Fantastic fishing finale

An exciting final round of the Nisa Feeder League series on the tidal River Yare produced a grandstand finish.

Crack Hopton angler Brian Gooch, who was trailing third on match morning, came up on the rails to overtake pace-setters Nick Larkin and Robert Hubbard during a dramatic run-in.

Gooch (Daiwa Angling Direct Suffolk) easily closed a 6lb deficit and romped home at peg 78 with a magnificent mixed catch of 72lb that included half a dozen bream over 5lb, the remainder skimmers and roach.

On a day when water levels rose up river, the conditions were ideal for bream and quality roach and John Platten (Nisa Feeders) scaled 51lb 5oz to come second, with Reg Bryanton (Deben) third with 45lb 7oz.

Gooch finished champion with a runaway eight-match aggregate of 285lb 15oz, Larkin was runner-up with 252lb 15oz, followed by Hubbard with 249lb 8oz.

Commenting on his stunning championship performance, the 56-year-old caretaker, who pocketed �330 in winnings, said: “The big attraction of this series was not so much the prize money but the quality of the fishing on the tidal River Yare.

“There are no rivers in the country that can match ours in the Norfolk Broads area and that is why this tournament is so popular.”

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He added: “There was pretty huge flood tide on Saturday but the fish fed throughout and I caught mine on a feeder rig baited with worm and maggot. I regard this as one of my better performances because, at heart, I am a river-match man.”

In the River Bure Individual Championship, former Great Yarmouth national team man Robert Hubbard added yet another scalp to his over-crowded belt with a magnificent catch of 194 roach totaling 40lb 6oz, much to the delight of the NDAA chairman Tony Gibbons, who is staging the prestigious Norfolk Broads Championship on the Rivers Bure and Thurne tomorrow.

Commenting on last Sunday’s result on the St Benet’s Abbey match length, Gibbons said: “The event produced an average of more than 20lb per angler and by any standards that is quality fishing. I hope to have a field close to 100 rods in the Broads Championship and some competitors are travelling from as far afield as Leeds to enjoy what we hope is a top-quality event if the weather is kind to us.”

Hubbard, who along with his brother Glenn fishes under the Daiwa Angling Direct banner, drew peg two behind the ancient abbey ruins and caught fish throughout the five hours despite fears (unfounded) that a saltwater incursion would be forced into the Broads rivers by a high spring tide.

His successful strategy was offering red maggot on the long pole, keeping the fish interested by liberal offerings of casters buried in small balls of cereal groundbait.

Runner-up was Nick Larkin (Nisa Feeders) with a mixed bag of 34lb 11oz, followed by John Platten (Nisa Feeders) with an all-roach catch of 32lb 15oz.

Prospects for tomorrow’s big event are rated excellent and surprise catches may well come from the River Thurne pegs that will run from Martham Boatyard down to Potter Heigham road bridge. Tickets are still available to what is expected to be an excellent turnout. Bookings to Tony Gibbons on 01603 400973.

Match Results – River Bure Championship: 1 R Hubbard (Daiwa AD) 40lb 6oz, 2 N Larkin (Nisa Feeders) 34lb 11oz, 3 J PLatten (Yarmouth) 32lb 15oz, 4 B Weavers (Yarmouth Sportsmans) 32lb 12oz.

Nisa Feeder Series (River Yare), final round: 1 B Gooch (DADS) 72lb, 2 J Platten (Yar) 51lb 5oz, 3 R Bryanton (Deben) 45lb 7oz. Top four finish: 1 B Gooch 285lb 15oz, 2 N Larking 252lb 15oz, 3 R Hubbard 249lb 8oz. Stalham (Melton Ponds): 1 M Charlewood 36lb 3oz, 2 D Jones 26lb 7oz, 3 B Burlton 22lb 10oz. Carols (Melton Ponds): 1 D Collins 90lb, 2 A Waldron 52lb, 3 K Dyball 46lb.

Fixtures – Marsh Trail Lakes Open, Lake C: Saturday draw 9am, fish 10am – 4pm, �15 per head all in fee. Optional gold and silver pegs standing at �200, for booking/details, contact Richard on 01502 514682/07796 437381.

North Cove & Barnby AC Claude Larkin Memorial Open: Sunday, October 17, draw pegs 9am fish 10.30am – 3.30pm. This 40-peg event is fished on the river Waveney at North Cove �10 per head all in fee. Call Richard on 07796 437381.