Worried pike anglers can take heart

Pessimistic pike anglers, who believe there is a worrying decline of their favourite quarry, can take heart from splendid New Year catches from local waters.

Pessimistic pike anglers, who believe there is a worrying decline of their favourite quarry, can take heart from splendid New Year catches from local waters. And once again anglers using sea fish baits have come to the fore on many popular venues. This was emphasised by Thetford pike enthusiast Alan Curston, who heaved out a magnificent personal best specimen of 27lb from the upper River Wensum at the Lakeside Country Club, Lyng, near Dereham, last week. The 32-year-old engineer was offering herring on 10lb bs line when he hooked what is one of the top non-tidal pike recorded in recent seasons. He said: “My brother Adrian had a couple of 20-pounders from Lyng recently, the best weighing 26lb 3oz, and we believed that his was the biggest in there. That is why I was really staggered to beat his fish with one that put up an enormous fight for about 20 minutes before it was safely netted. I had another of 16½lb and my brother landed one of 17½lb.”

He added: “There is no shortage of pike where we fish. I think many predator anglers are not devoting enough time using dead-baits, and that's why they are not catching.”

The tidal River Yare is one of the main popular venues where some pikers say quality fish are hard to come by. But Lingwood rod Gavin Head fished the river last week to haul out nine fish in one session while boat fishing the prolific stretch below Thorpe.

The best of his batch came in at 20lb, 18½lb and 16½lb, with five others in high single figures.


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Mike Culyer, whose family runs the Griffin boat marina at Thorpe, near Norwich, said: “Most of the successful pike anglers who pass through here are now fishing dead-baits. And with so many bream in the river, big baits like whole herring and mackerel are favoured to tempt the big ones.”

Other top venues reporting decent pike catches are the River Waveney at Beccles, where specimens to over 20lb are feeding off the roach shoals; the River Wensum in Norwich and the Bure from Coltishall to Wroxham.

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Sport has dropped to the lowest level of the winter on the big carp waters, with only fish to the high teens reported at Swangey, where a number of double figure bream were reeled out on baits intended for carp.

Holly Farm, South Walsham, reports plenty of action, with small carp with some rods taking aggregates of up to 50lb a session.

A few chub to the 5lb mark have come out of the River Wensum at Taverham, but with Monday night's rain livening the water, catches of this species are likely to pick up.

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