Season declared a winner
The best coarse fishing season on rivers and Broads for many a year.
That is the considered verdict on the season just ended from the well-informed chairman of the Norwich and District Anglers' Association, Tony Gibbons.
'On our waters and others we have had a quite fantastic season for match and pleasure anglers who have returned massive catches of bream and roach,' he said.
'Our day tickets sales to visiting anglers have been brilliant and much of this is down to the efforts of our local Environment Agency officials who have worked wonders on the tidal embankments to create more free fishing.
'All this will encourage the interest of anglers seeking value-for-money sport when the new season opens on June 16 and give our local tourist industry a welcome boost too.'
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Angling clubs from all parts of the country can book up for midweek matches. Details on www.ndaa.org.uk.
Norfolk's record pike holder John Goble, of Caister, endorsed the view that 'there are loads of fish in the Broads'.
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'The harsh winter weather hit us but, contrary to some views, I still believe the Broads is blessed with excellent pike stocks,' he said. 'It's simply that there are so many food fish available they are that much harder to catch.
'I had four specimens over 20lb at the back end of the season and my friend had nine of that calibre, including one of 29lb off Horsey Mere.'
Carp catches are picking up on the commercial lakes as the sun begins to beat down from clearing skies to inject warmth into the water.
At Swangey Lakes, top fish was a 30lb 10oz common along with a 23lb 8oz mirror for Ricky Grimmer, of Acle, and others reporting fish to the highs 20s were Phil Rank, Mulbarton, Levi King, Mildenhall, Steve Jones, Attleborough, while Jonathan Bovett, of Diss, banked a 25lb 6oz pike.
Taverham Lake burst into life for Norwich rods Billy Dobson, Adam Sadd, and Kirk Phoenix, who bagged carp in the low 20s, while at Waveney Valley Matthew Spurling, of Diss, and Toby Long, Wortwell, bagged commons and mirrors on the 23lb mark.
And at Hall Farm, Burgh Castle, Bradwell's Shaun Allen netted a trio of carp, the best a common of 22lb 12oz.
On the match scene, returns have shown a marked improvement and the final event of the Barford Silver Fish Series was won by Tony Anderson (Suffolk AD) with a brilliant bag of bream totalling 63lb. Top catch of the week was exactly 100lb of Mill Lake carp weighed in by Oddfellows winner Terry Gray.
• The Angling trust has revealed all the important details needed by clubs and individuals wishing to enter the National Angling Championships this year, available only to organisations and individuals with fully paid-up membership to the Trust for 2011.
Division One, August 6, New Junction Canal, Doncaster: Teams of 10, plus reserves. Cost of entry �190 per team, team pools �100, super team pools �50, individual pool �10, super individual �10, section �10.
Division Two, August 20, Basingstoke Canal: Team numbers and cost of entry and pools as Division One.
Cadets, juniors and intermediates, July 2, Heronbrook and Baden Hall Fisheries: �60 per team of 6.
Ladies' individual and team championships, Kennet and Avon Canal, Melksham, June 11: Teams of 4 �20, Individuals �15, match pool �5, section �5.
Veterans, August 3, Partridge Lake, Warrington: Entry �15, match pool �5, sections �5.
Disabled individual and teams, June 25, Peatling Pools Lakes, Leicester: Individuals �15, teams �20, match pool �5, sections �5, team pool �20.
Adults individual, Woodland View, Droitwich. September 10: Entry �20, match pools �10, section �10.
Schools teams of five, Hallcroft Fishery, Notts, July 20: Team entry �30.
For further details and entry forms go to www.anglingtrust.net.
In addition to the nationals, local anglers may also be tempted to enter the �50,000 guaranteed to the winner in the Maver Megamatch sponsored by the Daily Mirror.
Of the 24 qualifying events for this extravaganza to the grand final staged on the Maver Larford Lakes on August 20, two are scheduled for Norfolk's Barford Lakes on April 23 and June 19.
Barford Fishery manager Sarah Thomson advises that tickets, priced at �50, should be booked now, either at the Barford office or online at www.mavermatchthis.co.uk or by post to Maver Megamatch 2011, Unit 8, North Moons Moat Industrial Estate, Redditch, B98 9HL.