Paul Slade 39lb 3oz Pike

The biggest reported pike of the season accolade has just been claimed with the capture of this 39lb 3oz beauty.

It was scooped-up by 46-year-old predator fanatic Paul Slade during a two-day, bank-fishing pursuit on Bristol’s Chew Valley Reservoir, and is the largest recorded pike from the venue since it’s gates were opened to bait and lure anglers at the beginning of October.

Paul struck gold on the second dayy of the trip after the first provided very little – with a jack pike providing the only sport between him and his fishing buddy.

Paul told Angling Times: “On Day One we fished Walley Bank and although my mate managed a jack, I didn’t have a single run all day.

“We decided on a new location for the next day and got to the bank for 6am.

“I dropped my gear in my chosen swim but a quick search with the torch suggested there might be too much weed directly in front of me, so I reluctantly moved further down the bank to try and avoid it.”

Once settled in his new swim and finding out it was clear of weed, he used a bait boat to deposit his dead baits in an area with a depth of 9ft.

Come 9:30am and Paul’s bite alarm sprung into life – indicating something large had picked up his joey mackerel offering.

“The strike met solid resistance and the fish almost immediately came to the surface and kited left – even at distance you could see it was big, but as it got closer it simply got bigger,” Paul explained.

“It gave a great account for itself and I was more than happy to let it do its thing a bit further out, high in the water and away from the weed.

“That worked a treat and I took the opportunity to hopefully steer it past the weed into the waiting net.

“My fishing buddy Ralph netted it first time – no dramas, apart from the fact that I was staring at a back of a fish you could ride on!

“The rest of the day was a bit of a haze but I managed a jack, a double and then a very hollow 27 pounder. I was over the moon with the day, especially seeing it’s been so tough on there this term.”