|I'm not particularly happy with this shot; it makes the pike appear quite skinny!|
The truth is that the fish was a chunky-looking beast with a very broad head/back, however,
as it is a self-take effort, I've got to live with it..
I picked the rod from the rests and watched the line peeling steadily off the centre-pin. Clamping my hand over the spool I lifted the rod and, as I felt the line tighten, lifted the rod over my shoulder. The fish boiled on the far bank and the line fell slack! "Bollocks" or words to that effect - I was sure that it'd come off but quickly found that it was still on and my strike had done nothing more than lift the lead. The fight was a dour, although powerful, affair - as the fish cruised up and down the centre channel. I think that the carp lads call them "growers" - fish that initially feel small and increase in weight as they near the landing net. The sight of the fish, swirling on the surface, allowed me to see that I'd hooked a "double" and the more the battle ensued, the larger the fish felt. When I finally got the fish to the net I was looking at the head slipping over the draw string thinking that it was going to go close! The width across the skull and back was impressive, it was a very happy Dylan that lifted the net and peered into the folds at what I'd had the good fortune to catch.
The ritual weighing followed, the scales revealing a statistic of 18lbs 9oz, and the fish was allowed to recover in the safety of a ET "Pike-tube". My first "double" of the season - a very nice start - any pike, over 15lbs, is special; I'm very happy with this result and my angling skills which led to the capture. I then had the problem of the photos - my self take results being a little short of the mark in comparison with those taken by Benno (who understands the requirements of a decent fish portrait)