Blickling pike attack painful for pensioner

A Norfolk pensioner who was fishing for bream on Blickling Lake received a bite he did not bargain for - and it resulted in him heading straight for the nearest doctor's surgery.

A Norfolk pensioner who was fishing for bream on Blickling Lake received a bite he did not bargain for - and it resulted in him heading straight for the nearest doctor's surgery.

Geoffrey Tunmore, of Aylsham, had been on the bank of the National Trust water for only five minutes and had caught one small roach when he received the fright of his life.

For as he was lifting his hands out of the water where he had rinsed off crumbs of ground bait, a massive pike torpedoed out of the bankside cover and clamped its jaws on the 79-year-old angler's little finger and the fleshy part of his palm, leaving a double row of deep lacerations bleeding.

Despite this enormous shock to his system, Tunmore kept his cool and wrapped a towel round his wounds.


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After being helped by another angler to pack his gear away, he motored straight to his doctor's surgery, where he received the routine anti-tetanus jab while having the wound dressed.

Tunmore, a founder member of the old Crane Fruehauf Angling Club, which lasted until the North Walsham depot closed some years ago, said: "I had not been fishing long and had just caught a half pound roach. I had just finished rinsing ground bait off my hands when the water boiled up and this great pike that must have been well into double figures went for my right hand and, raked its teeth along the flesh and the blood flew.

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"The nurse at the surgery said she had remembered it happening before at Blickling, but that was no consolation for me. Certainly I will not be putting my hands near the water again."

This threat does not exist on the main carp lakes, where benign specimens are not known to mistake fingertips for boilie baits.

Heaviest mirror of the week fell to Felthorpe's Stephen Sparks, a 35lb 2oz mirror to which he added two commons in the high 20s.

Ian Cook, Watton, noted a 31lb mirror and Wymondham's Martin Davy had one of 25lb 8oz.

There was action aplenty at Chapel Road, Roughton, where Taverham's Gordon Dixon in nine hours heaved out 29 carp to 16lb 8oz for a total not far short of 300lb. At Swangey Lakes the top fish were all mirrors between 20 and 30lbs for Alan Reynolds, Attleborough; Glen Hales, Norwich, and John Neave, Wisbech.

At Taswood, Mark Benson of Lowestoft winched in a Heron Lake record ghost of 31lb 8oz and other quality catches of mirrors and commons to 30lb fell to Jay Brown, Horsford; Jason Lowe, Tasburgh; Gavin Norman, Lakenham and Darren Chase of Great Yarmouth.

Cobble Acre's best for local anglers were mirrors and commons to the mid-20s for Andrew Weir of Hellesdon, Rob Carraway of Lowestoft; Jamie Dyke, North Walsham and a number of visitors whose best was a catfish of 29lb 8oz.

The storms benefited the River Wensum where the best barbel reported was a 17-pounder for Norwich rod Darren Stolworthy reported from the NACA controlled stretch with others to 13lb from Taverham Mill for local rods Mark Watson and Simon Francis.

The news of a giant bream of 16lb 4oz caught from the tidal River Yare at Whitlingham last month by Costessey enthusiast Ken Burcham came as no surprise for fish of that calibre have shown up along this stretch for the past two seasons for anglers who were unable to cope with fish of such dimensions because their landing nets were inadequately too small.

• It was not only thunderstorms that broke the serenity over the Norfolk Broads rivers last weekend.

For after Bit Hits won the Norwich and District League on the River Bure at St Benets Abbey on Sunday by a slender league point, beaten favourites Sportsman's lodged a protest, claiming the new champions had fielded an ineligible angler.

However, league organiser Tony Gibbons ruled that Gary Maddison, who had already turned out for Sportsman's in the first round, standing in for team captain Paul Bunnewell, who was in Germany for the World Cup, was quite entitled to be called up by Big Hits, who were a man short.

"Garry Maddison was one of a reserve pool of anglers who could be called on at any time by a team who were short-handed," he explained.

"It had happened before and I myself have fished for two teams in the tournament."

He added: "Sportsman's were beaten because they failed to seize their chance and dropped 15 section points in the final match."

Maddison actually won the title for Big Hits as their only team man who scored a maximum in his section.

He said: "I was asked to fill in for the Sportsman's outfit in the first round when Paul Bunnewell rang me from Germany. I was then invited by the organiser to join the pool of reserves and consequently Big Hits came to me on Sunday saying they wanted me to make up their number. It is a bit embarrassing but I've done nothing that breaks the league rules."

Big Hits team boss Jim Randell said they were a man short on match morning, so Maddison had been asked to come in and had done a splendid job. "

He actually won the league for us by scoring maximum points," he said.

But team captain Bunnewell declared: "If Norwich City Football Club were a man short, they would not expect to recruit a player off their opponent's bench."

In the River Yare Feedermaster Series, Robert Hubbard of DAD rocketed into the reckoning with a massive bream haul of 153lb 6oz, the heaviest catch of the series so far. Top bag on the match lakes was heaved out by Oddfellows winner Jim Alden with a Barford carp catch of 168lb 13oz.

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