Roe gets his name on last big trophy of the year after Thurne success
The last of the Broads' big tidal river events of the season went out with a massive roar rather than a timid whisper.
The competition was the NDAA Individual Championship on the resplendent River Thurne on Sunday, when Norwich match ace David Roe chalked up a winning catch of exactly 25lb of roach and bream.
Roe, a former Broads champion, who performs under the Daiwa Angling Direct banner, drew peg number 25, which he fancied.
He fed in cereal laced with maggots and casters to bag a few bream to over 2lb and a vast number of roach that fell to pole-fished red maggot.
He clinched the title with 1lb 8oz to spare over nearest challenger Glen Hubbard (Daiwa Angling Direct) with a similar catch scaling 23lb 8oz from peg 8. The Norwich two-day festival winner Tony Anderson (Suffolk AD) was a close third with 21lb 2oz from peg 11, then came Wymondham veteran Albert Farrow with 20lb 4oz from 14.
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With 27 rodmen making double figures, it was anglers who judged the conditions correctly to seize this last opportunity to inscribe their names in the angling archives of 2012.
Ignoring the history of previous performances from his swim opposite the old High's Mill drainage outlet, the redoubtable Roe, now a veteran of 63 years of age, completed his catch ratio of 70pc roach and 30pc bream during a performance that may be best described as a masterclass.
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After accepting his trophy and �125, he said: 'My swim was one of many able to produce the winner. Bream had been caught here on feeder rigs but it was one of those days when I felt roach would hold the key.
'My float tactics paid off, I picked up those odd bream that gave me a start, then it was small skimmers and roach until the final whistle.'
For delighted Norwich chairman Tony Gibbons, the match organiser, it was a brilliant conclusion to his tidal river season.
'Broads anglers have enjoyed a most marvellous fishing feast this summer and autumn and in all my years at match angling, from teenager to pensioner, I have never known our rivers to perform with such marvellous consistency week after week.
'I well remember a period in the 1970s when our tidal rivers were restocked annually in order to produce worthwhile match returns. We have been free of this intervention and problems caused by saltwater surges and other pollution in recent years and much credit for this is due to the Environment Agency keeping an eye out for sudden setbacks.'
He concluded: 'On Sunday there were no favourite peg numbers and success visited those who were most adept correctly analysing water conditions and then using the right tackle and bait.'
However, Gibbons' work is not yet finished. He is still accepting entries for this weekend's Wensum Autumn Angling Festival.
This Saturday and Sunday event will be staged on the Lenwade Bridge Lakes and the nearby River Wensum below the mill race, noted for its specimen silver fish species, of which chub featured in the winter championship last March.
Unfortunately there is a clash with other important angling events in Norfolk and Suffolk. Anglers can enter up to 5pm on Friday (01603 400973). A team of three �30 per day, individuals �10.
Founder organiser Keith Westgate advises that overnight accommodation is available at the Bridge Inn (01603 872248), while the prize lists include trophies for winning teams and individuals plus pools cash with consolation awards for runners-up and the captors of heaviest fish.
On day one the draw is 8am, fish 10am-3pm; day two draw 9am, fish 11am-4pm.
n On the commercial lakes, match action remained buoyant, the top bag taken by Codgers winner Mark Girling with 112lb at Barford.
At Mill Farm, Norwich Rod Simon Denmark completed a weekend double with 50lb 8oz and 60lb 8oz.
On the specimen carp waters, fish of the week was a 32lb 8oz Taswood common reeled in by day ticket holder Mark Barne, the next best 30lb 1oz for Steve Aldous, of Yarmouth, with others in the 20s for Kevin Smith of Lingwood and Guy Sherwood, of Norwich. Swangey Lakes's best was a 30lb 8oz common for James Young of Norwich, with numerous other fish in the teens.