Two weeks ago I spent a few days with friends and family in Stiffkey, North Norfolk, about half a mile from the coast. We wanted to see off the last days of Autumn and escape London for the weekend. The thought of an unfamiliar place excites any anglers with the prospect of a new fishing opportunity. To me, Norfolk suggests one thing…pike, and with a little research I was sure I would be able to find some fishing close to Stiffkey on one of the numerous local rivers.
My first port of call was the internet which took me around in circles and ended up (in the case of pike) at venues such as Blickling Hall, this was all fine but too far for me to travel, I wanted something local. Then I put a post up on a fishing forum, my quest for local knowledge must surely be answered? Well not really although I did receive a few helpful private messages but again all located too far away.
Finally I phoned some tackle shops in Norfolk and again the same few venues were mentioned, surely North Norfolk has a network of drains and small rivers with a head of pike? One tackle shop owner was surprised I didn’t want to try for the carp on one of the local commercials.
On my arrival in Norfolk (with some tackle in the boot of the car) I did make some enquiries at the local fishmongers who guided me towards a couple of promising spots and put onto a lad who worked in the greengrocer who was a keen piker and knew all about the local area. With haste to my stride I crossed the High Street to the greengrocer and asked for “Mark”, only to discover he was on holiday in Romania hunting wild boar!
What is the moral of this tale? Local knowledge still reigns supreme whenever you want to un-cover the unusual, the surprising or discover the un-publishable. The internet has a habit of regurgitating the same information time and time again but written from slightly different perspectives. If you require ‘local knowledge’ make sure he hasn’t buggered off to Romania for the weeks holiday!
I shall return though, for one it is a beautiful part of Britain and I have since heard of a story about some pike on a certain small river in North Norfolk, quite remote and the pike are mainly un-fished for. Now that is exciting and for now a secret.