This 32lb 8oz pike is one of the best ever taken from the River Thames. It’s believed to be the third-biggest from England’s longest river and was landed by Berkshire rod Sam Meeuwissen. Prebaiting is often associated with species such as carp and bream, but the Gardner Tackle-backed specialist called on the help of a friend, who used the tactic to prime a few likely looking spots with chopped fish.
It proved to be a masterstroke, as the mint-conditioned fish took a floatfished mackerel within just 30 minutes of Sam arriving at the waterside. “My mate had been dripping in the feed for me, which really works well for predators,” said Sam.
“There were loads of tufted ducks diving over the spot, but a couple of days before my visit they wouldn’t go anywhere near the area that they’d been visiting for an easy meal.
“If there was something as big as this pike lurking around I don’t think I’d stick around either!” Sam positioned his bait at 20 yards close to a wooden platform in the water and used 30lb Gardner braid, a 35lb trace and size 4 trebles.
His catch smashes his previous pike personal best that stood at 27lb 10oz.“I knew it was big when it first broke the surface, but the air filled with a bit of choice language when I lifted the landing net out of the water and the pike just kept coming and coming,” he continued. “The sheer depth of the fish was jaw-dropping – it was at least a foot deep.
“There are loads of big pike in this river and this is just one of them. It’s the tip of the iceberg as far as its predator potential is concerned,” added Sam.