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Angler ends season with 42lb pike

PUBLISHED: 14:03 18 March 2010 | UPDATED: 17:06 30 June 2010

Craig Humphries has his hands full with the 42lb 8oz pike he landed at Hickling.

Craig Humphries has his hands full with the 42lb 8oz pike he landed at Hickling.

Angling by Roy Webster



A HOLIDAY angler fanned the dying embers of the Broads coarse fish season into a fresh flame of interest, catching the heaviest pike recorded from the famous nature reserve during the 2009/10 term, which ended on Sunday night.

Angling by Roy Webster

A HOLIDAY angler fanned the dying embers of the Broads coarse fish season into a fresh flame of interest, catching the heaviest pike recorded from the famous nature reserve during the 2009/10 term, which ended on Sunday night.

Craig Humphries, 30, (pictured above) who was visiting the area from Germany hoping to land a job in the country of his birth, caught the monster 42lb 8oz specimen while fishing from the platform of the floating holiday home hired from The Whispering Reeds boatyard at Hickling.

Although 3lb short of John Goble's record-breaker caught 12 months earlier, this latest Thurne Valley monster is no less worthy of the fish of the season accolade.

He made his historic catch in darkness on Saturday while fishing beneath a moonless sky with the stars blotted out by cloud cover.

He was using a special illuminated starlight float and had already caught a 25-pounder on a sprat bait but re-baited with half a mackerel.

“My knees turned to jelly as I realised I had a monster fish on the other end. I could not stop this fish and it stripped 100 yards of line off the reel in a matter of seconds.”

Admitting he was still shaken by his alarming experience in battling with the monster of the deep, he added: “I suspect that if I had not netted the fish at that opportune moment I would have suffered at least another 20 minutes of panic because there was always the possibility of the fish snapping the line on the various snags out there.”

Goble, from Caister, said this latest specimen was not the same fish he caught, which scaled 45lb 8oz, a year previously. “I can vouch for that and this second 40-pounder proves that the Norfolk Broads remain the nation's top natural water predator venue,”he declared.

Other end-of-season catches include a bag of more than 60 bream to over 7lb a piece winched out by Gorleston's Brian Weavers during a double night session on the River Yare at Bramerton.

Of the carp waters, Hall Farm, Burgh Castle, was tops, producing nine fish to 17lb for Gorleston's Steve Aldous and three to 16lb for another local regular Fraser Rankin.

Match Results: Burgh Castle: M Bunn 15lb 9oz; W Shelman 14lb 80z; L Arnold 13lb 8oz. Martham, Melton Ponds: M Bensley 54lb 3oz; K Chaplin 10lb 9oz; S Jackson 10lb. Stalham, Club Lagoon: D Dearman 12lb 2oz; J Higgenson 8lb 7oz; D Gipson 7lb 14oz.

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