Huge pike is biggest ever taken in England

The biggest ever pike caught from an English water has been landed at a weight of 46lb 11oz.

The historic specimen fell to the rods of Wyndon Coole during a day session at Wykeham Lakes near Scarborough and was just 2oz shy of Roy Lewis’ 46lb 13oz record fish caught from Llandegfedd Reservoir in Wales in October 1992.

The North Yorkshire fishery first hit the headlines in November 2010 following the capture of a 39lb 15oz pike to a 17-year-old lure angler Jake Finnigan.

Wyndon then banked the fish at a weight of 45lb 14oz the following March before Andy O’Connor landed it just over a year later at exactly 46lb.

It then remained uncaught for almost two years leading many to speculate as to whether it was still alive until Wyndon caught it for the second time.

“I have been fishing the lake regularly since November and have had a number of double figure pike and one of 25lb over Christmas,” he told Angling Times. “On my latest trip I’d been fishing for a couple of hours when the fishery manager told me he’d seen a decent fish  in another area of the lake so I decided to up sticks and move pegs. There’s a pike in the venue that was last caught at 30lb 10oz two years ago and going off the growth weights of some of the other fish it could well be a forty by now. This is the fish that I’ve been trying to catch and hoped it was the one that had been sighted.”

The 58-year-old coach trimmer started off by presenting a trout bait in 8ft of water on a pair of size 4 Partridge X Strong trebles but then repositioned it in a deeper area slightly further out after hooking a couple of trout. The all-important bite came three hours later.

“It gave a good account of itself and I knew it was one of the lake’s big pike. The fight was fairly straight forward and the only nerve-wracking moment was when the fish dived over a shallow shelf and I could feel the line grating. Once it in the net I recognised it as the same pike I’d had almost exactly three years ago.”

With four witnesses present the initial weighing of the fish registered a record equalling weight of 46lb 13oz.

“The fish actually measured an inch and half longer than the last time it was caught and as such it carried the weight better and didn’t look as fat as it did on previous captures. I got in touch with Trading Standards and their Weights and Measures department verified that my scales were weighing 2oz heavy giving a weight of 46lb 11oz.

Many experts now believe that 2014 could be the year that the British pike record – that has stood for over 21-years – will finally be broken. Former record holder Neville Fickling said: “This fish is by far the biggest known pike in the country and has demonstrated its ability to keep growing. If it gets caught again in the next few weeks then there’s every chance it will break the British record.

Then of course you’ve got the Chew Valley Resevoir fish to consider as well. A lot of people had written the venue of and then it produced two different 40-plus fish during the predator trials last year. As a rule Chew generally produces its biggest fish during the February trials so it will be interesting to see what gets caught in the upcoming trials.”

Wykeham Lake is a 7.5 acre former gravel pit with crystal clear water and depths down to 27 feet in places.

The venue is stocked with between 10,000lb and 15,000lb of trout per year, and on top of this a large head of coarse fish, especially rudd and perch, provide plenty of food for the Wykeham pike.

Pike fishing at the lake is now operated on an exclusive eight-man syndicate basis.

- 46lb 13oz – Roy Lewis, Llandegfedd Reservoir, 1992
- 46lb 11oz – Wyndon Coole, Wykeham Trout Lake, 2014
- 46lb 8oz – Allen Stewart, Oaks Fishery, Northern Ireland, 2005
- 46lb – Andy O’Connor, Wykeham Trout Lake, 2012
- 46lb – Alan Hewitt, East Anglian Gravel Pit, 2007
- 45lb 15oz – Darren Willingham, Barnes Fishery, 1998
- 45lb 14oz – Wyndon Coole, Wykeham Trout Lake, 2011
- 45lb 8oz – John Goble, River Thurne, 2009
- 45lb 6oz – Gareth Edwards, Llandegfedd Reservoir, 1989
- 45lb – P. Cruise, Lough Leane, 1956