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Staggering 135lb bream haul is an Avon record breaker.

A WORN-OUT but jubilant Worcester DAA matchman Colin Pettifer weighed in a staggering haul of bream totalling 135lb 10oz from the river Avon and justifiably declared, "It's the catch of a lifetime."

He can say that again. Colin's bream dream exploits have sent Avon experts scurrying to the record books and the consensus is - there has never been anything like it.

The Worcester DAA president was fishing in his own association's inter-club match on the river at Pensham, near Pershore, and right from the off he was among a shoal of bream using open-ended feeder and worm. After four hours of frantic action, landing species to 6lb, the fish "died" on him and he bagged only two more in the final hour. Anglers know only too well that the Avon can be notoriously inconsistent at the best of times and the 54lb pulled in by runner-up John Jeffries would have won any match nine times out of ten.

A 48-year-old cabinet maker from Worcester, Pettifer said: "I was lucky that the conditions were perfect for bream, mild and a bit choppy. It was the catch of my lifetime, no doubt about that but my favourite river is still the Salwarpe and if I'd have caught 40lb of roach I would have been even happier - if that's possible!

"Three more clubs have linked up with the National Federation of Anglers West Midlands region taking the total to 40 clubs and associations within the group.

They are Weddington MG (Nuneaton), Whynot (Rugeley) and Rugby Invicta.

Weddington, incidentally, staged their first match on the town stretch of the Coventry Canal for more than a year and Cannock's canal hot-shot, Paul Boothby, topped the frame from peg 21 with 7-7-7 comprising around 100 small roach and a handful of skimmers.

Meanwhile, Paul's younger brother, Ian, was doing his best to make it a Boothby double when he competed in a cracking open at the Tunnel Barn, Shrewley, venue. Unfortunately for Ian, his respectable 37-8-0 gave him only third place behind Carl Barnfield (43-13-0) and Vic Cutts (40-14-0).

An even closer family tie-up took place at Moorlands Farm, Hartlebury, when father and son pitched head to head for the No one spot.

Underlining his brilliant promise, 14 year old Aaron Munslow zapped his dad Clive, netting 34-2-0 from peg 39 on the Meadow with just eight ounces separating them.

Significant upgrading of facilities continues at Earlswood Lakes and bailiff John Howse predicts "terrific sport" in the summer.

"About pounds 200,000 will have been spent when all the works are finished," said Howse. "The Engine pool will hold 100 pegs and the Yachter water has had 10,000lb of bream put into it."
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Title Annotation:Angling
Author:James, Barry
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Feb 6, 2000
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