Horsey Mere heads back to glory days

Roy WebsterHorsey Mere - the important nature reserve that produced a British record pike of 40lb 1oz for Norfolk angler Peter Hancock in 1967 - reopened for unlimited day permits on Monday until the season ends at midnight on March 14.Roy Webster

Horsey Mere - the important nature reserve that produced a British record pike of 40lb 1oz for Norfolk angler Peter Hancock in 1967 - reopened for unlimited day permits on Monday until the season ends at midnight on March 14.

And according to early reports excellent catches were made, with the best pike coming in at 20lb 6oz.

Horsey was recognised as Britain's top pike venue until the fish killer algae Prymnesium struck in the late 1960's.

The pike populations have never completely recovered but even so a number of 20lb plus fish have been reported in recent years.


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Mere warden Derrick Applegate said the 100 acre water contained a fair head of all coarse fish including quality bream, roach, rudd and perch.

Permits are issued by the warden who patrols the Mere or from the farmhouse, Horsey (01493 393511). Apart from the Mill Dyke there is no bank fishing on Horsey and live baiting with fish is strictly banned.

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However, one famous local angler who will not be trying his luck at Horsey will be Caister's pike record holder John Goble wo said: 'As the Mere is likely to be somewhat over crowded I think I shall give it a miss and concentrate on my favourite haunts nearer the main river.'

Elsewhere, torrential rains induced bream to feed with abandon and Norwich rod Steve Borrett heaved out a monster catch of slabs from the River Wensum in Norwich estimated at 70lb with specimens over 5lb, with other catches reported around the 40lb mark on Saturday. Sundays match returns were excellent with two nets exceeding 30lb.

On the River Thurne bream catches from the Martham boatyard bank exceeded 30lb and there was similar sport from the River Yare at Bramerton.

On the match lakes, catch of the week fell to Wisbech rod David Shailes with a 77lb 15oz winner from Barford Railway. By contrast Ricky Haywood needed only 1lb 4oz of small flat fish to head the final round of the North Norfolk Evening Sea League at Salthouse. That left Tony Thomas of Sheringham champion with 117 points, narrowly beating Calvin Read on 116.

t An internal dispute within the Willis Worms company has put paid to their plans to launch the �50k National Knockout Tournament.

According to the company's website only 72 anglers paid the �50 joining fee to the club that qualified them to compete in the competition.

The company has apologised to those anglers and the pledge by the outgoing director that the competition would go ahead whatever the entry may now seem doubtful.

By contrast the Angling Times is launching a brand new championship were every angler through out the nation who fishes an open event will be awarded points in a county league table. Top anglers in each league will compete for a place in a five-man county squad to enter a grand final worth �10,000.

Match points will be awarded to the top eight in every event with more then ten competing but the bigger the match the more points will be gained for finishing in the frame.

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