The children were busy for a couple of hours so relieved of parental responsibility I quickly loaded the car and sneaked off to “The pool” once again. On arrival I was disappointed to find that the car park was full again, I don't know why this was a surprise after my last visit but there you go. I walked past a guy bivvied up Carp fishing, next to him were two fellas quietly Piking. The swim I'd fished on my previous visit was occupied by a couple of kids so I dropped my gear into the first empty one I encountered, this would have to do.
I cast a popped up Smelt into a deep margin in front of a reed bed then quickly tackled up a whip, float fishing maggots to hopefully catch some livebait. Next job was to set up a Paternoster rig ready for the inevitable wriggling Roach to be mounted on it. I scanned around the lake, apart from the three anglers I'd passed there was a collection of Dads and lads on the far side, probably the same ones as last time, just as noisy anyway.
Catching silver fish for bait was proving a lot more difficult than I'd expected. I discarded the whip and set up a waggler, fishing a couple of maggots on the bottom and put a little groundbait in, still no bites. I never was any good at this style of fishing. A fortnight ago it had been dead easy to catch a load of fish on maggots in mid water now it was as if all the silver fish had vanished. It's important that I find out where!
I noticed the Carp angler had emerged from hibernation and was faffing around with something in the margins. It was one of those bait boat things which he used to place his bait to some dying lilies around 30 metres away from where he sat. Not the easiest of casts but one any half decent angler should be able to make eight times out of ten. What is angling coming to when a bait boat is used for something like this?
I'd been fishing for just over an hour when finally a float dipped, it wasn't the waggler it was the Pike float signalling the Smelt had been picked up. The strike was successful and I soon had a perfectly conditioned Jack Pike thrashing in the margins where I picked it out, unhooked it with my fingers and returned it without a fuss. I don't think any of the other anglers even noticed which is just the way I like it.
I fished on for another hour, the silver fish still conspicuous by their absence. I never even cast the Paternoster rod that had sat on a rod rest all morning. For once I wasn't sad to be packing up, fishing crowded waters isn't my thing at all. I can't help finding it strange that this pool which was almost deserted in the summer is getting so crowded now. Both my visits here have coincided with unseasonably mild, bright weather, has this brought the crowds out? Or two plus two = a popular Pike water? Maybe a decent fish or two? Can I be bothered to join the crowds to find out?