Biggest pike of season banked


See the video of this massive pike here.

This huge 38lb 6oz pike, the biggest caught this season, left Tony Rideout ‘shaking for hours’ after hooking it on his only bite of a day’s fishing afloat on Chew Valley Reservoir.

The specimen obliterated the Southwick, Wilts-based 49-year-old’s previous 16lb best for the species, and may have set a new venue record for the Bristol Water-controlled venue in a week when several other mammoth pike were caught, including a 36lb 8oz giant from the bank.

It was only self-employed Tony and brother Gez’s second day afloat on Chew this winter and they had to work hard to find fish in the freezing conditions.

In the end it was a floatfished half-herring that did the business for the self-confessed big fish-aspiring pleasure angler, who ended up locked in a titanic 20-minute scrap with the ‘fish of his dreams’, a specimen which he was hoping was a twenty right up until he realised he couldn’t chin it in.

“While I was playing it I was thinking it could be a big fish, but I was too busy engaging in some banter with my brother Gez to get a take on how big,” said Tony.
“Gez had two deads out all day, while I was focused mainly on lure-fishing. But when my bite came it was on herring, so Gez started taking the mickey. He was still winding me up when I realised the fish I’d hooked was much bigger than I’d thought,” he added.

With his adrenaline surging, Tony and his brother finally managed to net the huge predator and when the scales pulled down to 41lb, including the net, that’s when Tony started shaking.

“You never think at the start of one of these days that you’re actually going to go out and catch a thirty. I couldn’t believe it was so wide – the girth was huge. I bought everyone a round at the end of the day and one chap shook my hand three times. It was a great experience,” said Tony.

A shallow venue known for it rich biodiversity and huge shoals of coarse fish, Chew is fast becoming Britain’s best-ever big-pike water. It produced a staggering 21 fish over 30lb in 2008 and five so far this year.

“This could set a new record for Chew. There have always been rumours of a 39lb 12oz fish caught on the fly years ago but that fish has never been substantiated and no photos have been produced,” explained local fishing guide John Horsey.