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A Lucky Catch?

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Nik and I were fishing at one of our favourite spots on the Bure.  My float slid off to one side and went under. It felt like a small perch, but suddenly the weight on the line felt much, much heavier. My little perch had been siezed by a sizeable pike. The water was very clear and I could see the larger predator quite clearly. Suddenly the perch broke free and shot off. The pike lunged after it but manage to get my size 14 hook on a 3lb line caught in the scissors of it's jaw. I played it for a few minutes until I thought it might come to the net, then asked Nik to officiate. As soon as it saw the net it went crazy. I don't think it realised it had been hooked up to that point.  I played it a little longer with much use of the slipping clutch on my little Shimano reel and then we "gentled" it into the net. Out of the water, but still in the net,  I found the hook and cut it off the line, which released the fish. I put the net back in the water and let the pike rest for a few minutes, before it ejected itself with a flick of its tail and swam off back into the depths. 20 minutes later, Nik caught a small perch and it too was followed to the net by the very same pike, which was quite distinctively marked.  Nik took a photo of my catch, but they don't give an accurate impression of the size of the fish, which I estimated at 8-10lb. I didn't weigh it or photograph it properly because my main concern was getting it back into the water as quickly as possible.  I didn't set out to catch a pike and would not fish for pike deliberately until much later in the year, but hopefully the fish was no worse for its misadventure.



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