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A few hours before I caught this Pike an angler asked me, "Steve why have you got a pike safety mat, and not a carp one. Why have you got a pike sling, and not a carp sling, and why are you using a fifty inch landing net?" I think I answered them later that night.
Even though it was a Pike safety mat, the fish was that long I had to hold it’s tail in the air. It was like a wild dog on the bank. A bloke said to me, don’t put your hands near it’s mouth this beast will have your fingers off son.
Though your not meant to catch pike in the summer months really. I received a strange take. Line peeling off the line in slow motion. I had only been cast out about five minutes. A fellow angler told me I was caught up in floating weed. So I reeled in, hook and bait was clean of weed. So I re-cast to the exact same spot again, and could not feel any weed. Within minutes under a full moon the same happened. Line started to peel off my baitrunner reel at slow motion, micro amounts. I decided I’m not in any floating weed, and that it was something playing about with my micro size bait, and struck my rod. Which was followed by an explosion on the surface. That made anglers on the opposite bank to me, stand up suddenly.
Though this pike was an accidental capture, caught while fishing for carp. On a rock hard home made very small white high milk protein popped up boilie. Straight from the lead. At first I thought I had caught a well known Boreham Mere resident carp known as the ‘Long Leather’, which only ever come out once or twice a year if you was lucky. Though when looking down into the landing net in the dark. We realised it didn’t have a big dorsal fin.
The thing is how I got this in on 8Lb Maxma line, going through every set of Lilly pads on route, using such a small hook, size 6 Lion D’or. Fighting on my line like a wild dog. I’m still to this day amazed.
This capture shocked not only me, but every Boreham Mere member that knows about it.
Funny thing was, the next year a day earlier I went on to catch the ‘Long Leather’ at 21Lb 4oz.
The Pike was put in a sling and weighed. The scales needle was bouncing like crazy. Eventually the fish calmed down, and the needle was hovering near the 30 mark, but I booked it in at 29Lb 8oz…..Besides If the fishing weeklies had reported a thirty pound Pike in them days. Every angler, and his cousins would of be fishing the place within weeks. So lucky it was just under.
I had been told this fish had been found in the winter dead with a lure stuck in it’s throat. Though years later photos showed this fish grew on to grow over 36Lbs. It is recognisable by three red dots making a triangle shape scar,
What not many anglers realised back many years before this. Some anglers once netted the lake to see what was actually in there, and in one of the nets from the same spot where I caught my Pike, was a Pike of over forty pounds. (That would of been a different fish, and the British record in them days)
I only personally know of two in Essex being caught over forty pounds. Only one of them caught on rod and line, from a lake named ‘The Warren’.
The reason I believe the Pike took my bait. Which I came to the conclusion, when examining the photo. Is that Pike was far too thin for it’s length. So through hunger it was after anything it could stick it’s teeth into, how ever small. How it’s razor sharp teeth never cut through the line is a mystery though.