Here's a stat that makes sorry reading: the fish I'm holding in the photo is one of only two pike I've caught since moving to the East Midlands nearly five years ago. Now- to be fair- I've only been piking half a dozen times in that time period, and therein lies the problem.
How do you go exploring and learning new waters in a new area, miles from where you've ever lived before when your fishing (for good family and work reasons) is limited to a few hours once a fortnight?
The only way to get to know a new water is by fishing it, and that takes time. I've quickly managed to find myself a few places to catch decent rod bending sized carp (although I must confess to being bored of carp at the moment- I spent the best part of a decade until our move to the Midlands fishing for nothing but carp) , and have loved this spring and summer's crucian fishing on the estate lake, but the best piking around my way is to be found on the miles and miles of canal, and you don't get to know miles and miles of canal overnight.
Perhaps it's just a composite picture that'll take years to build up, certainly internet searches haven't helped much in trying to discover "hotspots", but I'll be out next month having a couple of attempts, "fishing blind" and hoping to "get lucky".
Oh, for the long gone days of endless school holidays, and seemingly endless time to fish- the irony is that I'm a much better angler now than I was at 15, but if I was 15 I'd have put the hours in and caught dozens of pike by now!
"The grass in the other field ....."