As the first really cold weather of autumn hit the UK this week, the big pike have come on the feed.
The sudden drop in temperature has coincided with a number of large predators being landed from various stillwaters, but it’s Somerset’s Chew Valley Reservoir that has seen a run of real monsters, with five fish over 30lb being reported in one weekend.
At 34lb 1oz, Lee Hodgson’s recent Chew specimen is the biggest fish to come off the water during this season’s pike trials. It fell for the Bath-based predator angler’s floatfished sardine, presented on 18lb line with a 28lb trace and fished in around 6ft of water.
“It was my first time fishing Chew from a boat,” said the 33-year-old refrigeration engineer.
“It was my only bite of the day and from the start I could tell it was big.
When it got to the boat it was heart stopping. I could see it was only lightly hooked by one treble and it kept heading for the anchor rope.” l Not wanting to miss out on the action, TV star and fishing fanatic Chris Tarrant also recently fished the 1,200-acre West Country reservoir. Guided by well-known angler John Horsey ¬ who helped Chris take a personal-best pike of 30lb 4oz from the water last year ¬ Chris adopted a roving approach, boat-fishing lures to cover as much water as possible ¬ a tactic that more than paid off with a 27lb 8oz fish that fell for a silver Kusami Professor spoon.
l Also taking advantage of Chew’s recent run of form was specimen angler Nathan Andrews, with the 24-year-old landing a 30lb 2oz pb.
While boat fishing with deadbaits, the Northamptonshire angler also decided to have a cast around with an Odyssey Pig crankbait, which proved to be the killer tactic when the big fish struck just 30 minutes into his second-ever session on the venue.
“I went to Chew to try to catch a thirty, so I’m well chuffed,” said Nathan.
“I’m hoping to get another day on a boat up there soon.” l It’s not just the reservoirs that have been throwing up big pike, either.
Suffolk’s Oulton Broad produced the fish of a lifetime for predator angler Robert Flowerday after a 31lb fish took his floatfished roach livebait mounted on a single size 4 semi-barbless treble to 25lb wire.
“When I got it close to the boat it powered off before I could get a good look at it ¬ it fought like mad and took around 20 minutes to get to the net,” said Robert.