Saturday and the chance to escape family events for two hours of well earned peace and quiet, but where to go and try to break the ongoing zero catching of the pike-free sorties that have been the feature of the fishing this year. As I drive down the drove and out onto the fen the decision is made, I'll head for the boat graveyard and fish there, an area where there is some shelter and hopefully some bait fish too.
The decision is made to travel light too. One rod and reel and a few traces along with three packets of frozen roach and some pollan and smelt in the bucket, so armed with an absolute minimum of gear it's walk, walk, walk and then walk some more.
Dead baits are fished static, wobbled, or drifted under a small float and slowly retrieved in a very gentle sink and draw motion. Then, what appears to be an optical illusion happens, on a long slow retrieve the float sinks about six inches, pops up and moves steadily away through the ripples on the surface of the drain. Shock and paralysis sets in. It's a bite.
The pike wasn't a big fish but it was beautifully marked and in great condition, I smile and have a chat to it while I remove the hooks, take a picture and pop him, or her, back into the drain. Then I finally work out why I managed to catch a pike and six perch after a succession of blanks. I was nothing to do with the 'Beast from the East' or the rain, the floods, the ice and the pumping at all, today I wore my lucky cap for the first time this year.
As I packed up the sun almost shone on the fen and the cap has been re-instated.
Welcome back both of you. Oh and not forgetting the pike too.