The first serious pike fishing expedition of the season and a big in change tactics and end tackle. I had been persuaded by the local tackle shop owner to try single circle hooks rather than a my normal single but barbless treble. Nothing ventured nothing gained so traces were made up with a couple of different size hooks and the barbs squeezed down and shut. Then I loaded the car up with rods, net and bait and I was off to the river brimming with optimism and enthusiasm.
The water had some floating debris drifting up and down with the breeze but nothing to worry about or truly irritate and on the first cast the wobbled roach goaded a pike into striking but surprisingly no hook-up. Half an hour later and a drifted dead bait induced a take, I didn't strike but wound down as I had been instructed and a good fish was on.
And off ten or fifteen seconds later.
During the afternoon there were three more takes and all with the same outcome, pike on, and pike off ten seconds or so later. Normally I would have expected to bank at least three of those pike. As dusk arrived my enthusiasm and energy dissipated as the wind rose and it began to pour with rain.
I know that it's a poor workman who blames his tools but my confidence in these hooks has been somewhat reduced after all of my early enthusiasm for simpler rigs so later in the week I'm going to test barbless trebles against barbless circle hooks on separate rods and see which end tackle comes out on top.
I think I know where I'll put my money.