Good start to season for anglers

GREAT Yarmouth match anglers past and present hit the high spots with some excellent catches on the opening day of the coarse fishing season on Monday.

GREAT Yarmouth match anglers past and present hit the high spots with some excellent catches on the opening day of the coarse fishing season on Monday.

Town postman Paul Bunnewell delivered a splendid winning catch of 38lb 11oz on the opening-day tournament staged by the Yarmouth Association secretary Keith Ford on the River Yare, writes Roy Webster.

Bunnewell, fishing from fancied peg 22, winched in two 5lb bream and 15 skimmers to narrowly beat former Yarmouth national team man Robert Hubbard who finished with 35lb

1oz, including three huge bream on the 7lb mark.

On the River Bure, Martham club member Paul Sparks heaved out 32 bream between 2lb and 6lb, all tempted on worm while fishing from midnight to 6am. On the same bank town angler Geoffrey Brown tempted 19 bream to 6lb but for the season he noted there was not a roach to be caught from this stretch of river, prompting the question whether last November's huge salt-water surge wiped them out.

At St Benet's Abbey there was an impressive line-up of early-morning anglers, and come mid-day there was another former Yarmouth national man and member of the once

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all-conquering Yarmouth dream team who once again beat the field.

He was Roger Gibbons who as a veteran in more recent years has taken up game fishing for salmon and trout. But on opening morning he was back on his old stamping ground. “Just wanting to get back to the river that was my favourite match venue in the 1970's.”

Keith Fickling was another Yarmouth team man, but now coming up to his 80th birthday has long

given up the cut and thrust of open-match fishing.

“This is my sort of angling,” he declared as he slipped a sleek three-pound fish into his keep net.

On the River Thurne at Cold Harbour early catches were rated excellent before the tide changed.

Two anglers, who had been fishing since midnight at that point, tipped some 100lb of bream back into the river.

In the South Walsham Fleet Dyke, locals Michael Powley and son Paul shared a catch of 130lb of bream but might have had more but for sunken branches from bank trimming losing them some 20 or more fish.

On the main Broads Hickling was on great form for the few anglers out there. Occupants of one vessel hired from the Whispering Reeds Boatyard returned joyfully of reports of catching more than 100lb of bream apiece. Similar returns were taken by anglers fishing from boathouses moored along the fringes.

Horsey Mere was strangely quiet for opening morning. Before lunch only one fishing dinghy was visible with two anglers therein catching silver fish frequently.

On the Trinity Broads - Filby and Rollesby - pike anglers were out in numbers. Richard Barnes who runs the dinghy syndicate at Filby went out with Ivan Trevors and the pair had a busy morning taking predators to double figures on small buoyant lures worked on top of the lush weed growth.

Anglers hoping to contact the giant Trinity tench failed. The water was too crystal clear and there is an abundance of natural food right now.

On the match lakes, Gorleston Jolly Boy Julian Edwards won at Mill Farm with 99lb 12oz and at club level the local results were: Sportsmans (Besthorpe): C Leonard 43lb 7oz, R Silverwood 35lb 14oz, A Varley 26lb 6oz. Stalham (Railway): D Agass 54lb 12oz, R Austrin 35lb 14oz, P Lawrence 32lb.

On the carp lakes Dougie Collins, of Caister, netted a 22lb mirror and at Hall Farm, Burgh Castle there were numerous carp taken to the mid teens.

On Saturday the Great Yarmouth Nisa Feedermaster Series kicks off on the River Yare with eight out of the 16 rounds counting in calculating the major winners of an estimated £800 cash pool. This season the top three from each round will receive a bagful of Nisa feeders.

Initial entry is £10 with pools on day. Book in to Keith Ford (01603 483923).