My love-hate relationship with Exeter Canal has been intensifying of late. A hat trick of blanks and then, just when you're starting to curse its cold waters, just when you wonder if it'll ever happen, along comes a BIG surprise! 20 pounds and two ounces of barrel shaped pike.
The blanks then, have not been in vain. I've been putting chopped rainbow trout to good use as prebait on previous visits, attempting to put the pike on a crash diet of the stuff. With so few catch and release trout fisheries I tend to end up with a full freezer and get pretty sick of eating rainbows- at least the pike seem to like them. This one certainly didn't look short of a good square meal!
It was touch and go playing the fish, a very tense affair as I could see the pike was only attached to the bottom treble ("Please don't come off, PLEASE don't come off!"). She came close to the net twice, suddenly lunging away again and producing that uneasy sensation of my heart and stomach trying to trade places. Fishing eh? Bloody hell!
The only downer to my midweek is that my motor is still knackered. I wonder if anyone can think of a good excuse for the car rental company to explain why their vehicle smells like Captain Birdseye's dustbin? Answers on a herring please...