40-year quest ends with 31lb 5oz pike

A DEDICATED 40-year quest to catch a huge pike ended in glory for Ian Farlows this week when he slipped his net under a stunning 31lb 5oz predator from a tough northern venue.

Over the last decade alone Ian has travelled more than 50,000 miles and braved every kind of weather thrown at him in search of his first UK ‘thirty’.

He finally struck gold on his latest session, where he and his fishing companion Jon Kynaston float legered sea deadbaits in 38ft of water at the undisclosed venue, which is a hefty 250-mile round trip from their hometown of Crewe, in Cheshire.

Having caught pike to a best of 29lb from the water way back in 2005, Ian knew that perseverance and hard work would be the key to his eventual success, and the 55-year-old’s efforts were certainly vindicated when he netted the specimen following his only bite of the day. The impressive fish falls just short of Ian’s personal best, a 33lb pike caught in Ireland.

“I’d hate to think how much money I’ve spent on petrol getting to this place over the years, but I’ve never lost faith, which is something you can’t afford to when you’re after rare creatures like this,” said Ian.

“As soon as I saw the girth of this fish both me and Jon knew it was well over 30lb. I’ve been travelling to this venue almost every weekend for the last nine winters, all the while dreaming of catching a fish like this. To have finally caught it proves that fishing dreams can come true if you put the work in.”

Ian beat the fish with the help of 18lb mainline, a trace made from 30lb Drennan wire and a pair of size 4 trebles.