I couldn't resist the chance of a Xmas fish from the Dee. I got out of bed early today; boxing day with a delicate head from the excesses of yesterday. The Pike haven't really been on over the last week but i had so much confidence at first light when i saw the river was in perfect condition. The level was right with a nice flow with just a tinge of colour. The regular faces appeared before light and we all discussed the prospects for the day. Tony promised to catch some livebait for me and duly did especially after he was given some extra tuition from Dee 'legend' Reg. To be fair to Tony he wasn't doing alot wrong and was catching regularly before Reg imparted his expertise regarding his world famous 'Molehill Groundbait'.
My livebaits went out at first light and as the bungs danced in the flow of this majestic river on a stunning crisp winters day my heart beat a little faster. But sadly the morning went by without the hint of Pike activity. My old mate and Piking Ace Paul Gratton made a late appearence and whilst the Pike weren't biting we caught up; sharing stories of past triumphs and other fishing anecdotes the way only fanatic Pikers would understand. Everytime i talk to this guy i learn lots.
Although i had no runs there appeared to be Pike about; The livebaits at regular intervals went crazy in a way that usually indicates the presence of those beautiful speckled green underwater monsters. But nothing came of these eratic bung bouncing episodes til mid afternoon when Paul and myself were talking Pike tactics etc and the left hand bung bounced and began to move off. the result was a plump jack of around 7-8lb. Well after that nothing much happened for the next hour and then as before the livebait started moving excitedly and as Paul and i watched the left hand bung it bounced and then went flat upon the surface indicating something had picked up the bait. As i picked up the rod the fished moved off and i hit it immediately. At first i thought it was a small fish but it hadn't woke up yet, but as i applied pressure it resisted and made a number of powerful runs. As it came towards the net we could see it was lip-hooked with one treble and as it resisted the landing net i feared i would lose her but after a few missed heartbeats it was in. Paul dutifully weighed and photographed the fish (pictured above) and it weighed 17lb 10oz. A stunning river fish and a lovely Xmas present.