Persistence in the face of the elements saw Adam Perna score a perfect hat-trick of autumn predators topped by this near-30lb pike.
The all-rounder was aboard the only predator boat out on Cambridgeshire’s Grafham Water in blustery weather conditions when he took the 29lb 14oz esox, along with a 3lb 10oz perch and a zander weighing about 7lb.
Fishing with lures on the expansive Anglian Water venue, the 27-year-old tiler and his boat partner James Aris overcame high winds to land seven fish between them during two days afloat.
Adam, from Bicester in Oxfordshire, said: “The pike was caught at the end of a long hard day’s fishing and we were the only predator boat out. Conditions were pretty difficult, with 2ft waves at times making it hard to present our lures effectively.
“By 3pm we had only captured one fish, a perch, although it was a big one at 3lb 10oz. We decided to move back to an area in shallower water of about 30ft where we felt our lures would work better, and on the first drift I had a few nibbles and then a solid but dull pluck, resulting in a hooked fish.
“Initially I thought I may have been hooked into one of the famous big double-figure zander which reside in Grafham, but the alarming curve in the rod and the sheer power of the fish’s runs then made us think it was something altogether much bigger.”
The pike, which had picked up a six-inch yellow rubber lure with a single size 6/0 hook, was landed after a nervy 20-minute battle.
“It was an immaculately marked and conditioned fish and a new PB by over 7lbs. It was also the first pike I had ever landed at Grafham, and bigger than anything I could have hoped for,” added Adam.