Big catch has angler singing in the rain

For keen freshwater angler Patrick Goffin, putting something aside for a rainy day took on a somewhat different slant, for when the heavens opened his fishing tackle was at the ready.

For keen freshwater angler Patrick Goffin, putting something aside for a rainy day took on a somewhat different slant, for when the heavens opened his fishing tackle was at the ready.

The builder's immediate reaction when he was rained off the job was to load up his barbel fishing gear and head for the River Wensum in search of the fish of his dreams.

But when he arrived at the Lenwade Bridge day ticket stretch of this prolific river he was dismayed to be greeted with a raging torrent belting through the mill race. Sensible fishing seemed out of the question, writes Roy Webster.

However, the Caister brickie whose ambition over many visits to the Wensum was to cement a lasting relationship with one of those giant barbel, simply had to give it another try after so many failed attempts to fulfil his piscatorial desires.

At first sight the turbulent state of the water seemed to be sending a stark message that fishing would be an utter waste of time.

But just because the water was steaming through at a great rate of knots, Patrick knew the fish had to be in there somewhere. The intrepid rodman selected a short stretch of slack water on the near bank to try his luck from beneath the shelter of his cavernous angler's brolly.

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And within one hour of fishing the 42-year-old had his reward - a spectacular barbel of 19lb 8oz to which he added another of 14lb 4oz, with the pair later recognised as the second best one-day double ever landed in the United Kingdom.

“I decided to bait up with luncheon meat on a size 8 hook and 12lb breaking strain line and drop the bait into the slower glide of water by the near bank just downstream from my position.

“I had spent hours before trying for one of these fish and I was amazed to catch two of them in one day, considering the conditions,” he told his angling friends.

Well known Caister carp specialist and match angler Alan Waldron said he had spoken to Patrick a few days previously. “He told me he had put in nearly 30 trips to Lenwade without much luck and I am delighted he has now been rewarded with these two magnificent fish,” he said.

Lenwade Bridge pub landlord Peter Forder, who issues value for money £5 day tickets to fish the river and his adjacent lake said: “Patrick Goffin's fish has cast a whole new light on the potential of the River Wensum to produce a new British record barbel.

“A lot of local anglers have believed it could only come from the Sayers Meadow stretch at Lyng, but now this latest fish from Lenwade suggests we too are in with a chance of making the River Wensum famous.”

On the carp scene there has been little action and the only fish of note was a 22lb mirror by Great Yarmouth enthusiast Martin Thompson from Taverham Lake.

In the River Thurne there is encouraging news from the Potter Heigham stretch where two veteran anglers this week caught roach and bream from above the new road bridge.

However, the discussions at Potter Heigham concern a few dozen dead fish that have been floating around for weeks in the boatyard lagoons, and these were actually photographed on New Year's Day.

It is difficult to believe that someone called out the Environment Agency on the emergency line on a wild goose chase to inspect these decaying corpses that may well have been blown or washed into the boatyards from the river following the deadly sea floods. Or perhaps less likely they were dead baits ditched by pike anglers or even keep net mortalities.

What is certain is that there are substantial numbers of small fry in the boatyard lagoons, mostly tiny bream of which many were scooped out for inspection in a landing net last week and returned alive.

So it's not all doom and gloom on the River Thurne, for Mother Nature has shown again that she is resilient when it comes to proliferation of the species despite adversity.

For sea anglers the advice has been take to the boats, for what few decent cod there are out there they swim far beyond casting range from the beaches.

Alas, the weather forecast suggests that boat fishing will be completely out of the question this weekend, for the North Sea could be very angry indeed.

On the match scene the chilly conditions could seriously affect all tournaments, in complete contrast to last Sunday's Barford League match where the Yarmouth Pownalls outfit produced the individual winner in Barry Burlton with 85lb 8oz while Mark Bradford was third with 76lb 3oz.

Unfortunately those two section victories were not sufficient for the team to make the top three placings for the other three in the squad failed to make the grade.

Other match result - Burgh Castle Open: Robert Silverwood 24lb 4oz, Dave Grimwood 15lb, Kevin Barfield 13lb 8oz.