Eleven pike in three hours.

Thursday 27th October will live in my memory for many years to come as the best day’s pike fishing I have had with any group. Three lads and a key worker fished from about 11.15 a.m. until 2.15 p.m. with one rod each and landed eleven pike to ten and a half pounds. None of the students had ever had a fish over two or three pounds in weight and only one had ever caught a pike before.

I had obtained special permission to take the group from PAYP Slough to the predator lake on the Wasing Estate, the scene of the two great days on Monday and Wednesday this week. I had told them about the fish we had caught but had warned them not to expect too much as this is the nature of the sport. Only three of the young people were able to attend so I asked the key worker, Imran, if he would like to fish just to make up the numbers.

The only problem that clouded an otherwise wonderful day was that my digital camera gave up the ghost and I could take no pictures. I took a few on my new mobile phone but I’m having trouble downloading them. At least the students were able to do the same with their phones and will have a pictorial record of the day.

What a hectic time I had – still suffering from my sprained wrist, I was finishing unhooking one fish in time to supervise the netting of the next one and at one stage had two fish on the unhooking mat at the same time. I wasn’t able to finish a hot cup of tea all day (those who know my love of tea will understand the trauma of this…).

The students had a great time and I think I have converted at least one potential carp fisherman. Once again the lads were able to see the techniques of handling and unhooking pike demonstrated repeatedly and are now aware of the dangers to themselves and the pike.

I am left with a badly sprained right wrist and my left wrist is very tender as it was over-used to compensate for my lack of strength in my right. I had been advised by my GP not to go through with the course but some of these young people have been let down throughout their lives by adults and I had no intention of adding my name to that list.

Hopefully the four days this week will have made a little difference to at least one of their lives and if that is the case then that will be compensation enough for my discomfort.