The biggest pike of the season has been landed by a student during a 20-minute session on his local fishery.
The huge pike, weighing in at over 40lb, was taken by fisheries management student Jake Finnigan after he targeted the species at Wykeham Lakes near Scarborough.
Fishing lures from a boat, the 17-year-old was just 10 minutes into the session when his Rapala Super Shad Rap lure tempted the monster - one of the biggest pike ever landed from the north of England that was weighed at between 39lb 15oz and 40lb 3oz.
“I’d just finished work experience for the day at Wykeham and thought I’d chuck a lure about from one of the boats,” Jake told Angling Times.
“I’d already had a small jack of just over 2lb when I got a gentle tap and hooked into something that came towards the boat like a wet sack.
“I got a glimpse of the fish pretty quickly and was shocked when I saw the size of it. As soon as it saw the boat, it powered off with a couple of hard runs and shakes of its head.” Playing the pike, Jake soon realised he’d be unable to land the fish alone and so made a call to the fishery’s manager, Mike Heelis, before reversing the boat to shore, picking Mike up and continuing to play the huge specimen to the net.
“It was only lightly hooked in its top lip by one of the trebles,” Jake said. “Mike had to net it from the tail end in case the hooks got caught in the mesh. We took it to the shore and weighed it on the fishery’s scales, which bottomed out at 30lb.
“Luckily a regular at the lakes had a set that went up to 55lb. They put the fish between 39lb 15oz and 40lb 3oz on a couple of weighs in the sling. I’ll be happy taking the lowest weight.” Mike added: “We thought there’d be big pike in there, but not quite as big as that.” “It was an immaculate fish. If it keeps feeding over the winter, it could well be pushing the record next year.” Jake beat the pike on a 7ft spinning rod with a Shimano baitrunner reel and 70lb braid.