Rich pickings at Besthorpe

Roy WebsterAn Attleborough pensioner reeled in two magnificent pike against all the odds to beat the weekend freeze-up. Retired construction engineer Richard Wingfield, a predator angler for most of his adult life, fished herring bait in the Besthorpe Lake complex to tempt a bumper brace that weighed in at 25lb 6oz and 24lb 4oz.Roy Webster

An Attleborough pensioner reeled in two magnificent pike against all the odds to beat the weekend freeze-up.

Retired construction engineer Richard Wingfield, a predator angler for most of his adult life, fished herring bait in the Besthorpe Lake complex to tempt a bumper brace that weighed in at 25lb 6oz and 24lb 4oz.

According to the fishery boss Trevor Day, who witnessed the catch, the two fish fell to consecutive casts. They were lurking in his Top Lake that had remained ice free at one end by a running stream feeding in slightly warmer water.

"We were never really sure about the size of pike in this lake but having seen these two splendid specimens that must have evolved from the same spawning we have to wonder whether we have a 30 pounder out there," said a bleary eyed Trevor.


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Day devoted time until midnight on Saturday and again from 5.30am on Sunday to remove thick ice from his match lake in readiness for the Mulbarton angling club, whose event was won by D Poidgidter with 41lb 6oz.

Similar efforts were spent at the Hinderclay match lakes, where the Reed pool produced an excellent winning catch of 80lb 10oz for Derek Johns (Thetford Angling Centre).

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On the River Wensum in Norwich the Riverside roach and bream were carrying the burden of an exceptional high tide and were distinctly off feed. Winner Steve Borrett (Earlham Silvers) fished off the shallow ledge to end with a mixture of small roach, two quality perch and skimmer bream to win with 10lb 1oz.

Before temperatures plunged over the weekend on the majority of specimen carp lakes, the only fish of note was a 20lb 6oz from Taverham lake, a mirror caught by local rod Mark Gray.

In the boat yards and dykes, weekend angling clubs had two choices - either clear the ice or go home. Members of Stalham AC achieved the former but were not adequately rewarded for the top catch was only 3lb for Dave Dearman.

In similar circumstances there were better results for the Piscatorial whose top catch from the Rockland dyke fell to Alan Crabb with 12lb 11oz.

In the River Waveney Cut David Roe headed the early midweek card with 31lb 4oz of small bream, but two days later high water was spilling over the quay and the winner was Tony Gibbons with a dozen tiny roach for 1lb 15oz.

The Thursday, Saturday and Sunday open events at Barford were won respectively by Paul Ashford (Barford tackle) 37lb 8oz, Jim Randell (Sensas) 58lb 11oz and Tony Evans (Spalding) 68lb.

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