Silver fish in the spotlight as pairs do battle at Barford

The winners of the gold and silver pairs match at Barford at the weekend, Marti Jermy and Dave Jarvi

The winners of the gold and silver pairs match at Barford at the weekend, Marti Jermy and Dave Jarvis. - Credit: Archant

All that glitters is not gold. So wrote William Shakespeare in the Merchant of Venice (1596).

Clearly the great bard had shamelessly plagiarised Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales: It is not all gold that glareth, written some 100 years previously.

Translated into modern angling parlance – for example the Barford Lakes pairs events last Saturday – it was the silver flanks of the bream and roach glistening as vividly as the carp reflecting their scales of burnished gold in the sinking rays of the late autumn sunset.

This was the popular Barford pairs series, staged on the Pleasure Lake for silver fish and the Match lake for the golden carp.

And at the end of another cliffhanger, it was the sophisticated section performances that were rewarded with low penalty point scores that directed the winners to the roll of honour and the main prize list.

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First up were the Barford home duo, Martyn Jermyn and Dave Jarvis. Jermyn won the poorer of two gold sections with 35lb 5oz, while Jarvis scored a second with a 14lb 3oz net of silvers.

These numbers distilled into three penalty points from a 49lb 8oz aggregate.

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Wensum Valley Tackle duo Daniel Brydon, a section winner with 15lb 3oz, and Warren Martin, with three points, were runners-up with four penalty points from an aggregate of 34lb 5oz.

The scales divided the next three pairs all on five points: M Wiles/S Elmar (Myhills); R Finch/S Kindlysides (Deben/Unreliables); and M Hendry/S Smith (Dereham).

Match organiser Kevin Ford said this was typical cold weather fishing: 'The carp gather in tight shoals at this time of the year and you have to be lucky to draw a peg among them.

'By contrast, silver fish remain more spread out until winter really sets in.'

The final round of the league scheduled for this Saturday on the Pleasure and Railway lakes.

Meanwhile, the roach and perch continue to occupy the Angling Direct league contenders on the River Wensum in Norwich.

With six rounds of this Riverside tournament completed, Colin Urry (Dukes) heads the table with a perfect six penalty points score.

Sunday's winner was former Broads champion David Roe (Angling Direct) with 17lb 12oz, followed closely by Pete Swan (Angling Direct) with 17lb 4oz and Colin Urry with 15lb 5oz.

League organiser Swan stated: 'Obviously Colin Urry has a commanding lead after six section victories, but we have to believe with the tournament only at the halfway stage that he can be caught.'

Elsewhere on the match scene, Cobble Acre produced a probable venue best ide, scaling 5lb 4oz for Norwich matchman Craig Gladding. He netted it at a midweek match won by Jim Randell (Sensas) with 32lb 7oz, while Jim Smith was the Saturday victor with 33lb 5oz.

Since EDP Angling featured the newly-opened North Walsham Dilham Canal at Ebridge, anglers report fair catches of roach, rudd and small pike there.

However, pike anglers on the internet appear more interested in small boat access to the two miles of canal between Wayford and Honing Lock.

According to respected and well-informed Norfolk Heritage Explorer, aerial photographs first published in 1946 confirm that this section of canal, with five others, were deepened by around three feet by the army in 1940.

This work was done to create anti-tank traps against a possible German invasion.

Two of us kids now over 80 were born within a proverbial stone's throw of the canal and watched the British Army at work, dredging out mud, silt, sand and clay, deposited in mounds along the bank and visible for years.

The quality of fishing for roach, bream, rudd and pike soared after this clearance and local clubs such as Dilham and White Horse Common in the early post-war years competed there until the 1970s, when alders produced canopies over the water and in the clear aquatic weed was abundant.

This section of the canal was never dredged again, but there remains a healthy fish stock and winter pike anglers in boats can be almost guaranteed great sport between Wayford and East Ruston Cut and in Taylor's Cut, that branches off left into Dilham.

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