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Pike devotee lands his big one

PUBLISHED: 12:01 12 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:18 03 July 2010

A keen local angler who has devoted almost every spare moment searching the Norfolk Broads for that very special fish has realised his lifelong ambition by landing the heaviest Broads pike ever recorded from any natural water habitat in the United Kingdom.

A keen local angler who has devoted almost every spare moment searching the Norfolk Broads for that very special fish has realised his lifelong ambition by landing the heaviest Broads pike ever recorded from any natural water habitat in the United Kingdom.

John Goble from Diana Way, Caister, heaved out the 45lb 8oz colossus from the most famous pike fishing area of the Broads - the River Thurne Valley catchment system, writes Roy Webster.

That was where the legendary Jim Vincent made the Broads famous around the middle of the last century before Norfolk rods Peter Hancock caught the nation's first 40-pounder in 1967 and Derek Amies netted his record of 42lb 2oz in 1986.

John Goble moved to the Norfolk seaside resort 20 years ago “just to be closer to my beloved Norfolk Broads fishing”.

Ever since he decided on this life-changing move the now retired 63-year-old offshore construction engineer has become a familiar fishing figure on the banks of the River Thurne and in his fishing dinghy searching for the big predators lurking in the depths of Hickling Broad and Horsey Mere.

But not even he expected such a singular resounding success that has brought him national and even international recognition in this somewhat secretive world of pike fishing.

For this dedicated angler the capture of this quite exceptional predator - bettered only in this country by two specimens from man-made trout reservoirs - will remain engraved uppermost in his memory until the day he dies.

So how did he manage it? “I was fishing half a mackerel bait on a size 2 treble to 50lb breaking strain line when the float went away almost on the stroke of 11.30am.

“As soon as I struck home the hook I knew this was the big one and it was confirmed when its great flanks appeared on the surface. But after shaking her head a few times, this magnificent specimen was in the boat where it was weighed, photographed and back in the water within minutes thanks to my angling friend Keith Howard who snapped the pictures.”

The current British National Pike Record stands at 46lb 13oz caught from Llandegfeld Reservoir in October 1992.

Yarmouth's Browning Pownalls squad men made their mark again in the Barford Silverfish only event with Tony Anderson making it two wins in succession with 45lb 12oz of bream while Barry Burlton was third with 24lbs 7oz.

On the big fish scene Great Yarmouth brothers Martin and Jon-Paul Thompson shared a catch of four mirror and common carp over 20lbs from Taverham Lake, the best a 26lb common.

Club match result - Jolly Boys (Barford): G Hunter 22lb 1oz, G Thomas 17lb 12oz, S Huggins 16lb 7oz.

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