As regular followers will know, for three or four years I have been feeding a tame pike at my pal Ken’s fishery near Stafford. It has become somewhat of a friend, arriving in front of the log cabin usually within an hour of my arrival, or occasionally the following morning, pectorals gently waving, and looking up at me expectantly. At times I have visited without any baitfish for her, and felt almost embarrassed as she hovered persistently, but unfed during the length of my stay!
I’m not sure just how many roach, rudd and small skimmers she has been the recipient of since I started throwing them in for her, but in the time she has grown from about four to five pounds to an estimated seventeen or eighteen pounds – a handsome-looking creature! You may have seen one of the several short movies we have made of her in action on this website.
Disappointingly on my last two or three visits, ‘Pikey’ has not appeared, and I was starting to wonder if one of the very few people who fish there might have caught and ill-treated her, but sadly yesterday the mystery was solved. She did appear, but in very poor fettle with a hugely extended stomach, as if she had swallowed a small pig! At first I thought she was dead, but when I attempted to hook her out for examination, she woke up, and made her ungainly way out to the deeper water.
It was such a very sad sight, and I am certain the next time she appears, it will be belly-up on the surface – a great shame, but all part of nature I suppose. It was quite upsetting to witness her condition, but a reminder that nothing lasts forever, and a very small consolation was that this morning a jack of about five pounds was there with his nose an inch from my bait-can. I’m not sure if this may be the start of tame-pike-part-two, but I killed a couple of small rudd and tossed them in where they were instantly engulfed. We shall see!
During my visit the weather was wonderful with a cloudless blue sky, although quite cold at night, and I was glad to have taken my overwrap. It is always such a pleasure to be there, and I was able to get the tractor out and cut some grass for Ken. Also the fishing was not without result, with a six pound pike on the fly-rod, three small perch on the drop-shot tackle, and this 19lb fully-scaled mirror carp. Fish or no, Max simply loves it there, especially sleeping next to his ‘daddy’ with his head on my sleeping bag…
Apologies to Mike for the tardy publishing of this post