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Diss Angling Club's Mere Masters top prize goes the way of four-time world champion Bob Nudd

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Bob Nudd is the 2021 Diss Angling Club Mere Masters champion.

Club chairman Ben Wilby reported: “The final of the Mere Masters took place today and it was very wet and windy and the fishing was hard for periods but you know what they say, cream always rise to the top.”

It was the early favourite Nudd (four-time world individual angling champion) who took the honours fishing from peg 16.

Bob Nudd and Ben Wilby at the Diss Mere Masters. Picture: Mikey Reilly
Bob Nudd and Ben Wilby at the Diss Mere Masters. Picture: Mikey Reilly

Bob caught skimmers and roach at 11m on maggot, mostly taken mid-water on the drop, to weigh in at 28lb 12oz to become just the second ever winner of the Masters.

The runner-up was the club’s vice-chairman, Robert Foulger, with a net of skimmers from peg 38. Rob had 23lb 9oz caught at 6m using worm.

Third place went to Ian Torn, who had a similar net for a weight of 22lb. Chairman Wilby took fourth spot with 20lb 2oz of skimmers from peg 36 and the first ever champion, Tony Watling, came fifth with 19lb 4oz.

Steve Brazier at Highbridge
Steve Brazier at Highbridge

Full result: 1st Bob Nudd peg 16 (28lb 12oz), 2nd Rob Foulger peg 38 (23lb 9oz), 3rd Ian Torn peg 34 (22lb), 4th Ben Wilby peg 36 (20lb 2oz), 5th Tony Watling peg 1 (19lb 4oz), 6th Chris Knights peg 13 (19lb 2oz), 7th Keith Wilkins peg 19 (14lb) , 8th Robert Smith peg 35 (13lb 15oz), 9th Billy Hughes peg 15 (13lb 7oz), 10th Adam Smith peg 9 (13lb 5oz), 11th Jimmy Ellis peg 17 (8lb 11oz), 12th Karl Martin peg 37 (6lb 9oz), 13th Steve Harrold peg 10 (2lb 10oz), 14th Pip Mills peg 3 (2lb 7oz).

Wilby added: “Thanks to everyone who took part in the event this year. Next year we will look to make it even bigger and better.

“Also, special thanks to those who helped run the event this year. Thanks to the spectators too who helped support the anglers throughout.”

Meanwhile, specimen catch reports from the syndicate water at Highbridge near Thetford have been impressive in the last couple of weeks.

Highbridge is a largely unprotected (from the elements) reservoir and particularly night sessions can be physically very challenging, especially during the unseasonably cold early spring this year.

By far the most impressive catch report came from Steve Brazier, who braved the elements including hail, rain and gales to include the reservoir’s biggest known carp (Keith’s Fish) in his returns.

The 39lb common carp is Steve’s UK personal best and the first time the fish has been banked since last November when it weighed in at 42lb 8oz.

Steve reported: “It was a 72-hour session from Tuesday to Friday morning!

“I had one missed run and two 14lb carp the first evening. The following morning a stockie mirror and the second was a homegrown Highbridge common. Then nothing until the following afternoon.

“After seeing a massive fish show I cast my sticky Baits Manila topped snow man on a stiff seven-inch Ronnie rig. About an hour after my lead hitting the spot it was gone.

“The fight was around 30 minutes and it fought really strongly, making three deep runs out to the middle of the reservoir.

“I had not seen my leader for the whole fight and all of a sudden it rolled and showed me just how big this fish was!

“I don’t mind telling you the next five minutes of fish play was really stomach churning after losing one of Highbridge’s bigger residents in middle of night in snake pit corner. It’s full of snags and that fish loss had been playing on my mind.

“But after yesterday al the memories of the one that got away disappeared, however I lost a new Bivvy in the strong gusting wind but ‘Keith’s Fish’ makes up for so much.”

Highbridge boss James Brown commented on the catch: “Steve is a very happy syndicate member, in fact he is over the moon following his superb catch.

“It’s the biggest so far this year from our fishery and just shy of the lake record.”

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