Docwra rocked by ‘Jaws’ encounter
'That great pike that snatched the 2lb bream from Dave Docwra's match tackle last week could have been my record-breaker or her sister,' declared John Goble.
'I know she is still out there and probably heavier and possibly her relatives too,' added the Caister-on-Sea maestro, who heaved out his 45lb 8oz Broads best from the River Thurne in March 2008.
'Contrary to some reports, there is not a pike famine in our Broads and rivers,' said Goble, who knows of at least one 30-pounder and two others just below that mark which he helped to weigh in this autumn.
Docwra also believes the monster predator, which he described as a freshwater version of Jaws, is also a 40lb-plus fish, fitter and heavier on the rich pickings from the extensive bream shoals, not to mention various small waterfowl, such as moorhens, that have suddenly disappeared down a raw elemental vortex of violence that can send a chilling shudder of apprehension down the spine of even the most experienced angler.
Goble went on: 'I have seen signs of pike activity all over the Broads this season but I accept they may be harder to tempt because so much natural food is available. On the other hand, you cannot catch a specimen pike by sitting in front of a computer working out ways of achieving it. You have to get out there and be prepared to put in shifts of fruitless hours without reward.'
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Following numerous reports of excellent pike catches from the Broads recently, Goble's analysis comes over as spot on.
Four anglers fishing from a boat on the tidal River Yare this month reeled off a catch of 29 pike to the mid teens in just four hours, all of them falling to artificial lures.
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Norwich all-rounder Jamie Bale has been equally successful with numerous quality fish from the Trinity Group and Blickling Lake this month.
'Since the temperature dropped the pike have started to feed and dead baits have given me some excellent sport,' said Bale.
In the city the River Wensum, from New Mills down to its confluence with the River Yare at Trowse, is teeming with pike to over 20lb.
If you don't believe it ask the matchmen after next Sunday's opener of the Steve Borrett League along Riverside, where toothy predators are almost certain to try to rip their way into the contents of the keepnets.
As John Goble observes, pike fishing prospects between now and the end of the season on March 14, 2011, are rated as promising as ever.
• Competitors fishing the first round of the River Wensum League can expect bumper bags. Last week's winner of the Wroxham AC event on Riverside was Pete Swan, who weighed in 25lb 12oz. On Sunday it's possible the winner may need more than 30lb if the bream are feeding, but with the river fining down, roach may dominate after frost-free nights and day temperatures into 50C.
There is good news for pike matchmen from the Weybread Ocean Pit, where the hardy annual, the East Anglian Pike Championship, is staged by the Norwich and District Pike Club on November 7.
Pike up to 30lb have been reported there this month so the advice is book up for this event immediately by dialling Phil Cotton on 01508 578701.
• Lee Kerry, son of Norwich beach-casting champion Paul, is on the verge of an England call-up following some quite stunning match results in top company this season.
Now residing in Leeds, the Preston Innovations-sponsored rod man, a former youth international still in his 20s, has racked up cash winnings of nearly �30,000 in just one week, his best ever payout was for winning the Parkdean Masters final at Whiteacres, where he winched out 99lb 12oz after a head-to-head battle with another Preston Innovations angler Lee Edwards, who scaled 90lb 8oz.