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The British Record Pike is one of the longest-standing records held by the British Record (Rod Caught) Fish Committee. It weighed an impressive 46lb 13oz and was caught by Roy Lewis at Llandegfedd Reservoir in Wales in 1992.
At the time, pike fishing had only been allowed on Llandegfedd for four years, however the venue had quickly produced numerous fish over the 40lb barrier. There was always a chance of a British Record, and that rang true when Roy landed the enormous pike after ‘chucking out a lure that he threw in his tackle box at the last minute’.
Has the record ever come close to being beaten?
Yes! Whilst pike over the magical 40lb mark are few and far between, there have been a few instances of pike of a similar size being caught from UK waters. Here are some of the most notable captures of recent times:
Nick Gahagan catches a 44lb pike from Chew Valley Lake
The most recent was a 44lb 7oz beast caught by Somerset angler Nick Gahagan on his first trip to Chew Valley Lake.
The Bristol venue is well known for producing huge pike, and even produced a different 40lber in February 2023. In fact, it was reported back in 2020 by the Angling Trust that this venue had 6 fish in the top 50 pike caught in the UK. Perhaps one day Chew Valley Lake will be responsible for finally producing a new British record?
Neville Fickling rolls back the years with another 40lb+ pike
Neville Fickling’s name is well-known amongst the older pike anglers, having held the British Record with a 41lb 6oz fish he landed from the River Thurne in Norfolk back in 1985.
Not that many anglers can claim to have caught a pike over 40lb, so you can imagine the surprise when 37 years later, Neville banked his second with 40lb 12oz fish from a Midlands Lake.
53lb pike found dead at Bellflask Fishery
A pike which would have smashed the British Record had it been caught alive and well, was found dead at Bellfask Fishery, near Ripon.
Brian Morland, who runs Bellfask Fishery, found the fish which was suspected of dying following a stressful spawning season. Although the specimen would count for no official biggest pike record, Brian weighed it anyway for his own records.
Weighing in at over 53lb, it would have undoubtedly been a record capture and perhaps the UK’s first ever 50lb+ pike. In fact, Brian stated that he would have expected it to go even bigger than 53lb as it had already shed some of its eggs during spawning.
Why do some lakes seem to produce bigger pike than others?
One things for sure; certain venues seem to consistently produce big pike year after year.
Much of this is down to the ecosystem which they live in.
For a venue to produce very large pike, there needs to be an abundance of prey fish, limited competition from other predators, good water quality and limited angling pressure. It’s the combination of these factors that allows some lakes to nurture exceptionally large pike.
Will the record pike be caught any time soon?
There is indeed evidence that pike larger than the one recorded by Roy Lewis have already been caught. On the last published ‘Top 50’ list by The Angling Trust, two fish over 47lb were recorded caught from Blagdon Lake.
Unfortunately, these were not witnessed or recorded by the BRFC, and the captors’ names were never passed to The Angling Trust.