Neville Fickling, 40lb 12oz Pike!

“My initial thought was that a naughty jack had taken the bait on the drop”

Neville Fickling is no stranger to big pike and its safe to say he is a legend in the predator fishing world but even legends get that wobbly leg feeling when a big fish is landed and it was no different for Neville when he landed this enormous 40lb 12oz croc.

It’s been a staggering year for big pike, with four fish over 30lb reported within quick succession to the Angling Times, but the forty-pounder, landed by Neville Fickling, is the pick of the bunch.

It’s Neville’s second ‘forty’ after 41lb 6oz fish he landed from Norfolk’s River Thurne back in 1985.
Despite all his experience with huge fish, this pike reduced him to a ‘wreck’, and came from a Midlands lake he’s spent the last few years fishing. “A good friend of mine told me about a 33lb pike caught from this lake, so a ticket was bought,” he told us.

“I fished it a bit over a two year period but couldn’t really figure it out. Someone I knew caught the big fish at 35lb, then a year passed with no sign of it. With otters on the water, hope was fast diminishing, but one Sunday, I found myself at a loose end. I rarely fish on a Sunday, but it was a mild day after a cold spell, so I gave it a go.” After casting two deadbaits out and lying his rods on the ground, he went to fetch his bank sticks and buzzers when he heard a clicking sound coming from the right-hand reel.


“My initial thought was that a naughty jack had taken the bait on the drop,” he explained, “but as the clicking continued and my float sailed away from me to the right, I thought, I better do something about this. I picked up the rod and hit into a fish that came straight towards me. Six feet down in the clear water, I saw something rather big,” he revealed. “It surged away, flared its gills and came to the surface. I noticed the bait was hanging out its mouth with a flying treble, so I took my chance and bundled it into the net.”

It wasn’t until trying to lift the fish that Neville realised it had to be ‘the big one’. “I tried to weigh it but couldn’t hold the scales steady enough. My hands were shaking too much. I called the friend that originally told me about the fish, and a weight of 40lb 12oz was recorded. I know the pictures aren’t the greatest, but with fish like this you take even more care than normal. I didn’t want to mess it about unnecessarily.”

Well done Neville!