It poured down with rain all day on Friday, we knew it would effect the water but I don't think any of us expected just how high, dirty and fast the water was going to be at Penton Hook on Saturday.
We were on the island just after sunrise, Darren fished a sweetcorn rod and a maggot feeder for the barbel, bream and carp. Dan fished a luncheon meat rod for the barbel and a livebait rod for the pike and I fished a livebait and a deadbait rod - no question what was on my mind...
But first things first; the Great Penton Hook Cook-Off, Dan's sausage sandwiches verses Darren's bacon rolls... As I was the judge I had to call it a draw, both were great (and I wanted to ensure I continued to get both on future trips).
After trying to fish in the fast water we moved to some slack water towards the bottom of the island and Darren was soon into some dace, roach and skimmer bream on the maggot feeder.
I borrowed a dace and a few seconds later was hooked up to my first pike of the season 6lb 2oz a long skinny fish but fighting fit - brilliant!
With the action pretty slow Dan did a shop run, he left his livebait rod in the side (to keep his bait alive). And a few minutes after he left inevitably a pike hit his bait, I had it on for a few minutes, a cracking fight and a pike about 12-14lb, but it spat the hook in the side. Or as Dan later phrased it: I lost a pike on his behalf!
A few minutes later, before Dan was back, I had a run on my livebait rod. Another great fight and a 9lb 1oz was landed - pike number 2 of the season.
Dan returned and after half an hour of cursing his luck for missing his run, his livebait rod was away again... Looked like a good fish from the fight although we didn't see it... It managed to find a snag and transplant the hook into a submerged tree. Bugger!
Things quietened down, Darren's bites had dried up, I was really expecting him to get into the bigger bream but it didn't happen. And the odd little knock on Dan's luncheon meat rod didn't develop.
Then a zipping run on my deadbait rod (sprat), the pike stayed deep and managed to tangle in my second line, but eventually a 10lb 8oz pike was in the net - my first double of the season - I have all the luck!
We fished on but long after it should have been packing up time we called it quits, it was a great day on the island sat in the sun... And my pike campaign has started. Fantastic!