37lb 3oz spec­i­men taken from Bris­tol’s fa­mous Chew Val­ley

Angling Times (UK) - - THIS WEEK -

The big­gest pike of the sea­son has been landed on fly tackle at a whop­ping 37lb 3oz.

Alan Smith from Swin­don was the cap­tor at the pro­lific Chew Val­ley Lake in Bris­tol, where he landed the new per­sonal best dur­ing a guided ses­sion with Fox Rage preda­tor an­gler Kevin Cox.

The pair were on their third trip to the venue to­gether in the last few weeks, which have also seen a 31lb 13oz esox for Kevin’s rod, plus three other twen­ties. A home­made pike fly tied on a size 1 hook proved the down­fall of the big­gest fish, in con­junc­tion with 20lb fluoro­car­bon and a 28lb wire trace. Fish­ing in 9ft-12ft of wa­ter close to the weed beds in the mar­gins, the take came in mid-morn­ing. “Within five sec­onds of Alan strik­ing into the pike it threw it­self 2ft clear of the wa­ter and tail-walked,” said Kevin. “It was a heart-stop­ping mo­ment and we both im­me­di­ately re­alised how big it was. Al­most all the big fish we’ve been get­ting re­cently have come in the morn­ing, and this was no ex­cep­tion. It was the typ­i­cal plod­ding fight of a Chew fish. We man­aged to get it in the boat af­ter five min­utes, and as you can see from the pic­ture Alan was over the moon! When we set out I’d promised him a 20-pounder, but I didn’t think we’d get one like this – it was phe­nom­e­nal!” he said.

Alan used a 3ins-long fly tied by Kevin, who is adamant that the pike are eat­ing coarse fish in the venue, not its huge stocks of trout. With plenty of tin­sel, the fly was de­signed to im­i­tate a small sil­ver­fish. A bar­b­less hook is eas­ier to un­hook and is safer in case of cast­ing ac­ci­dents from a boat, ac­cord­ing to Kevin.

“We only had three pulls all day but this fish made it more than worth­while! I was very happy for Alan and it was a sim­ply awe­some fish to see,” said Kevin.

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