The Green Heart of Poringland


Radley at the Double

Trevor Radley cemented his reputation as the lakes’ big fish specialist when he cruised to victory in the sixth and final match in the Winter League series.

It was Radley’s second consecutive win, his 16lb 15oz tally giving him a comfortable victory in the aggregate weights category for the Irene Gudgeon memorial shield.  Fishing close to the inlet pipe in Duffield, the Hethersett ace also scooped the jackpot by winning on the golden peg.

Fishing on his favourite peg at the opposite end of the lake, Liam Crowley pieced together another useful bag, including two fine perch, to finish second.  Meanwhile, forsaking his pole for more traditional rod and line, Justin Randall turned in another good performance to claim third place in both the match and winter series.

Surprisingly, the two men who have dominated match fishing at Poringland, Mick Morley and Eric Peak really struggled, managing less than four pound between them.  Still it was good enough to ensure Mick Morley comfortably took the winter league series.

For a while, well around five minutes to be precise, it looked as if Jonny Causton could cause an upset as he netted a 3lb plus carp with this very first cast.  Sadly, it turned out to be a false dawn as the popular local could only add a couple of tiddlers to his haul in the next five hours.

So overall the honours went to Mick Morley and Trevor Radley, winners of the Winter League and Irene Gudgeon Memorial respectively.  Now they all start again next month with the first staging of the Summer League series.

Winter League Match Six

Trevor Radley 16lb 15oz, Liam Crowley 10lb 10oz, Justin Randall 5lb 7oz, Jonny Causton 3lb 12oz, Bob Bailey 2lb 11oz, Mick Morley 2lb 2oz, Eric Peak 1lb 5oz, Alan Crabb 11oz

Winter League – Final Placings

Mick Morley 40pts, Trevor Radley 31.5, Justin Randall 29.5, Eric Peak 27.5, Bob Bailey 27, Alan Crabb 26, Liam Crowley 22.5, Jonny Causton 18, Danny Morley 6, John Hodgson 2

Irene Gudgeon Memorial Shield (Aggregate Weights)

Trevor Radley 68lb 4oz, Mick Morley 32lb 12oz, Bob Bailey 32lb 1oz, Eric Peak 27lb 4oz, Liam Crowley 20lb 10oz, Justin Randall 20lb 4oz, Alan Crabb 19lb 3oz, Jonny Causton 8lb 2oz, Danny Morley 7lb 3oz, John Hodgson 4oz

Record Breaker Radley Bags Up

With the tail-end of Storm Erik whipping up gusts over 50 mph, making conditions testing to say the least, there was a remarkable result in the fifth Winter League match.

Not only did Trevor Radley bag more fish than the other seven anglers put together but he totally smashed the all-time record for the biggest catch held by Mark Casto.

While others struggled to catch anything of size, Radley banked seven good carp to take his winning weight to a remarkable 44lb 12oz, far eclipsing Casto’s 30lb 7oz haul in the very first PCFLA match back in summer of 2016.

Fishing close to the black pipe in Gudgeon, Radley caught steadily, his best a pristine 6lb 13oz common coming on the last cast of the day.

Ever consistent Eric Peak sneaked a nice common almost unnoticed, good enough to edge second place ahead of Winter League debutant Danny Morley, just six ounces separating the pair.

Radley’s remarkable performance has jetted him to the top of the Irene Gudgeon leaderboard.  In the normal course of events, with one match to go, you would say the memorial shield is his but given today’s amazing result, nothing is decided until the fat lady sings.

However, one thing is for certain.  Mick Morley will win the Winter League series.  He has fished consistently well over the past five months, building up an unassailable lead, in fact he could afford the luxury of not turning up for the next match and would still take the title.

Winter League Match Five

Trevor Radley 44lb 12oz, Eric Peak 7lb 9oz, Danny Morley 7lb 3oz, Mick Morley 6lb 7oz, Alan Crabb 4lb 4oz, Bob Bailey 4lb 2oz, Justin Randall 2lb 3oz, Jonny Causton 1oz.

Winter League Grand Prix

Mick Morley 37, Eric Peak 25.5, Alan Crabb 25, Justin Randall 23.5, Bob Bailey 23, Trevor Radley 22.5, Liam Crowley 15.5, Jonny Causton 13, Danny Morley 6, John Hodgson 2

Irene Gudgeon Memorial (aggregate weights)

Trevor Radley 51lb 5oz, Mick Morley 30lb 7oz, Bob Bailey 29lb 6oz, Eric Peak 25lb 15oz, Alan Crabb 18lb 8oz, Justin Randall 14lb 15oz, Liam Crowley 10lb 0oz, Danny Morley 7lb 3oz, Jonny Causton 4lb 6oz, John Hodgson 4oz 

Frozen Out

Today's eagerly awaited fishing match, the fifth in the six match Winter League series, was postponed because of ice.

