Tony Gibbons cruises to victory at River Yare Championship

Daniel Brydon with his catch at the Norwich and District Open event on the River Thurne at Martham.

Daniel Brydon with his catch at the Norwich and District Open event on the River Thurne at Martham. Brydon, Martin Pope and James Boughton make up the Wensum Valley line-up which came out on top. Picture: Daniel Brydon - Credit: Archant

One of Norfolk's greatest roach anglers pole-fished his way to victory in the River Yare Championship at the weekend.

On a day when the bream were reluctant to get their heads down and feed, Tony Gibbons – a retired agricultural sales executive now acting as general and match secretary of the Norwich and District Anglers' Association – whipped out 122 fish from his 12ft deep swim at peg 95 and added a handful of small skimmer bream that boosted his total to 15lb 3oz.

David Richardson (Suffolk Angling Direct) at the favoured 147 finished with 13lb 8oz of small skimmers for second spot. Third place fell to another Suffolk AD rod, Chris Kelly with 12lb 12oz of roach from 97.

Gibbons, a sprightly septuagenarian, cut his match angling teeth with his brother Roger with North Norfolk's one-time most popular club Aylsham and District, recently merged with North Walsham to maintain membership and cut costs.

Gibbons' feeder rod seldom sees the light of day. 'Essentially I am a roach angler and don't care for feeder fishing. And fortunately conditions at the weekend were in my favour,' he said after pocketing the top prize of £150. 'I fished maggot on a pole throughout, caught small fish at 13m and better quality from the main flow at 14.5m depth.'

If cooler conditions and clear waters prevail this autumn, Gibbons could add more honours to his 50 years of tournament success.

Also at the weekend was round 10 of the Nisa Feeder League won by sponsor Nick Larkin with an all-skimmer bream catch of 20lb 8oz from peg 104.

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Not before time either for this generous tackle manufacturer, who put £1,400 of his cash up for prize money this term.

When asked how he felt about the victory, he smiled: 'I enjoy this event when I am not winning but I agree I'm very pleased to hit the jackpot.'

League organiser Andy Wilson-Sutter added: 'The round 10 results have not affected the league and, with only four rounds to come, there may not be a major upset.'

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