Chew Valley piker produces 36lb 6oz fish

The glut of huge pike from Chew Valley Lake has continued with the capture of this superb 36lb 6oz fish by Graham Booth.

The 56-year-old smashed his personal best of 28lb 8oz on only his second visit in 11 years to the 1,200-acre north Somerset venue, with a smelt deadbait trolled overdepth on float tackle behind a boat proving the winning method for the Norfolk-based rod.

The fish was taken early in the afternoon, and came after Graham and his fishing partner Jonno Myles had already caught several smaller fish to mid double figures on a combination of deabaits and lures.

Said Graham: “After a dogged tussle she suddenly surfaced right by the net, which Jonno was holding at the ready, before veering off just under the surface and then diving, taking line all the way until she was back on the bottom.

“From the brief glimpse we had of her, both Jonno and I thought that she must be close to 40lb. I then pumped her back to the surface and she went into the net with little fuss.

“The fish was not at all typical of trout water pike, which are normally much shorter and fatter. She was a long and lean fish, and had she been as fat as a 32 we witnessed from the bank the following day, I shudder to think what she might have weighed,” added Graham, who is currently in the process of writing a book about the history of pike fishing.

He presented his bait on size 6 semi-barbless trebles, a 40lb Fox Carbo Flex wire trace and 50lb Powerpro braided mainline, and beat the fish to the boat with the help of a 6ft 6ins jerkbait rod.