We've had the builders in the house all week working on the new kitchen, and they'll be here for two weeks yet, so come Saturday afternoon a few hours piking on the favourite drain out in the middle of the fen seemed to be in order.
Not a breath of wind stirred the surface, which looked like a sheet of glass, you could almost feel the cold air pressing down on the flat calm water.
Drifted, otherwise known as standing still deadbait, didn't work so the roving approach wobbling a dead roach was the order of the day. Keeping on the move also helped to keep the circulation moving and my fingers warm, well warm up to a point anyway.
After half and hour a decent jack pike took the roach in a very sleepy manner and then ten minutes later a low but plump double figure fish found the bait irresistible. As they were returned both of the pike just slowly sank from view with just a swirl on the calm water as they accelerated away.
While I was moving slowly along the bank I did see a huge dense shoal of roach, all one to two inches long, balled-up right next to the reeds. The remarkable thing about the shoal was that it was a couple of yards wide and around twenty five paces long, there must have been millions of them.
That area will definitely be investigated for perch during the week.