Roy Webster on FishingTHERE has been but one serious contender for the title of Angler of the Year - Caister pike specialist John Goble who stunned the coarse fishing fraternity by heaving out a monster 45lb 8oz River Thurne fish in February.
Roy Webster on Fishing
THERE has been but one serious contender for the title of Angler of the Year - Caister pike specialist John Goble who stunned the coarse fishing fraternity by heaving out a monster 45lb 8oz River Thurne fish in February.
It was a record of its kind for the Norfolk Broads and the heaviest ever caught from an English river system.
The retired offshore engineer, 63, moved from the Home Counties to Norfolk 20 years ago “to enjoy the magnificent fishing.” .
“I wasn't fishing for a record, it just happened that way,” he declared modestly. “I had visited the water 13 times without so much as receiving a bite. Then, completely out of the blue, I hooked this monster. The memory of seeing this marvellous specimen will live with me forever.”
So how has our local hero fared during this current pike season? “Well, no better than average,” he admitted. “I've had a few more blank days, caught some small fish and just one in double figures. I get as much enjoyment from catching small pike; it's just fine to be out there on the Broads.”
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Is there more than one monster pike threatening the record books, lurking in the River Thurne deeps? “I think the Broads have the potential to produce another record-nudging specimen and there are waters hidden away where huge pike maybe there for the taking,” said John.
In the Great Yarmouth league record-breaking roach nets were weighed in on the River Yare.
In the autumn, the newly-cleared riverbanks on the River Thurne below Martham Boatyard were again lined up with match anglers, who discovered shoals of bream and roach still gathered in the numbers that made the venue so popular during the second half of the last century.
Along the beaches, some of the best cod fishing for the past five years was reported, with Hopton one of the hottest spots along the east coast, relinquishing specimens into double figures.
European fishery ministers have reduced cod quotas for the trawling industry by 10 per cent and that can only help fish stocks in the short run.
The latest survey on angling is almost certain to cause great concern among the clubs and fishing tackle dealers. For it seems fishing is rapidly becoming an old man's sport.
The report into angling participation produced by the independent Substance Research revealed that 52 per cent of anglers are past the age of 50, with only nine per cent under 29 and 15 per cent under 39.
These numbers suggest that various coaching schemes in the past 20 years have not achieved the desired aim of recruiting youngsters. And, unless this trend can be turned around with the next five to 10 years, then, almost inevitably, rod and line angling will become very much a minority recreation.