A hard frost lay on the ground as we approached the secluded lake through a foggy murk, moorhens dipped and splashed while a family of swans glided across the mirror calm water. Dank and cold, David and Robbie pointed to where they had landed five pike to 9.lbs plus and experienced numerous runs throughout the session not a fortnight previous. That day was warm and breezy from the south, today being chilly, grey, and still conditions couldn’t have been more different. Discussing the possibilities while choosing our respective swims, we set off around the frost encrusted bank to stake a claim before proceeding to tackle up.
Each fishing a ledgered popped up dead bait along with a roving sliding float set up, we cast onto a weed bed covered by ten foot of water lying about fifty meters off shore. Using frozen roach and dace for bait on this occasion runs were scarce, six for the day converted into one medium pike. That said, noticing a line straightening, a float dipping before sliding under, or the sound of a pod buzzer creates a level of excitement only anglers can identify with. Yes there is frustration when one leans into a running fish and the connection doesn’t materialise, however the electricity generated narrows the quite gaps in between while sustaining the determination to carry on. “The next one will be a lunker“. As the fog closed in and light faded around five bells three lads knew it was 5 – 1 to old Esox, but that’s OK aren’t we anglers not fishermen. “Where are we going next week?”