“I headed to a spot on my local river at sunrise and baited close to the near-bank snags with chopped sprats before casting out my floatfished roach deadbait over the top.
“By 4pm I’d not had a take, so I nicked on a fresh bait and cast it next to one of the snags. The float buried within seconds.
“Straight away this heavy weight charged downriver on a savage run. After 10 minutes of steady pressure I started to gain line and drew the pike to the surface, where I could see it was only lightly hooked on the bottom treble.
“Thankfully it went into the net on the first scoop, and at 29lb 4oz it was one of the proper ones, a rich and fitting reward for all those blanks I’ve endured this winter.”