Sunday, March 10, 2013

Thirty from the Fens sends Ash speechless

Is that you..? Is that you fishing further down..? Might be... Why..? I'm standing here looking at the biggest pike I've ever seen, that's why. It's a thirty. Can you get up here and get some pictures..?

After driving around looking at rivers and drains, I head off somewhere else and drop some baits in.

Spying a familiar car in the distance, I wonder what Ashley's doing on here and text him to announce my arrival on the scene, expecting the usual banter by way of reply.

I thought you said it was crap here, I said. So what you doing on here :) ...?

Five minutes later, my mobile goes. Ashley's voice is an octave higher than normal as he gives me a garbled sit-rep. I reel the rods in, throw the lot in the car and floor it.

Ash looks like he's seen a ghost when I eventually find him what seems like ages later.

"I, um, it's huge, it's awesome, it's bust my net," he says, hauling his prize out of the water. I throw my £250 tweed coat on the ground without a second thought to lay it on as he tees it up for a picture.

That's just, that's just - that's just enormous, that is. That's all I can think to say, as I stand there nearly dumbstruck, looking at what might well be the biggest fish that's come off this part of the system all season through the camera.

"Go on then," Ash says as it swims away with a flick of its tail. "Take the piss out of my little lure rod."

Even I'm lost for words as I show him the pictures on the camera. "It's still sinking in, to be honest," he says. "They way it took, I thought it was a jack to start with."

I disappear to leave him to his thoughts, worried I'm intruding on the magic of the moment. I get the rods back out of the car and make a half-hearted go at it. But I can't stop myself looking at the pictures, wondering how I'd feel now if I'd been on the other end of the rod.

It's nearly an hour before Ash reappears. "I just sat there mate," he says. "I just sat there blown away by it."

Ash is going to report the fish because it's a lifetime's best at 31:08. In recent seasons, he's kept himself to himself and done his own thing, fishing far-flung spots with just a net and a lure rod.

The big fish took a tiny rubber lure, flicked out on what most people would regard as a light set-up when it comes to finding yourself attached to a fish like this. But it beat her all the same, after a scrap he'll probably never forget.

We shoot the breeze for a while, as snow flurries drift in on the Lazy Wind. Ash still looks blown away as we say our goodbyes. Well done mate, I say, in the absence of anything more profound to crown the moment. What a fish.

+++Talking of which, was it this pike Ash ironically photographed for me 18 months earlier..? Click here to see that one...


  1. Cock-on. What a fish. What a moment

  2. That's a great report. We have all been there when we have seen a fish that takes our breath away. You have described that so well.

  3. Brilliant fish, well done to your mate

  4. Worth ten times some lump of lard from Chew

  5. I heard about this on the grapevine but it looks something else in the picture. Stunning fish Ashley. Lucky Bish was there with his camera by the sound of it.

  6. Agree with the lard comment amazing pike from the fenz hiw rare ar they nowadays

  7. Great one of you caught a fish like that. I read this from time to tome and know how hard it's getting in the Fens.

    Former great pike angler

  8. Brilliant fish

  9. Haha bet you was crying Chrissy you was done there loads and Ashlee come and caught uit right under ur nose.

  10. The Bishop curse strikes again. Good on Brownie for catching an amazing pike.

    You Fen boys do make me laugh though. Proper drama queens the lot of you.

  11. Git orff moi land

  12. here there was sum rod rage ovre thuis

  13. Hi, just approved your comment on my blog. Not sure where that idea comes from. I was thrilled to bits to photograph a fish like that for one of my mates, knowing what catching a thirty meant to him.