By the time I'd set up the mist was starting to clear and I was faced with a flat calm surface.
It's funny but I've rarely seen any fish topping, the exception being about 1 hour before dark. There weren't any tufties either so it was difficult to spot any fry or silvers which may tempt the pike.
Having chatted to a couple of regulars, I fished both rods fairly close in to the reeds.
The popped up approach seemed to be correct as, every time I wound in, the bait and trace were clear of weed whereas the boom and weight were covered in it. The only interest I'd had by mid afternoon was to the left hand sardine rod but eventually something decided that a big lump of mackerel was just the ticket. The right-hand rod was in. This time the pike didn't make double figures, going a shade over 9lbs.
A welcome mug of coffee was called for as the temperature started to drop back into single figures.
By now it was getting progressively darker and colder so a leisurely pack-up was called for.
In retrospect, I was quite pleased with 3 runs and 2 fish for the day. The only other angler on this lake chatted to me on his way out (a brand new Range Rover - so much for angling being a working man's sport!) and admitted he hadn't had a touch. He was fishing further up the lake where Martin and I had started last time.