Big 'Bertha' strikes for 26lb Blithfield pike

An ‘old friend’ helped Terry Knight catch this 26lb 4oz pike during an otherwise barren day’s fishing on the mighty Blithfield Reservoir in Staffordshire.

While all around him struggled to trouble the scorers, the Wirral-based angler put his faith in his favourite battered, old soft plastic lure to tempt the biggest fish he has ever caught from the 800-acre venue in dozens of previous visits.

With the fish largely inactive due to the prevailing easterly winds, Terry was forced to troll his offering as close to the bottom as possible to get the all-important bite, which eventually came at midday.

“We couldn’t use the petrol engine because, with the fish being so lethargic, we felt it was working the lures too fast ¬ the fish weren’t interested.

“In the end we switched to the electric motor and started bouncing the lures much more slowly along the bottom in 28ft of water which did the trick,” said Terry, who also revealed the lure he used is the butt of many jokes among his fishing companions.

“It’s a shabby yellow Fox Super Twin Tails lure which I absolutely love but everybody else seems to think looks too stupid for big pike to be interested in.

“The last laugh was on them on this occasion, although my ecstasy soon turned to despair when I lost ‘Bertha’, as I call the lure, on a snag about five minutes after returning the big girl,” he added.