A strong southerly wind blew across the fields, pushing us on to the same area where Gary had a lost a very big pike the week before. The river was still in the same state, coloured and pushing through quite strong. As daylight broke we could see the strong crease where the water pushing into the small stream left the main river. It was to be all deadbaits today as live baits were impossible to catch from the river but Gary had brought some maggots with him so after we had the four floats set for float legers baited with smelts he set about trying to find some small fish willing to feed in the edge of the stream.

We had two baits on the crease and two next to large fallen trees in the edge. Although windy it was quite mild and breaks in the cloud revealed it could well be sunny later in the day. Nothing happened for the first couple of hours but by that time there were three perch and four roach swimming in the live bait bucket so we wound in all the rods and recast them, set up as paternosters with live baits. This move worked as half-hour later my perch by the crease was taken. The initial run of the pike was slow but when I pulled into it I met with a solid resistance. The pike moved down the stream and fought doggedly in the main channel. It was hard to tell how big it was but it was going well. We hoped the bigger female pike had moved in to get ready to spawn but if this was the case then the small males would be there too. When the pike showed in the brown water though we could see it was a mid double. Soon in the net it was plain to see it was a deep plump female. It in fact had quite a belly on it, which without doubt was the reason it weighed 17lb 9oz when it should have only been around 14lb. I was not complaining though and after a quick bit of admiration I lowered it back into it's turbulent home.

It seemed indeed as if they were turning up to spawn and to add to this assumption we took three more pike in the next hour, all on baits in the crease, though the biggest was only 11lb; we had found the males as well. The afternoon was soon upon us and the wind swung around to a cooler direction and the sun shone. After a couple of hours with no more action my roach live bait next to the snags was taken. The float moved dangerously near the tree so I pulled into the pike quickly and a large swirl showed on top as the pike shot off out towards the main river. I managed to hold it and using the powerful rod I let it plod about without causing me too much anxiety. The pike rolled to show a broad head and Gary lowered the net and knelt down ready to net it at the first chance. The pike reluctantly came towards me, its head on the surface, slowly it opened its mouth and shook its head, then powered off coming up to try a tail walk but only half of it came out of the water. The roach flew off and momentarily I thought it had gone but no, it was still there. Next time there was no mistake and there in the bottom of the net was a long deep pike, I shouted out in glee.

On the bank lying on the grass it was plain to see it was well over 20lb. The hooks were, surprisingly, right at the back of it's mouth so there was no danger of it coming off. It had a damaged tail but it was a very old injury. It's belly was full of spawn, which made it look very solid and well proportioned, without that it would have been thin for its length. The moment of truth finally came as we hoisted it on to the scales, 25lb 11oz, another "Yeessss" split the air. My biggest pike for a while and a cracker at that. I held it up for the camera in the late afternoon sunlight and it behaved perfectly, just once it flinched. Laying it back on the grass we had one more look at it before slipping it back, a broad smile stretching across my face.
The action was not over though as half an hour later Gary’s bait by the snags was taken and a similar fight ensued. He played his fish very gently as we clearly saw the hooks in the scissors when it rolled. It was therefore twenty minutes later when a pike of similar size was in the net. For a moment we thought it was the same fish but this one's tail was complete. It was a little shorter perhaps but its belly was still full of spawn. The hooks fell out in the net so it was just the weighing to go, 24lb 7oz. This one too was soon shown to the camera and slowly released.

That then was the last action, a right result! Have Fun!