Open wide

      It was a mild day and not a breath of wind stirred the reeds when I reached the drain, it was so calm it was disturbing. I needn't have worried one little bit. By the time I had parked  the car, removed my gear from the car and chatted to the farmer the wind had arrived and grey clouds were massing on the western horizon.
      There were small silver fish everywhere right into the reeds at the waters edge so catching some fresh bait wasn't going to be a problem although there were still no swirls, boils or scatterings of silver fish giving away where the predators were hunting. In fact all was suspiciously quiet.
      The pike were hunting though, but hunting deeper down in the drain and, although there were no surface eruptions, all of the fish caught returned roach and rudd that they had just eaten and those dead fish could conveniently be used again as bait. There's nothing like recycling.

      The first pike to grace the net was an energetic jack pike that was also the smallest pike that I have caught this season. For all that it was a small and immature fish it was beautifully marked, all fifteen inches of it.
      A total of four pike took the deadbaits and all of them were landed, all of the pike had been feeding on voraciously on small silver fish. Typically the wind was gradually but steadily rising and the wind driven sporadic splatters of rain gradually turned into a steady downpour. Time to pack in and head for home.
      Interestingly one of the pike, a fish of about five pounds, had a huge bite out of its head as if a spoonful had been removed behind the top of the gill cover on its back, I've never seen damage like that before. Perhaps some of the big ladies are beginning to gather at last and this was the result of a slightly mis-timed attack?
      We'll see when Saturday comes.


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