Touch of excellence from the cream of East Anglia
- Credit: Archant
Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention and intelligent expectation.
Whether the erudite Greek philosopher Aristotle was preaching these words of wisdom to his local Mediterranean fishermen around 2,300 years ago is unknown.
But, most certainly, his analysis of Man's success can be applied to the present day match anglers and that was demonstrated in the final round of the NDAA League on the River Thurne.
Thoughtful fishing combined with honest endeavour resulted in hot favourites Maver Image carrying off the champions trophy following a comprehensive nine penalty points victory against their nearest challengers Daiwa AD Black on 14pp and the Unreliables on 16.
Maver Image are a select squad of East Anglian matchmen consisting of half a dozen stars working in rotation on a three-from-six permutation. They were Steve Clarke, John Southgate, John Taylor, Jimmy Brooks, Robert Bright and Lee Klimczuk.
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The trio who clinched the title in Saturday's final showdown were Southgate (2pp, 21lb 11oz), Taylor (3pp, 19lb 12oz) and Bright (4pp, 13lb 12oz).
Commenting on the consistency that hoisted Maver into an invincible seven points lead, manager Steve Clarke said: 'This was a special squad able to fish rivers and we achieved it on this spectacular River Thurne venue.'
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John Taylor, a retired Denver school teacher, skippered the team on Saturday and said: 'What with falling temperatures, the Thurne fish were not quite as keen.
'But it was fair for all and we thoroughly enjoyed it and will defend the title next year.'
Tony Gibbons, who runs this highly-thought-of league, added: 'This has been a terrific series with record catches. Our Fish O'Mania winner Warren Martin (Unreliables) was top rod on the day with 24lb 8oz of roach and bream and four other catches over 20lb boosted the full match aggregate to 3,400lb.
'As for next season, I would urge anglers to wait until after our annual meeting in February for further details.'
Meanwhile, the bream are beginning to show in the Wensum at Riverside.
Sunday's Angling Direct League winner was Norwich angler David Pike, whose aquatic namesakes still attempt to rob anglers' keepnets. This is also the case on the River Thurne, where half a dozen competitors reported that fish had been snatched off their hooks by these marauders.
On the other hand, this news should delight local predator hunters, who have been worried by misinformation that pike stocks in the Broads and rivers are well below average.
On the match lakes, match organisers seldom managed to compete while carrying through the administrative worries.
However, on Saturday, Kevin Ford was rewarded for his season's work in this capacity, with a hefty winning Barford haul of 132lb 8oz.
'I fished meat baits close in on rod and reel and my best carp weighed 15lb 14oz,' recalled the Norwich City season ticket holder, whose glee turned to groans on hearing the bad news from Nottingham.
On the lakes, specimen fish have been harder to tempt in falling temperatures.
However, the best at Catch 22 was a 34lb 8oz common carp for Gerry Curtis, while at Taswood, Ben Spurling had the top commons scaling 31lb and 27lb.
• The Broads Angling Strategy Group will probably be considering two major items on the agenda at the annual meeting tonight.
One is the escalating concerns that North Sea storm surges will not only become more frequent, but more damaging.
The other is the constant plunge in rod licence sales, both nationally and locally.
The decline in junior interest is a major worry. Andy Wilson-Sutter, who is now in charge of the River Yare match stretch and ran a children's coaching course for 15 years until 2002, has some answers. 'Get parents and clubs more interested. What we need is adult dedication to persuade youngsters to go fishing. I accept cost of participation is a factor but hardly anyone appears to be trying to tempt the kids to the waterside these days.'