It was very cold last night and I had a big decision to make, with regards to todays fishing venue, do I go to Ryton or the canal both of which could be iced up, or, do I go to the river that won't be frozen. I didn't fancy the river and I didn't look at Ryton but after seeing the amount of ice at Meadowlands just up the road it would have looked pretty much the same. I settled on the canal again but had doubts as to how liquid it was going to be and on arrival I had a walk down to the bend with the reeds , I'd fished only yesterday evening and now it was solid with ice. The only section free of ice along the whole stretch I walked was the flight of locks down to the Blue Lias, I had no choice but to fish these or go home but seeing as I had caught one small Zander here yesterday, I thought I'd give it a few hours. Fishing the same spot, half Roach baits were thrown into the deeper parts in front of the gates and the overflow weir and it wasn't too long before the first small Zander was on the bank, over the next couple of hours I had runs and takes from a further three Zeds (also lost one at the net) as well as one small Pike.
The largest Zed was just over 18 inches and I don't think they would get much bigger living in such a confined space but I'm not sure about the Pike.
This Pike was small but I had a strange take that made me think that there was something bigger lurking around in there. I had the float pull down sharply but stop level with the waters surface, after a short while it moved off to one side by a foot but rather than being patient and wait for the run to develop, I decided to hit it and struck the rod up and immediately felt a weight that thumped back, then nothing! the rig came in clean with no bait, a couple of inches of wire trace just above the single treble was all coiled up and I thought it might have been a bigger Pike, I've had traces come in looking like this after missed runs at Ryton.
I wonder how big it was?