We're off pike fishing on Saturday, I might have mentioned it? It was way back, in the early 1970's when I caught my first pike; a small jack (under 3 lbs) from Pixie's Mere, Bourne End, Hertfordshire. I still have vivid memories of the adrenaline moment when my "Fishing Gazette" bung plunged beneath the surface and of the steely-eyed monster which came thrashing to the bank as a result. Tackle and tactics may have changed dramatically over the intervening years, yet that raw excitement, when a back biter drops off or, a bite alarm sounds as, a monkey rises steadily up the needle, still remains. It's why I go pike angling; exactly for moments such as these. There have been many occurrences during my time on the bank and I have been blessed to have captured, or witness the capture of thousands of these magnificent fish.
Generally there is contempt once familiarity becomes established, yet, for me, pike have that ability to retain a certain aura, the unblinking stare and sheer perfection of design which befits such an awesome species. They are the evolutionary peak of freshwater, predatory, fish within Europe? Each and everyone of them demands respect, whatever the size - they certainly have mine. I have lost count of the times when a "jack" has done me up! Bloodied fingers are small price for such primeval encounters - pike have inhabited the earth far longer than mankind, respect!
I had half an idea that this post would develop into my journey through pike angling (well worthy of telling), but it's getting late and I have to be round at Benno's for 04.00 hrs tomorrow, so I'll leave it here. The Saturday social and further exploration of my pike angling journey might be high on the agenda when I return from darkest Sussex!