Big perch surprise

Norfolk Broads angler Dick Bessey has been heaving out quality bream to double figures from Hickling all season. He was expecting another 100lb-plus bag from the Norfolk Wildlife Trust nature reserve last week, when he hooked a fish that definitely did not perform in the usual manner of a ponderous bream.

Norfolk Broads angler Dick Bessey has been heaving out quality bream to double figures from Hickling all season. He was expecting another 100lb-plus bag from the Norfolk Wildlife Trust nature reserve last week, when he hooked a fish that definitely did not perform in the usual manner of a ponderous bream. At first the Caister rodman believed the fish was a small to medium jack-pike by the way it fought furiously to shed the hook. “You can imagine my surprise, therefore, when this giant perch, with its spiky fins raised, came rolling on to the surface,” said the 63-year-old retired industrialist.

“I eventually got it into the net and on tested scales it weighed a fraction of an ounce under 4lb. It was a beautiful specimen and I am sure that there are more of the same of this size or even bigger in the broad, which is teeming with all species of fish right now.”

The top specimen of the week was a 37lb 2oz mirror from the Lyng Kingfisher Lake for Lowestoft specialist Jim Shelley.

The top mirror heaved out from the popular Taswood complex was a 34lb 4oz fish for Andrew Leeks of Tharston.


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Numerous mirrors and commons in the low to upper 20s fell to Norwich rods Harry Ramsbottom, James Topley, Ben Sawicki, Al Hall and Martin Slatter.

Others with similar fish were Edward Ives (Newton Flotman), Darren and Jack Stamp (Caister) and Richard Ellis (Newton Flotman).

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Waveney Valley's best was a 32lb 4oz mirror of Dan Taylor of Reydon, while Dean Bridges, from the same village, bagged 13 fish to 23lb, and Peter Kemp of Lowestoft had one of 30lb.

Swangey Lakes were in form for Norwich regular Gareth Van Hay with a 29lb 4oz mirror.

Taverham Lake improved with mirrors and commons to 27lb 3oz for regulars Adam Tarr, Luke Jackson and Tom Stannard.

On the adjacent River Wensum below the mill, the barbel of the week came in at 14lb 14oz for Norwich specialist Donald Bowden.

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