Ashley Brown bagged a big pike on his final trip of the season for the second year running. Last time around, I photographed him holding a 30.

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On Black Friday this year, he nailed this 28lb lump from the Cut-Off Channel, along with fish of 17lb and 14lb, on small roach instead of his trademark shads.

Brown said all the fish were empty, having already spawned. You might well wonder what the largest might have weighed had she still been carrying spawn, which can add up to 20pc to a pike’s body weight once the ovaries swell and take on water. Might she have been a pound or two heavier than the thirty I photographed him with almost a year to the day earlier?

And that, as they say is it for now. Well, almost, because the Fat Lady’s song seems to get shorter every year. King’s Lynn AA are already putting the finishing touches to next season’s ‘books’, which go on sale on Saturday.

Club waters are now all closed with the exception of Springside Lake, at Snettisham, which can be fished on the ‘old’ 2013/14 ticket until March 31.

You can expect the place to get a bit crowded between now and then, especially if the weather continues its upward curve.

But it’s a little water which has produced some good catches once the carp get going prior to spawning. You don’t need all the gear either – a waggler fished a rod length out with pellet, boilie or even bread or corn–- can be just as 
effective as a trio of rods on a pod with all the carpy bling.

Other stillwaters re-open on Tuesday, April 1.

There has to be an irony in that somewhere. I touched on the close season debate last week, but Ash Brown’s pike shows in a way what a mish-mash it is.

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