River pike on second strike

Shane Close had every reason to smile when a day’s lure fishing produced this 28lb 2oz pike.

After a biteless morning on a stretch of river near Reading, the spell of inactivity was suddenly broken when a predator made a dart for his lure, but unfortunately the IT account manager from Marlborough, Wilts, was unable to make contact.

But his next cast with a 30cm Savage Gear lure attached to 80lb braid and a 60lb titanium leader produced his biggest lure-caught pike caught by design.

“There’s no doubt that this fish could be pushing the 33lb mark when it’s carrying weight, because the pike was completely empty,” said Shane.

“I was in shock when I saw the fish and to catch one like this from a river in the opening week of the season is really special.”