Giant 41lb-plus pike is landed on a fly after 20-minute battle

by Angling Times |

BEN Bangham proved just how deadly fly fishing for pike can be this week by catching a true giant weighing in at 41lb 15oz.

It continues a remarkable six-month period for pike fans, in which countless fish over 30lb have been reported. Ben, a full-time fishing guide and former England International, landed the remarkable creature from Somerset’s Chew Valley Lake, completing a 20-year quest to catch a ‘forty’.

“I only fish Chew a handful of times each year, generally with clients,” he told us.

“This year, the big girls seem to have been feeding well, so I headed to a spot relatively close to the shore where I’ve had good fish in the past. It’s deep, with a pronounced ledge where the bottom drops away.”

Using a 10wt dedicated predator rod and stepped-up gear, Ben had been happily fishing when he noticed an ominously large shape following his hand-tied fly.

“I said to my boat partner that there was a big fish behind the fly, and when it engulfed it, I initially reckoned it was perhaps an upper-twenty,” he said. “The fish then rolled on the top, and I could tell it was over 30lb.”

As the 20-minute fight wore on, its true size became even clearer, as Ben explained.

“As it neared the net, it just got bigger and bigger! When my friend and I saw the depth of it, we just looked at each other. It was then that I knew the fish was over 40lb.”

Despite catching fish from all over the world, this one was extra-special for Ben.

“I’ve had a fair few 30-pounders, but I consider myself lucky to have been in the right area at the right time with this fish.

“It was a beautiful creature, and a personal best I’m pretty sure I’ll never beat.”

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