Local anglers make top ten

Although local match anglers failed to get their hands on the main money at the Barford five-day angling festival last week, quite a few of them finished among the top 10.

Although local match anglers failed to get their hands on the main money at the Barford five-day angling festival last week, quite a few of them finished among the top 10.

None of them could threaten three- times champion Neil McKinnon, for the Gloucester ace came through to make it four in a row to pocket another princely sum of �900 with a perfect penalty points score of four, writes Roy Webster.

However, Belton's Bob Bradford chalked up four section seconds to make fourth spot with eight penalty points, beaten out of third place by angling's equivalent of goal difference, a lower weight on the best four of five results system.

Great Yarmouth's former national team man veteran Jim Randell was fifth with nine points and Winterton's Clive Spelman, fishing under the Eels Foot banner, was among four anglers with 10 points and placed ninth on the weight differential.

Local hopefuls gave an excellent account of their angling prowess against some of the most awe-inspiring professional rod-and-line sportsmen in the country.

One of the Barford match organisers Daniel Brydon said: “I think a lot of our local anglers feel intimidated by the likes of Neil McKinnon. However, by and large, having three Norfolk anglers to finish in the top five is a pretty good result for the county.”

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Elsewhere on the open match scene, Ormesby's Stephen Rouse was in the money again, winning at Mill Farm on Sunday with 75lb 12oz. Club level results were: Stalham (Barford): A Watson 42lb 12oz, B Burlton 31lb 15oz, D Paynter 23lb 4oz.

Stalham members should note that their outing next Wednesday is to Holly Farm, South Walsham while all fixtures scheduled for Little Melton have been switched to Lake Four on the Great Melton Ponds. Sportsmans at Park Farm finished J Leonard 15lb

4oz, D Thompson 9lb 1oz and C Leonard 6lb 12oz.

On the big carp waters Great Yarmouth's Jonathan Crowe enjoyed the thrill of his angling life at Waveney Valley Lakes where he winched out his personal best fish, a massive common carp of 36lb. Another town angler Barry Hubbard also chalked up his personal best with a common of 35lb from the Burgh Castle Fishery.

The chill easterly winds put fish down in the Hall Farm Lake at Burgh Castle with the best of the week a common carp just under 20lbs for Cobholm's

Lee Turner.

Along the beaches the brisk easterlies also affected sport, but even in these difficult conditions anglers fishing marks between Yarmouth and Lowestoft report decent bass to 5lb and spring codling to over 3lbs with peeler crab the top bait right now.

Smooth hound and dogfish are showing off the sandy shores between Sea Palling and Horsey along with small school bass of which many are below the statutory size limit.

Those journeying south as far as Aldeburgh have been rewarded with splendid results with double-figure bass and codling to 5lb reported.

Fishery bosses who have banned the use of keep nets for pleasure anglers appear to have been justified by a survey carried out into untimely fish deaths on the commercial lakes.

The Cudmore Fishery owner Cyril Brewster has noted that carp mortalities have plunged by 80 per cent since he brought in the keep net ban last year.

Keep nets overcrowded by captive fish during the warmer months are known to cause many fish deaths everywhere including the local rivers and broads.

Indeed these weakened, sick fish are easy prey for predators like otters and mink and where fish carcasses have been discovered this may be considered one of the main problems.