Four up and one down

      On Saturday morning  I felt awful after my personal dose of the sore throat, cough, aches and temperature that seems to be going round the village. A blast of cold, fresh, clean fenland air was badly needed to clear the system out so there was only really one sensible solution.
      Go pike fishing.
      This time to a new venue too, and in a place where the drains are called lodes, the deepest Cambridgeshire Fenland in other words. A farmer had invited me to fish the drains, sorry lodes, on his land as long as I came on my own. And he was categoric about that, I suppose he likes to know who is doing what on his vast tract of land and it's probably a matter of security too, as well as being the habit of a lifetime.

      Catching some fresh bait was difficult in the freezing but fairly calm conditions and after half an hour four roach were in the bucket so out went a fresh dead roach to drift along next to the reeds. Inside a couple of minutes a fish on, and five minutes later a fish off, having never even caught sight of it, just swirls and boils on the surface.
      A promising start.

      I decided to move fifty yards to somewhere more comfortable, away from the steep 60 degree sides of the lode, so I moved along to his father's old but solid and reconditioned landing stage.
      The farmer's father used to moor a punt here that he used for winter duck shooting and wild fowling and a punt would make the fishing easier too. I stayed at the mooring swim for the next hour and a half until it began to get dark. I landed four wonderfully marked and superbly fit pike during the short afternoon and I think that the next time I visit this stretch of what is basically an unfished drain I must take a big supply of fresh bait. Blast frozen roach are OK but nothing beats a really fresh bait.

      When the second pike was netted it regurgitated a freshly eaten but very dead perch and that re-used bait caught the third pike, there's nothing like a little re-cycling. There was a certain symmetry to that capture and the pike that had regurgitated the perch must have caught and eaten that meal seconds before taking my bait.
      Four double figure pike caught in an afternoon, I'm happy with that, and I'm looking forward to my next visit. I think I'll be making a day of it too.


  1. Well done, yer lucky bugger. Good fishing that. Look very chunky for early season fish.


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