Arriving on the bank-side I am greeted with the sight of ice everywhere and just a few patches of ice-free clear water. To cap it all the banks are slippy and treacherous with a combination of ice, frosted reeds and frozen mud, the sloping banks are more like a ski-jump into eight feet of water.
I wander the bank but finally choose to fish from an old and unused landing stage which is level but trembles like a jelly when you move; I don't think Health and Safety would approve of that construction.
Two good runs and two lost fish later, the pike had simply let go of the bait and another run, this time with the pike landed. The fish has a nose like Concorde and looks as if she has only just begun to feed after all the cold weather, being decidedly hollow in the belly area. No matter, the farmer's Avon scales swing round to 26lb 14oz and you have to be happy with that.
There is a huge swirl as she is returned to head back to a pike's version of the fireside and I go home to mine.