An unexpected opportunity to go pike fishing last week and to fish a new stretch of drain was too good to miss. All the gear was quickly gathered up and thrown into the car and we're away. As I drive along, and three quarters of the way there, I am mentally ticking off all the gear I need to have with me when I realise the landing net pole has been left behind. So it's back home for said pole and and double check of the gear. Again. All is well.
The drain is flat calm and the sky and clouds look fantastic, let's take a picture, no camera. That's not a problem I'll use the phone. I check many pockets, no phone. I check the car, no phone. Bugger.
No matter I'll catch some fresh bait after setting the rod up. An hour later not a touch from any kind of bait fish. Fortunately there are six frozen roach in the canvas bucket. First cast and the bait flies off the hooks. The second cast is successful the bait has barely started it's return journey and there's a huge pull, pike on, no, pike off and just a brief sighting of a golden green swirl in the clear water. The bait is destroyed, of course.
Three hours later and the last frozen roach is on the hooks and the line twitches and moves right as the bait is sinking. The pike, after running all over the drain, is landed and measures forty two inches in length, it's lean and fit but built like a barracuda. I can span the body with both hands and the weight is just under fourteen pounds on the Avon scales.
It would have been a storming fish in January when it would have built up some body weight and extra bulk.
As I walk back to the car the surface of the drain looks as if it is raining but it's not, the bait fish have woken up and are rubbing it in.
As a compensation for no camera and no phone here's two photographs I prepared earlier.