Bob Church lands festive pike at Sandy

Bob Church with a 5lb pike.
Bob Church with a 5lb pike.
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Angling legend and world champion fly fisherman Bob Church MBE made his traditional Christmas Eve visit to the Sandy area to fish for the River Ivel’s big chub and barbel and to try for the pike in local lakes.

Bob’s personal best chub is from the Ivel, a fish of 6lbs 13oz taken in March 2006.

Bob Church with an 8lb pike.

Bob Church with an 8lb pike.

The specimen fish failed to show up this trip, so after catching a few smaller ones Bob, along with fishing friends Graham Inwood and Edd Blain of the Kings Arms AC, moved to a small local lake.

Setting up the pike rods for the last couple of hours of daylight, the trio found the predators in feeding mood. One float-fished roach hit the water about 20 yards out and the float failed to reappear on the surface.

A pike had taken the bait the very moment it entered the water. It was not a huge fish but most welcome at 9lbs exactly. Soon after a second fish of 5lbs latched onto another float fished roach, causing a bow wave as it headed across the lake to intercept its quarry just under the surface.

Bob received the MBE for services to angling in the Queens Birthday List of 2015, reflecting his all round contribution to our sport, ranging from gold winning performances for his country to a long time career as a journalist and author.

His Angling Times column ran for 28 years and his books number double figures.