After a week of gales, high wind, gusting wind, in fact all kind of wind plus rain, snow sleet, wintry showers and frost Saturday comes and all is calm down on the drain. There is a little wind but my favourite fish holding area is sheltered from the breeze and it is good to fish without the added bonus of wind chill and ice on the drain.
The Norfolk Reed looks good too.
But not only is there a calm in terms of the weather conditions there seems to be a calm on and under the surface. A half mackerel I threw into the drain last Saturday is still visible on the bottom about four yards out and four feet down. I did think that discarded bait would have disappeared but perhaps it still being there underlines the need for a small fresh roach, skimmer bream or rudd as bait. In fifteen minutes enough fresh bait has been caught for the afternoon session and a drifted roach is the chosen method, an hour later and down goes the float as it holds hard against the reeds on my bank and a lively single figure pike with a split anal fin is eventually netted, unhooked, and returned to the water.
A fresh bait is cast out into the same area and it hasn't been out under the float for ten minutes when the the float begins to move again but it isn't a run. The pumps have been started miles away at St Germans Pumping Station, the water levels are being adjusted before the rain forecast for Sunday arrives, the run-off continues for ten minutes or so then everything goes still again. Being a Saturday the Royal Air Force Typhoons and Uncle Sam's boys and girls in the F15s from Lakenheath aren't tearing up the sky with the afterburner chorus, the only sounds are the kingfisher splashing into the water and the rooks moving on to who knows where for their next meal.
The farmer's wife stops to talk while walking her dog and as we are chatting, me with my back to the water, she says 'your float has disappeared'. Another pike that is a similar size to the first fish, but without the split fin, is finally netted and swiftly returned to the drain.
A new bait on and out goes the float again, after a few minutes a violent bob of the float and then the battered red float zooms away in the middle of a huge swirl. This pike takes about fifteen yards of line off the reel on the first run and then does the same thing again and a third time. When I see the fish it is about seven pounds and somehow it is hooked in the tail, perhaps it missed the bait and hooked up as it swirled around, anyway as it nears the lip of the net the hook pulls free so that encounter will be classed as half a pike.
2.5 pike for the afternoon and no sign of the perch but you have to be pleased with that result under these beautiful weather conditions as the evening steadily draws in. It takes ten minutes to drive home and by the time I have unloaded all my equipment from the car it's dark.
Definitely time to light the fire and pour a beer.