Mick Hanks takes the victory as warmer temperatures wake fish from slumber

Sam Honeywood with 16lb 4oz pike caught at Beccles with roach deadbaits. Picture: Sam Honeywood

Sam Honeywood with 16lb 4oz pike caught at Beccles with roach deadbaits. Picture: Sam Honeywood - Credit: Archant

Whilst salt tides have abated, fish movements are created, worm bait still the leader, bream and roach on the feeder.

That's the latest news from the recently ravaged River Yare, where the early bird winter match series resumed on Saturday in water temperatures rising from 3.5C to a positive 6.5C, thus awakening the fish from a temporary state of metabolic shutdown.

Worms were the only bait being sampled by both roach and bream, while the once beat-all maggot was rejected.

Mick Hanks (Suffolk AD) was the winner from peg 66, the route that led him to 8lb 6oz of quality roach and skimmers.

Chris Smith (Harleston) was runner up with skimmers totalling 8lb 1oz from 69, then Mick Mirgeaux (Deben) 7lb 14oz of roach from 93.

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A delighted Hanks said: 'It was a treat to be catching again after the lay-off; bring on the next one. '

Match organiser, Andy Wilson-Sutter, added: 'The result prompted a request from the competitors to run another round on Saturday.

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'There's no doubt the fish are in the match stretch and not way upstream, as some believed but it seems hard frost may return.'

Meanwhile, in Norwich, the River Wensum proved to be the urban hotspot for the Angling Direct league, round six.

Colin Urry (Dukes) lifted out a wonderful net of quality Riverside roach plus a 2lb 9oz spiky perch that hoisted his total to 29lb 8oz.

Glen Hubbard (Angling Direct) bagged 19lb 12oz, then David Roe (Angling Direct), 16lb 9oz.

At the Reepham midweek, Tony Gibbons (NDAA) scaled 56lb 5oz, while at Barford poker player Garry Mallett lifted the pot with 79lb 12oz and Andy Morrow (B/F) won the Bridge Farm open with 58lb.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Veterans enjoyed a double bream bash on the River Waveney at Beccles, won first by Tony Pearson with 30lb 1oz, then Mal Runacres with a massive 51lb 11oz.

Mulbarton's Kevin Clarke continued his long running success by winning the final round of the over 50s challenge with 9lb 2oz, ending the series with 22 penalty points, ahead of Graham Kettle (28pp).

Where are the hot spots?

Winter pike fishing is well underway and the question is: Where are the hotspots?

Following various fish disasters in the Upper Thurne, those waters may not yet be worth a visit while by contrast one prolific venue that is relatively under-fished is the River Ant from How Hill to Wayford Bridge and Stalham cut with Barton Staithe. This venue produced 18 specimen pike up to and over 20lbs and numerous jacks for this teenager in autumn 1948, and many more before the Royal Air Force intervened with call up papers in 1951.

The dark waters of the River Bure from Horning to Horstead Mill are highly rated by top pike men and the R.Yare from Surlingham to Trowse andThorpe Green is another fertile venue.

On the Waveney from Worlingham to Geldesdon, pike prospects are rated excellent, so too the R.Wensum from New Mills to the confluence at Trowse. And all are free fishing from boats.

Tribute to John Wayne

Big John Wayne, a Polish immigrant who entered and made a new life in Britain via a refugee camp in Siberia and a temporary stay by Africa's Lake Victoria before settling in Norwich, has sadly passed on aged 84. As well as establishing a successful electrical engineering business he became one of the City's top match anglers while a member of the Wroxham Angling Club and the Norwich and DAA who he represented as a team member in the National Championship and inter club contests.

Well done to the Angling Trust

Full marks to the Angling Trust for entering the Child Protection Campaign in sport.

A rule that adult angling league teams may not include juniors was recently upheld by disqualifying a club fielding under age teenagers with a warning that further infringement would result in expulsion from all competitions.

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