Lloyd Watson 47lb 5oz Pike

“It was absolutely ridiculous! This is the best day of my life!..”

Chew Valley is no stranger to big pike, with several good 30’s reported in recent weeks but we don’t think anyone was quite prepared for this monumental predator, weighing in at a potential British Record breaking 47lb 5oz to Manchester angler Lloyd Watson if approved by the British Record Fish Committee.

The Angling Times was quick off the mark and caught up with Lloyd just hours after his magical capture. He told them “I’m not sure it’s sunk in yet. It’s just crazy, absolutely surreal. I feel like I’m going to wake up in a minute!”

Whilst he has targeted pike for 30 years, it was Lloyd’s first ever trip to Chew, where he’d done his homework on recent captures and choose to fish a swim on Woodford Lodge bank, where he bait boated out a smelt on a running leger rig.

“It was right on bite o’clock around half seven, I’d just sent a bait out, but wasn’t happy with it somehow, so I decided to do it again, putting it out with some chopped herring.” Ten minutes later he had a run and hooked a fish that initially felt modest. And with his travelling companion Nick Skirrow also into a pike, Lloyd had to grab the net himself.
“At first it felt like a small pike that was weeded up, it was only when it got close in that it suddenly woke up and started taking line and I started to think ‘hang on a minute! When I got it into the net, we both looked at it and couldn’t believe the size. It was absolutely ridiculous! This is the best day of my life!”

The giant pike not only smashed his previous PB of 24lb, but swung three sets of scales over 47lb. With two readings of 47lb 5oz and another of dead on 48lb. Quickly drawing a crowd, it was extensively photographed and filmed as Lloyd carefully released it. He spoke with maximum respect for his fellow anglers who shared the moment with him, especially Ben Humber and John Deprieelle, who helped him to weigh and photograph the fish.
Also offering congratulations was big pike angler Carl Garratt, himself the captor of a 44lb fish in the heyday of Llandegfedd, where Roy Lewis’ 46lb 13oz fish set the previous record in 1992. “It was fantastic to witness a new British record- and seeing a fish of that size again brought it all back!” said Carl, who was just about to launch a boat when news broke, and he walked down to join a large crowd of excited pike anglers.Well done Lloyd!