Sunday, October 20, 2013
A pike from the Forgotten Pit
There's a big swirl and the water boils as a good fish smashes into the lure. On a forgotten pit in the middle of nowhere, I've sunk my hook into an angry reminder of why I love this so much.
I'd never set eyes on the place before I clocked it on Google Earth. Pits elsewhere in the valley hold pike, so this one surely must. I plotted the track that winds around the old gravel workings from the by-road, sketching it on a Post-It I could stick on the dashboard of the car to help me find it.
The first few casts revealed an underwater jumble of bars and drop-offs, weedbeds and silty shallows full of sticks and twigs. I persevered in a corner where a tiny pike barely bigger than the lure chased the Big Hammer.
Baby Pike should, in theory, mean Mummy and Daddy Pike are in here too. I dropped into a gap between two trees where the wind was off my back and I could send the shad right out towards the middle, into the pit's main bowl.
It's not much deeper, maybe five or six feet. It needs a brisk retrieve to keep the shad above the weed. A few casts later and bang - Mummy's here. The sleek low double fights hard in the clear water. From up on the bank, I can see it flare its gills and furiously shake its head.
Then it's in the net and it's mine. No monster, but a near-perfect double - apart from the rosy scrape on its flank. The new Big Hammer droops from its scissors, ripped to shreds as I grab a quick photo on the mat, flick the hook out of its gob and drop it back. As I watched it swim off, I wished I'd weighed it.
posted at 16:44