The first cast I was not happy with so I started to retrieve and suddenly it felt heavy like a clump of weed. What I brought in was disgusting! A Pike of about four pounds. I would guess it had been dead since last year and the smell was like nothing I have smelt before and hopefully never will again. I can still smell it now as I type this and I have showered! Might go for another wash. It was bloated and too heavy to lift out so I netted it, I have thrown the net away. I think it is likely that the fish were steering clear of it and that is why I was blanking. I apologise to anyone who is eating while reading this.
I did not fancy weighing it for the challenge! Thankfully I did not have too. Within an hour of landing the lump of rot I had a proper fish on, hooked from the very same spot. After a bit of a song and dance near the snags I had her in the net. A solid looking Pike weighing 17lb 7oz. A slow difficult couple of weeks by the river all forgotten in a moment.