Unfortunately, the fish had other ideas and I didn't have another indication for two and a half hours. Whilst I'd arranged to meet my friend Tim at the venue later, I didn't really fancy being battered by the wind all day, so went back to the car for breakfast and to formulate a game plan. Two bacon sandwiches and two mugs of tea later I was back up the A50 to drop off any non-essential tackle, re-stock on bait and re-charge the camera, which had died in the cold. A little after 3pm I was back again. No sign of Tim, so walked over to the river. Chap was pike fishing downstream, but well away, so slid into the same spot. Had spent a biteless couple of hours when the chap came over and introduced himself as Andrew and we had a chat about perch and pike fishing. He'd literally just gone back to his swim when the float bobbed under the surface and held there. "I know what this is", I said to myself. Wound down to feel a lump on the end that grudgingly allowed itself to be pulled from under the bush. Half an hour of dogged resistance followed where the fish just refused to get its head up and shot off every time it saw me or the net. Thought it was going to be my "old friend" again, but when it did eventually roll into the net it turned out to be a nicely marked pike of 9lb 15oz. Another one with a taste for lobworms.
Not a perch!
After the protracted fight and having to sort out tackle, I was left with about 10 minutes of fishing time before it got too dark to see the float. I wasn't really expecting anything else and so it turned out. Don't know what happened to Tim, but had another long chat with Andrew before once again adjourning to Hatton Fish Bar!