'Fish of the Year' is story of the year

Perhaps a contender for the best angling story of 2002 that has come my way concerns Bury St Edmunds fisherman Mark Oldham and his 'Fish of the Year' taken at Narborough a week or so ago.


 Perhaps a contender for the best angling story of 2002 that has come my way concerns Bury St Edmunds fisherman Mark Oldham and his 'Fish of the Year' taken at Narborough a week or so ago.

Mark told me that the day was dry but with broken cloud when he started fishing on the top lake at Narborough but he had only one 'knock' in the first hour and moved to the middle lake.

There he used a WG8 line and a nine foot 6 lb. leader with a cat's whisker fly. First chuck produced a huge take from what was obviously a very big fish that, when it turned, he could see was a rainbow of about 12 lb. and then the hook came out…

Having checked over the line, fly and knot Mark re-cast and immediately hit another big trout that stripped the reel of line and backing before it reached the end of the lake. Another angler there saw it and described the fish as "a bloody monster".

There then ensued a 15 minute nail-biting battle before the fish was netted and Mark had difficulty in leaving the lake because of the crowd wanting sight and pictures of this beautiful, huge, male brownie. He presently occupies a friend's freezer while Mark contacts a taxidermist.

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May I ask readers to let me know if they are aware of a larger brown trout caught in East Anglia because this one, at 13½ lb., really is a biggie for this neck of the woods.

Thanks Mark for the story and picture. Unfortunately the pic. was taken by a bystander who obviously was unfamiliar with the camera because not much of Mark was on it! Just the fish.

Anyway, it is good to be able to include some trout news and maybe this is an opportune time to appeal to game anglers out there for their news and pictures. Any takers?


Hey! Do you believe in fairies and all that stuff? Remember me writing a sad little piece a couple of weeks ago about my troubles with stonfos and my inability to now find a tackle shop that sells the only type of stonfo I can get on with?

 I appealed to readers to let me know if they knew of such an emporium. A tackle shop from Heaven I called it.

Well, would you believe that the power of the press proved its worth again and I received the call that frankly I really didn't think would come? The little bird that kindly rang me is not entirely unconnected with Gipping Valley AC and I thank him publicly for helping.

That tackle shop from Heaven is not a million miles away from Great Blakenham and I raided it on the morning following receipt of a message that it had a half-price tub of discontinued tackle and that the objects of my desire may well be found in it.

They were there all right. But mixed up with them were literally hundreds of other almost identical little plastic wallets containing other pole bits and pieces. What a performance. Those people in the shop must have thought I had taken leave of my senses and one kind soul even helped me tip the lot out on the floor and sort through the pile. Thank you madam, you were so obliging.

But I found enough to keep me going for a while and I even left some of an unwanted size in the tub for any other idiots who might chance upon them.

By way of explanation I should say that these stonfos were marketed by a firm called Future which apparently went out of business. Hence their products are no longer on the market and it appears that nobody else makes this type of stonfo.

That may be explained by the reaction of the little bird from Gipping Valley when I asked whether he had ever used them. Yes he had, he replied, but he couldn't get on with them and gave up! Was I, I wondered, the only one who found these stonfos to be the best thing since sliced bread and that's why nobody else makes them?

If there is any reaction from the tackle trade I will be pleased to receive it.


I was pleased to receive another indication of how well the Gipping APS waters are fishing when I heard from Gavin Rose following a thoroughly enjoyable day he spent pike fishing at Sharmford Lagoon.

In six hours Gavin had five pike ranging in weight from 9 lb. to 15 lb. and totalling 57½ lb. His successful baits were dead sea fish and he used sprat as feed.




            The Over 60's/disabled group fished at a windy Barrow Lake only recently re-filled with cold and clear rain water. Catches were understandably modest and George Tebb needed just 4 lb. 2 oz. to win. Tony Stollard was second with 3 lb. 3 oz. and Malcolm Pryke's 3 lb. dead was third.



Saturday 23rd. November saw a large 'posse' of GVAC regulars head up the A140 for the first of our three match series fished on the River Waveney at Beccles. Steve Barnes arrived at peg one only to find a moored boat in his swim. This proved to be a stroke of good fortune and he eventually settled in further up the match length.

 Having left his reels at home, he assembled his pole tackle and produced an extremely tidy display of chopped worm fishing. He took small and 'pan' perch throughout the five hours of competition and netted two bonus tench for a winning weight of over 18 lb.

 To Steve's right, Stuart Oxborrow proved that he could handle his pole as well as his now famous light feeder rod. Again he caught throughout the match, taking roach on a maggot bait, putting 10 lb. plus on the scales, and having little time to eat his customary whole packet of biscuits!

Stuart's travelling partner, Mark Brewster, pegged the other side of Steve, chose to enjoy the day on one his favourite methods, catching caster roach on the waggler. Half an ounce more would have given him 10 lb. and his weight was good enough for third on the day. Our thanks to Waveney District Council for an enjoyable if chilly day.

Our now regular special mention this week goes once again to Barry 'Bigfoot' Miller. One would think that wearing his thermal boots all year round, he'd be able to control his feet. However, on the day in question, he managed to tread on and snap one of Tony Bennington's top kits. Tony can be pacified with promises of several Jack Daniels and their friendship remains intact. If only life was always that simple!





The Park has again seen good carp action on the Big Fish Lake with regular angler John Porter landing a mirror carp weighing 21 lb. 10 oz. and two beautifully conditioned common carp of 14 lb. 8 oz. and a 22 lb. 10 oz. common all within a two hour period.

Other regulars include Mark Ball with a 14 lb. 12 oz. common and Ginge with a 16 lb. 8 oz. common carp. The carp are reported to be feeding in approx 6 to 10 feet of water and at long range.

The Leader board reads – 1.  Keith John 35 lb. 14 oz. mirror    2.  John Porter 30 lb. 10 oz. common    3. Mark Ball 29 lb. 6 oz. mirror   4. Stuart Huggins 27 lb. 6 oz. common and 5.  Keith John 27 lb. common.

Maggot over dead baits has produced a 16 lb. 6 oz. pike from our Traditional Lake to Mr Woods who landed the predator after a long struggle on 4 lb. line to double maggot and a size 16 hook.

 Anglers are catching good bags of roach with most to be in the 1 lb. to 1¾ lb. bracket, fished with feeder tactics with worm on the hook. Tench are showing with anglers landing fish to 6 lb. with bream also showing in small numbers.

The Canal section of the complex has shown steady catches of mixed course fish with roach, bream, tench and small carp falling to maggot and worm fished on the pole.


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