Sunday, July 01, 2012

Monster pike mystery solved at the Village Pond

It's 5am and no-one's about, which is just as well when you're about to try pike fishing with a sausage roll for bait. But I've done my research and thought long and hard about this, fine tuning my approach down to the last detail. As I creep across the Village Green, I feel the hand of history on my shoulder.

I've sliced up a sausage roll ready to throw it in the Village Pond to see if there's really a pike called Mike in said water, which has developed a taste for pastry products from the Village Shop over the road.

When I scoffed at the last pike in village pond story which hit the Parish Magazine - distributed by the parish council on the last Wednesday of every month, with a foreword from the Vicar - I got it badly wrong.

There really was a pike in the village pond concerned. And someone caught it at over 28lbs. So this time, the gloves are off. I have a steer on where it knocks about. I know it's been devouring sausage rolls like they're going out of fashion, mainly thanks to the Bread Man and the Village Shop Lady.

As I sit back on the Memorial Bench with a double expresso from Starbucks in a can, I feel quietly confident. I have brought three sausage rolls with me, for the benefit of those who may be wondering how the sausage roll method pans out in practical terms.

Those who fish on a tight budget may care to note that it is cheaper to buy sausage rolls in threes from the Village Shop, with a triple pack weighing in at £1.99, as opposed to 99p each for single sausage rolls.

This clearly represents a considerable saving over the course of a season. I also once found a pubic hair in a sausage roll from the Village Shop, back in the days when I bought them one at a time, but have never to date experienced this problem with triple packs of sausage rolls.

Sausage roll one, as in the first sausage roll out of a pack of three, is for baiting up with. Sausage roll two, as in the second sausage roll, has been attached to a trace via a pair of size four Owner ST36 trebles. Sausage roll three, for those who like to keep count of their sausage rolls, is in case this turns into a longer session than envisaged and I require food to see me through, although I may inspect it for stray body hair of the short and curly variety first to be on the safe side.

I have attached a two ounce lead to the trace clip, which you need to sink a sausage roll from the Village Shop. This is owing to the highly bouyant nature of its folds of puff pastry which is made by Marnie, who works at the Village Shop on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday mornings.

I am not sure what Marnie does to the puff pastry which encompasses the sausage rolls they sell in the Village Shop, not to mention whether she was the cause of the pubic hair issue I once had with a sausage roll from said outlet. But they are so bouyant that you could probably get away without a life jacket if you ate one or two before you went out on a boat and stuffed a couple more in your pockets just in case. 

I have also tied a poly ball to the bottom hook, so the sausage roll will sit just under the surface, as I twitch it back. The pike will see this as a silhouette, but should hopefully be able to ascertain that this is a premium sausage roll, made from organic pork with extra sage and onion without added preservatives,  from the Village Shop.

Presentation counts, in my experience. And details like this can sometimes make all the difference.

The chances of anyone I know coming along are fairly remote at this time of the morning. This is fortunate, as I am doing my best to keep the Village Pond off the radar, to spare Mike the inevitable attention that speculation in the weekly angling papers might bring.

I am wrestling with the dilemma of whether or not to go public in the Parish Magazine, with the background to the pictures blurred in Photoshop, when a chunk of sausage roll disappears in a swirl. I reach for the rod. It's game on.

A gentle overhead lob, past the free offerings, and the rig lands in a straight line just shy of the reeds on the far bank. As I twitch the popped-up sausage roll, a bow-wave appears as a long, dark back scythes through the water towards the puffs of silt kicked up by the lead and the bouyant pastry snack on the end, made by Marnie from the Village Shop, from organic pork with added sage and onion - not to mention the occasional public hair.

I can see the headline in the Parish Magazine, which generally comes out around the last Wednesday of every month, with a foreword from the Vicar.

EXCULSIVE - Pike Ace tames monster in Village Pnod

Veronica, the Vicar's wife, does not always use spell-check. At times, this has been the source of some controversy, such as the occasion when the Count of Monte Christo led the bill at a film festival at the Village Hall. But I understand the pressure the modern media often find themselves under and am sure she will do the story justice if I supply her with quotes and pictures.

It may even make the front page, and rival talking points such as the lack of bins for dog mess on the Village Green, or the day the bell ringers smuggled a sheep home on the bus after their annual outing to Fakenham and released it in the Village Pub, where it now works behind the bar.

I see the sausage roll hovering in the margins, as I give it one last twitch. A shape glides into sharp focus from the depths, long and dark, with piggy little eyes. I strike the bait off just in time and the fish devours it as it floats to the surface.

Mike the Pike is no pike after all. It's a sodding great grass carp. As I pack up the rod and net, I see the Bread Man's van coming down the hill, as the lights in the Village Shop go on.


  1. I laughed and laughed when I read this U R very funy

  2. Don't encourage him for fuck sake

  3. Have you tried wobbling a pastie..?