40lb Scottish pike claim

A British pike angler is this week’s being hailed as the country’s most successful predator fisherman after reportedly catching a 40lb fish to add to his tally of 22 pike over 30lb.

Nielson Baxter, who lives in Alloa, Scotland, is believed to have taken the fish, along with others scaling 31lb 8oz and 29lb 8oz, from 167-acre trout water Gartmorn Dam, in Clackmannanshire, despite it being closed to all forms of angling between October 5 and March 31.

The Site of Special Scientific Interest is only open to pikers through membership of the Pike Anglers' Alliance for Scotland (PAAS) on the first and last weekends of its six-month season.

Controversy regarding the ‘legality’ of the capture aside, many within the sport have questioned whether Nielson’s achievements merit the title of ‘the UK’s most successful pike angler’, given that he is known to have taken almost all of his fish from just the one venue - Gartmorn Dam.

One well-respected big pike angler, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “He lives a stone’s throw from the venue – he could walk there. How can anyone call him the country’s most successful piker? To my mind, a successful big fish angler would be one who’s caught big fish legitimately from a wide range of waters.”

Angling Times remains committed to not publishing specimen pike from Gartmorn Dam if we believe they have been caught outside the official pike trial dates.