I had a chat with a chap who lives on the bank of the canal who had told me that a 19lb pike had been caught a few days earlier from a few hundred yards upstream in a basin. If I'm honest I was sceptical as I've fished here infrequently for 5 years and only had 3 pike, biggest about 2½lb. After leaving him I had a cast and then another when I had a hit. This fish felt a lot bigger and thoughts of a big zander started going through my mind. After a couple of minutes without seeing the fish I then thought maybe I'd hooked a carp but eventually the fish swirled on the top and powered off again. I now knew it was a pike, and not a bad one.
I coaxed her into the net where she thrashed, and the hook promptly came out! On the scales she went bang on 16lb.. a nice end to a couple of hours.