The keenly anticipated match had special interest as all eyes were on one man, Bob Bailey, to see if the Poringland angler could break the Mick Morley/Eric Peak monopoly of silverware.

With just two matches to go, underdog Bailey holds a narrow lead in the chase for the coveted Irene Gudgeon memorial shield ahead of Morley and Peak.

Sub-zero temperatures left organiser Alan Crabb little choice but to postpone the match which will now be put back a week to Saturday 9 February, weather permitting of course.

It was a good call. As our photo shows, the lakes were frozen solid on the morning of the match.

Last Gasp Victory for Morley

In a spectacular grandstand finish, Mick Morley re-established himself as the lakes’ best match angler with a last gasp victory in today’s winter league match on Noble.

For much of the bitterly cold day it looked as if Trevor Radley would be the outright winner as he steadily built up a bag of small skimmers.  But literally at the last minute, Morley bagged a good-sized carp to edge out his Hethersett rival and widen the gap at the top of the grand prix standings.

To add insult to injury, Morley quietly admitted after the weigh-in that he had foul-hooked what turned out to be the biggest fish of the day!

Fishing Noble in a chilly breeze which made conditions much colder than the four degrees air temperature, made it a tough day for fishing with bites few and far between.  In almost a carbon copy of the first match fished on Noble, those drawn on the pegs at the wildflower meadow end of the lake hardly caught a fish between them.  In contrast the top three podium places all came from the Norfolk Homes bank.

Trustee Jonny Causton enjoyed his best result to date, a small bream and all too rare carp contributing to his 3lb 4oz tally, good enough for third place.  Meanwhile Bob Bailey’s hopes of increasing his lead in the Irene Gudgeon Memorial were unceremoniously dashed as he could only manage 15oz.  Still it was good enough to retain his leadership in the aggregate weights category but with Morley back to his best it looks as if the Mundham rod will once again ‘do the double’ come the series conclusion.

The next event in the six match series takes place on Gudgeon on Saturday 2 February.

Winter League Match Four

Mick Morley 8lb 5oz, Trevor Radley 5lb 7oz, Jonny Causton 3lb 4oz, Alan Crabb 2lb 14oz, Bob Bailey 15oz, Eric Peak 4oz, Justin Randall 4oz, Liam Crowley 0oz

Winter League Grand Prix

Mick Morley 32 pts, Justin Randall 21.5, Alan Crabb 21, Bob Bailey 20, Eric Peak 18.5, Liam Crowley 15.5, Trevor Radley 13.5, Jonny Causton 12, John Hodgson 2

Irene Gudgeon Memorial (aggregate weights)

Bob Bailey 25lb 4oz, Mick Morley 24lb 0oz, Eric Peak 18lb 6oz, Alan Crabb 14lb 4oz, Justin Randall 12lb 12oz, Liam Crowley 10lb 0oz, Trevor Radley 6lb 9oz, Jonny Causton 4lb 5oz, John Hodgson 4oz

New Year – New Order?

Ever since match fishing started at Poringland Lakes three years ago, the events have been dominated by two men, Mick Morley and Eric Peak.  Between them they have won every summer and winter league series and scooped the coveted Irene Gudgeon memorial on four of the five stagings.

But as we move into the New Year, a new order is starting to emerge to challenge the top two.  After three matches, Bob Bailey has a clear lead in the aggregate weights chase and Justin Randall is in touching distance of Morley at the top of the league ladder – all of which makes Saturday’s fourth match in the six match series all the more exciting.

What makes the match even more intriguing are the tactics to be adopted.  With the match to be fished on the smallest of the three lakes, Noble, the wind and peg positions will be all important and the tactics crucial.   While Morley and Peak are expected to employ their usual approach of catching scores of small fish, Bailey and Randall may well concentrate on picking out a good-sized carp or two.

It promises to be quite a match!

Bailey Breakthrough

Bob Bailey celebrated his first ever match victory by decimating the field in the third Winter League event.  Not only did the popular Bailey bring Mick Morley’s domination to an end but the Poringland angler also won on the golden peg, boasting his winnings in the process.  Bailey’s impressive tally also jetted him to top spot in the chase for the Irene Gudgeon Memorial.

It was another difficult day on Duffield, a biting wind, rain and the cold combining to make conditions some of the toughest yet.  Drawn on the lee of the wind in the swim close to the memorial bench, Bailey finished with a respectable final weight of 20lb 6oz which included four pristine commons, all caught just inches from the bank.

For a while it looked as if Pakefield ace Eric Peak would take the honours but after a good start, the bites dried up and he finished second overall on 13lb 8oz which included three carp totalling over 11lb.

And talking of fast beginnings, what a whirlwind start Liam Crowley had.  On his very first cast, he landed a very nice 5lb 7oz common but could only add a few silvers to his collection, finishing on 6lb 7oz.  Still that was good enough for third place and a share of the prize fund.

