Angler left to rue just what might have been

WEST AND FENS: Whatever left teeth marks two inches apart in Bob King's lamprey was no bog-standard jack or double.

Two dropped runs and we were on tenterhooks, thinking a big old gal was on the scavenge.

Fussy feeder, or a wise old pike that had learned from bitter experience that dead fish with two size four owners in them means jaw-ache.

My heart missed a beat when something took a liking to my float-legered pilchard.

I wound down and gave it a good old heave, which was met with an empty trace and a big smile from Bob's direction.

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The pit we were on came alive as the first squealing squadrons of pink foots landed. As the sun burned the clouds off and the drizzle ceased, a buzzard soared over the fields and a water rail scuttled under the rods like Road Runner, as I willed the alarms to go beep beep.

Nature might have been waking up, but the jury was well and truly out on why the pike were having none of it on our first choice venue.

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We adjourned to another water and nailed a few – including a chunky double that coughed up a pristine four-inch micro pike, as if to show nothing's sacred under the surface.

Three in as many casts from the same spot and the feeding spell was over as quickly as it began.

Lynn AA committee man Mark Smith averaged 40lbs of fish on four consecutive days' fishing, on four different areas of the in-form Ouse.

Feeding hemp on the 9-13m line, with worm on the hook did the trick for Smith – whose efforts provide yet more proof of just how well the big river's fishing this season.

It doesn't quite look in peak autumn nick yet either, with the water still on the clear side, meaning things could get even better on there.

Still waters are slowing down, with less anglers on the banks at Tottenhill and Shepherd's Port.

Shepherd's lake is still doing silvers, with bream to 4lbs reported on maggot and pinkie.

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