Forgot to say that when I was at Pensham I had a long chat with a fellow angler who was piking. We shared experiences about the lack of silver fish and he said, with an Eastern European accent, "It doesn't help with the bloody Poles stealing the fish". At first I thought he must be Polish and was being ironic but eventually he told me he was Hungarian. He lives in Reading and regularly travels up to Tewksbury where he has good results. It was only the floods on the Severn which made him change venue. Anyway, he said that back home, on the Danube, there are huge flocks of cormorants in winter but none of the hunters (apparently a popular sport) are prepared to waste expensive cartridges on shooting them. It seems that the whole of Europe is suffering.