A midweek fishing window opened and it couldn’t be ignored. There was not enough time to fish the special place properly but there is a viable alternative tucked away in the East Anglian countryside. I was joined by nephew Josh who is on a mission to catch his first Pike for a few years and then hopefully a few more! Over the last year he’s been out with me three times but so far the fish have avoided him.
The weather forecast was abysmal, it was set to piss with rain all day and we were to be fishing from a small, open boat. In normal circumstances I would not have been at all confident in this kind of weather and if I had any sense I’d be on the bank under a shelter. However given the nature of the water I thought we’d be in with a chance and the advantages of a boat outweigh a bit of falling water.
We arrived in the dark, and yes it was raining but not as bad as the forecast had predicted. By the time I’d rowed into position it was light enough to set up without a torch. We cast a mixture of baits around the boat then sat back with a brew to await the sunrise, which never really happened due to the filthy grey clouds that continued to drop annoying light rain on us. Previous visits to this water had produced almost instant action but this was not the case today, had the shitty weather put the fish off?
Forty five minutes and another cup of tea later I looked round to see my float moving away, something had picked up a Herring and was gaining in speed. Hooks set, the rod took on a decent curve and a nice Pike powered off. It was soon in the net, unhooked and released. First of many I hoped. Another half hour passed and still the light rain fell. Was it? Yes, the same float moved again and this time the rod hooped over properly. A typical short, sharp fight ensued then another, bigger fish was in the net. This was a scales and camera job for sure.Time passed quickly and I began to ponder a move, should I stay or should I go? A swirl and scatter of bait fish made up my mind. A short paddle and we were on the spot in time to see two more fish strike. Rods were quickly cast and we sat back, sure a float would go at any time. I was happy with a couple of fish and was desperate for Josh to catch. Cue the inevitable intervention of Sod’s law. First of all another nice fish fell to a Smelt, followed a while later by a similar sized fish on a Lamprey. Four takes, all to my rods, I assured Josh his time would come but no sooner was the Lamprey back in position and it was away again. After waddling on the surface and allowing me to haul it back to the boat it dived and powered away, taking line and thumping the rod. In the net it looked clearly the biggest so far, the scales agreed but not by much.
It was just after 1000, we still had six hours fishing ahead of us and I was still confident Josh would get his turn. Privately I’d decided the next take would be his, no matter what rod it came to. We kept moving and tried everything, including a bit of trolling. The rain kept falling but the Pike just didn’t want to know anymore. We fished on until darkness but the fish didn’t show, by the time we packed up the gear was thoroughly soaked and despite the best wet weather gear we were damp. A day like this might put Josh off winter Piking for life but it hasn’t. We’ll try again soon and he will get that Pike.