Two huge pike and two huge roach caught in four days

Fenland all-rounder Chris Hammond showed the winter potential of his local waters with a stunning haul of specimen fish, including a brace of roach at 2lb 6oz and 1lb 14oz, along with two 20lb pike - all landed in just five days.

Amazingly, the impressive roach came during the 47-year-old’s first attempt for the species, while targeting the fish in a large Norfolk gravel pit. The pike - weighing 21lb 10oz and 21lb 12oz - were landed on a stretch of a nearby drain.

“I’ve had roach up to 1lb from a local river while pleasure fishing but, because of my fixation with winter piking over the years, I’ve just never got around to having a proper crack at them,” explained the builder, who also featured in AT recently with a zander of 11lb 2oz.

“I hadn’t been fishing long when I had my new pb for the species at 1lb 14oz,” said Chris. “As if that wasn’t enough, I had another at 2lb 6oz soon after, along with a good bag of quality roach around the 6oz mark.

“I had to deal with gale-force winds, but I caught steadily and just left both rods in until I got a bite. The fish, I believe, were moving between the gravel bars in front of me and I relied on just the maggots in the feeder to attract them,” added the Newmarket, Cambs-based angler.

The roach fell to turmeric-flavoured maggots fished on a helicopter rig set-up, while the pike took floatfished deadbaits on size four trebles and 50lb braid.