Once the New year turns the Pike season disappears at an alarming rate and all too soon its mid March. There was no time to get back to Norfolk before the river season ended but I did manage to fit in a couple of social trips on stillwaters in the days that followed.
The first of these saw four of us sharing two boats on a dull, breezy day. I teamed up with Giles which was nice because despite socialising often our fishing paths haven’t crossed for a while. In the other boat was a particularly motley crew consisting of Rich and Jason. Our venue hadn’t been on the regular radar for a long time and there was much to learn again.
Both boats began in the same area and kept mobile, Giles had a fish early on and I missed one. In the other boat Jason and Rich reported similar. The fish didn’t seem to be where we thought they might be so we split up and went looking. Plan B brought a Jack for me but this was the only reward for a lot of searching. We crossed paths with the other boat and after the mutual hurling of abuse ritual we learnt they too had only had one each.
In the early afternoon we finally found a group of fish in an area which surprised us. Things started to happen, Giles managed a succession of fish to double figures and finally I had another that might have scraped. For a while it was exciting fishing as every cast was made with confidence but after a while it seemed we’d caught all that were willing to feed and it was time to move on.
Back at the car park we compared notes, our boat had the bragging rights, thanks mostly to Giles but things could have been different if not for the one that got away…
A few days later I was in a boat with Rich on another away day. I was knackered and Rich was ill so we couldn’t be arsed to get up for the crack of dawn and only had the boat away by 0800. It was another good Pike fishing day, mostly cloudy, brighter at times and with a good westerly blow. With this in mind and with no clue as to where to find Pike we decided to troll on the oars, with the wind, until we found some Pike. This took about half an hour before three quick takes saw Rich with a fish and me lose one. We’d found some Pike so dropped the weights and started fishing with lures and deadbaits.
We were on fish and Rich was soon in again boating two fish to low doubles. I also had two takes but managed to bugger one up and the other was dropped. Then it went quiet so we began moving and searching. The first spot brought no reward, was it going to be one of those days? Surely I can’t end the season with a blank? Thankfully I managed to get off the mark with a nice fish on deadbait in the next swim and unfortunately it was Rich’s turn to drop one.
After that things kind of clicked, every move brought a fish or two, mostly on deadbaits but a couple took lures and as the afternoon lengthened we got a couple of fish that required the scales and camera too. We trolled back and Rich caught the final fish of the day bringing the scores level with a total weight well into three figures.
This Pike season has passed too quickly, I don’t want it to end which is a sure sign that I’ve enjoyed myself. Despite some seriously hard fishing at times I’ve still managed to catch plenty of Pike from different types of water. There have been several big ones but a proper lump at the back end eluded me, there’s always next year. I shared boats with nine different partners this season, which must be a record for this anti social git? Sadly there were a couple of friends I didn't fit into the hectic schedule but we'll put that right next year. After nearly four decades I enjoy Pike fishing as much now as I ever have and as I get older I appreciate the whole thing more. I have an affliction, maybe an obsession at times but definitely an addiction. I’m very glad to have it and there's no harm in sharing it.
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