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Harleston angler Wayne Chapman sets new county record at Bergh Apton

06:30 11 September 2014

Tom Daly with a 3lb 8oz rainbow taken from Blackdyke.

Tom Daly with a 3lb 8oz rainbow taken from Blackdyke.

Archant

Five hours of strenuous match fishing left a Norfolk angler with aching arms after heaving out more than his own weight in carp.

Harleston’s Wayne Chapman set a new county record with a 307lb 2oz venue buster at the bumper Bergh Apton fishery, filling five keepnets with fish up to five pounds apiece.

He tempted them with his special bread and pellet paste mix, offered just inches from the near bank on a four-foot long mini rod.

The 37-year-old printer, competing with the Norfolk and Suffolk Veterans on the popular south Norfolk venue, said he fished with his little ‘magic wand’ since 
discovering that many carp hug the banks during the main daylight hours.

“The method calls for complete stillness and no footfall vibrations that could scare and drive the fish away,” he explained.

“I kept them feeding by scattering in about one gallon of sweetcorn just over the edge with my hook bait no more than four inches from the margin.

On the rivers the Nisa Feeder River Yare League has become a contest that may produce worrying days and sleepless nights for the main contenders.

The statistics fuelling such gut wrenching anxiety and more than a passing interest that the stragglers can successfully pursue the pace setters are these aggregates: Wayne Anderson 122lb 9oz, Rod Finch 121lb 7oz, Nick Larkin 116lb 7oz.

Anderson (Daiwa AD), who is defending the title, dismisses his chances against the probability of two poor draws.

“I think I am not in the running this year,” he nonchalantly observed, while knowing that drawing any one of 43 pegs that has produced a top five finish will rate him a tricast banker.

Deben’s Finch, a former national champion, rocketed back into the reckoning with Saturday’s 22lb top of the card roach net, while league sponsor Larkin, who won the tournament in 2012, cannot be ruled out either.

“It’s another cliffhanger and if bream feed at all in the final two rounds we could see a major upset,” declared league promoter Andy Wilson-Sutter.

Meanwhile, the Julian Smith Memorial staged on the Carleton Rode fishery was won by Tony Gibbons (NDAA) with 11lb 6oz and raised £250 for Diabetes UK and top rod at Cross Drove was Stuart Bracey (Dynamite) with 182lb 2oz.

On the big fish waters, Colton’s Brian and Luke Mann spent their fortnight’s holiday at Taswood to finish with a total of 50 carp in double figures, six in the mid-20s.

At Swangey, there was also a spate of 20s shared by regulars John Goodyear, Daniel Flowers, Steve Mason, Jay Brabben and Darren Turner.

n Angling nature lovers who have expressed concern that the ever expanding cormorants will decimate fish stocks and threaten the future of our more appealing fish eating waterfowl may be reassured by the latest avian surveys.

In Britain we have 26,000 nesting herons (60,000 migrants), 10,000 great crested grebes (23,000 migrants), 8,000-plus kingfishers and 10,000 little grebes, none of which is under threat from cormorant starvation thanks to buoyant fish stocks on natural waterways and canals.

Even the bittern, still on the Red List of endangered species, is staging a recovery. However, it is right for anglers to say their sport on stillwaters for silver fish is threatened by the predation of 9,000 breeding pairs of cormorants and a further 40,000 winter migrants. In 1960 there were just 1,000 breeding pairs and far fewer migrants.

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