Chew Valley reservoir has cemented its place as the best big pike venue of all time after it produced this 42lb 8oz specimen and 16 other ‘thirties’.
Brian Ingram netted his second pike over the 40lb barrier when he boated the specimen during the opening week of the February pike trials held at the prolific Somerset venue.
The specialist from Warwickshire, who etched his name into the pike fishing history books in 1988 when he landed a 43lb 2oz personal best from the famous Llandegfedd reservoir, fished half a float-legered mackerel in 15 feet of water to induce the take from the second biggest fish ever taken from the water.
“If you wanted to create a factory for producing pike over 30lb then Chew Valley is the blueprint,” Brian told Angling Times.
“My method entails staying in one particular spot for the morning and if nothing really happens, I’ll move every hour in the afternoon.”
“It was the mobile approach that did the trick and an area that hadn’t seen many boats on that day that produced this fish that was totally immaculate like all of the Chew fish.
“I don’t think there are any areas that haven’t produced huge fish over the years and that’s what makes this water so unique.
It’s a catch that topped one of the best opening weeks since the Bristol Water venue first opened its doors to pike anglers in 2001.
Pike weighing 39lb, two at 38lb, 37lb and four over 36lb were just some of the predators that were taken from the venue during the five-day trial.
Local angler Andy Berwick has been fishing for pike at the vast venue since it opened in 2001 and he celebrated with the capture of a new personal best weighing 38lb exactly which was caught on a legered herring during a day on the Woodford bank.
“I’ve fished here since the beginning and yes anyone who has a bait in the water has a chance of landing a huge fish, but this doesn’t mean that it’s just a case of turning up and catching ‘thirties’ for fun,” he said.
“I know of anglers who have fished this water many, many times and are yet to land that real fish-of-a-lifetime or have lost huge a huge fish at the net as I have.
“This really is an incredible and special fishery, which really is a testament to the quality of the water and the management team here at Chew.”
The second instalment of the three-week February trial is now under way.
And both visiting anglers that have successfully obtained tickets and fishery staff are full of anticipation of what the coming weeks have in stall as the resident pike continue to fatten up for spawning in March.
“Chew just keeps raising the bar every year,” said fishery manager Tony Donnelly.
“This incredible start to the February trials just helps to build the excitement and anticipation for what is always the most exciting few weeks of predator fishing as it’s when the fish really begin to pack on weight.”
Neville Fickling, former holder of the British pike record, was not one of the anglers who got among the huge fish last week but is also of the opinion that Chew Valley Reservoir has cemented its place at the top of the predator fishing tree.
“I know I might sound like a broken record, but this opening week just proves Chew is the best pike fishing venue in the world bar none,” Neville told Angling Times.
“The next few weeks could produce something very special indeed.”
Chew Valley’s big pike list:
Paul Millar, 44lb 6oz, February 2014
Brian Ingram, 42lb 8oz, February 2015
Ed Matthews, 42lb 4oz, November 2011
Roy Jones, 42lb, October 2013
Mark Even, 41lb 8oz, January 2012
Andy Charmer, 40lb 8oz, February 2010
Mike Green, 40lb 8oz, May 2009
Phil Wakeford, 40lb 6oz, January 2012
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