Two fish for 21lb 1oz take vic­tory in 2016 Fen­land preda­tor clas­sic

Angling Times (UK) - - THIS WEEK - MARK PARKER Fea­tures ed­i­tor

A CHEQUE for £1,400 and the 2016 Angling Trust Pike Cham­pi­onships tro­phy was an un­ex­pected but pleas­ant re­ward for birth­day boy An­drew Muir­head.

The pike fa­natic, from Cromer, Nor­folk, cel­e­brated his 52nd birth­day with two fish to­talling 21lb 1oz, in­clud­ing the day’s big­gest pike of 18lb 1oz.

Fish­ing peg 24 on Cam­bridgeshire’s Bevill’s Leam, an area known lo­cally as Glass­moor Bank, An­drew had to wait 90 min­utes for his first run of the match, but af­ter re­cast­ing a dead roach to the drain’s far mar­gin the float was off again in two min­utes.

“I gave the rod a hefty strike and im­me­di­ately knew it was no jack pike – but the fight from the 18-pounder was rather dis­ap­point­ing,” said An­drew.

Things could have been very dif­fer­ent had third-placed 12-year-old Jack Tay­lor not lost a po­ten­tial match win­ner.

The young­ster, from Stoke-onTrent, caught a 14lb pike then, like the win­ner, saw his float dip again from a sec­ond fish.

“I saw the fish briefly in the clear wa­ter. It was a much bet­ter fish than the 14-pounder, but un­for­tu­nately it let go and I lost it,” said Jack.

In­cred­i­bly, he hooked the fish again mo­ments later, but in a cruel twist of fate, he lost it again. Con­so­la­tion came in the form of third place and the prize for top ju­nior.

In be­tween An­drew and Jack was Bri­tish Pike Fish­ing Squad mem­ber Wayne Lees with two pike for a com­bined weight of 16lb, in­clud­ing a 13lb 4oz fish.

On a day of heavy rain, an early-morn­ing frost and strong winds, another four dou­ble­fig­ure fish were recorded as well as a host of smaller fish.

Match or­gan­iser Ted Rowe com­mented: “De­spite the hor­ren­dous weather con­di­tions through­out, the 2016 Pike Champs has been another roar­ing suc­cess and I’d like to thank the Angling Trust for its spon­sor­ship, my wife Ann for help­ing to or­gan­ise the event, all the match stew­ards, and Whit­tle­sey AA’s Dave White for the venue.

“For me, though, the story of the day was young Jack land­ing a dou­ble-fig­ure pike to come third in the match, beat­ing off some very strong com­pe­ti­tion.

“Hope­fully news of his suc­cess will spur on other ju­niors to take up this great sport of ours.”

Dave White, vice pres­i­dent of Whit­tle­sea Angling As­so­ci­a­tion, added: “Even though the con­di­tions were poor and the fish­ing very hard, Whit­tle­sey AA are proud to be able to hold the Cham­pi­onships on one of our many wa­ters.”

The Angling Trust’s James Roche presents An­drew Muir­head with his cheque.

The moist and misty Glass­moor Bank venue.

An­drew’s big­gest pike.

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