I wish November had more days. I gave up carp fishing, but my mind still thinks in that ‘carpy’ way. I’m also using the same hardware, rucksack and indicators – albeit for a different reason. Can you feel it coming?

It’s Esox time now. The hunt for the hunters.

I had a few nice ones while drifting with the float rod already but I have since changed swims and tactics. It went according to plan. The hard work called, and its big girls screamed.

“Go when the elements calm down and do it. You know what it takes and you know what it needs.”

Dead fish, 20 inches of steel wire, 1,5-4 oz. leads, thick mono and dirty evil treble troublemakers. And of course, the will to work towards some result with it, in that not-so-very friendly place. We went heavy-duty specimen hunting in the rough weather. And it did work. Again. It was just as awesome as last year. Proper fish from day one – madness. Nothing small, only good ones. And then came the floods with the cold and the action was almost as dead as our baits. A very sensitive place as well… It’s that Northfate (MC) again.

Nevertheless, that second day will never be forgotten. All the luck of the world smiled at me. Twice. A deathly grey day changed into something out of this world. Another level, in more than one way. Even the sun came smiling with me in the end.
The mackerels were taken, the fights were fought hard and we released them with love. Bright glass and advanced digitals mixed blue green and red in harmony onto a memory card like the best DJ’s let their vinyl flow into each other. They caught the moment, on the right moment. Controlled by another angler. Me, my way and my pike.

The first was a fresh and fast fighting fish, the second surprise an old rocker, a tricky and tough one. Very different, but both over forty. Inches.

The thousand yard walk back to the car? I was almost manic instead of fucked up. Trapping two underwater aces, during one great trip with two great mates. Massive! One of them even caught his new PB in between my two fish. Everything felt big. Everything was big.

Power to the top predators. We don’t only love them. We need them, out there. Take care of them. Think about the treble and the dangers when buried beyond removal (and lost). We don’t want them to die a certain death. We don’t want them down on the floor to bash their heads. We want to catch them with knowledge, behave ourselves like gentlemen and treat them with utter respect and care. Like we do with carp. We want also them to rule our pits because they’re the ultimate fish-keepers. So guys, make sure to be nice and very well prepared when switching to mother pike. Imagine they could push a button to like your style…

Be good & lucky

Willem Barnas