Things didn't go to plan for me though and the Chub and Bream I was largely planning for, didn't show up. It wasn't for the lack of trying though, but in the end I had to admit defeat and resort to the scratching tactics I'm more familiar with.
There were plenty of bites to be had on the float line and I amassed a few small fish to get me away from the intensity of staring at two pretty motionless quiver tips.
Brian had no success up to that point and was moving into the land of nod. A bite on his maggot rig saw him connect with a small fish that very quickly became a much bigger fish. A pike had scoffed whatever he originally struck into and he was left to pick up the pieces. "It's a double" he claimed, but I quickly dismissed it as maybe a 7lb fish and decided against getting my specimen landing out of the holdall.
How wrong I was! From my angle it didn't look huge, but when I had the task of trying to get it into a largish match style landing net, I suddenly started to get worried. This was a PB in the making for Brian and I didn't want to screw it up. Luckily the Pike played ball and went in first time - with a bit of a squeeze!
The size 14 barbless hook had lodged itself on the outside of the Pike's scissors and popped out easily. Despite a lot of willing, we couldn't get the scales to hit 14lb - Brian settled for a very respectable 13lb 15oz. Although not caught by design, Brian is taking credit for his Lamprey dripping approach. He'd already had a Lamprey section on the go earlier on and had a constant stream of juices oozing from it into his swim. Maybe that was they key?
Brian's other main action of the day came on his bread rig - yes he had some success even if I didn't! A Bream of exactly 4lb graced his net.
I managed 6 species in total - two of which don't count (Minnow and Bleak). The other 4 don't amount to a lot, but for the challenge scorecard purposes here goes with the best of each: