With a short term, long hours contract starting in the coming days, today was the last chance I would have to get on the bank for a while.
I had my mind set on pike and decided to head for a stretch that is very lightly fished due to the long walk involved. I arrived just before first light and found a few areas to explore, I set up a light stickfloat to try and snatch some bait and fished a deadbait into the slack water. I was expecting plenty of small dace but they were harder to catch than I thought they would be. The kingfisher on the opposite bank was easily out fishing me taking 3 small fish in succession.
I started to pick up the odd fish but they were quite small, after a few (slightly) better fish were taken I decided to stick one on as the deadbait hadn't been touched. After 20 minutes with the live bait on the float slowly went under and held just under the surface, a few seconds later it slowly slid away towards the middle of the river. I leant into the fish and it seemed like a decent size, the fish but up a decent scrap and I had a bit of trouble netting it (could do with a longer net handle), but eventually the fish was sat in the bottom of the net.
The pike went 14lb 6oz and is my second largest to date. I spent another half an hour in the swim and had a few casts with the lure rod, the first cast with a 'Manta' and I briefly had another fish on, it felt decent but was off after a few seconds. The lure was also taken on the next cast but I pulled out as I struck. I had a couple of moves downstream spending 45 minutes in each without any more action. On the way home I called into a different stretch further downstream for an hour, I dropped a lamprey section into the margin and spent the hour casting a few lures. The bait went untouched and I didn't get any interest on the lures either.
I was hoping for another fish but I wasn't too disappointed, hopefully I'll be able to fit the odd session in-between shifts but I'd be surprised if I was out again this side of Xmas.