Evening News Angling Direct Specimen Catch contest: Pike pair’s dream day

Simon Bunting with his 30lb 8oz pike which wins the Evening News Angling Direct Specimen Catch Award

Simon Bunting with his 30lb 8oz pike which wins the Evening News Angling Direct Specimen Catch Award for January. Simon, 44, caught the pike on the River Bure near Horning using a floatfished mackerel deadbait. - Credit: Archant

A father and son pike hunting team had a dream day when they bagged two fish for a combined weight of over 50lb.

Lewis Bunting, 15, with his personal best 24lb 3oz pike caught from the River Bure. He wins a £50 sp

Lewis Bunting, 15, with his personal best 24lb 3oz pike caught from the River Bure. He wins a £50 specimen catch junior award for a pike of 20lb 2oz, caught during a session with his father near Horning last month. - Credit: Archant

And the bigger of the two fish, which weighed in at 30lb 8oz, has landed the Evening News Angling Direct Specimen Catch January award, earning £100 worth of vouchers.

Simon Bunting, 44, and his son Lewis, 15, tempted the dream double during a session in their 12-feet long boat on the Upper Bure near Horning.

Using mackerel deadbaits Simon was the first to score with the 30lb 8oz specimen and not to be outdone, half an hour later his son landed one of 20lb 2oz, which wins a £50 junior award for under 16s in our monthly competition.

In freezing conditions Simon, using a Fox loaded lift deadbait pencil, caught the fish on 30lb braid from a swim over eight feet deep and landed it after a 10-minute battle. 'We have had a great season,' said Simon, who lives at Hoveton, and only fishes for pike during the winter months.

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'So far we have had 49 good doubles this season.'

Simon, who works on the Broads, has been fishing the system's rivers for many years and his big capture, which he described as being in 'absolutely perfect nick' came close to his personal best fish of 31lb 8oz caught from the Thurne a couple of seasons ago. 'We put a lot of hours in. We are out there some mornings at four or five o'clock and we will do 12 or 13 hour days. We put the time in but it's worth it because we pick up on the feeding patterns.' He added: 'There is a lot to be said for a bit of pre-baiting too.' Simon has been going fishing with Lewis since his son was eight years old. 'I love the fact that we fish together. It's a good interest for him. There are plenty of worse things he could be doing. He is really keen,' he said.

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Andy Flint, manager of the Angling Direct, Aylsham Road, Norwich branch, said: 'Most anglers can only dream about catching a 30lb pike and the fact that Simon caught it from the river makes it even more special.'

Of Lewis's catch, he commented: 'Many anglers would aim for a 20lb fish and the fact that Lewis is catching them that size at his age is outstanding. I am sure we will be hearing more of him in future. It was a tremendous day's fishing for a father and son – effort equals reward, at the end of the day.'

The Evening News Angling Direct Specimen Catch contest is a new and improved version of the popular Evening News Silver Fish competition which ran for several years and involved the former Sprowston Road-based Norwich Angling Centre which became part of the Angling Direct group.

This competition will once again focus on specimen fish but unlike previously will not use percentage of the UK record weight as the chief guideline.

Each catch will be treated on merit, with a range of factors taken into account, such as the species, venue, tactics and circumstances surrounding the catch.

Although the competition will run from the start of the coarse season until its end next March, all species of fish – coarse, sea and game are eligible.

All catches must be made on a Norfolk water or off the Norfolk coast.

All entries must include a usable picture of the fish with captor and include details of the species, weight, venue, date and time of catch and, brief details of tactics. The name, age and contact details of the captor along with contact details of someone who can vouch for the catch must be included.

All entries must be submitted to enspecimencatch@archant.co.uk You can enter via the website or email direct using your mobile device.

Don't forget to attach a picture.

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