On a recent two-day trip to Bristol's Chew Valley Lake in search of pike, Paul Garner had a session to remember, bagging not one, but four specimens. Boat fishing a shallow area of the mighty 1,200 acre reservoir Paul found some relatively clear areas amongst copious amounts of weed and presented critically balanced smelt and herring deadbaits on float leger rigs. The rest of Paul's kit consisted of 10ft 3.5lb Scope rods, 18lb Nash Bullet main line and freespool reels.
"On the first day it took my boat partner Andy Black and I a few hours to settle. We checked out a few areas that have been productive for us in the past and that we have marked on our GPS. Seeing very few pike on our 'sounder we surmised that the pike were probably sitting amongst the weed where they are difficult to spot, so we looked for an area where we could fish both open water and into the weed line. After a bit of leading around I was happy that I had found a clear channel behind a weed bed for one of my rods, whilst the other went into open water."
"It was a good 90-minutes later when I had a fast take on the rod fished into the weed. After a really powerful fight Andy netted a cracking 27lb 4oz pike for me. From previous experience, if you catch one fish from a spot there is a very good chance of catching another, so I quickly got a bait back out to the spot and twenty minutes later the same rod was away again. Another really powerful fight ensued, but the strong gear told and soon I was posing with my tenth thirty pounder, a deep fish of 32lb 4oz."
"No more action was forthcoming from the first spot, so we moved further along the weed line and repeated the process of finding clear spots. As dusk approached the open water rod was away and a dumpy 21-pounder was soon having her picture taken."
"As you might expect, the next morning we made a bee-line for the same area, particularly as most other anglers were fishing a different area of the lake. It was a very foggy start, so we were grateful of the electronics, which took us straight back to our GPS marked spots. As the fog lifted I had a really delicate take with the float just standing up as a pike moved no more than a couple of feet with the bait. Winding down I struck hard and found myself having to give line immediately as the fish tore off into open water. The fight was another god tussle and I had a good look at the fish as it passed the boat. Mid-twenty I thought, but she was a good deal bigger than that, thanks to an impressive width across her back. I was elated when the scales went round to 30lb 8oz. My 11th career thirty pounder."
"We finished up with a few more small fish, but that was it as far as the big fish were concerned. Still, it was certainly a session to remember."