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Dead pike discovery causes concern

PUBLISHED: 14:36 19 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:40 03 July 2010

Dr John Applegate and the 12lb cod he caught from Gorleston beach on Monday evening's ebbing tide, his first night fishing trip for 13 years.

Dr John Applegate and the 12lb cod he caught from Gorleston beach on Monday evening's ebbing tide, his first night fishing trip for 13 years.

ON the upper reaches of the River Thurne, the discovery of a dead 41in-long pike in the undergrowth at the back of the Martham boat dyke has again raised the spectre of careless angling killing predators that has haunted the sport for decades.

ON the upper reaches of the River Thurne, the discovery of a dead 41in-long pike in the undergrowth at the back of the Martham boat dyke has again raised the spectre of careless angling killing predators that has haunted the sport for decades.

This specimen was caught on rod and line at the beginning of the month and weighed in at 26lb 6oz, writes Roy Webster.

Caister pike ace John Goble, who caught the Broads' biggest ever pike at 45lb 8oz from the upper River Thurne last season, declared he was horrified to see such a splendid fish tossed away but was unable to throw any light on the cause of death.

“What I do know is that this fish definitely was caught by an angler on November 1, but whether it died through carelessness or a deliberate act of vandalism I cannot say,” he said. “However, I do know number of pike anglers who come up here ill-equipped to deal with big pike, I have seen that myself.”

Martham Angling Club member Gary Maddison, who inspected the dead pike that had been nibbled by rodents, commented: “I am convinced this was a deliberate slaughter and definitely not the work of an otter. I think the fish was dead in the water and, because it seemed unsightly, someone fished it out and tossed it over the bank out of sight of the public.”

The National Pike Anglers Club president accepted there was a problem in that huge pike in known areas were under threat, and although the PAC has preached the gospel of conservation successfully to its 3,000 members, a minority of the other 37,000 pike fishermen have not got the message.

“There is a minority of anglers who do not know what they are doing

and give the majority a bad name,” he said.

On the River Thurne, sport was excellent this week when Kevin Paynter and Mick Brown both reported quality bream catches up to 50lb from the prolific stretch below the Martham boatyard.

On the carp lakes, Hall Farm, Burgh Castle, was the best, producing 35 fish for an aggregate of 175lb from Frank Rose, of Cobham, while young Gorleston rod Dalton Barron had the fish of the week, a 22lb 8oz common carp.

Beach anglers had mixed bags of whiting, dabs and the odd codling but a marauding seal was attacking fish as they were being reeled in.

Match results. North Norfolk Sea League (Kelling): P Tovell (Gorleston Tackle) 3lb, M Laws ( DADS) and T Thomas (North Norfolk Lads) both 2lb 10oz.

Leading standings: Gorleston Tackle 6 penalty points, NN Lads 9, DADS 11.

Gorleston Tackle League: K Chilvers 5lb 3½oz, K Morley 3lb 15½oz, J Carter 3lb 14oz.All whiting and dabs.

Next match at Weybourne on November 28.

Stalham (River Ant): R Austrin 8lb 7oz, D Jones 7lb 11oz, A Toogood 6lb 8oz.

Potter Heigham Sea Anglers (Yarmouth North): R Gurkless 5lb 5oz, S Watson 3lb 7oz, R Bell 3lb.

A controversial decision by Great Yarmouth Borough Council to ban vehicles from town beaches has been rescinded in favour of a chicane system which will allow pensioners, disabled anglers and commercial fishermen access to the foreshore.

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