Rare chance to hear ‘Digger’

WEST AND FENS: Denis Moules will be special guest when the re-launched King's Lynn branch of the Pike Anglers Club meets tonight.

Digger – as he's known across the Fens – has walked the walk, topping off his century of 20lb-plus fish from the Fens with a 30 after decades of leap-frogging drains and rivers.

He's done it by following his instincts and a lot of hard work over the years, quietly doing his own thing regardless of the latest fad or 'in' water.

Digger found big fish on the Lark after others had written it off, through detective work (he has a slight head start on this one, being ex-CID) and backing his hunches.

Nothing escapes the eye of the lone pike angler, he once reminded me as he explained some aspect of water-craft I'd never got to grips with in a Fen tiger's slow motion drawl.

We've got some incredibly-good pike anglers in this part of the world. I've been lucky enough to fish with and learn from a few of them.

One thing that sets them apart is their ability to catch fish when the rest of us are struggling. Sometimes, it's something as simple as bait.

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Others it's a more complex set of variables that spell success on a particular water to those who understand the vagaries of air pressure, the weather and time of day.

The Denis' of this world do a lot of this by instinct. Tonight offers a rare chance to pick his brain at the Wm Burt Club, West Winch, from 7.30pm.

n I've only had my rod licence checked once in 15 years' fishing around here, I tell Ash, as I admit defeat and surrender to the lure of a bath. A car pulls up minutes later – and out pops an EA bailiff.

I'm wishing I'd said I've never had a 30 instead, as the chap checks out our paperwork. Big catches might have been absent on the Ouse over the weekend, but the banks were far from deserted as matchmen and predator anglers knuckled down regardless and gave it their best.

This river's a challenge, said one angler who put more than 100lbs of bream on the bank a week or two back and has struggled to beat double figures since. That's why we keep coming back.

• A total of 19 anglers competed in the Angling Trust British Pike Championship 2012 qualifying match at Dereham & District AC's Swanton Morley Fishery – Curly's Pit – on Sunday, with 11 landing fish.

Twenty-six fish (all jacks) were weighed in for a total weight of 63lb 12oz. Smallest fish was Carl Osbourne's 9oz jack and best fish by just 2oz, was Micky Edwards' at 6-15-0.

Overall winner was Gordon Shipley with two fish for 13-3.