize.

A two-day thriller left the Fox Match Triangle star receiving his reward after putting in the winning 62lb 12oz performance on day one and then narrowly beating off a challenge from Ian Shipp (Team Hooked), who won on the second day with 54lb 13oz. Reeve had a 97lb 3oz aggregate, while Shipp had 95lb 7oz.

Catches also rose to three figures on the open circuit. Adie Moore of Avenue Angling won at Hinderclay with 118lb 10oz, while the top rod at Carleton Rode Fen was Harleston's Andy Mears, with 108lb.

Club returns were equally impressive, with Oddfellow Nat Copti top at Hinderclay with the weekend's heaviest catch of 133lb 2oz.

On the big fish scene ,Taswood Lakes reopened with some truly excellent carp, the top fish a personal best common of 31lb 1oz for Ross Leaman of Tasburgh.

At Taverham Lake, Norwich Rogue Dave Smith landed a superb 9lb 12oz tench and a 24lb 3oz mirror carp. Other mirrors in the low 20s fell to local permit anglers Paul Lafey, Rob Carter, Kirk Phoenix, John Boden, James Burdett and Mark Gray.

Castle Acre was in form for Norwich rod Martin Howe, who had five mirrors and commons, the best 23lb 8oz. On the adjacent mixed lake Mick's Fishery, known as Adams Lake, Sheringham's Rob Millard ended his overnight session with 15 carp to 16½lb.

Swangey Lakes' best of the week was a 30lb 4oz mirror for Fakenham's Richard Ince, who had two others identical at 26lb 10oz.