Costessey angler Jim Sutherland and Angling Trust’s Radoslaw Papiewski become Wensum bridge builders

Costessey angler Jim Sutherland with a 10lb pike.

Costessey angler Jim Sutherland with a 10lb pike. - Credit: Archant

When Costessey angler Jim Sutherland learned that the Angling Trust's Radoslaw Papiewski was scheduled to visit Norwich he emailed him an invitation: 'Bring your tackle and come fishing with me on our fabulous river Wensum'.

Angling Trust project manager Rado Papiewski with a 3lb 3oz perch.

Angling Trust project manager Rado Papiewski with a 3lb 3oz perch. - Credit: Archant

Rado, as he is known among friends, is a Pole who settled to become a family man in Wiltshire about 11 years ago.

Officially he is the Trust's project manager, appointed in 2010 to build bridges while seeking to integrate different angling cultures and ease simmering racial issues at the waterside.

'When I heard Rado, who I had never met or spoken to, was visiting our fine city I immediately invited him to join me fishing for a couple of days on the river Wensum. He instantly accepted,' recalled all-rounder Jim, who loves his winter predator fishing.

Despite Siberian weather conditions the river was ice free and both anglers, accompanied by cameraman Asa, trod the banks from New Mills to Carrow Road casting into promising areas of water.

While his host had just one pike of 9lb 7oz to show the Angling Trust rodman tempted his personal best perch scaling 3lb 3oz and three pike going 7lb 3oz, 10lb 1oz and 10lb 11oz.

Commenting on his successful fishing foray on strange waters Papiewski declared he had thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Most Read

'I was positively surprised to receive this fishing invitation,' he said. 'Why would someone who did not know me want to spend two days fishing with an Eastern European? In fact this was most interesting, fishing and talking, finding out our differences and similarities between the two nations.

'This is the only way for problems to be solved and voices to be heard. It was nice to speak to friendly people on the banks who were very open for conversation. I wish more anglers had the initiative to promote these ideas.'

Sutherland concluded: 'I wish Rado every success in his important work. Before our meeting on the river bank I had only read about him. I found him to be a good man, dedicated to his fishing and family.

'We need more like him to build bridges and mend fences. We acknowledge it will take time to persuade newcomers into the UK to understand our bylaws. But with people like Rado in charge they will get the message and hopefully react positively to stamp out poaching and instead conserve our valuable fish stocks.'

• The welcome thaw that revealed green grass after almost a fortnight of unrelenting whiteness arrived too late to free up the main Broads and commercial lakes.

At Cobble Acre, bailiff Bob has been stretched to keep open a couple of lakes for the hardy, but all are expected to be ice free by the weekend.

'It's been a rotten 10 days replying to calls from disappointed match anglers who wanted some action,' he said.

'Fortunately all our lakes will be available by the weekend.'

It was a similar sad story at Barford, but the winter league is expected to resume there on Sunday with clubs able to fulfil their commitments as well.

Hardy veterans fishing the Beccles mooring last Thursday wet their keep nets – the winner was M Dobson with 1lb 11oz ahead of J Beckham 1lb 2oz and D Reynolds 12oz.

Best returns were reported by the Dukes club fishing Riverside, but what with saline water draining off the roads winner Tony Hills needed just three bream and a handful of roach totalling 9lb 7oz. Nigel Goose with 9lb 2oz saw his golden peg hopes cooked, his catch just 6oz short of pocking that extra £50.

At the weekend all the main Broads were unfishable, but yesterday the news from Hickling suggested the rapid thaw would melt the ice floes in time for pike anglers to benefit as the mercury rises.