Right place at right time is half the battle in the Fens

The season's dying on its feet in the Fens, as the weather warms up, the days grow longer and the pike get set for spawning.

One angler managed 17 of them in a hectic morning on one of the drains, which is a good dozen more than I've managed since Christmas.

On the downside, they were all jacks apart from a solitary double. I had just one to show for three days' fishing – a low-20, with someone else's trace in her which fortunately came out without too much bother.

Where you go clearly matters even more at this late stage of the season. But as their minds turn to finding mates and spawning, being in the right place is only half the battle.

Pike become finicky feeders in the final weeks. While a territorial jack might well have a go at a lure, the bigger fish seem adept at avoiding the hooks, sometimes picking up baits and dropping them straight away. This becomes even more frustrating after a season when runs have been hard to come by at times.

I'm sure there'll be plenty of views doing the rounds as to why it's been such a grueller in the Fens.

There's plenty of food in the rivers and drains fo them, judging by my last few trips. I've seen waters come alive, with large shoals of silver fish fry rising for hatching insects.

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Who knows how it's going to pan out next season, if this summer sees the widely-predicted drought.

With two weeks left, there'll be a lot of effort going into finding and catching a few more fish.

But by the time we start getting the rods ready and tying traces for 2012/13, there could be even less pike out there to go at.

One or two people have had a slightly better season than average, in terms of larger fish caught.

What's been missing all along on several waters are the smaller specimens, which help make up the pyramid of different-sized predators that signal a healthy, balanced water.