After another decidedly cold, frosty and icy week Saturday dawned and just for good measure it was even colder with the maximum and minimum mercury thermometer on the shed showing -5 and the minor road outside the back gate was just a sheet of treacherous black ice. Nice.
Our nephew was visiting en route from Aberdeen to RNAS Culdrose on the Lizard in Cornwall and he desperately wanted to go pike fishing. I looked at the clear blue sky and lack of wind and didn't feel hopeful. He was going to use his light bass gear and rubber eels and minnows, baits that I have yet to try so the spectator and observation side of the afternoon would be a knowledge gathering exercise for me.
When we arrived at the drain it was cold, bloody cold, and the lure fisherman was away casting in seconds while I 'organised' myself to catch some fresh baits and that turned in to a real scratching exercise but half were dozen were caught relatively quickly. Odd fish were moving but always well out of casting range, isn't that always the way. To break the chilly monotony I managed to kick my new unhooking mat into the drain and stood watching it slowly drifting and sinking out of sight and just out of reach of course.
Then the float tracked away to the centre of the drain and a pike was on with small baitfish scattering everywhere, not a massive fish but a lovely specimen that was beautifully marked and absolutely chock full of two inch roach, it must have been swimming around scooping up the baitfish like a hoover.
The lure fisherman hooked two fish but both shook the single hook free after a few seconds and by now the light was beginning to fade when a large pike piled into the rubber eel but the fifteen pound braid parted so it was an afternoon of disappointment on the lure however I do think I'm going to buy some rubber eels to try based on this showing. With three pike showing an interest in the rubber or plastic thing while my fresh bait managed one bite and one fish all afternoon it's food for thought if not for the pike.