Wensum’s winter hauls continue to catch the eye

The River Wensum, recognised as the winter jewel in the Broads' angling crown, has shone once more.

It has produced another set of brilliant match results from an apparently inexhaustible stock of pristine roach to mark competitions around the turn of the year as some of the best ever.

Following the Boxing Day bonanza, the Linda Thompson memorial event on New Year's Eve again favoured anglers pegged on the yacht station of the famous Norwich venue.

It was the former Broads champion David Roe who produced a stunning haul from peg 16 above Foundry Bridge totalling 36lb 5oz – the great majority roach and three skimmer bream.

The Daiwa Angling Direct squad man fed in casters but caught his fish steadily on single maggot baiting a light float rig.

'I've had a good season on the rivers and the lakes,' said the 62-year-old Norwich ace who won the big Broads match in 1970.

'Some anglers deserted the rivers in favour of the carp lakes but I like to compete on all of them. But I have to agree the River Wensum has been something special as a winter venue.'

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Lewis Murawski (Anglers World) who has been tipped as a possible for England's international squad in the coming years, was runner-up with exactly 29lb of roach taken on bread punch from peg two at the top end.

He was closely followed by David Gooch (NDAA) with 28lb 10oz from peg 33 on the old coal yard.

Sunday's fourth round of the King of Wensum series was won by Kevin Bland (Daiwa AD) who, fresh from his Boxing Day triumph, clinched top honours with 18lb 12oz from peg eight opposite the boats, just an ounce to spare over Colin Urry (Dukes) who reeled in 18lb 11oz from peg nine.

Earlham Silvers fished the yatch station where Lee Beckett won with 25lb 15oz.

Club secretary Dave Hutchinson said: 'We may be the only club in Norfolk who do not visit the carp waters. We are silver fish specialists and I can report we have had a bumper year in the Broads.'

The majority of lakes and boatyards were still solid with ice at the weekend and at Barford fishery boss Sarah Thomson injected neat oxygen into her waters from several canisters of the vital gas to keep her fish from suffocating during the freeze up.