There are many more successful pike anglers than our motley crew and yet it doesn't cause us any problems. We are very fortunate, in as much, as we are able to enjoy each others successes without any jealousy and have no secrets about bait, methods or locations between us. Time spent together is time well spent, the banter relentless, the humour obvious, as is the desire to catch decent fish and yet it is not so important that we are unable to savour the other aspects of being outdoors.
For me, pike fishing is all about wild places and wild fish. As impressive as the trout water fish are, they lack a certain something - in my opinion. For a wild pike to attain a weight in excess of twenty pounds requires a special set of circumstances, none less than avoiding the attentions of Eastern European night liners - fishing for the table, not sport. I have no qualms about walking that extra mile, pushing myself that little bit harder, if I feel I am doing so for a reason. Specimen pike are magnificent creatures and worth every ounce of effort involved when one finally appears in the folds of my landing net. I know that October is the start of the "traditional" pike season but, for me, pike angling is about frost and cat ice in the margins - roll on December!
Until then; enjoy the photos - any old excuse to use them!
No. 10 - May 2011 - Benno and the first Scottish twenty I'd ever seen!
No. 9 - November 2011 - Gadget with one of the first English doubles I'd seen in nearly twenty years!
No. 8 - November 2011 - my first English double (Feb 2012 - the third time I'd taken this particular fish!)
No. 7 - April 2012 - Tom takes a 21.02 from Loch Awe
No. 6 - April 2013 - Sye with a Loch Awe 20
No. 5 - April 2013 - Benno with a Loch Awe 19 - one of the best looking pike I've ever seen
No. 4 - Feb 2014 - My first 20 since returning to the sport - a magical moment and a very special pike from the Royal Military Canal
No. 3 - Feb 2014 - Benno with a RMC 19
No. 2 - March 2015 - Luke with a RMC 18 (Luke is the quiet one in the gang - a proper nice guy!)
No. 1 - April 2015 - my first Scottish 20 - Thirty three years of waiting! This pike means more to me than a million words could describe - an absolute privilege to catch and a very emotional and humbling experience. Wouldn't say no to another!