At last the chance to get out into the 'fresh' air and attempt to catch some perch. The gear has been cleaned, a much lighter braid wound onto the spare spool and some fluorocarbon traces made-up specially for perch fishing so no wire traces today.
At lunchtime, when I arrived at the drain, there was a stiff breeze blowing and to say it was cold was an understatement. At the lip of the bank it was a surprising 2 degrees but once you were down by the water the temperature dropped to a mere point .5 of a degree but with the wind chill it must have been nearer to -2 and the temperature continued dropping all afternoon until I left at dusk.
Fresh bait was easy to catch for a change, thank goodness, and the roach and rudd were just the right size for perch fishing, well they were a size of bait that I have enjoyed success with before so no guarantees.
The first run came after half an hour and felt a heavy fish but sadly it wasn't a perch it was a lovely pike and a beautifully marked fish in superb condition, somehow I had got away with not using a wire trace. Throughout the afternoon there was no sign of a perch anywhere and three more pike were netted on the 'perch' rig, every one was hooked in the scissors and they took some landing on the light tackle.
By the time the light was fading all had gone quiet and there was no more action so back to the car and load the gear up. I started the engine to warm the heater and , surprise, surprise, the ice warning light was still showing on the dashboard and the temperature read minus one so a careful drive back across the fen.
The wood-burner and a beer were definitely beckoning and I felt pretty sure that West Norfolk is going to be deep in the freezer tonight. No doubt next week there'll be a layer of ice completely covering the drain.
The optimism of the angler always shines through.