The joy of a spot of lure fishing
Either the pike were on the feed or some of the more stupid ones were within casting range on my first few trips.
A switch to lures seemed to do the trick, although I also snuck a couple out on deads on a day when I didn't fancy walking far.
I thought the fish on a clear gravel pit would go for something which bore a passing resemblance to the small rudd which seemed to be in the margins of every other swim.
While a rudd-coloured shad brought a few follows, a switch to a fluo yellow lure that doesn't much resemble any fish known to man or pike soon brought a chomp or two.
Some say colour doesn't matter. Others swear by conflicting rules like match the hatch in clear water, fish something more garish when it's coloured or the light levels are low.
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I'd forgotten how much fun you can have wandering around with just a rod, bag and net, trying to work out how to press the right buttons with the pike.
The first jack nearly made me jump out of my skin when it launched itself at the shad as it neared my feet. A fish or two here, a fish or two there – I haven't had a double yet, but I'm not too bothered as long as I'm catching a few.
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Pike fishing definitely has its cycles, with good seasons and bad.
Most of the drains seem to be producing, which makes a change from last time around when just the occasional decent day punctuated long runs of blanks.
Will this winter be the one where it all comes good again? There's only one way for us to find out.
King's Lynn AA are having a memorial match for James Campbell on Sunday, October 27. It is being held on Shepherd's Lake, draw 8.30am, fish 10am to 3pm.
Tickets are £20, which includes peg, pools, a donation to a memorial bench and a bacon roll. Call Sean Wright to book, on 07966 030821.