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Diss & District Angling Club hosts second semi-final of Mere Masters

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The second semi-final of the Diss & District Angling Club’s prestigious Mere Masters competition was held recently with the top seven anglers, on weight, destined to join the seven qualifiers from the first semi-final in the final this coming Sunday.

The Mere fished reasonably well in the first semi-final, won by former four-time World Angling champion Bob Nudd, and the competitors had the added incentive – in this second semi – of fishing alongside Bob in the final.

Club chairman Ben Wilby took top spot on the day with a net of 25lb 8oz from peg 16. Ben caught mainly roach and perch, plus some bonus skimmers.

Diss Angling Club's chairman Ben Wilby
Diss Angling Club's chairman Ben Wilby

Jimmy Ellis, in second place, had 23lb 13oz of mainly skimmers fishing at 5m.

Karl Martin was third from peg 1 with a net of skimmers on the feeder for a total weight of 18lb 6oz. Club vice-chairman Robert Foulger came fourth.

The top seven, who all qualified from this second semi-final for the final were: 1st Ben Wilby peg 16 (25lb 8oz), 2nd Jimmy Ellis peg 36 (23lb 13oz), 3rd Karl Martin peg 1 (18lb 6oz), 4th Robert Foulger peg 10 (17lb 2oz), 5th Ian Torn peg 9 (15lb 12oz), 6th Steve Harrold peg 35 (13lb 2oz) and 7th Keith Wilkins peg 19 (12lb 7oz).

Diss Angling Club's vice-chairman Robert Foulger
Diss Angling Club's vice-chairman Robert Foulger

These latest qualifiers join those already qualified from the first semi-final: Bob Nudd, Billy Hughes, Robert Smith, Adam Smith, Tony Whiting, Chris Knight, Pip Mills.

A Junior’s version of the Masters, at the Diss club, is scheduled for their Yaxley water on May 30. For more details see the club’s Facebook page.

Meanwhile, day ticket fishery at Suffolk Water Park had a flying start to the month of May.

With the very cold nights easing at last, the first nine days of the month saw seven carp over 30lbs landed, plus another five 20 pounders.

The largest fish, captured by John-Paul Taylor, was a common ‘The Box’ at 39lb 6oz.

Booking in advance for this superb day ticket water is essential. See their Facebook page for details.

Wednesday’s Open match last week at the Water Park was won by Ron Brewer with 80lb. Second-placed Chris Annett weighed in 74lb and Rod Ledger took third spot with 72lb.

Reports from anglers who had fished the Bury St Edmunds Angling Association fishery Barrow Lake in the days leading up to the second veteran’s match of the year were very promising – Barrow can be a fickle match venue.

However, conditions on the day were generally good when I paid the competition a visit to take photos last Thursday.

The water is no longer gin clear and the water level was spot on, giving good access to the newly repaired fishing platforms.

There was only a light breeze so bait presentation on the pole and waggler wasn’t difficult and there were signs of fish topping around the lake.

The sun wasn’t shining but an air temperature of 15C made it very comfortable for both anglers and fish.

I stayed about an hour, mid-match, and witnessed several of the new tench, stocked last November, being caught plus a net bream that Rob Parnell seemed to take forever to land!

No-one was bagging and no carp had been landed (these usually show late in a match at Barrow but failed to appear this time), but most of the veterans had still managed to land something.

Match secretary Keith Smith landed a tench while I stood cautiously behind him and I am pleased to report it was in very good condition.

It turned out that Parnell’s patience when playing a 4lb bream was very wise as it helped him to a winning bag of 11lb 11oz. He also had another bream, three skimmers and several roach from his peg on the far bank.

Bob Martin came second from peg 1 with 11 small tench backed up with small roach for 7lb 5oz.

Smith netted 5lb 10ozs (nine tench, one skimmer and some small roach) for third place from peg 6.

Ninety-one-year-old Tony Boughton, certainly the oldest active match angler in the Bury club, came fourth.

He told me it was a very tiring day and that it may have been his last match after more than 60 years of match angling.

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