A splendid afternoon pike fishing, a veritable pre-Christmas treat and feast.
A furlough was granted for three hours, well that's really the only hours of daylight that remain after lunch so off I went as quickly as I could. As always I had the drain to myself, there were no tractors moving and the 48th Fighter Wing's afterburner chorus was conspicuous by its absence. All-in-all a quiet afternoon with only the atmospheric cawing of the rooks breaking the peace and enhancing it at the same time.
Not a predator was moving; no splashes, no fry bursting out of the water in a state of panic, suspiciously quiet you could say. Fresh bait quickly caught and out went the float and for ten minutes or so the inactivity on the surface seemed as if it was going to define the afternoon.
Not at all, appearances can be deceptive.
In a two hour session three takes were missed, four pike were lost and ten pike netted. The biggest fish was just a few ounces over ten pounds and the others were all the way down to a couple of pounds with the smallest pike looking very much like a giant green colouring pencil, in fact there he is above complete with the necessary 'twenty pounds of attitude', the skinhead of the drain.
One highlight was seeing a very large perch swing away from the wobbled roach as it was lifted from the water, that alone made my day because that means that they are moving back into the drain.
Now a big perch, that would be a proper Christmas present. Tonight I will shout up the chimney that all I really want for Christmas is to catch really big perch, admire it and put it back in the water.
It'll probably fall on deaf ears.