With the winter series now at the halfway stage, it’s everything to play for as the competition moves on to Noble in the New Year.

Winter League Match Three

Bob Bailey 20lb 6oz, Eric Peak 13lb 8oz, Liam Crowley 6lb 7oz, Justin Randall 4lb 7oz, Mick Morley 3lb 5oz, Alan Crabb 2lb 13oz, Jonny Causton 6oz , Trevor Radley 5oz

Winter League Grand Prix (after three matches)

Mick Morley 23 points, Justin Randall 19, Bob Bailey 16, Alan Crabb 16, Eric Peak 16, Liam Crowley 14.5, Trevor Radley 6.5, Jonny Causton 6, John Hodgson 2

Irene Gudgeon Memorial Shield (aggregate weights)

Bob Bailey 24lb 5oz, Eric Peak 18lb 2oz, Mick Morley 15lb 11oz, Justin Randall 12lb 8oz, Alan Crabb 11lb 6oz, Liam Crowley 10lb 0oz, Trevor Radley 1lb 20z, Jonny Causton 1lb 1oz, John Hodgson 4oz 

Grandstand Finish in Winter League Two

The second match in the winter league series was held on a wonderful autumn day with wall-to-wall sunshine but bitterly cold in the shadows.  Not surprisingly the variable conditions played a major part in the result.

Those lucky enough to draw pegs on the sunnyside of the street where the warmer water clearly attracted the fish, reaped the rewards, three of the top four placings coming from Gudgeon’s north bank.  Meanwhile out of the sun and in the cold of the shade, three accomplished anglers could only manage just over a pound between them!

Once again, Mick Morley took the honours but unlike the previous four events won on the trot by a considerable margin, this was a much closer affair, just one ounce separating ‘The Machine’ from his closest rival Alan Crabb.

Fishing was extremely hard and nothing of any size was caught.  It was a scenario that ideally suited Morley’s ‘little and often’ approach which has held him in good stead all season, indeed his winning weight in the opening match was an identical 6lb 3oz.

Justin Randall’s good run of form continued as he notched his second consecutive rostrum leaving him well placed in both the Grand Prix and Gudgeon memorial.

Winter League Match Two

Mick Morley 6lb 3oz, Alan Crabb 6lb 2oz, Justin Randall 3lb 11oz, Bob Bailey 3lb 6oz, Eric Peak 3lb 3oz, Jonny Causton 9oz, Liam Crowley 5oz, Trevor Radley 5oz

Winter League Grand Prix (after two events)

Mick Morley 19, Justin Randall 14, Alan Crabb 13, Eric Peak 9, Liam Crowley 8.5, Bob Bailey 7, Trevor Radley 5.5, Jonny Causton 4, John Hodgson 2

Irene Gudgeon Memorial Shield (aggregate weights)

Mick Morley 12lb 6oz, Alan Crabb 8lb 9oz, Justin Randall 8lb 1oz, Eric Peak 4lb 10z, Bob Bailey 3lb 15oz, Liam Crowley 3lb 9oz, Trevor Radley 13oz, Jonny Causton 11oz, John Hodgson 4oz

Same Again in Winter League 

It may be a new season and a fresh start but the result of the first winter league match had an all too familiar ring about it. 

Once again Mick Morley emerged victorious, winning with just 6lb 3oz on a tricky day made even more difficult by persistent rain and a blustery north-easterly wind.  It was The Machine’s third successive victory in Poringland matches.

Mind you, everything could have been very different but for a slip of the hand!

After landing a good sized carp early doors, Justin Randall was about to slip his prize catch into the keepnet when the fish wriggled uncontrollably.  Instead of sliding it safely into the net, the carp belly flopped into the lake and then slipped gracefully into the deep leaving disconsolate Justin to reflect on what might have been.

It was a costly mistake as Randall finally lost out to Morley by a less than two pounds.

Overall the match was closely fought with several anglers reporting lost fish to a combination of the lilies and the bottom weed.  Interestingly, most of the fish were caught in the first two hours before bites virtually dried up completely after midday.

Not for the first time, those drawn at the flower meadow end of Noble struggled to catch.  As a result messrs Cawston, Hodgson and Peak finished well down the field with just over a pound of fish between them. 

Winter League Match One

Mick Morley 6lb 3oz, Justin Randall 4lb 6oz, Liam Crowley 3lb 4oz, Alan Crabb 2lb 7oz, Eric Peak 14oz, Trevor Radley 10oz, Bob Bailey 9oz, John Hodgson 4oz, Jonny Causton 2oz 

Winter League Grand Prix

Mick Morley 10 pts, Justin Randall 8, Liam Crowley 7,Alan Crabb 6, Eric Peak 5, Trevor Radley 4, Bob Bailey 3, John Hodgson 2, Jonny Causton 1